McMurray: 100 years ago, Yankees’ outlook was different — well, not totally

From SABR member John McMurray at the New York Times on April 20, 2014, with mention of SABR members Steve Steinberg and Jim Reisler:

This week, as Chicago’s Wrigley Field marks its 100th anniversary, Yankees fans may be wondering what their own team was like in 1914, before it become a powerhouse franchise, nine years away from its first World Series championship.

The answer is that the 1914 club was not a very good one, relying on pitching, speed and sacrifice bunts. It finished sixth in the eight-team American League with a 70-84 record.

But there was one intriguing similarity between then and now. The 1914 infield was anchored by a star shortstop, Roger Peckinpaugh, who was small in stature and bowlegged but was the most esteemed everyday player on the team.

Before too many comparisons to Derek Jeter are made, let it be noted that Peckinpaugh had a career batting average of .259 in 17 major league seasons, or 53 points fewer than Jeter’s current career average, .312. Peckinpaugh ended up with 1,876 career hits; Jeter has 3,331.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: April 21, 2014. Last Updated: April 21, 2014.