Famous Last Words
“The Oakland team will never win the pennant,” remarked Elmer Meredith, the San Francisco pitcher. “To my mind they are playing above their gait now [mid-May, two games ahead of the league]. I know some of them are. They will have a relapse.”
“That’s right,” cut in [Los Angeles shortstop Jimmy] Toman, who was standing near. “They are doing good fielding, but they are not batting enough to stay in front very long. Wait till they strike their bad luck. Just now, though, they certainly are playing good ball.”— Los Angeles Herald.
The Oakland Dudes finished the 1902 season some 13 games ahead of the league. At the time, though the fielding was much above the league, it was the pitching staff that really boosted the club: Harry Schmidt would have a stellar season on the mound, along with Bill Cristall, and old veteran George Hodson putting together another 20-plus win season. And the hitting came around later in the season, with a league-leading batting season by Walt McCredie