1903 New York Giants

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1903 New York Giants / Franchise: San Francisco Giants / BR Team Page[edit]

Record: 84-55, Finished 2nd in National League (1903 NL)

Managed by John McGraw

Ballpark: Polo Grounds

History, Comments, Contributions[edit]

The 1903 New York Giants played their first full season under manager John McGraw, who had jumped from the Baltimore Orioles of the American League midway through the previous season. Rising from mediocrity, they rode the tandem of future Hall of Famers Christy Mathewson and Joe McGinnity to a quick start, pushing their record to 34-13 on June 13th when Mathewson pitched a one-hitter to defeat the Cincinnati Reds. The two stars were a combined 25-6 at the time. Leading the offense were Roger Bresnahan and Sam Mertes, both among the league leaders in batting. However, they could not hold off the Pittsburgh Pirates, the defending champions, who went on a 15-game winning streak in June, and then clinched the pennant with another streak, this one of fourteen games, in September. The pair of Mathewson and McGinnity finished 1-2 in the National League in games started, wins, innings pitched and strikeouts. McGinnity went 31-20, 2.43 in 434 innings and Mathewson 30-13, 2.26 in 366 1/3 innings. They were the last pair of teammates to combine for over 800 innings in the National League. Mathewson had had a career record below .500 entering the season, after going 14-17 the previous year, but would be the best pitcher in baseball for the next decade and a bit.

At the end of the season, the Pirates, Giants and Chicago Cubs occupied the top three positions in the standings, and these three teams would win every National League pennant until the "Miracle Braves" broke the streak in 1914. In fact, from 1903 to 1912, these three teams occupied the top three spots in the league every year, apart from a couple of fourth-place finishes; in other words, of the 30 top-three finishes in those ten season, the three teams accounted for an astounding 28!