Is Don’s Record in Danger?


This Week in 1960s Baseball

(June 26, 1968) On June 4, 1968, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale set a major league record with his sixth consecutive shutout. Four days later, Drysdale finally allowed a run after more than a month of shutout pitching.

He set a major league record with 58 consecutive scoreless innings, breaking Walter Johnson’s record of 55.2 consecutive scoreless innings.

Johnson’s record had lasted 55 years. As of this date, it looked as though Drysdale’s new record may not last even a month …

In June of 1968, Bob Gibson pitched five consecutive shutouts, with a streak of 47 consecutive scoreless innings.

That’s because Bob Gibson today pitched his fifth consecutive shutout, as the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-0.

Gibson (9-5) allowed just four hits and struck out seven Pirate batters. He didn’t issue a walk. The shutout lowered his season earned run average to 1.14.

The Cardinals scored on Orlando Cepeda’s first-inning sacrifice fly and back-to-back doubles by Gibson and Lou Brock in the fourth inning. Ron Kline, pitching in relief of Pirates starter Al McBean (6-7), gave up a solo home run to Mike Shannon in the eighth inning.

Gibson’s shutout streak would come to an end five days later when he defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1. But he would pitch another shutout in his next outing, and two more before the end of July. Altogether in June and July, Gibson had one of the most remarkable two-month performances of any pitcher in baseball history: 12-0 in 12 starts (all complete games) with eight shutouts and a 0.50 ERA.

While Bob Gibson threatened Don Drysdale’s recent record of 58 consecutive scoreless innings pitched, Drysdale’s record lasted 20 years until it was bested (by one inning) by Orel Hershiser.

And Drysdale’s record of 58 consecutive scoreless innings would survive the summer. In fact, it would last 20 years until another Dodger pitcher, Orel Hershiser, strung together 59 consecutive scoreless innings in 1988.




Free Report

Click Here for Instant Download

Man Mauls Mets … and Cardinals Soar


Lights Out: Stan Musial Demolishes New York Mets’ Pitching

When: July 8, 1962

Where:  Polo Grounds, New York, New York

Game Time: 2:47

Attendance: 12,460

When the National League’s oldest player came up against its youngest team, the result was devastating to the arms on the New York Mets’ pitching staff.

But it’s what Stan Musial had been doing to NL pitching staffs for more than two decades. In 1962, he was doing it in a way that reminded you of The Man in his prime.

At age 41, Stan Musial seemed to be rejuvenated in 1962. He finished third in the National League in hitting with a .330 batting average. He hit 19 home runs with 82 RBIs, and his .416 on-base percentage was second highest in the league.

He proved to be more Man than the Mets could handle.

The 1962 season would be the next-to-last in Musial’s 22-year major league career. He was a seven-time batting champion and three-time Most Valuable Player. He had more hits and runs batted in than any other National League hitter. And more home runs than any player who had never won a home run title.

Now 41, Musial was having his best season in the past five years. Coming into the July 8 game with the Mets, Musial was batting .325 with nine home runs and 37 runs batted in. Against the Mets’ woeful pitching, he was practically invincible. (Musial batted .443 against the Mets in 1962.) Today would be no exception.

Mets starter Jay Hook retired the first two Cardinals batters, then first baseman Bill White launched a solo home run to the right field seats. Musial followed with his tenth home run of the season to right.

After their first turn at bat, the Cardinals were up 2-0. It would turn out to be all the runs they would need, but not all they were going to get.

Cardinals starter Bob Gibson retired the Mets in the first two innings without allowing any runs. Then Gibson helped himself by hitting the team’s third solo home run to lead off the third inning. In his second plate appearance, Musial walked, and the Cardinals scored their fourth run when Ken Boyer singled, driving in Curt Flood.

Ah, pitching for the New York Mets in 1962 … Mets starter Jay Hook (6-9) was rocked for nine runs in four innings. But only four of those runs were earned.

Like so many Mets contests in their inaugural season, the game was lost early. But no one told Musial or the Cardinals. They scored five runs off Hook in the fourth inning – all unearned, and the last two coming from Musial’s eleventh home run. Musial hit his third home run of the game to lead off the seventh inning, this time off reliever Willard Hunter. Fred Whitfield, who replaced White at first in the fourth inning, hit a two-run homer off Bob Miller in the eighth inning. Musial came up with the bases empty and struck out … but the Mets still couldn’t retire him. On the third strike, the ball got by Chris Cannizzaro and Musial beat the throw to first. Bobby Smith ended Musial’s day, replacing The Man as the runner at first.

The Cardinals scored three more runs in the ninth, including Whitfield’s third RBI of the day. The Mets scored their lone run in the bottom of the ninth off Gibson, who pitched a three-hit complete game to earn his tenth win of the season.

On the day, Musial went three for four with four RBIs and scoring three runs. He raised his season’s batting average to .333, the highest among Cardinal regulars. He would end the 1962 season batting .330 with 19 home runs and 82 RBIs, finishing third in the 1962 hitting race behind Tommy Davis (.346) and Frank Robinson (.342).



Free Report

Click Here for Instant Download

Strong in the Middle


Glancing Back, and Remembering Jose Santiago

Jose Santiago played a major role in the return to prominence by the Boston Red Sox in 1967. The right-handed Santiago was effective as both a starter and a reliever, leading the American League in winning percentage in 1967.

Jose Santiago (30) was the starter and loser of the first game of the 1967 World Series. His solo home run off Bob Gibson was the Red Sox lone score in a 2-1 loss.

Santiago was signed by the Kansas City Athletics in 1959 and made his debut with the A’s in 1963, picking up a relief victory in his first major league appearance. He was 0-6 for the A’s in 1964, working primarily out of the Kansas City bullpen. He spent nearly all of the 1965 season back in the minor leagues, and then got his career break when the Red Sox purchased his contract prior to the 1966 season. Santiago made 28 starts for Boston in 1966 (with seven relief appearances), going 12-13 with a 3.66 ERA.

Jose Santiago was an important part of the Boston Red Sox pitching staff when the team won the 1967 American League pennant. Santiago was 12-4 with a 3.59 ERA and five saves. He led AL pitchers with a .750 winning percentage.

His best season came in 1967. Again splitting his appearances between the starting rotation and middle relief, Santiago was 12-4 with a 3.59 earned run average. He was particularly effective down the stretch, going 8-0 after July 5. He was 5-0 in September with a 2.83 ERA and posted two complete games in three September starts.

Santiago pitched the opening game of the 1967 World Series, losing 2-1 to a Bob Gibson six-hitter. In his first World Series at-bat, Santiago hit a solo home run off Gibson for Boston’s only run that day. For the Series, Santiago was 0-2 with a 5.59 ERA.

Santiago worked strictly as a starter in 1968, going 9-4 with a 2.25 ERA by the All-Star break. He was named to the American League All-Star team, but an elbow injury kept him from playing – and effectively wiped out the rest of that season and, ultimately, his major league career. He appeared in only 10 games in 1969 and eight more in 1970, with rehab stints in the minor leagues both seasons. But Santiago did not pitch again in the major leagues after July 1970. He retired with a 34-29 record and a 3.74 career ERA.


Free Report

Click Here for Instant Download

Giant Versatility


Glancing Back, and Remembering Bob Bolin

Bobby Bolin’s 13-season career started in the bullpen, moved to the starting rotation, and veered back to relieving to close out his playing days. He was consistently effective in both roles.

Among San Francisco Giants pitchers, Bob Bolin was fourth in wins during the 1960s (behind Juan Marichal, Gaylord Perry and Mike McCormick).

Among San Francisco Giants pitchers, Bob Bolin was fourth in wins during the 1960s (behind Juan Marichal, Gaylord Perry and Mike McCormick).

Bolin was signed by the New York Giants in 1956. His rookie season with the San Francisco Giants was 1961, when he appeared in 37 games, all but one in relief. Bolin went 2-2 with a 3.19 ERA and five saves in his first big league season.

In 1962 Bolin was an important part of the bullpen for the National League champion Giants, a bullpen that included Stu Miller and Don Larsen. Bolin was 7-3 in 41 appearances with a 3.62 ERA, the best among San Francisco relievers. He saved five games.

Bolin won 73 games in nine seasons in San Francisco with a combined ERA of 3.26. His best season with the Giants was 1965, when he went 14-6 with a 2.76 ERA.

An 11-10 record in 1966 included four shutouts, the second highest total in the National League. His 1.99 ERA in 1968 was second lowest in the National League (to Bob Gibson‘s 1.12 earned run average).

In December of 1969 the Giants traded Bolin to the Milwaukee Brewers for Dick Simpson and Steve Whitaker. He was 5-11 in his only season in Milwaukee, and then was acquired by the Boston Red Sox, where he was 10-8 with a 3.28 ERA over four seasons. Following the 1973 season, Bolin retired with a career record of 88-75 with a 3.40 ERA.



Free Report

Click Here for Instant Download

The Cardinals’ Strong Right Arm


Glancing Back, and Remembering Bob Gibson

Hard-throwing, dominating, intimidating: throughout the 1960s, no pitcher was as consistently effective as the Cardinals’ Bob Gibson.

In a decade loaded with great pitchers, no one won more games than Gibson in the post-season. A power pitcher with great control and a seemingly indestructible arm, Gibson only got better as the decade progressed, and continued his dominance of hitters into the 1970s.

Bob Gibson won 251 games and pitched 56 career shutouts – more than any other St. Louis Cardinals pitcher.

Bob Gibson won 251 games and pitched 56 career shutouts – more than any other St. Louis Cardinals pitcher.

Gibson was called up to the Cardinals in 1959. By 1961, he was a member of the starting rotation, a job he would keep for the next 15 years. The next year he won 15 games with an ERA of 2.81. He had 15 complete games, and he led the majors with five shutouts. He also struck out 208 batters that season, and would strike out 200 or more batters in a season nine times in his career.

Gibson posted 18 victories in 1963. In the Cardinals’ championship season of 1964, Gibson won 19 games during the regular season. In the 1964 World Series, he posted two complete game victories, including the deciding seventh game. His performance earned him the Series Most Valuable Player Award. At the end of 1964, Gibson was clearly the Cardinals’ ace, and his best years were still ahead of him.

In 1965 and 1966, Gibson won 20 and 21 games, respectively. He was on his way to another 20-victory campaign in 1967 when a Roberto Clemente line drive fractured his leg and sidelined him for the second half of the season.

The Cardinals cruised to the National League pennant even without Gibson, who was able to come back and pitch in the World Series against the Boston Red Sox. In Game One, Gibson struck out 10 batters and allowed only six hits en route to a 2-1 victory. He returned in Game Four, this time giving up only five hits in pitching a 6-0 shutout. In the seventh game, he dominated again, taking his third World Series victory by a score of 7-2, with 10 strikeouts and surrendering only three hits. For the second time in the decade, Gibson was selected as the World Series MVP.

Bob Gibson won seven World Series games, the most by any pitcher in the 1960s. He was named World Series MVP in both 1964 and 1967.

Bob Gibson won seven World Series games, the most by any pitcher in the 1960s. He was named World Series MVP in both 1964 and 1967.

A healthy Bob Gibson no doubt looked forward to pitching a full season in 1968, but he could not have imagined the kind of season he would experience. In leading the Cardinals to another National League pennant, Gibson went 22-9 with a microscopic 1.12 ERA. He led the league in strikeouts (268) and led the majors in shutouts (13), pitching 28 complete games. He won both the Cy Young and Most Valuable Player Awards.

In the 1968 World Series against the Detroit Tigers, Gibson struck out a record 35 batters in 27 innings pitched. He won his initial two starts in that Series, though he lost a Game Seven, only the second World Series loss of his career. It would be Gibson’s last World Series appearance.

Gibson closed out the 1960s by going 20-13 in 1969, with an ERA that “ballooned” to 2.18. His last 20-victory season was 1970, when 23-7 earned him his second Cy Young Award. In his 17-year career, Gibson won 251 games and registered over 3,000 strikeouts. He also pitched 56 shutouts and won nine Gold Gloves.

Bob Gibson was twice named the National League Cy Young Award winner, in 1968 (22-9 with a 1.12 ERA) and in 1970 (23-7 with a 3.21 ERA).

Bob Gibson was twice named the National League Cy Young Award winner, in 1968 (22-9 with a 1.12 ERA) and in 1970 (23-7 with a 3.21 ERA).

Gibson finished as the Cardinals’ career leader in nearly every pitching category, including victories, complete games (255), games started (482), shutouts (56), and strikeouts (3,117). He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981, his first year of eligibility.




Free Report

Click Here for Instant Download

Wilson Matches Maloney No-No


This Week in 1960s Baseball

(May 1, 1969) Today Houston Astros right-hander Don Wilson pitched a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds – one day after the Reds’ Jim Maloney fired a no-hitter against the Astros.

The Astros beat the Reds 4-0 on a solo home run by Doug Rader, a two-run double by Denis Menke, and a sacrifice fly by Wilson, who struck out 13 Reds’ batters and walked six. The victory raised Wilson’s record to 2-3 on the season. He would finish the 1969 campaign at 16-12 with a 4.00 ERA. Wilson would strike out 235 batters in 225 innings in 1969.

Don Wilson (left) no-hit the Cincinnati Reds on May 1, 1969 … one day after the Astros were no-hit by the Reds’ Jim Maloney.

Don Wilson (left) no-hit the Cincinnati Reds on May 1, 1969 … one day after the Astros were no-hit by the Reds’ Jim Maloney.

Maloney (3-0) faced only 31 Astros batters in no-hitting Houston 10-0 the previous day. He struck out 13 batters and walked five. The Reds’ hitting star of that game was outfielder Bobby Tolan, who had three hits and four RBIs for the game.

Maloney would finish the 1969 season at 12-5 with a 2.77 ERA.

This marked the second time in major league history when opposing teams traded back-to-back no-hitters … and in less than a year. On September 17, 1968, Gaylord Perry pitched a no-hitter for the San Francisco Giants in beating the St. Louis Cardinals and Bob Gibson 1-0. The next day, Cardinals’ right-hander Ray Washburn returned the favor by no-hitting the Giants 2-0.





Free Report

Click Here for Instant Download

Blass from the Past


Glancing Back, and Remembering Steve Blass

The ace of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitching staff in the late 1960s, Steve Blass had a career that exemplified the shooting star, both in the height of his achievements and in their brevity. He came, he won, he faded into history, leaving behind a legacy of clutch wins and at times breathtaking performances that demonstrated why, at his best, he was among the best pitchers of his era.

In 1971, Steve Blass had one of his best seasons, going 15-8 with a 2.49 ERA and a league-leading five shutouts. He also won two World Series games.

In 1971, Steve Blass had one of his best seasons, going 15-8 with a 2.49 ERA and a league-leading five shutouts. He also won two World Series games.

Blass was signed by the Pirates in 1960 and never played for any other organization. He advanced through the Pirates’ farm system, slowly but steadily, and was successful at each level. He made his debut with the Pirates in 1964, going 5-8 with a 4.04 ERA as a spot starter and long reliever. He returned to Columbus in the International League in 1965, going 13-11 with a 3.07 ERA, and returned to the Pirates to stay in 1966 with a 11-7 record and a 3.87 ERA.

By 1968, Blass was the ace of the Pirates pitching staff, going 18-6 and leading the National League with a .750 winning percentage. His 2.12 earned run average was fifth best in the league, (teammate Bob Veale‘s 2.05 was third in the league) and his seven shutouts were third in the league behind Bob Gibson (13) and Don Drysdale (8) and tied with Jerry Koosman.

Blass won 16 games in 1969 and 10 games in 1970. The he strung together his two best seasons in leading the Pirates to back-to-back Eastern Division titles. Blass went 15-8 with a 2.49 ERA in 1971, leading the league with five shutouts. He won both of his World Series starts against the Baltimore Orioles. Blass outdueled O’s ace Mike Cuellar 5-1 in Game Three, pitching a three-hitter and striking out eight Orioles batters. Blass returned in Game Seven to pitch a 2-1 gem, allowing only four hits in winning the Series clincher for the Pirates.

In 1972, Blass was even better. He went 19-8 with a 2.49 ERA, pitching a career-high 249.2 innings. He was named to the National League All-Star team. In the National League Championship Series against the Cincinnati Reds, Blass won the opener 5-1, then pitched seven strong innings in Game Five, allowing only two runs on four hits in a game the Reds would win in the bottom of the ninth.

At age 31, Blass already had 100 career victories, 78 in the previous five seasons. He should have been at the peak of his career, but instead it was nearly at its end. He won only three games for the Pirates in 1973, and never won a major league game after that. For no explicable reason, he suddenly became plagued with chronic wildness, and never fully recovered, even during a return to the minors in 1974. He retired after being released by the Pirates that same year.



Free Report

Click Here for Instant Download

Boffo Bonus Baby


Glancing Back, and Remembering Ray Sadecki

The era of the “bonus baby” force-fed a number of talented kids into the major leagues before they were ready, leaving more potential shattered than fulfilled. One of the exceptions was Ray Sadecki, a talented left-hander who adapted early and well to major league competition and delivered quickly on the St. Louis Cardinals‘ investment in him.
Ray Sadecki was 20-11 for the pennant-winning Cardinals in 1964.

Ray Sadecki was 20-11 for the pennant-winning Cardinals in 1964.

The Cardinals signed Sadecki in 1958 and he made his debut with the team in 1960 as a 19-year-old, going 9-9 with a 3.78 ERA and 7 complete games. In 1961 he went 14-10 with 13 complete games and a 3.72 ERA.

His major challenge was his control, as he averaged over four walks per nine innings both seasons. He spent part of the 1962 season back in the minors, going 6-8 with a 5.54 ERA for St. Louis. He finished the 1963 season at 10-10 with a 4.10 ERA.

Sadecki’s breakout season was 1964, when the Cardinals took the National league pennant. Part of a strong starting trio that included Bob Gibson and Curt Simmons, Sadecki led the team with a 20-11 record and a 3.68 ERA. He was the winning pitcher in the first game of the 1964 World Series against the New York Yankees.
Sadecki’s record slipped to 6-15 in 1965, and early in the 1966 season he was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Orlando Cepeda. Sadecki had a combined 5-8 record for 1966, but rebounded for the Giants in 1967 with a 12-6 record and a 2.78 ERA. In 1968, despite a 2.91 ERA, Sadecki posted a 12-18 record, tied for the most losses in the majors.
Traded to the Mets in 1970, Ray Sadecki was 30-25 with a 3.36 ERA in six seasons in New York.

Traded to the Mets in 1970, Ray Sadecki was 30-25 with a 3.36 ERA in six seasons in New York.

The Giants traded Sadecki to the New York Mets following the 1969 season. He pitched for the Mets for six seasons as a spot starter and long reliever, with a combined record of 30-25 and a 3.36 ERA. Following the 1974 season, the Mets traded him to the Cardinals for Joe Torre. From 1975 through 1977, Sadecki pitched for six different teams (including the Kansas City Royals twice and the Mets again) before retiring during the 1977 season.

He pitched a total of 18 years in the major leagues, compiling a 135-131 record and a 3.78 ERA.

Tommy Guns Down Gibby


Lights Out – Tommy Davis’ game-ending home run beats Bob Gibson 1-0.

When: June 18, 1962

Where:  Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California

Game Time: 2:18

Attendance: 33,477


Tommy Davis had a “dream” season in 1962.

<a rel=

Sandy Koufax (10-2) pitched a five-hit shutout, striking out nine Cardinals.

Coming into that campaign, he was a .277 career hitter who never drove in more than 58 runs in a season. All he did in 1962 was lead the major leagues in hits (230), RBIs (153 – still the Dodger franchise record) and batting average (.346). He also had a career-best 27 home runs and struck out only 65 times in 711 plate appearances.

One season transformed Tommy Davis from unknown part-time player to one of the most dangerous hitters in the game. And though he would repeat as National League batting champion in 1963 and collect over 2,000 hits in an 18-year major league career, he would never again approach his hitting productivity of 1962.

Especially, hitting in the clutch.

The game between St. Louis and Los Angeles on June 18, 1962 was a showcase for emerging stars … starting with the starting pitchers. On the mound for the Dodgers was Sandy Koufax, who was beginning to demonstrate the overpowering dominance that was to carry him through the 1962 season. Koufax entered the game at 9-2 with a 2.86 ERA and a league-leading 137 strikeouts in only 116.1 innings. The Cardinals’ starter was Bob Gibson, 8-4 coming into the game with a 3.17 ERA, though opponents’ batting average against Gibson was only .198 up to this game. After the game, that average would not climb much higher.

Bob Gibson (8-5) allowed the Dodgers only three hits, but the last one was a Tommy Davis walk-off.

Bob Gibson (8-5) allowed the Dodgers only three hits, but the last one was a Tommy Davis walk-off.

During his career, Davis struggled against Gibson (an affliction shared by many National League batters), hitting only .167. And in this game Davis would only go one for four, striking out twice. But as so often happened during his magical 1962 season, Davis made that one hit count.

Through the first eight innings, Koufax and Gibson were locked in a scoreless duel. Koufax had allowed only four hits, Gibson only two. In the top of the ninth, Koufax got two outs before Ken Boyer singled to left. Now a pair of future Hall of Famers faced each other as Stan Musial stepped into the batter’s box. But Musial had no opportunity to advance Boyer, who was caught trying to steal second, ending the inning.

In the bottom of the ninth, Gibson got Ron Fairly out on a soft fly to second baseman Julian Javier. Davis was the next batter, and the game’s last, as he sent a line drive into the left field seats for a 1-0 Dodgers victory.

It was the first shutout for Koufax in 1962. He would pitch only one more in that injury-shortened season that would result in the first of his five consecutive ERA crowns (with 2.54).

For Gibson – who eventually led the league in shutouts with five in 1962 – it was another tough loss in what would be a 15-13 season with a 2.85 ERA.

And for Tommy Davis, his walk-off blast marked the third time that one of his home runs gave Koufax a 1-0 victory.








Free Report

Click Here for Instant Download



Curve Ballin’ Cardinal


Glancing Back, and Remembering Ray Washburn

Throughout most of the 1960s, Ray Washburn was the complementary starter who rounded out the St. Louis Cardinals’ rotation, and provided the day-in, day-out innings-eating consistency that every staff needs.

Ray Washburn was 68-60 for the St. Louis Cardinals in the !960s.

Ray Washburn was 68-60 for the St. Louis Cardinals in the !960s.

Washburn was signed by the Cardinals in 1960 and had worked his way into the team’s starting rotation by 1962, going 12-9 that season with a 4.10 ERA. He was off to a fine start in 1963 when a muscle tear in his pitching shoulder sidelined him for the rest of that season and for most of the Cardinals’ pennant-winning campaign in 1964. He made something of a comeback in 1965, going 9-11 with a 3.62 ERA. But he was relying more and more on breaking ball finesse since his fastball did not have its pre-injury velocity.

Washburn, despite his physical limitation, didn’t fade into also-ran status. He continued to hone his pitching skills to produce an 11-9 season in 1966 and 10-7 in 1967. He had his best season in 1968, going 14-8 with a 2.26 ERA and four shutouts. He also achieved career highs in innings pitched (215.1) and strikeouts (124).

Ray Washburn's best season came in 1968, when he was 14-8 with a 2.26 ERA and four shutouts.

Ray Washburn’s best season came in 1968, when he was 14-8 with a 2.26 ERA and four shutouts.

On September 18, Washburn no-hit the San Francisco Giants 2-0 one day after the Giants’ Gaylord Perry had pitched a no-hitter of his own against the Cardinals and Bob Gibson —the first time in major league history that back-to-back no-hitters had been pitched in the same series.

In the 1968 World Series, Washburn was the Game Three winner, beating the Detroit Tigers 7-3 on four hits (including home runs by Al Kaline and Dick McAuliffe). He was the losing pitcher in Game Six, allowing five earned runs in two innings.

Washburn was relegated to a spot starter’s role in 1969, and went 3-8 despite a respectable 3.06 ERA. Following the 1969 season, the Cardinals traded Washburn to the Cincinnati Reds for pitcher George Culver. Washburn spent the 1970 season working out of the Reds bullpen. He went 4-4 in 35 games. His only appearance in the 1970 World Series was his last. He retired with a career record of 72-64 with a 3.53 ERA.







Free Report

Click Here for Instant Download