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1925: The Reign of the Rajah
by Steve Ehresman
Despite Babe Ruth’s “bellyache” and the New York Yankees’ seventh place finish in the American League, the 1925 Major League Baseball season featured a proliferation of hitting that made the 1920s truly roar. With the Babe’s suffering from an intestinal abscess, a cast of super stars seized the moment and made an enduring impression on baseball history. In our nation’s capital, the Senators, with veteran hurlers Stan Coveleski (20-5, 2.84) and Walter Johnson (20-7, 3.07) producing one more time, won their second straight pennant. In America’s “Steel City,” the Pirates unseated the New York Giants and captured the World Series in seven games. But, no one outshone Triple Crown winner Rogers Hornsby of the St. Louis Cardinals.
In the Junior Circuit, Goose Goslin swatted a league-leading 20 triples, swiped 27 bases, and hit .334 for the pennant-winning Nationals. Al Simmons smacked an incredible 253 hits to lead the American League, while driving in 129 runs and batting a robust .387 for Connie Mack’s second place Athletics. Not to be out-done, Harry Heilmann of the Bengals compiled 134 RBI and a smoking .393 average, both marks leading the league. Earle Combs (.342) established himself as the Yankee centerfielder, and Bob Meusel stepped up to the dish to deliver 33 league-leading homers and to tie Heilmann with 134 RBI. Twenty-two-year-old Lou Gehrig, taking over for Wally Pipp, contributed 23 doubles, 10 triples, 20 home runs, 68 RBI, and a .295, as he began his journey to 2,130 consecutive games played. Even without the Babe for much of the 1925 season, the American League came through with historic performances.
Over in the Senior Circuit, the Pirates captured the flag behind superb performances by Pie Traynor (.320), Max Carey (46 stolen bases and a .343 average), and Kiki Cuyler (144 runs scored, a league-leading 26 triples, and a .357 average). Bill Terry of the Giants (.319), Edd Rousch of the Reds (.339), Zack Wheat of the Dodgers (.359), and Jim Bottomley of the Cardinals (.367) all put up their usual all-star numbers. No one, however, compared to Bottomley’s teammate, Rogers Hornsby. In one of the finest seasons ever, Hornsby recorded a Triple Crown, clubbing 39 homers, driving in 143 runners, and compiling a .403 batting average. Even more incredible, Hornsby had hit .424 in 1924. Truly, the Rajah earned his bona fides as the greatest right-handed hitter of all time.
Diamond Mind Baseball is proud to bring you the 1925 baseball season in our version 11 and version 10 format. Now you can experience one of the best seasons of the Roaring Twenties, complete with all the features that have made DMB a leader in computer baseball simulations. Buy your 1925 season today, and relive the Reign of the Rajah.