1903 New York Yankees (Highlanders)

1903 New York Yankees team picture.
Dead Ball Era
Esteban Quiñones
Wednesday March 13, 2024

Table of Contents

The final standing4th in AL (Did not qualify for World Series)
Regular season record72-62 (.537)
Post-season record(Not played)
AL rank4th
World Series record and opponent(Not played)
ManagerClark Griffith
CaptainClark Griffith
Top batterHome runs: Herm McFarland (5), John Ganzel, Jimmy Williams (3)
BA: Willie Keeler (.313), Kid Elberfeld (.287), John Ganzel (.277)
Runs: Willie Keeler (95), Wid Conroy (74), John Ganzel (62)
RBI: Jimmy Williams (82), John Ganzel (71), Wid Conroy, Kid Elberfeld, Herm McFarland (45)
Top pitcher/ (W-L, ERA)Jack Chesbro: 21-15, 2.77
Clark Griffith: 14-11, 2.70
Attendance record211,808 (7th of 8)

1903 New York Yankees season: A brief summary

The 1903 season of the New York Yankees (Highlanders), later known as the New York Yankees, marked a significant debut in American League baseball, setting the foundation for what would become one of the most storied franchises in the sport. Managed by Clark Griffith and playing at Hilltop Park, the Highlanders finished their inaugural season with a respectable 4th place standing in the American League, sporting a 72–62 record. 

The team’s creation was part of a strategic move to establish a strong American League presence in New York City, directly challenging the National League’s New York Giants. The nickname “Highlanders” played off the team’s elevated home field location and was also a nod to military prestige, linking the team with the valor associated with the Gordon Highlanders. However, the local press’s more enduring contribution would be the nickname “Yankees,” a term that resonated with American identity and would become synonymous with the franchise.

1903 New York Yankees (Highlanders)
Wikimedia Commons

During the offseason leading into 1903, notable player movements such as Jack O’Connor’s transition from the Pittsburgh Pirates highlighted the team’s efforts to build a competitive roster. On the field, the Highlanders demonstrated promising talent and competitive spirit, laying the groundwork for the development of a passionate fanbase.

The 1903 New York Yankees season is not just a historical footnote but a pivotal chapter in the establishment of a team that would grow to become a central figure in baseball lore. The Highlanders’ debut performance set the stage for the evolution of a team identity that would deeply influence the cultural and sporting landscape of New York and the broader baseball world. Their journey from the Hilltop to becoming the Yankees encapsulates a transformative era in baseball, reflecting broader themes of ambition, rivalry, and the quest for sporting excellence in the early 20th century.

Postseason result

(Did not qualify – Eliminated in regular season)

1903 New York Yankees roster

Merle Adkins30RR5′ 10″220Aug 5, 1872221-0.4
Monte Beville28LR5′ 11″180Feb 24, 18751st8368-0.7
Elmer Bliss28LR6′ 0″180Mar 9, 18751st100.4
Jack Chesbro HOF29RR5′ 9″180Jun 5, 1874540364.9
Wid Conroy26RR5′ 9″158Apr 5, 187731261263
Ernie Courtney28LR5′ 8″168Jan 20, 1875225221.1
Lefty Davis28LL5′ 10″170Feb 4, 1875310498-0.7
John Deering25RR6′ 0″180Jun 25, 18781st970.2
Kid Elberfeld28RR5′ 7″158Apr 13, 1875590902.6
Dave Fultz28RR5′ 11″170May 29, 187557978-0.1
John Ganzel29RR6′ 0″195Apr 7, 187441291293.4
Paddy Greene28RR5′ 8″150Mar 20, 18752430.2
Clark Griffith HOF33RR5′ 6″156Nov 20, 18691225243.7
Fred Holmes24RR5′ 7″145Jul 1, 18781st100
Harry Howell26RR5′ 9″Nov 14, 1876640251.2
Tim Jordan24LL6′ 1″170Feb 14, 1879222-0.2
Willie Keeler HOF31LL5′ 4″140Mar 3, 1872121321322.1
Herman Long37LR5′ 8″160Apr 13, 1866152222-0.6
Pat McCauley33R5′ 10″156Jun 10, 1870366-0.5
Herm McFarland33LR5′ 6″150Mar 11, 187051031011.4
Jack O’Connor37RR5′ 10″170Jun 2, 1866176463-0.6
Ambrose Puttmann22L6′ 4″185Sep 9, 18801st320.2
Eddie Quick21R5′ 11″Dec 27, 18811st11-0.3
Jesse Tannehill28BL5′ 8″150Jul 14, 1874840351.9
Jimmy Williams26RR5′ 9″175Dec 20, 187651321324.4
Lewis Wiltse31RLDec 5, 1871343-0.2
Barney Wolfe27RR6′ 1″Jun 10, 18761st20160.9
Jack Zalusky24RR5′ 11″172Jun 22, 18791st720

1903 New York Yankees player additions, transactions, and trades

Before the 1903 Season:

  • Willie Keeler joined the Highlanders, coming over from the Brooklyn Superbas.
  • Clark Griffith was received from the Chicago White Sox in an unspecified transaction.

March 1903:

  • Purchased Dave Fultz from the Philadelphia Athletics.

June 10, 1903:

  • Traded Ernie Courtney and Herman Long to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Kid Elberfeld.

July 16, 1903:

  • Traded Paddy Greene to the Detroit Tigers and received John Deering in return.

September 1903:

  • Drafted Ambrose Puttmann from Helena (Pacific Coast League) in the 1903 rule 5 draft.
  • Drafted Eddie Quick from Salt Lake City (Pacific Coast League) in the 1903 rule 5 draft.

October 6, 1903:

  • Traded Jack O’Connor to the St. Louis Browns and acquired John Anderson in return.

1903 New York Yankees player debuts

  • Monte Beville – 04-24-1903 – 28 years old
  • Elmer Bliss – 09-28-1903 – 28 years old
  • Fred Holmes – 08-23-1903 – 25 years old
  • Ambrose Puttmann – 09-04-1903 – 22 years old
  • Eddie Quick – 09-28-1903 – 21 years old
  • Barney Wolfe – 04-24-1903 – 27 years old
  • Jack Zalusky – 09-02-1903 – 24 years old

1903 New York Yankees team stats (batting)

CMonte Beville28822872582350141029416260.194
1BJohn Ganzel2912953347662132257371930380.277
2BJimmy Williams26132556502601343012382939540.267
SSKid Elberfeld2890392349491001850451622120.287
3BWid Conroy261265485037413723121453332360.272
OFHerm McFarland3310342336241881695451346520.243
OFWillie Keeler31132584512951601470322432120.313
OFLefty Davis2810443637254881000251143310.237
OFDave Fultz287933529539661210252925210.224
CJack O’Connor376422521213434101248210.203
SSErnie Courtney2825927972133181780.266
SSHerman Long37228880615300832140.188
CPat McCauley33619190100010030.053
UTJack Zalusky24717162500010150.313
IFPaddy Greene28413131410000040.308
1BTim Jordan242882100000000.125
1BFred Holmes24110000000010
PJack Chesbro2940130124823402902290.185
PJesse Tannehill284012211118266211318220.234
PHarry Howell264011510614233211215240.217
PClark Griffith332586695114017111130.159
PBarney Wolfe2720565344100102210.075
PJohn Deering259232311000210120.043
PLewis Wiltse314990210000010.222
PAmbrose Puttmann223771110010010.143
PElmer Bliss281330000000010
PMerle Adkins302330000000000
PEddie Quick211110000000000
Team Totals29.113651124565579113619362184741603324610.249
Rank in 8 AL teams8464743115
Non-Pitcher Totals29.213645574056528104517358134291563043370.258
Pitcher Totals28.413655550951912045454281240.179

1903 New York Yankees team stats (pitching)

SPJack Chesbro2921150.5832.77403643310324.2300140100
SPJesse Tannehill2815150.53.27323112220239.225812387
SPClark Griffith3314110.562.72524122202132019264
SPHarry Howell26960.63.532515101300155.21407961
SPBarney Wolfe27690.42.97201641210148.11436649
John Deering25430.5713.7597161060593325
Lewis Wiltse310305.443120125351715
Ambrose Puttmann222010.95321100191692
Merle Adkins30007.7121100171086
Elmer Bliss2810101010007410
Eddie Quick210091100002552
Team Totals28.672620.5373.0813613625111721201.11171573411
Rank in 8 AL teams4678757556

1903 New York Yankees record vs. opponents/ Team splits

Opponent (Games)WonLostWP
Boston Americans (20)7130.350
Chicago White Sox (19)1170.611
Cleveland Blues (20)6140.300
Detroit Tigers (19)9100.474
Philadelphia Athletics (19)1080.556
St. Louis Browns (20)1550.750
Washington Senators (19)1450.737

1903 New York Yankees monthly record

Month (Games)WonLostWP
April (8)440.500
May (25)11140.440
June (21)10100.500
July (27)15120.556
August (25)13120.520
September (30)19100.655

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