2011 marks the 100-year anniversary of the Philadelphia Athletics' championship 1911 season. This site will chart the course of the season as it unfolds through October in real time (well, real time plus 100 years).
When the Athletics decamped to Kansas City and later to Oakland, they left behind a proud legacy in their former home - nine pennants, five world series titles (more championships than any other Philadelphia sports team), five 100-win seasons, rosters full of baseball legends, and the unmatched record of 50-year manager Connie Mack.
The local fans came to fully embrace the Phillies, and current A's fans naturally look on their own hometown championships more fondly, leaving a fading legacy of greatness for the original Athletics. When a team moves to a new city and leaves their fan base behind, their history tends to get orphaned in the process.
This site will give lovers of baseball in Philadelphia and everywhere else a chance to look back and live vicariously through those 1911 fans as they watch their hometown A's climb to the top of baseball's heap.
We'll look at the games the team played and the players who took the field that season. The outcome is already in the record books, but let's enjoy the ride together throughout the summer.
How we'll do things
I'll be looking at all of the great online resources out there including retrosheet, baseball-reference, fangraphs, wikipedia, and others to tell the story of the 2011 A's. Whenever possible, I'll try to locate contemporaneous accounts. In a perfect world, I'd be able to raid all sorts of old archives to find them, but since I've got a day job that keeps me pretty busy, I'll stick to what's readily available. Luckily, there's a lot out there (thank you, internet). I won't kid myself that I can do separate posts for every day of the season, but I'll try to include the results of each game in a relatively timely manner without biting off more than I can chew. It looks like box scores for the AL in 1911 aren't readily available online at this time, so I may be limited to just the final scores and starting pitchers for a lot of the games. I'll also look at as many of the great players of the time as I can as well as any other interesting stories I can dig up throughout the season.
I'd like to focus mostly on the action as it occurred in 1911. But since we benefit from 100 years of baseball hindsight, I'll occasionally attempt to put these events and players in context from a contemporary perspective. I'll also be referencing some of the more modern stats that hadn't been created at the time. They'll let us see a different side of the game that wasn't available to the fans and writers of the early 20th century.
Truth be told, I'm no expert on the 1911 Athletics. I know some of the stories behind the team, and I'm familiar with Mack and some of their best players, but there are certainly people out there who are more qualified to discourse on these men and this time than I am. The fun part about this blog for me is that I'll be learning as I go along. And there may not be any suspense in the final outcome of the season, but I'm looking forward to all the stories I'm hoping to turn up.
I hope you all enjoy it,