The Power in Polo

 

Homer Happy: Frank Thomas

From their inaugural season of 1962 until 1975, the New York Mets’ single-season record for home runs belonged to a right-handed hitting outfielder who played for the Mets for only two seasons, but was a National League power threat for a decade.

With 34 home runs in 1962 – the Mets’ first year of existence – Frank Thomas held the franchise’s single-season home run record until 1975.

With 34 home runs in 1962 – the Mets’ first year of existence – Frank Thomas held the franchise’s single-season home run record until 1975.

Slugger Frank Thomas played both the outfield and first base for seven different teams in 16 years. Over that long career, he batted .266 with 286 home runs and 962 RBIs.

Thomas signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1947 and made his major league debut in 1951. In 1953, his first full major league season, Thomas batted .255 for the Pirates with 30 home runs and 102 RBIs. He was an All-Star three times in his five full seasons with Pittsburgh, and had his best season in 1958 with 35 home runs and 109 RBIs.

In 1959, Thomas was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in the deal that brought Smoky Burgess, Harvey Haddix and Don Hoak to the Pirates. Thomas spent one season in Cincinnati (12 home runs, 47 RBIs) and then was traded to the Chicago Cubs. With the Cubs, he hit 21 home runs with 64 RBIs in 1960, and a month into the 1961 season he was traded to the Milwaukee Braves. He had a solid season for the Braves, hitting 25 home runs plus two with the Cubs. The Braves team of 1961 was loaded with power hitters, and was the first major league club to smash four consecutive home runs in a game. (Thomas hit the fourth, preceded by home runs from the bats of Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron, and Joe Adcock.)

Frank Thomas broke into the big leagues in a big way. In 1953, his first full season with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Thomas hit 30 home runs with 102 RBIs.

Frank Thomas broke into the big leagues in a big way. In 1953, his first full season with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Thomas hit 30 home runs with 102 RBIs.

After the 1961 season, he was traded to the Mets for outfielder Gus Bell. He led that first Mets team with 34 home runs and 94 RBIs. His home run mark was not topped by another Mets hitter until Dave Kingman blasted 36 in 1975.

Thomas hit 15 home runs for the Mets in 1963 and was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1964. At this point in his career, the 35-year-old Thomas had become a part-time player and pinch hitter, batting .282 in two seasons with the Phillies. He retired in 1966 with 1,671 career hits.

Double-Digit Productivity

 

Lights Out: Reggie Jackson Drives in 10 Runs

When: June 14, 1969

Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts

Game Time: 3:23

Attendance: 22,395

 

For one inning, it was a contest. After that, it became a showcase for the Oakland Athletics’ bats, which on that day were as productive as they were merciless against Boston Red Sox pitching.

Reggie Jackson mauled Boston Red Sox pitching for five hits – including two home runs – and 10 RBIs. He raised his season batting average by 20 points in this one game.

Reggie Jackson mauled Boston Red Sox pitching for five hits – including two home runs – and 10 RBIs. He raised his season batting average by 20 points in this one game.

Mostly, the game became an RBI showcase for a 23-year-old A’s outfielder with All-Star aspirations … and a Hall of Fame future.

Reggie Jackson came into the game batting .246 with 20 home runs and 35 runs batted in. By the end of the game, Jackson had raised his batting average by 20 points to .266. He had five hits in six at-bats, including two home runs and a double. He also walked once and scored two runs.

He single-handedly destroyed Red Sox pitching that day, and tattooed the craggy dimensions of Fenway Park, all on a day when his incredible output meant almost nothing in terms of the game’s outcome.

Jackson came to bat in the top of the first inning with one out and Bert Campaneris at second base. Jackson hit a ground-rule double for his first RBI of the day. Carl Yastrzemski tied the game in the bottom of the first with a solo home run, but a Dick Green RBI single in the second inning put the A’s back on top. Jackson hit a two-run homer in the third inning, hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning, and then struck out with the bases loaded to end the sixth inning. It was Jackson’s only out of the day.

Reggie Jackson finished the 1969 season with 47 home runs and 118 RBIs. He led the American League that season with 123 runs scored and a .608 slugging average.

Reggie Jackson finished the 1969 season with 47 home runs and 118 RBIs. He led the American League that season with 123 runs scored and a .608 slugging average.

He singled in two runs in the seventh, and then came to back in the eighth with the bases loaded. This time he launched a fly ball that cleared the wall in center field, ending the day with five hits – three for extra bases – and 10 RBIs. The Athletics really didn’t need Jackson’s production, as the team won 21-7. Jackson’s 10 RBIs didn’t account for half of his team’s runs.

The beneficiary of this firepower was John “Blue Moon” Odom, who won his eighth game of the season.

The 1969 season would be Reggie Jackson’s “breakout” year and his career season in most offensive categories. He finished the 1969 season batting .275 with what would be career-bests in home runs (47) and RBIs (118). He would lead the American League in runs scored with 123, and with a .608 slugging percentage.

 

Gritty Lefty

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Johnny Podres

Johnny Podres was a vital member of the Dodgers’ starting rotation for a decade, with a “coast to coast” Dodger career that started in Brooklyn and moved with the team to LA. He was at his best in clutch situations, a battler you could count on to give his best in the game you had to have.

Johnny Podres was 148-116 in 15 major league seasons, 13 with the Dodgers. He was an All-Star three times.

Johnny Podres was 148-116 in 15 major league seasons, 13 with the Dodgers. He was an All-Star three times.

Podres was signed by the Dodgers in 1951 and made his major league debut at age 20 in 1953, going 9-4 for the Dodgers with a 4.23 ERA. He moved into the starting rotation midway into the 1954 season, going 11-7 and following in 1955 with a 9-10 season. He started and won two games in the 1955 World Series, including a 2-0 shutout of the New York Yankees in the deciding seventh game.

After a year in military service, Podres returned in 1957 to go 12-9 while leading the National League with a 2.66 ERA. He also led the major leagues with six shutouts. He went 13-15 in 1958 and 14-9 in 1959, with another World Series victory that year.

His best season with the Dodgers came in 1961, when he posted an 18-5 record with a 3.74 ERA. His .783 winning percentage was the highest in the National League. He went 14-12 for the Dodgers in their pennant-winning 1963 season, winning the second game of the 1963 World Series against the Yankees.

Johnny Podres’ best season came in 1961, when he was 18-5 record with a 3.74 ERA. His .783 winning percentage was the highest in the National League.

Johnny Podres’ best season came in 1961, when he was 18-5 record with a 3.74 ERA. His .783 winning percentage was the highest in the National League.

In 13 seasons with the Dodgers, Podres compiled a 136-104 record with a 3.66 ERA. In 1966, he was traded to the Detroit Tigers, and went 7-6 as a spot starter and reliever over the next two seasons. He was released by the Tigers following the 1967 season, and after one year out of baseball, returned to pitch for the San Diego Padres in 1969, going 5-6 with a 4.31 ERA. He retired after the 1969 season.

In 15 major league season, Podres compiled a 148-116 record with a 3.68 career ERA. He pitched 24 shutouts and was an All-Star three times.

 

 

 

 

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Dodgers Go Power Hunting … and Bag a Moose

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(November 26, 1962) The Los Angeles Dodgers, looking to boost their run-scoring, today announced the acquisition of New York Yankee first baseman Bill Skowron in a trade for starting pitcher Stan Williams.

To improve their run scoring in 1963, the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired slugging first baseman Bill “Moose” Skowron from the New York Yankees. Skowron struggled during the regular season, but batted .385 against the Yankees during the 1963 World Series.

To improve their run scoring in 1963, the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired slugging first baseman Bill “Moose” Skowron from the New York Yankees. Skowron struggled during the regular season, but batted .385 against the Yankees during the 1963 World Series.

“Moose” Skowron, 31, hit .270 for the World Series champion Yankees in 1962, with 23 home runs and 80 RBIs. In nine seasons with the Yankees, Skowron batted .294 while averaging 18 home runs with 75 RBIs per season. His best season with the Yankees was 1960, when he hit .309 with 26 home runs and 91 RBIs.

Williams, 25, went 14-12 for the Dodgers in 1962. From 1960 through 1962, the hard-throwing right-hander won 43 games for the Dodgers, but his ERA increased each year, from 3.00 in 1960 to 3.90 in 1961 to 4.46 in 1962. His strikeouts per nine innings decreased from 7.6 in 1960 to 5.6 in 1962.

In acquiring Skowron, the Dodgers were looking for more offense to keep pace with their West Coast rivals, the National League champion San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers finished second to the Giants in 1962, losing two out of three league playoff games that were needed when both teams finished the regular season tied for first place.

The Dodgers already had the National League RBI leader in Tommy Davis (with a franchise record 153 RBIs in 1962). Davis was also the National League batting champion in 1962 (.346), an accomplishment he would repeat in 1963 (hitting .326). Skowron’s bat was expected to produce more runs while protecting Davis in the batting order.

To acquire Skowron, the Dodgers gave up pitcher <a rel=

The trade turned out better for the Dodgers than it did for the Yankees, but only slightly. Williams went 9-8 for the Yankees in 1963 and 1-5 the following year. Skowron struggled against National League pitching. He appeared in only 89 games for the Dodgers, hitting .203 with four home runs and 19 RBIs. Skowron’s only saving performance for the Dodgers came in the 1963 World Series, where he hit .385 against his former team, including a three-run homer in Game Two.

Batters Busted

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Cal McLish

Cal McLish had enough names to fill more than half a batting order, and enough pitches and moxy to be a consistent starting pitcher. He was a late bloomer, winning all but eight of his 92 major league victories after the age of 30.

CALVIN COOLIDGE JULIUS CAESAR TUSKAHOMA MCLISH: Cal McLish, baseball player ORG XMIT: 0704152350281456

Right-hander Cal McLish won 92 games for seven major league teams over a 15-year career.

Born Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish, he was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1944. With the war-lean major league rosters, McLish became an immediate starter-reliever for the Dodgers, posting a 3-10 record with a 7.82 ERA.

He obviously needed minor league seasoning. After serving in the military in 1945, McLish spent the next four seasons in the minors, winning 20 games for the Los Angeles Angels (the Pacific Coast League affiliate for the Chicago Cubs) in 1950, and spent the 1951 season with the Cubs, going 4-10 with a 4.45 ERA. McLish was sent back to the minors for four more seasons, winning 56 games during that period. Following the 1955 season, he was signed as a free agent by the Cleveland Indians. Now 30 and with a major league record of 8-30, McLish’s career was finally about to turn around with the Tribe.

McLish spent the 1956 season working out of the Cleveland bullpen, with little room for him in a starting rotation that included two future Hall of Famers (Bob Lemon and Early Wynn) and Herb Score (all 20-game winners that season). McLish was 2-4 as a reliever for the Indians in 1956, and 9-7 in that role in 1957.

Cal McLish had his best season in 1959 with the Cleveland Indians, going 19-8 with a 3.63 ERA.

Cal McLish had his best season in 1959 with the Cleveland Indians, going 19-8 with a 3.63 ERA.

McLish moved into the starting rotation for Cleveland in 1958, and responded with a 16-8 season with a 2.99 ERA. He was 19-8 for the Indians in 1959, only to be traded with Gordy Coleman and Billy Martin to the Cincinnati Reds for Johnny Temple. McLish went 4-14 for the Reds in 1960, and was dealt with Juan Pizarro to the Chicago White Sox for Gene Freese.

With the White Sox in 1961, McLish went 10-13 with a 4.38 ERA. He was dealt to the Philadelphia Phillies just before the start of the 1962 season, and went 11-5 for Philadelphia. He had one of his best all-around seasons in 1962 at age 37, going 13-11 with a 3.26 ERA. That season he threw 10 complete games and pitched 209.2 innings, his highest totals in both categories since 1959. He retired in 1964 after making only two appearances.

McLish was 92-92 over his 15-season career with a 4.01 ERA. During his best seasons – from 1958 through 1963 – he was 73-59 with a 3.70 ERA.

 

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Too Much, Too Soon?

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Glen Hobbie

Before the New York Mets established a new standard for futility with their arrival in 1962, the poster children for disastrous baseball in the National League was an ongoing contest between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Chicago Cubs.

Pitching for either team in the early 1960s was hardly a treat. An ERA under 4.00 could still earn you 20 losses in a season.

Glen Hobbie was a back-to-back 16-game winner for the Chicago Cubs in 1959-1960.

Glen Hobbie was a back-to-back 16-game winner for the Chicago Cubs in 1959-1960.

Just ask Glen Hobbie, a right-hander for the Cubs who deserved more victories than he got.

Hobbie was signed by the Cubs in 1955. His rookie season of 1958 produced a 10-6 record with a 3.74 ERA as a starter and reliever, making him the Cubs’ leader in wins. He followed up in 1959 with a 16-13 campaign and a 3.69 ERA. He led the Cubs’ staff in complete games (10), shutouts (3), and strikeouts (138).

For the most part, Hobbie’s best season was 1960, when he repeated his 16-win performance … but also led the National League with 20 losses. He set career highs in starts (36), complete games (16), shutouts (four), and innings pitched (258.2). He led Cubs’ starters in each of those categories except ERA (Dick Ellsworth turned in a 3.72 earned run average). He was also used 10 times in relief, finishing five games and saving one.

He was used every way a pitcher could be used. And he was never the same again.

Hobbie’s won-loss record slipped dramatically over the next three years: to 7-13 in 1961, 5-14 in 1962, and 7-10 in 1963. His earned run average over those three seasons was 4.45.

In 1964, the Cubs traded Hobbie to the St. Louis Cardinals for Lew Burdette. He appeared in 13 games for the Cardinals, going 1-2 with a 4.26 ERA, and then was assigned to the minors. He never pitched again at the major league level, even after he was acquired by the Detroit Tigers in 1965.

Hobbie finished his eight-year major league career with a record of 62-81 and a 4.20 earned run average.

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Quiet Production

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Norm Siebern

Tall, athletic and bespectacled, Norm Siebern was a solid hitter who “grew up” professionally in the New York Yankees organization and blossomed into an All-Star outfielder and first baseman with the Kansas City Athletics. The New York papers – and even Yankees manager Casey Stengel – occasionally made sport of his quiet demeanor, but there was no question about the quality of his production, at bat and in the field.

Norm Siebern’s best season came with the Kansas City Athletcs in 1962, batting .308 with 25 home runs and 117 RBIs.

Norm Siebern’s best season came with the Kansas City Athletcs in 1962, batting .308 with 25 home runs and 117 RBIs.

Siebern was signed by the Yankees in 1951 and, after two years in the minors and a military tour, Siebern made his debut with the Yankees in 1956, hitting .204 in 54 games. The well-stocked Yankees outfield left no room for Siebern, so he returned to the minors in 1957, hitting .349 for Denver in the American Association, with 45 doubles, 15 triples, 24 home runs and 118 RBIs. He was named Sporting News Minor League Player of the Year for 1957.

That performance earned Siebern a permanent place on the Yankees roster in 1958, and he responded with 14 home runs, 55 RBIs and a .300 batting average. Siebern won the Gold Glove for his left field play, but ironically, it was pair of errors in the 1958 World Series that sent him to the bench for most of that Series.

Siebern hit .271 in 1959, and after the season was traded with Hank Bauer, Don Larsen and Marv Throneberry to the Kansas City Athletics for Joe DeMaestri, Kent Hadley and Roger Maris. He hit .279 for the A’s in 1960 with 19 home runs and 69 RBIs. His performance was overshadowed by the MVP season that Maris had for the Yankees.

Siebern’s hitting kept improving, especially as he spent more time at first base for the A’s. He batted .296 in 1961 with 36 doubles, 18 home runs and 98 RBIs. In 1962, Siebern hit .308 (fifth highest in the American League) with 25 doubles, 25 home runs and 117 RBIs (second in the AL to Harmon Killebrew‘s 126).

Norm Siebern had an outstanding rookie season for the New York Yankees in 1958, batting .300 and winning the Gold Glove in left field.

Norm Siebern had an outstanding rookie season for the New York Yankees in 1958, batting .300 and winning the Gold Glove in left field.

Siebern’s production fell off slightly in 1963, batting .272 with 16 home runs and 83 RBIs, and after that season he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles for first baseman Jim Gentile. He hit .245 for the Orioles in 1964 with 12 home runs and 56 RBIs, and he led the majors with 106 walks. In 1965, the O’s, to make room for Curt Blefary and Paul Blair, moved Boog Powell from the outfield to first base, limiting Siebern’s playing time. After that season he was traded to the California Angels for Dick Simpson, whom the Orioles later packaged in the trade for Frank Robinson.

Siebern hit .247 in 1966, his only season with the Angels. He was traded to the San Francisco Giants for outfielder Len Gabrielson, and in July of 1967 was purchased by the Boston Red Sox. A part-time player for Boston, Siebern was released by the Red Sox in August of 1968 and retired.

Siebern finished his 12-season major league career with a .272 batting average. He had 1,217 hits and 132 home runs. He was an All-Star from 1962 through 1964.

Maris Repeats as AL MVP

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(November 15, 1961) For the second consecutive year, Roger Maris has been named the American League’s Most Valuable Player.

Roger Maris - The American MVP in 1960 and 1961.

Roger Maris – The American League MVP in 1960 and 1961.

The new single-season home run record holder edged his New York Yankee teammate Mickey Mantle by four votes, 202-198.

The 1961 season was a banner year for Maris in nearly every hitting category. In addition to setting a new single-season home run record with 61, Maris also led the American League with 132 runs scored and 141 runs batted in. He also led the major leagues with 366 total bases.

It was the second consecutive season when Maris led the league in RBIs. He knocked in 112 runs in his 1960 MVP season.

The biggest difference between 1960 and 1961 for Maris (and his Yankee teammates) was how October turned out. In 1960, the Yankees lost a heart-breaking seven-game World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates. In the 1961 World Series, the Yankees reclaimed the baseball championship by beating the Cincinnati Reds in five games.

How to Catch Brave Pitchers

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Del Crandall

During his prime, Del Crandall was generally acknowledged as one of the smartest handlers of pitchers among major league catchers. During the 1950s, with Crandall averaging better than 125 games caught per season, the Milwaukee Braves pitching staff consistently ranked among the best in the league in ERA, one of the reasons that the Braves enjoyed so much success in the late 1950. And for the most part, the man calling those pitches for the likes of Warren Spahn, Lew Burdette and Bob Buhl was Crandall.

In 13 seasons with the Milwaukee Braves, Del Crandall was an All-Star eight times. His best season with the Braves came in 1959, when he hit 21 home runs with 72 RBIs.

In 13 seasons with the Milwaukee Braves, Del Crandall was an All-Star eight times. His best season with the Braves came in 1959, when he hit 21 home runs with 72 RBIs.

Crandall was signed by the Boston Braves and made his major league debut as a 19-year-old rookie a year later. He was the Braves’ back-up back-stop his first two season, and did military service during the next two years. He returned to the Braves – now the Milwaukee edition – in 1953 as the team’s everyday catcher, hitting .272 that season with 15 home runs and 51 RBIs.

Hitting amid a power-laden Braves lineup that included Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews, Crandall’s power production increased over the next two seasons, swatting 21 home runs with 64 RBIs in 1954 and 26 home runs with 62 RBIs in 1955. In 1959, catching 146 games for the Braves, Crandall hit .257 with 21 home runs and 72 RBIs. He followed up in 1960 by hitting .294 with 19 home runs and 77 RBIs.

Shoulder problems sidelined Crandall for most of the 1961 season, and opened the door for a young Braves catcher named Joe Torre. Crandall returned to catch 90 games in 1962, hitting a career high .297, but he gradually began surrendering more playing time to the talented Torre. In 1963, his last season with the Braves, Crandall hit only .201.

 

Del Crandall batted a career-best .297 with the Braves in 1962, but split playing time with 21-year-old Joe Torre (left). He also won his fourth Gold Glove that season.

Del Crandall batted a career-best .297 with the Braves in 1962, but split playing time with 21-year-old Joe Torre (left). He also won his fourth Gold Glove that season.

In December of 1963, the Braves traded Crandall, along with pitchers Bob Hendley and Bob Shaw, to the San Francisco Giants for Felipe Alou, Ed Bailey and Billy Hoeft. In 1964, Crandall hit .231 for the Giants as a back-up for catcher Tom Haller, and was traded after the season to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Bob Burda and Bob Priddy. He spent one season in Pittsburgh and then played his final season with the Cleveland Indians. He retired in 1966.

In 16 major league season, Crandall hit .254 with 1,276 hits, 179 home runs and 657 RBIs. From 1954 through 1960, his prime years with the Braves, Crandall averaged 19 home runs and 62 RBIs per season.

But even with these respectable numbers, it was Crandall’s defense and pitch-calling ability that set him apart. He was an All-Star eight times and won four Gold Gloves. He led all National League catchers in assists six times, in fielding percentage four times, and in total putouts three times – a testament not only to his playing skills but also his durability in the game’s most physically demanding position.

The Year He Was Everything But MVP.

 

Career Year: Tommy Davis (1962)

In his 1962 break-out season, outfielder Tommy Davis did everything he needed to do to claim the National League’s Most Valuable Player award.

Everything, that is, except to actually win it.

Here’s how it happened.That season’s MVP went to teammate Maury Wills. Looking back a half-century, and looking at the numbers for both players, it’s hard to justify how Davis got passed over.

Tommy Davis - Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder won the National League batting title in 1962 and 1963

Tommy Davis – Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder won the National League batting title in 1962 and 1963

Tommy Davis was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956. He never batted below .300 in 4 minor league seasons. In 1959, with Spokane in the Pacific Coast League, Davis batted .345 with 18 home runs and 78 RBIs. He made his major league debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers at the end of the 1959 season, striking out in his only plate appearance.

Davis opened the 1960 season on the Dodgers’ roster, and gradually took over full-time duties in center field from Duke Snider and Don Demeter. He finished the 1960 season batting .276 with 11 home runs and 44 runs batted in. In 1961, Davis batted .278 with 15 home runs and 58 RBIs. He played 86 games in the outfield, at all three positions, and played 59 games at third base. He was, essentially, a utility player for the Dodgers.

That would change in 1962. He opened the season as the team’s everyday left fielder, and was hitting .316 at the end of April. In May he batted .336 with five home runs and 25 RBIs, and in June Davis batted .354 with three home runs and 32 RBIs. By the All-Star break, Davis was batting .353 with 15 doubles, 15 home runs and 90 RBIs. He made his first All-Star appearance that season.

While Davis was leading the National League in hits, runs batted in and batting average, he wasn’t getting national media attention for his monster season. During the first half of the season, the media reserved their Dodger focus on a pair of pitchers – Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax – who were having outstanding seasons in leading the Dodgers to the top of the National League standings. At the All-Star break in 1962, Drysdale was 15-4 with a 2.88 ERA. Koufax, an 18-game winner in 1961, was 13-4 with a 2.15 ERA and led the major leagues with 202 strikeouts. Drysdale would go on to win the Cy Young award with a 25-9 record, while an arm injury would limit Koufax to only one more victory over the rest of the 1962 campaign.

The other media “distraction” from Davis’ season was a record-breaking performance by Dodger shortstop Maury Wills. By late July, it became obvious that Wills was on his way to breaking the single season record for stolen bases held by Ty Cobb. It would be the second consecutive year when a hallowed baseball record was under assault, as only a year before there was a media frenzy following Roger Maris’ (and Mickey Mantle’s) chase of Babe Ruth’s record for home runs in a single season.

Tommy Davis led the NL with 230 hits in 1962, the most in 25 years.

Wills eventually caught Cobb’s record of 96 stolen bases and finished the season with 104, a season which the Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants finished in a dead heat, requiring a three-game playoff which the Giants won. It was an exciting season on many fronts.

And Tommy Davis? Lost in the shuffle of a heated pennant race and outstanding individual performances, Davis led the National League with 230 hits (32 ahead of Wills and Frank Robinson), 153 RBIs (12 ahead of Willie Mays) and a .346 batting average. He also finished fourth in the league in doubles and total bases, fifth in triples and slugging (.535 percentage), and seventh in stolen bases.

In the MVP voting, Davis finished third behind Wills and Mays. Stolen bases and triples were the only offensive categories in which Wills was the league leader.

It would be the best season of Tommy Davis’ career. He would lead the National League in hitting again in 1963 with a .326 average, but his power numbers would drop to 16 home runs (compared to 27 in 1962) and 88 RBIs, down 65 from the previous season. He would suffer a broken ankle during the 1965 season that would compromise his speed for the rest of his career, though Davis would remain a steady hitter throughout his 18-year career, retiring after the 1976 season with a .294 career batting average.

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