1903 New York Highlanders season

The New York Highlanders' 1903 season was the team's first. The team was founded as a replacement in the American League for the defunct Baltimore Orioles, and was managed by Clark Griffith and played its home games at Hilltop Park (formally "American League Park"). The club was at first officially the "Greater New York" baseball club, in deference to the established New York Giants, which were based in the Polo Grounds. This was the first season for the franchise that would be later known as the now-storied New York Yankees. They finished in 4th place in the AL with a record of 72–62.

1903 New York Highlanders
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s)William Devery and Frank Farrell
Manager(s)Clark Griffith
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Team name

The media dubbed the team as "Highlanders", due in part to playing at one of the highest points on Manhattan ("The Hilltop"), which was somewhat higher in altitude than the bulk of Manhattan and was considerably "uphill" from the Polo Grounds, the Giants' established home, which sat in the bottomland in Coogan's Hollow, a few blocks east and south of the Hilltop.

"Highlanders" was also originally short for "Gordon's Highlanders", a play on the name of the team President during 1903–1906, Joseph Gordon, along with the noted British military unit called The Gordon Highlanders. The club was also derisively called "Invaders" in 1903, presumably by writers favorable to the Giants.

The New York press was creative with analogous nicknames for teams. In addition to "Highlanders", the team would soon acquire the alternate nickname "Yankees", the name that would soon become official and more famous among baseball fans in the coming decades. That word is a synonym for "American" in general, and short for American Leaguers or "Americans" in this case. Given the media's penchant for citing popular culture, that nickname was also possibly influenced by the then-current and hugely popular America-centric George M. Cohan Broadway play, "Little Johnny Jones", and its centerpiece song, "Yankee Doodle Dandy". New York writers had similarly coined both the established nickname Brooklyn "[Trolley] Dodgers" and the nickname "Superbas" that the denizens of Flatbush carried for a while. As with the Highlanders, the latter was based on something unrelated, namely a circus act called "Hanlon's Superbas"; the Dodgers were managed by Ned Hanlon at that time.


Regular season

The 1903 New York Highlanders

Season standings

American League W L Pct. GB Home Road
Boston Americans 9147 0.659 49–20 42–27
Philadelphia Athletics 7560 0.556 14½ 44–21 31–39
Cleveland Naps 7763 0.550 15 49–25 28–38
New York Highlanders 7262 0.537 17 41–26 31–36
Detroit Tigers 6571 0.478 25 37–28 28–43
St. Louis Browns 6574 0.468 26½ 38–32 27–42
Chicago White Stockings 6077 0.438 30½ 41–28 19–49
Washington Senators 4394 0.314 47½ 29–40 14–54

Record vs. opponents

Boston 14–612–810–9–113–713–614–615–5–2
Chicago 6–1410–1010–97–11–16–149–1112–8
Cleveland 8–1210–109–1114–69–1111–916–4
Detroit 9–10–19–1011–910–911–96–149–10
New York 7–1311–7–16–149–1010–8–115–514–5
Philadelphia 6–1314–611–99–118–10–111–816–3–1
St. Louis 6–1411–99–1114–65–158–1112–8
Washington 5–15–28–124–1610–95–143–16–18–12


1903 New York Highlanders
Pitchers Catchers
  • Monte Beville
  • Pat McCauley
  • Jack O'Connor
  • Jack Zalusky


Outfielders Manager

Player stats

Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
CMonte Beville8225850.194029
1BJohn Ganzel129476132.277371
2BJimmy Williams132502134.267382
3BWid Conroy126503137.272145
SSKid Elberfeld90349100.287045
OFWillie Keeler132512160.313032
OFHerm McFarland10336288.243545
OFLefty Davis10437288.237025

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Dave Fultz7929566.224025
Jack O'Connor6421243.203012
Herman Long228015.18808
Ernie Courtney257921.26618
Pat McCauley6191.05301
Jack Zalusky7165.31301
Paddy Greene4134.30800
Tim Jordan281.12500
Fred Holmes100----00

Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Jack Chesbro40324.221152.77147
Jesse Tannehill32239.215153.27106
Clark Griffith25213.014112.7069
Barney Wolfe20148.1692.9748
John Deering960.0433.7514
Snake Wiltse425.0035.406
Eddie Quick12.0009.000

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Harry Howell25155.2963.5362
Ambrose Puttmann319.0200.958
Doc Adkins27.0007.710

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Elmer Bliss11000.003



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