Doyle was a nervous youngster in June 1907 when he took the wrong ferry across the Hudson River and arrived late for his first ML game. Giants manager John McGraw started the scrappy prospect at second base, a position unfamiliar to Doyle. The game was close, coming down to a crucial ninth-inning grounder which Doyle booted. Certain McGraw would send him down, Doyle sheepishly confronted him, only to receive words of encouragement and, the following season, the Giants’ captaincy. He became a five-time .300 hitter.
Doyle’s hitting and solid defense helped New York to three straight pennants, starting in 1911, when he led the NL in triples and said, “It’s great to be young and a Giant.” He scored the famous “phantom” run that forestalled the Athletics’ victory in the 1911 World Series. In the dusk of Game Five’s 10th inning, Doyle came home on an outfield fly but did not touch the plate, umpire Bill Klem later admitted, saying he would have called Doyle out had the A’s tried to tag him.
Doyle led the NL with 172 hits in 1909, and batted a high of .330 in 1912. He won the NL batting title in 1915 with a .320 mark and league highs of 189 hits and 40 doubles. He stole 297 career bases, swiping home 17 times. His eight errors tie him with Eddie Collins for most in total World Series at 2B.