Monday, April 22, 2024

The 1917 MLB Season (OOTP Alt-Federal Timeline)


The Chicago White Sox would go on to win the A.L. Pennant with a 97-57 (.630 pct) record). The season certainly didn't start well for the White Sox, as they barely hovered over the .500 mark, 45 games in. The White Sox decided to make a move at that moment by acquiring Lefty Williams from the Philadelphia Athletics, in a three-way deal that involved Chicago, Philadelphia & the Cleveland Blues. And for the majority of time after the deal, the White Sox would still trail in the American League behind Cleveland. Cleveland was looking really good at the time, and it appeared that Chicago might once again barely miss out on the World Series. The move cost the White Sox, their big prospect Bunny Brief (who went to Cleveland). The White Sox also added RP Bill Fincher, P Larry Cheney & OF Armando Marsans.

The Cleveland Blues (92-62) spent the majority of the season in 1st place, and appeared to be a World Series contender, especially adding SP Al Mamaux, RP George Cunningham, C Bill Wagner & 2B/3B Alex McCarthy. The move cost them the MLB's #1 prospect in OF Hack Miller, who was sent to Pittsburgh. The Blues would fade down the stretch, finishing in 3rd place. The White Sox and Red Sox would pass Cleveland in the standings.

The Boston Red Sox (93-61) near the end of the season, finally had Dutch Leonard come off the Disabled List just in time for the Pennant, only to lose him again for the season. It didn't seem to hinder their starting pitching who had three 20-game winners in Ernie Shore (20-15), Babe Ruth (21-11), and Buddy Nappier (22-13). The team also lost Carl Mays early in the season, finishing with a 7-5 record and 2.20 ERA. Tris Speaker's late injury didn't help the team. Speaker finished the season with a .357 batting average, 1 HR, 75 RBI & 35 stolen bases, all while leading the league with 42 doubles. Speaker has the chance to win his 3rd MVP Award during a 6-year stretch,

The Washington Senators (85-69) who finished in 4th place, jumped out of the gates by winning their first 8 games. Walter Johnson did his thing, sporting a 26-7 record with a 2.18 ERA & 199 strikeouts -- winning the A.L. Pitching Triple Crown. The Senators will have to improve their starting & relief pitching during this upcoming off-season. 

The New York Yankees suffered a lot of injuries during the 1917 season, particularly their pitching. Ray Caldwell, who won 19 games in back-to-back seasons (15', 16'), was injured for almost the entire season. Caldwell was spectacular in his 4 starts this season, going 3-1 with a 0.50 ERA (35.2 IP) -- which included 3 complete games and a shutout. Last season's MLB breakout pitcher Frank Allen followed last season with another strong year (17-17, 2.34 ERA, 166 K's). Allen has 10.9 WAR over the past two seasons. The Yankees acquired P Lefty Gervais (12-10, 2.96 ERA & 3 SV) from Brooklyn, in exchange for LF Hugh High. Gervais was brought in to the bleeding coming from the oft-injured rotation.

The Detroit Tigers' Ty Cobb had another spectacular season, winning his 9th Batting Title (.390), while leading the league in runs (130), walks (105) & On-Base percentage (.486), all while showing off a 1.013 OPS (also tops). Cobb's stats didn't help the Tigers though, who finished 6th with a 80-74 record. The Tigers' George H Burns led the American League with 106. Detroit's pitching and fielding were in the lower third of the A.L.

The St. Louis Browns (68-86) had no lineup, pitching & fielding, while finishing in 7th place. Both George Sisler (.353, 2 HR, 52 RBI & 37 SB) and Del Pratt (.298, 6 HR & 88 RBI) once again put together strong seasons, while being a few of the bright spots from the franchise. The Browns finished 12 games behind Detroit.

Batting average and homers were up for the Philadelphia Athletics, while the pitching was awful. The Athletics acquired OF Duffy Lewis from the Red Sox prior to the 1917 season, while acquiring OF Billy Southworth from Cleveland during the season. Southworth was one of the players involved in the White Sox-Athletics-Blues three-team trade. The A's (61-93) finished in 8th place.

Frank 'Home Run' Baker lived up to his name, by leading the American League with 9 HR for the 2nd time in 3 years. Baker's season was one of the only good things to happen for the Baltimore Terrapins in 1917.

The Kansas City Packers (49-105) finished dead last, failing to reach 50 wins. The team's top prospect Ross Eldred had a productive season, and looks to do more in 1918. Eldred batted .267 with 3 HR & 48 RBI through 128 games. 


The Boston Braves (97-57) would end the season hot, while passing the defending champs Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies along the way. The Braves would win the division 9 games over the Reds. Boston was solid all around in every aspect of the game. Tom L Hughes led the National League (for the second straight year) with 200 strikeouts. Hughes also had a 23-11 record and 2.41 ERA. Dick Rudolph (22-13, 1.57 ERA), Art Nehf (26-10, 1.81 ERA), and Lefty Tyler (18-17, 2.25 ERA) were also amazing for the Braves.

For a little while it appeared that the Cincinnati Reds (88-66) were on their way to a 2nd consecutive N.L. Pennant, but ended up faded down the stretch. The Reds' pitching wasn't as great as their 1916 World Championship year, but still was pretty good. Phil Douglas put together another strong season, going 22-11 with a 2.14 ERA & 141 K's. Douglas now has a 48-17 record (.738) over the past two seasons. Rube Benton and Win Noyes each won over 20 games for the Reds. Closer Pete Schneider went from19 losses in 1915 to 14 Saves in 1917. 

Carried by some great pitching, the New York Giants would finish in 3rd place at 81-73. Rube Marquard led the team with 21 wins (21-14) with a 2.35 ERA. Also Jeff Tesreau (20-18, 2.59 ERA) & Ferdie Schupp (17-11, 2.18 ERA) were just as good, while Pol Perritt (7-8, 2.84 ERA & 8 Saves) was the team's stopper. The Giants started the season off with a 9-0 record.

The 4th place Philadelphia Phillies (80-74) had a tough lineup that led the National League in Runs Scored, Batting Average & Home Runs. The starting rotation was the Phillies' problem in 1917. The Phils' Gavvy Cravath blasted 14 HR this season, while he has contributed by hitting 48 round-trippers over the past 3 seasons. Philadelphia benefitted by signing Bill Kay (.251, 7 HR & 63 RBI). 

The Indianapolis Hoosiers finished in 5th place, while recording their first winning record (78-76). The team last year came close to a winning record its first season in the Majors. The team appears to be further along than Baltimore, Buffalo & Kansas City (the other Federal merger teams) right now. CF Bernie Kauff had another great season, batting .323 with 12 HR, 12 triples, 70 RBI, 93 runs & 67 stolen bases. Kauff once again over .400 for his on-base percentage. Indy's rookie starting pitcher Urban Shocker lived up tp the hype by recording a 23-15 record, 2.93 ERA & 154 K's in 43 starts this season. 

The Buffalo Bisons finished at .500 & a game behind Indianapolis. The team signed SP Charley Hall in the offseason, in which he thanked Buffalo with a 21-18 record and 2.54 ERA & 124 ERA+ -- although Hall will have to work on his command, leading the league with 130 bases on balls. Starter Fred Anderson improved this season to 20-15 with a 2.11 ERA & 154 K's. 

The St. Louis Cardinals (71-83) finished in 7th place. The only plus signs that came out of the Cards' season is that their pitching has come around. The team was 2nd in bullpen ERA & 4th in Starting Pitchers ERA. Ace Bill Doak (21-19, 2.26 ERA) had his best season to date with a 4.7 WAR, while leading the league in Games Started (44). Although his league leading 24 losses wouldn't suggest so, Lee Meadows (12-24, 3.81 ERA) has only improved, while pitching 110 more innings than last season. Dan Griner led the league with 16 Saves, while shining with a 1.29 ERA.

The Chicago Cubs finished 8th with 71 wins. The Cubs are not sure if they want to add some pieces or might just start rebuilding now. The Cubs' Cy Williams led the league with 15 HR, while knocking in 75 runs. Cy batted .293 while he improved his on-base percentage tremendously over the years, from .305 (1915) to .328 (1916) and to .365 this season. Jim Bagby led the team with 9 saves, while having a 2.43 ERA. Bagby could be slated for a rotation spot next season. 

With the Brooklyn Dodgers finishing 9th (66-88), the Zack Wheat trade rumors have started to circulate this off-season. The Dodgers' brass have not confirmed that they will try to trade Wheat, but have also mentioned that big changes could come this off-season. The Dodgers' Casey Stengel led the team in home runs (8) and RBI (83), while stealing 23 bases. 

The Pittsburgh Pirates (61-93) may have finished in the cellar, but many scouts feel the team is better than the record suggests. Plus the team has prospects on the rise, especially after acquiring the top prospect in baseball in outfielder Hack Miller. Honus Wagner will likely retire, although he hit .294.

* * * That completes the 1917 Season Recap. * * *

Friday, April 19, 2024

Red October - The 1916 World Series (OOTP Alt-Federal Timeline)

The American League's Boston Red Sox and the National League's Cincinnati Reds, both made it to the 1916 World Series on the backs of a strong rotation. Boston may have a little more hitting, while Cincy has a stronger bullpen. In real life, the 1916 World Series was the Boston Red Sox defeating the Brooklyn Dodgers, 4-1.

Prior to the World Series, the Red Sox lost Dutch Leonard for the season, while Ernie Shore is battling back spasms -- leaving their rotation vulnerable. They will have to rely heavily on young stud Babe Ruth's left arm, if they plan to repeat as World Champions. The Cincinnati Reds didn't go unscathed as well, as they lost starter Red Ames for 3 weeks. 

Game 1

The Reds' backstop Ivey Wingo hits a two-run triple off Babe Ruth during the 2nd inning, as his teammates join the fun making it a 5-run inning. That would be all they need against 'The Babe', winning the series intro, 5-2. Wingo took over catching duties just prior to the end of the season, due to regular season starting catcher Tommy Clarke struggling down the stretch. Plus Wingo is a more reliable catcher defensively.

Game 2

Cincy takes a 2-0 series lead, as rookie Phil Douglas (26-6, 1.62 ERA & 164 K's) notches the win, with 8 strong innings. The Red Sox' Duffy Lewis came up to the plate against the Reds' closer Pete Schneider, with the tying & winning runs on base & bases loaded, with two outs. Schneider gets Lewis to ground out for the save, while they now head to Boston with a strong series advantage. Douglas would go on to win the 1916 N.L. Cy Young Award.

Game 3

The Red Sox would have to go with Rube Foster in Game 3, due to Shore's back spasms still bothering him. It wouldn't be a thing though, as Foster goes on to pitch a 6-hit shutout, as the Red Sox win big, 12-0. The Sox' 3B Larry Gardner hits two triples while amounting 4 ribbies, while Duffy Lewis added a home run.

Game 4

The Red Sox look to even the series with Babe Ruth looking to rebound in Game 4. Ruth goes on to pitch a great game, allowing only 4 hits by the Reds. The only problem is that the Reds would go on to edge Boston, 3-2. The Red Sox end up stranding plenty, while the team also had 10 hits. The Reds' Fred Toney collects his 2nd win of the series, while Ruth (0-2) is credited with the loss. Reds now hold a commanding 3-1 series lead.

Game 5

Ernie Shore returns to the mound, to make his debut this series. Shore hopes to give the 'Fenway Faithful' some hope, and send this series just a game away from evening up the series. The game would remain scoreless until Boston's superstar Tris Speaker stepped up and delivered a two-run double during the bottom of the 8th inning. Shore would pitch 8 scoreless innings, allowing only 5 hits. The Reds' Phil Douglas (1-1, 0.57 ERA) is credited with the loss. Reds lose 2-1. 

Game 6

The Cincinnati Reds would go on to win the World Series, as they win Game 6 by the score of 5-2. The Red Sox' 'Smokey Joe' Wood (0-2, 3.38 ERA) could not hold off the Reds' Heinie Groh, who batted 2-4 during the game with an RBI, 2 runs. Groh would go on to win the World Series MVP, batting .391 with 4 RBI (9-for-23) during the series.

Hope you enjoyed the season, as we continue towards the 1917 MLB Season during this Alt-Federal Timeline.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

1916 MLB Season (OOTP Alt-Federal Timeline)

My previous post explained the premise of the project that involves four Federal League Baseball teams that joined Major League Baseball in an alternate simulation timeline that I am labeling as the 'Alt-Federal Timeline' via Out of the Park Baseball (OOTP).

Now onto what took place in the Majors during this alternate 1916 season.

Preseason Predictions

The predictions by Out of the Park had the 1916 Chicago White Sox winning the American League Pennant, winning the league by 12 games over the defending World Champion Boston Red Sox. Finishing 3rd was the New York Yankees followed by the Detroit Tigers.

 OOTP predicted that the 1916 National League Champions would be the Boston Braves, winning the league by 6 games over the defending National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies -- with the Cincinnati Reds (17 GB), Brooklyn Dodgers (18 GB) & the New York Giants (18 GB) finishing behind them.

Going into the simulated 1916 season, I felt the top MLB contenders were the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Boston Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds & the New York Giants. I also believed it was possible to have a World Series rematch between the Red Sox & Phillies. Although I didn't think the Pittsburgh Pirates would be contenders, I felt they could challenge more than their projected last place finish in the N.L.

I also believed the pennant races (which they usually are) more competitive than the predictions provided by OOTP.

Season Results

The American League was highly competitive all season long. If I remember right, the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox were the top two teams during April & May. The races would really tighten up in September though. The Tigers would wane a little bit, but start getting traction as September approached. The White Sox were consistently strong.

September 17th

The New York Yankees surprised me a bit, I knew they had a pretty decent rotation, they added a pitcher during the preseason in Frank Allen. Prior to 1916, Allen had decent numbers in small parts in the Majors. During 1915, he made a name for himself with the Federal League's Pittsburgh Rebels, putting up strong numbers (22-14, 2.58 ERA, 134 K & a 4.8 WAR). So the Yankees added him as a potential-plus pitcher who can eat up innings, and won big with adding him to their roster.

For the Yankees, Allen (as the 3rd man in the rotation) led the American League with 24 Wins, 159 strikeouts, plus a spectacular 1.83 ERA to win the ERA title -- all while pitching 333.2 innings. He also lead the league in Quality Starts (32), Complete Games (29) & Shutouts (7). He might very well be the automatic for the A.L. Cy Young Award.

On September 17th, five American League teams were all separated by 3 games, bringing out whispers to the real life finish of the 1967 American League Pennant chase. The amazing thing for Boston they were doing this during a period that Tris Speaker was on the Disability List. 

The Boston Braves were near the top throughout the season as predicted by OOTP, but they found themselves in a tight battle with the Cincinnati Reds (1 game back) instead of the Philadelphia Phillies who were starting to slip out of the race at this point. 

The New York Giants were always around, but always seemed to be lacking something. The loss of Christy Mathewson for the season, seemed to have sucked out the team's soul. The starting pitching was still pretty solid, led by starters Jeff Tesreau (25-11, 2.02 ERA) & Art Fromme (25-9, 2.27 ERA) who had excellent seasons. Rube Marquard (3.07 ERA) & Pol Perrit (3.08 ERA) had losing seasons for the Giants, but pitched good enough to give their team a chance to win.

Before we get to the Reds' pitching (which we will get to later in the post), let's talk about their big bat at the plate in Ken Williams. Many of us who know our baseball, knows Williams for his time with the St. Louis Browns, but we often forget that he was a Cincinnati Red first. At age 27, and just cracking past the rookie status, you have to wonder what his career numbers would have been if he had broke out much earlier, or was he just a late bloomer? Not to also mention being drafted into the Army, and missing nearly between 1916 and 1918. You are talking 7 solid years at least that he missed from the time his baseball career at age 23 (playing for the Regina Red Sox) until the end of his MLB career in 1929 (in which he batted .345 through 74 games at age 39). He finished his career with a lifetime batting average of .319, an on-base percentage close to .400, and a solid .924 OPS. This guy with a full career could have been a Hall of Famer maybe. One of baseball's bigger what-if's. 

Now onto his 1916 alt-Federal season...

Williams batted .300 with 12 HR & 88 RBI for his first full season as a starter in the bigs. He also led the National League with a .452 slugging percentage (which included 27 doubles & 10 triples), while producing a 136 OPS+.

Now moving along...

September 27th

Good news for the Chicago White Sox, they are in first place with about 4-5 games left for everybody. Bad news, C Ray Schalk is done for the season, joining his teammates SP Eddie Cicotte and SS Buck Weaver. Also if OOTP or myself caught the 'Shoeless Joe' Jackson mistake, the White Sox may have clinched already. Don't worry White Sox fans, you'll at least qualify for some compensation during the offseason. 

But don't look now, but the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees & St. Louis Browns are nipping at the White Sox' heels (no pun intended), while the Detroit Tigers picked the very worst time to go on a 5-game losing streak.

The Red Sox may have the league's best pitching staff:
  • Dutch Leonard (22-16, 1.95 ERA) - Led A.L. with 203 K's & 342.1 innings pitched.
  • 'Smokey Joe' Wood (19-10, 2.28 ERA) - pitching nearly twice as much compared to last season.
  • Babe Ruth (17-11, 2.18 ERA & 3.4 WAR in 251.2 IP)
  • Ernie Shore (23-10, 2.39 ERA & 124 ERA+ in 327.2 IP)
The Boston staff would end up accounting for 91% of the teams wins totals. 

Over in the National League, it's now down to a two-team race, while all the other teams are disqualified. The New York Giants lost 7 of their last 10 games, while the Philadelphia Phillies won't be able to repeat as National League Champs.

The heart of the Boston Braves' lineup accounted for 27 HR (which was a lot between 3 players). A much bigger contrast to that of their 1914 World Championship team. Red J. Smith had 6, Joe F Connolly had 8 HR (despite missing 30+ games) & Dutch Zwilling (added in the offseason) led the team with both 13 HR & 78 RBI. 

The Braves also had a strong rotation in Tom L. Hughes (24-13, 2.07 ERA), Dick Rudolph (18-12, 2.67 ERA), Lefty Tyler (24-10, 2.29 ERA) & Art Nehf (16-18, 3.08 ERA). 

The Finish to the Regular Season

American League action -- The Boston Red Sox took 2 of 3 from the Chicago White Sox at the end of the season, while the New York Yankees couldn't pull off the 3-game sweep against the Detroit Tigers -- winning two games, and losing the 3rd game, 2-1. The game was the Tigers' lone win during their last 10 games, finishing in 5th place. If the Yankees won the final game, they would have forced a 1-game playoff, since Boston lost the final game to the White Sox. The St. Louis Browns would leapfrog the Tigers to finish in 4th place. The Philadelphia Athletics who had a bad mid-section to the season, finished strongly with a winning record (winning 8 of their last 10 games). The Kansas City Packers finished in last place, they started the 1916 MLB Season losing their first 14 games.

The New York Giants defeated the Boston Braves, 4-0 on the strength of a 5-hit shutout by Jeff Tesreau on the final day, while the Cincinnati Reds defeated a struggling Indianapolis Federals team, 4-1. The Reds' Rube Benton allowed only 2 hits in the Pennant-clinching complete game. The Federals (the strongest of the Federal League teams) were playing pretty good during the 1st half of the season, placing as high as 4th place, and getting as close as only 6 games out of 1st place. The Feds though would end up with a losing record at 73-81, losing 9 of their last 10 games.

The Reds' rotation was amazing during the season...
  • Rube Benton (22-11, 2.06 ERA) - led the N.L. with a 0.970 WHIP.
  • Fred Toney (21-15, 2.53 ERA) - Won 38 games the past two seasons, 122 ERA+ in 1916.
  • Red Ames (13-17, 2.31 ERA & 134 ERA+)
  • Phil Douglas (26-6, 1.62 ERA, 164 K's & 191 ERA+) - Probably a lock for N.L. Cy Young.
The four starters above accounted for 88% of the teams' victories.

Two strong teams in the Boston Red Sox and the Cincinnati Reds, which should make a great 1916 World Series.

Monday, April 8, 2024

Federal League Teams Joins Majors (Alternate 1916)

Through the wonders of Out of the Park Baseball (OOTP), I have decided to do an alternate MLB projection, which is including a Federal-Major League Merger. 

The merger would only include four Federal League teams joining while the other 4 teams become defunct, and those players remaining fall into a free agency pool. The teams that joined the Majors are as follows...

  • Baltimore Terrapins (A.L.)
  • Buffalo Bisons (N.L.)
  • Indianapolis Federals (formerly Newark Peppers, N.L.)
  • Kansas City Packers (A.L.)
Obviously in real life, the Federal League only existed from 1914-1915. In this alternate reality, we'll say that maybe it was more successful than it actually was, and the Majors stepped in, and made generous offers to owners in the Federal League, which teams departed, and the league folded.

There was a free agency draft order, starting with the Federal League teams getting the first picks, while the rest of the Major League teams went in order from worst to best. Since the Boston Red Sox won the 1915 World Series over the Philadelphia Phillies, those teams got the last free agency picks in each round. Buffalo Blues became Buffalo Bisons, due to Cleveland being the Cleveland Blues already. The Blues are mapped out to be renamed later. I thought the idea of a team being named after a player or coach is weird, and I didn't agree with a name that Christopher Columbus picked out.

After all that, I also balanced the teams to all have 40-Man Rosters (25 player Team Roster / 15 player Reserve Roster).

I then went to the Free Agency board, it did include players that weren't on Federal League rosters, being either not on a roster that year or in prospect status. I didn't want to go through every single team to see who was actually where, and so-so. All teams fell into this rule, so for example -- The Detroit Tigers actually lost 1B/OF Harry Heilmann and C Johnny Bassler.

Teams Notable Additions:
  • Baltimore Terrapins: 3B Frank 'Home Run' Baker, 1B Ed Konetchy & SP Elmer Leonard.
  • Boston Red Sox: C Grover Hartley, OF Irish Meusel, 1B/2B Jim Galloway.
  • Boston Braves: C Art Wilson, OF Dutch Zwilling & 3B Mike Menosky.
  • Brooklyn Dodgers: 3B Charlie Deal & P Lefty Gervais.
  • Buffalo Bisons: 1B/OF Harry Heilmann, C Joe Jenkins & SP Bill Prough.
  • Chicago White Sox: SP Bill Burns, 3B Mike Mowrey & OF Mike Fitzgerald.
  • Chicago Cubs: P Jim Bagley Sr & SS Billy Orr.
  • Cincinnati Reds: SP King Bader, SS/1B Jack Ness & C Gus Fisher.
  • Cleveland Blues: P Dave Davenport, SP Tom J Hughes & OF Steve Evans.
  • Detroit Tigers: P Dave Danforth, SP Claude Hendrix & OF Johnny Bates.
  • Indianapolis Federals: OF Benny Kauff, SP Buddy Hearn, OF Bert Graham & 1B Norm Glockson.
  • Kansas City Packers: SP Eddie Plank, 3B Ed Hemingway, OF/C Lee Magee & 1B Jack Lelivelt.
  • New York Yankees: OF Max Flack, SP Frank Allen & OF Les Mann.
  • New York Giants: C Johnny Bassler & 3B Jimmy Johnston.
  • Philadelphia Athletics: SP Lefty Williams, P Byron Houck & OF William Rumler.
  • Philadelphia Phillies: 2B Joe Gideon & SP Johnny Enzmann.
  • Pittsburgh Pirates: SP Stan Coveleski, 2B Morrie Rath & C William Fischer.
  • St. Louis Browns: OF Jack Tobin, SP Flame Delhi & P Ed Lennox
  • St. Louis Cardinals: P Clarence Mitchell & SP Al Huenke
  • Washington Senators: C Mike Konnick, OF Pete Compton & OF Pop Foster.
Note: Once in awhile OOTP is not accurate on their rosters, and I didn't notice until the season got rolling, but 'Shoeless Joe' Jackson was still on Cleveland for some reason, which he was actually acquired by the Chicago White Sox during the 1915 MLB season. But I will make him a White Sox player for the 1917 season, while they will also add acquisition 1B Chick Gandil from Washington. Washington has upcoming Joe Judge to take Gandil's place.

Speaking of acquisitions: I will try to do some of the realistic trades, and players going to their real-life places, but I won't be doing it, if the transactions don't fit with the team's overall status. For example, there was a team that was in the thick of a pennant chase, and one of their stars in real life was traded, because that team in real life wasn't in the hunt. Plus there was trades that couldn't happen with some of the places being elsewhere...

For example: 

Real-life deal: The Giants acquiring IF Buck Herzog and OF Red Killefer from the Reds, in exchange for SP Christy Mathewson, OF Edd Roush and 2B Bill McKechnie

OOTP 1916: The Giants lost Christy Mathewson for the season (Radial nerve - Elbow surgery) already at that point in the season, Edd Roush (born in Indiana) was on the Indianapolis Hoosiers/Newark Peppers 1914 & 1915 Federal League rosters, making him a young star for the Indianapolis Federals in 1916, which leads to Bill McKechnie being a lone piece for a trade, which also didn't make sense for the two teams.

The Giants also had another real-life deal that didn't go down involving Cubs' 3B Heinie Zimmerman and the Giants' 2B Larry Doyle. Although that trade may go down during the 1917 offseason. 

*** Coming up the 1916 MLB Season results from the Alt-Federal OOTP Timeline. ***

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

A Brief History of the 1995 No-Expansion NFL Project (Part I - Offseason)

Entering an Alternate 1995 Off-Season

So I have over the years have played DK Sports' Action PC Football for my football projects and simulations. One of the projects involves my 1995 NFL No-Expansion project in which the Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers don't exist and don't enter the fray for the 1995 Season. Players that would have been expansion picks were still with their previous teams. I just wrapped up the 1996 NFL Season, but first we should give you a brief history in the project.

Due to no expansion teams, the 1995 NFL Draft also endured an alternate reality. Some players were still taken by the same teams that drafted them in real life, and some are getting career starts at different places altogether.

The 1995 NFL Draft - First Round

Houston still drafts QB Steve McNair (at 1st overall), Washington still drafts WR Michael Westbrook (2nd overall), and Seattle still drafts WR Joey Galloway (6th overall). The Cincinnati Bengals make a wiser choice this time, by drafting DE Kevin Carter, leaving the Rams (who actually drafted him) to draft OT Tony Boselli (originally drafted by Jacksonville). 

Three Penn State boys would be drafted inside the first 14 picks, with  QB Kerry Collins (pictured above, N.Y. Jets) and RB Ki-Jana Carter (San Francisco) going back-to-back at #7 and #8. TE Kyle Brady would join Collins in New York.

The Minnesota Vikings would draft DE Hugh Douglas at #9, while it's still fate that Tampa Bay selects DT Warren Sapp (they would also still draft Derrick Brooks at #26 later in the round) at 10th overall.

The Colts would select a WR option in J.J. Stokes (#13), while a pair of running backs in Tyrone Wheatley (#15, Giants) and Napolean Kaufman (#16, Raiders) are drafted by their original teams. It would be Kansas City (instead of Minnesota) that would draft OT Korey Stringer (17th overall), while RB Rashaan Salaam still ends up in Chicago. The Packers would beat the Patriots to the punch in taking CB Ty Law (#20), while the Pats take CB Tyrone Poole (#21). Pittsburgh still drafts TE Mark Breuner at #25.

Other Interesting Picks 

Curtis Martin, the running back out of Pittsburgh, would still be a steal... this time as a 2nd Round Pick (verses 3rd Round Pick) and drafted by a different team, the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals now have young QB Jeff Blake, his WR weapons in Carl Pickens and Darnay Scott, and now Martin in the backfield.

DB Craig Newsome would be drafted by Atlanta (35th overall) to help the secondary. Due to the Lions selecting DT Ellis Johnson in the 1st Rd, Luther Ellis would fall down to Chicago in the 2nd round at 46th overall. 

Many players in the 2nd round would be selected with their original teams, such as WR Frank Sanders (Arizona), CB Bobby Taylor (Phila), QB Todd Collins (Buffalo), QB Kordell Stewart (Pittsburgh), DB Orlando Thomas (Minnesota) and TE Ken Dilger (Indy).

Dallas would draft an interesting WR option in Chris Sanders (at 53rd overall) to help Michael Irvin and the receiving core. Houston takes WR/RET Tamarick Vanover in the early 3rd round. Philadelphia drafts DT Darius Holland (70th overall), Kansas City drafts WR Antonio Freeman (73rd), Washington takes 4th rounder TE Pete Mitchell (91st overall), and the Dallas Cowboys try to fill the void of Jay Novacek, by (once again) drafting TE Eric Bjornson at 98th overall.

Interesting Preseason Deals

  • Detroit traded DT Kelvin Pritchett (who would have been drafted by Jacksonville in the expansion draft in real life) to Indianapolis in exchange for a 1996 3rd Round & 1996 6th Round pick.
  • The N.Y. Giants acquire QB Mark Brunell from Green Bay in exchange for the Giants' 2nd & 3rd round picks in 1996.
  • Due to the regressing John Taylor, the San Francisco 49'ers go out and acquire WR Mark Carrier from Cleveland, in exchange for the Niners' 1996 2nd Round pick.
  • Houston acquires RB Eric Bienemy from Cincinnati in exchange for the Oilers' 3rd round pick in 1996.
  • Arizona acquires TE Pete Metzelaars from Buffalo in exchange for the Cardinals' 1996 5th round pick.
  • Miami signs WR Art Monk (released by Philadelphia), while Cincinnati signs RB Marion Butts (released by Houston).

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