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25 For 25: Brooklyn Robins/Dodgers 1920-1944

I am back with another set of 25 For 25 teams, this time for the years 1920-1944. This is the fourth set that I have published this cycle, starting with 1995-2019 and continuing through 1970-1994 & 1945-1969 (I will post squads for 1895-1919 after I get done with these); if you are interested in those, you can view them here.

Basically the same rules as before: 25 players, 25 seasons, one player from each season, no more or less; each player can be chosen for a team once (not multiple times in a single era or multiple eras as listed above); the player will be chosen at the position that he played the most that season (outfielders use combined outfield games; starting pitchers have as many or more starts as relief appearances); two players each for C/1B/2B/3B/SS, six outfielders, six starters, & three relievers (pitcher distribution is a departure from later eras (5S/4R), as it was less common for staffs to have multiple (or even one) dedicated relievers and pitchers were moved to the rotation quickly when they showed signs of quality). I use Fangraphs' fWAR and Baseball-Reference's bWAR & Win-Loss% w/avg team (waaWL%, basically bWAR as a rate stat, centered around a .500 W%). I have included pitcher's hitting WAR contributions if they are positive; I also included rate, counting stats, & accolades where appropriate. Finally, I added in a quick blurb about the player, whether it is biographical information, historical context, or just a fun fact.

As is the nature of these lists, I will not be able to take all of the best players/seasons, there is no intention to denote one player at a position as the "starter" & the other as the "backup", and I am going to stick to the rules & see where the numbers take me. Sometimes I will have to choose between two worthy options & have to make do with the next best for the "loser"; sometimes I will have to take a lesser season out of need instead of a better one; sometimes I will be stuck with a "bad" year because all the good ones were ruled out.

I hope you have a chance to look over this list (and the others to come), learn something about your team's history, and maybe challenge me on my picks. I look forward to hearing from you. [NOTE: For those players with names in bold, the links are to the SABR Biography Project. Please visit the site and read up on these players.]

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1920 - Burleigh Grimes SP - 40 G/33 GS/303.2 IP, 6.4* fWAR/8.5* bWAR, .612 waaWL%, 23-11 W-L, 2/3 SvOpp, 2.22 ERA/2.80 FIP, 2.0 BB/9, HOF *(including batting) (one of 17 pitchers granted a lifetime exception in 1920 to the ban of the spitball)

1921 - Jimmy Johnston 3B - 152 G/689 PA, 4.0 fWAR/3.5 bWAR, .510 waaWL%, .325/.372/.460, 41 2B/14 3B/28 SB, 104 R/203 H (holds the ML record for consecutive games (6) with 3+ hits, tied with HOFers Sam Thompson & George Brett)

1922 - Dutch Ruether SP - 35 GS/267.1 IP, 3.7* fWAR/5.2* bWAR, .572 waaWL%, 21-12 W-L, 3.53 ERA/3.98 FIP *(including batting) (one of three pitchers to start a World Series game & hit a triple, along with Cy Young & Babe Ruth; Ruether hit two in that game)

1923 - Jack Fournier 1B - 133 G/578 PA, 5.8 fWAR/5.6 bWAR, .529 waaWL%, .351/.411/.588, 13 3B/22 HR, 91 R/102 RBI/181 H (his early years were marked with inconsistency & poor fielding, but starting at 30yo, he had three good seasons w/STL & four great ones w/BRO)

1924 - Dazzy Vance SP - 35 G/34 GS/308.1 IP, 8.0 fWAR/10.5 bWAR, .729 waaWL%, 28-6 W-L, 0/1 SvOpp, 2.16 ERA/2.64 FIP, 3.40 K/BB, Most Valuable Player, HOF (probably the most famous late resurgence, he entered his age-31 season with no career wins & finished with 197)

1925 - Milt Stock 2B - 146 G/662 PA, 2.5 fWAR/2.5 bWAR, .504 waaWL%, .328/.368/.408, 98 R (in his final full season, he set a ML record with four hits in four consecutive games)

1926 - Jesse Petty SP - 38 G/33 GS/275.2 IP, 3.9 fWAR/5.4 bWAR, .582 waaWL%, 17-17 W-L, 1/2 SvOpp, 2.84 ERA/3.50 FIP (he managed to lead the NL in losses that year despite also leading in fewest H/9)

1927 - Rube Ehrhardt RP - 46 G/3 GS/95.2 IP, 0.1* fWAR/1.2* bWAR, .507 waaWL%, 3-7 W-L, 2/4 SvOpp, 1 Hold, 3.57 ERA/4.23 FIP *(including batting) (one of a few pitchers to throw a shutout in his final ML game)

1928 - Harvey Hendrick 3B - 126 G/493 PA, 3.9 fWAR/3.5 bWAR, .515 waaWL%, .318/.397/.478, 10 3B (he finished Top-10 in AVG & SLG in 1929)

1929 - Johnny Frederick OF - 148 G/682 PA, 4.0 fWAR/3.7 bWAR, .512 waaWL%, .328/.372/.545, 52 2B/24 HR, 127 R/206 H, 20th-MVP (the 52 doubles are the ML record for a rookie; he also set the ML record with 6 PH home runs in 1932, later passed by Dave Hansen & Craig Wilson)

1930 - Babe Herman OF - 153 G / 699 PA, 7.7 fWAR/6.9 bWAR, .532 waaWL%, .393/.455/.678, 48 2B/11 3B/35 HR, 143 R/130 RBI/241 H (he was infamous for doubling into a double play, leading to the old joke about the Robins - saying they had three runners on base, a fan's response would be, "Which base?")

1931 - Watty Clark SP - 34 G/28 GS/233.1 IP, 4.9* fWAR/6.3* bWAR, .615 waaWL%, 14-10 W-L, 1/1 SvOpp, 3.20 ERA/3.19 FIP, 2.0 BB/9, 20th-MVP *(including batting) (he led the majors in HR/9 with only 0.2)

1932 - Lefty O'Doul OF - 148 G/657 PA, 6.6 fWAR/6.3 bWAR, ..529 waaWL%, 368/.423/.555, 21 HR, 120 R/90 RBI/219 H, 3rd-MVP (starting his professional career as a pitcher and not beginning his ML career as an outfielder until age-31, he won two batting titles; he also was the first American elected to the Japanese Baseball Hall Of Fame)

1933 - Al Lopez C - 126 G/403 PA, 2.4 fWAR/2.4 bWAR, .509 waaWL%, .301/.338/.376, 10th-MVP, HOF (rated as a below-average player for his career by BR, he nonetheless received MVP votes in eight different seasons)

1934 - Len Koenecke OF - 123 G/536 PA, 5.0 fWAR/5.0 bWAR, .527 waaWL%, .320/.411/.509 (had a completely star-crossed career/life - he was purchased by the GIants for $75K but was considered a dud, played brilliantly for the Dodgers as a 30yo "rookie", but was killed after the next season as he attempted to commandeer a plane in mid-flight)

1935 - Lonny Frey SS - 131 G/588 PA, 3.4 fWAR/3.3 bWAR, .512 waaWL%, .262/.352/.437, 35 2B/11 3B (a solid hitter his entire career, he was miscast early as a shortstop with BKN & CHC, then became a brilliant defender at 2B with the Reds)

1936 - Van Mungo SP - 45 G/37 GS/311.2 IP, 6.9 fWAR/6.6 bWAR, .586 waaWL%, 18-19 W-L, 3/4 SvOpp, 3.35 ERA/3.24 FIP, All-Star, 14th-MVP (the 3.24 ERA may not seem super impressive, but it led the majors; he also led MLB with 238 K's & 6.9 K/9)

1937 - Babe Phelps C - 121 G/442 PA, 2.6 fWAR/3.1 bWAR, .514 waaWL%, .313/.357/.469, 37 2B (his .367 AVG in 1936 is the highest ever qualifying average for a catcher, though only 349 PA)

1938 - Tot Pressnell RP - 43 G/19 GS/192 IP, 1.9 fWAR/3.4 bWAR, .538 waaWL%, 11-14 W-L, 4/6 SvOpp, 3.56 ERA/4.08 FIP (made his ML debut at 31yo, defeating the Phillies with a 9-0 shutout)

1939 - Dolph Camilli 1B - 157 G/684 PA, 6.5 fWAR/6.4 bWAR, .526 waaWL%, .290/.409/.524, 12 2B/26 HR, 105 R/104 RBI/110 BB, 12 Rfield, All-Star, 12th-MVP (Dolph's brother was Frankie Campbell, who was killed by boxer Max Baer in the ring in August 1930)

1940 - Vito Tamulis RP - 41 G/12 GS/154.1 IP, 2.6 fWAR/4.0 bWAR, .564 waaWL%, 8-5 W-L, 2/2 SvOpp, 3.09 ERA/3.26 FIP (he was 18-6 as part of the 1937 Newark Bears, considered by some to be the best minor league team of all time)

1941 - Pete Reiser OF - 137 G/601 PA, 7.5 fWAR/8.0 bWAR, .544 waaWL%, .343/.406/.558, 39 2B/17 3B, 117 R/184 H, 10 Rfield, All-Star, 2nd-MVP (one of the most famous What If stories for his 1942 collision at Sportsman's Park, he also suffered a nasty injury while playing for an Army team during WW2, crashing through a hedge fence and down a ten-foot drainage ditch behind it)

1942 - Billy Herman 2B - 155 G/647 PA, 3.0 fWAR/3.2 bWAR, .507 waaWL%, .256/.339/.333, 5 Rfield, All-Star, HOF (he was selected to 10 consecutive All-Star Games, six times as a starter)

1943 - Arky Vaughan SS - 149 G/685 PA, 5.0 fWAR/5.3 bWAR, .523 waaWL%, .305/.370/.413, 39 2B/20 SB, 112 R/186 H, 15th-MVP, HOF (one of the greatest shortstops of all time, his career would have been more impressive had he not left the game for three years after his age-31 season, basically in protest of Durocher's handling of the team)

1944 - Dixie Walker OF - 147 G/611 PA, 5.8 fWAR/5.8 bWAR, .527 waaWL%, .357/.434/.529, 37 2B, 91 RBI/191 H, All-Star, 3rd-MVP (he & his brother Harry are the only pair of siblings to each win a batting title; he was also the only player to be teammates with Babe Ruth & Jackie Robinson)

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C - Al Lopez 1933, Babe Phelps 1937

1B - Jack Fournier 1923, Dolph Camilli 1939

2B - Milt Stock 1925, Billy Herman 1942

3B - Jimmy Johnston 1921, Harvey Hendrick 1928

SS - Lonny Frey 1935, Arky Vaughan 1943

OF - Johnny Frederick 1929, Babe Herman 1930, Lefty O'Doul 1932, Len Koenecke 1934, Pete Reiser 1941, Dixie Walker 1944

SP - Burleigh Grimes 1920, Dutch Ruether 1922, Dazzy Vance 1924, Jesse Petty 1926, Watty Clark 1931, Van Mungo 1936

RP - Rube Ehrhardt 1927, Tot Pressnell 1938, Vito Tamulis 1940

This is a fan-written post that is in no way affiliated with or related to any of the authors or editors of True Blue LA. The opinions reflected in this post do not necessarily reflect those of True Blue LA, its authors or editors.