Wednesday, September 2, 2015

1915 Phillies 100th Anniversary - Gavvy Cravath

The Offensive Leader of the 1915 Phillies was Clifford Carlton "Gavvy" Cravath.

 2006 Toyota Phillies Wall of Fame Gavvy Cravath

The then 34 year old Right Fielder led the NL in Home Runs, RBIs, Runs Scored, Total Bases, OBP and Slugging.  His 24 Homers sound modest by today's standards, but at the time it was the highest total in either league during the first 18 years of the 20th Century - more on this later.

If SABRmetics had been around a hundred years ago it would also have been mentioned that Gavvy Cravath led the NL in WAR at 7.0 or 6.4 oWAR for those of us who are skeptical about defensive metrics. Had their been an MVP award at the time I am pretty sure that Cravath would have won it. 

Unfortunately Gavvy's great regular season didn't continue into the World Series. He only picked up 2 hits in 16 At-Bats.  Cravath did get the Go-Ahead RBI in the 8th inning of game 1 on a ground out to Shortstop - it was the only game the Phillies would win in the Series. The Victory would remain the Phillies lone World Series game W until Game 1 of 1980.

2006 Toyota Phillies 
I am pretty sure this post card set was a giveaway item for the Phillies in the early days of Citizen's Bank Park. We are almost a decade beyond the original issue and these are probably in need of an update.

2006 Toyota Phillies Wall of Fame Gavvy Cravath (b-side)

The back of the cards include brief demographics and lifetime stats atop a profile photo. Gavvy Cravath's stats include a few brief stints with various clubs prior to joining the Phillies for the bulk of his career. 

Above we spoke of Cravath's 24 homer season in 1915. It was one of SIX TIMES that he would lead the NL in Home Runs. When he retired in 1920 Cravath was the Active Leader in Home Runs with 119 which was 19 behind the All Time Leader Roger Connor. A Year later Babe Ruth would eclipse both Connor and Cravath.

After retirement Gavvy Cravath returned to his native California and became a prominent judge in Laguna Beach California

Sources n Links  
1915 Phillies NL Champions  
SABR Bio by Bill Swank
SignOn San Diego

1 comment:

Brian said...

His career is even more impressive if you factor in his American Association stats in Minneapolis. It was a Minor League, though the talent in those days was spread out across the country in such a way that not all minor leagues were as "small" as the others.
The park the Minneapolis Millers played in had similar dimensions to the Baker Bowl in Philly.

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2008 World Champions