Dodgers Wallop Cubs 10-2; Koufax Whiffs 18

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(April 24, 1962) Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Sandy Koufax today tied a major league record by striking out 18 batters in a nine-inning game.

The Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 10-2 at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

When Sandy Koufax struck out 18 Chicago Cubs in 1962, it marked the second time in his career that he had achieved that feat, and only the third time in the major leagues since 1901. Eighteen or more strikeouts in a nine-inning game have been reached or exceeded 19 times since (most recently by Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals, who fanned 20 in 2016).

In his complete game victory, Koufax allowed two runs on six hits and walked four batters. The victory raised his season record to 3-1.

The losing pitcher for the Cubs was starter Don Cardwell (0-4).

The hitting stars for the Dodgers were outfielders Duke Snider and Tommy Davis. Snider drove in three runs on a triple and a home run. Davis drove in four runs with a single off Cardwell in the second inning and a three-run homer in the fifth. Andy Carey also homered for the Dodgers, hitting a solo shot off Cardwell in the fourth inning.

Chicago’s runs were scored on a fourth-inning single by Lou Brock and a bases-empty home run in the bottom of the ninth by left fielder Billy Williams.

Bob Feller was the first pitcher in the Twentieth Century to strike out 18 batters in a nine-inning game. He set that record on October 2, 1938, but lost the game 4-1 to the Detroit Tigers.

In posting 18 strikeouts in a single game, Koufax — for the second time — tied the record set in 1938 when Cleveland Indians right-hander Bob Feller fanned 18 Detroit Tigers. Koufax first struck out 18 batters in a game on August 31, 1959 when he beat the San Francisco Giants 5-2.

Koufax would finish the 1962 season at 14-7. That season he would be limited to only 28 appearances due to arm problems. But Koufax pitched enough innings to claim the National League ERA title … the first of five consecutive ERA crowns he would win.

 

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Colts Unbeatable?

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(April 10, 1962) At Colt Stadium in Houston, the Colt .45s, in their first ever major league game, today defeated the Chicago Cubs, 11-2.

Left-hander Bobby Shantz throws the first pitch in the first game for the Houston Colt .45s. Shantz pitched a five-hit complete game as the Colts beat the Chicago Cubs 11-2.

 

Right fielder Roman Mejias was the hitting star for the Colts. Mejias got three hits, including a pair of three-run home runs. Catcher Hal Smith doubled and hit a solo home run.

Third baseman Bob Aspromonte recorded the first hit in the Houston franchise’s history with a single to left field to lead off the game. Aspromonte scored the Colts’ first run on Al Spangler’s triple.

Aspromonte also had three hits. He recorded another franchise first when he stole second base in the eighth inning.

Former Yankee hurler Bobby Shantz (1-0) got the win. Shantz pitched a five-hit complete games, striking out four and walking one. The Cubs scored on Ernie Banks’ solo home run in the seventh inning and added another run in the eighth inning on a Lou Brock sacrifice fly.

Outfielder Roman Mejias hit a pair of three-run home runs for the Colts

The losing pitcher was Cubs starter Don Cardwell (0-1).

The Colts would sweep their three-game season-opening series with the Cubs. They would finish their inaugural month in fifth place at 7-8. The Colts would finish the 1962 season at 64-96, in eighth place ahead of the Cubs and the New York Mets.

All the Way

 

Career Year: Larry Jackson (1964)

For the first and only time from 1962 to 1966, the winningest pitcher in baseball in 1964 was not a Dodger.

And for the only time from 1962-1966, the pitcher with the most victories in 1964 was not the Cy Young Award winner.

And yet, for Larry Jackson, the 1964 season proved to be the high point of a stellar pitching career for one of the game’s most durable starters.

Pitching for the eighth-place Chicago Cubs in 1964, Larry Jackson led the major leagues with 24 victories.

Pitching for the eighth-place Chicago Cubs in 1964, Larry Jackson led the major leagues with 24 victories.

It was the season when Jackson won more games than any other pitcher in baseball, by doing what he had done best his entire career – piling up starts and innings and complete games – for a team that won only 52 games without him.

From 1957 through 1963, Jackson was the poster child for dependability in the starting rotation. In those seven seasons – the first six with the St. Louis Cardinals – he pitched an average of 241 innings per season, and slipped below 200 innings pitched only in 1958 (when he pitched 198 innings). Even a line drive that fractured Jackson’s jaw in spring training of 1961 shelved him for only a month. He still started 33 games after his return and pitched 211 innings – his lowest total during the 1960s.

Following a 16-11 campaign in 1962, the Cardinals traded Jackson (along with Lindy McDaniel and Jimmie Schaffer) to the Chicago Cubs for George Altman, Don Cardwell and Moe Thacker. In his first season with the Cubs, Jackson managed only a 14-18 record despite a 2.55 ERA. In 16 of Jackson’ starts during the 1963 season, the Cubs scored two runs or less, and Jackson’s record in those starts was 2-13. In games when the Cubs scored at least three runs behind Jackson, his record was 12-5.

During his 24-11 season in 1964, Larry Jackson finished third in the National League in games started (38) and complete games (19). He was second in the league in innings pitched, and second in the Cy Young voting (to Dean Chance).

During his 24-11 season in 1964, Larry Jackson finished third in the National League in games started (38) and complete games (19). He was second in the league in innings pitched, and second in the Cy Young voting (to Dean Chance).

Things would change for the better in 1964, especially as the weather warmed up. Jackson was 2-1 in April and 6-4 at the end of May with a 3.58 ERA. He was 7-5 during the months of June and July, but he was 4-1 in August with a 2.70 ERA for the month. He was even better in September, going 7-1 with a 2.42 ERA in the season’s final month.

For the 1964 season, Jackson was 24-11 with a 3.14 earned run average. He led all major league pitchers in victories, and his 297.1 innings pitched was second only to Don Drysdale’s 321.1. Jackson was third in the National League in games started (38) and in complete games (19).

All of this was accomplished with a 1964 Cubs team that finished in eighth place with a 76-86 record. Yet the Cubs gave Jackson better run support than he had received in 1963. In 30 of his 38 starts, Jackson’s Cubs scored at least three runs, and his record in those games was 21-5.

Despite his career year, Jackson finished second in the balloting for the 1964 Cy Young Award to Dean Chance of the Los Angeles Angels.

The 1965 season would not be as kind to Jackson, as he would go from a 20-game winner to 20-game loser. He finished the 1965 season at 14-21 with a 3.85 ERA. In 18 of his 39 starts, the Cubs scored less than three runs, and Jackson’s record in those starts was 2-15. When the Cubs managed to get him three runs or more, Jackson was 12-6.

Frustration was a way of life for Chicago Cubs’ starting pitchers during the 1960s.

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Half of Cardinals’ Infield Disappears

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball …

(October 27, 1965) The St. Louis Cardinals today traded two of their mainstays, sending first baseman Bill White and shortstop Dick Groat to the Philadelphia Phillies for outfielder Alex Johnson, pitcher Art Mahaffey and catcher Pat Corrales. St. Louis also threw in catcher Bob Uecker.

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(Left to right) Dick Groat, Bill White and Bob Uecker went to the Philadelphia Phillies in a 1965 trade that broke up the St. Louis Cardinals’ All-Star infield.

Only a year earlier, this was the Cardinals infield that led the team to its first World Series championship since 1946.

The Cardinals traded for White prior to the 1959 season. He hit a combined .299 during his seven seasons in St. Louis, averaging 20 home runs and 90 RBIs per season. As a member of the Cardinals, White was named to the All-Star team five times and won six Gold Gloves. (He would claim his seventh Gold Glove in his first season with the Phillies.)

Groat was acquired by the Cardinals prior to the 1963 season in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates for Don Cardwell and Julio Gotay. The National League batting champion and Most Valuable Player in 1960, Groat brought a solid glove and bat to the Cardinals, hitting a combined .289 during his three years with the Cardinals and leading the National League in doubles with 43 in 1963.

(Left to right) Pitcher Art Mahaffey, outfielder Alex Johnson and catcher Pat Corrales went to St. Louis in the deal that brought Dick Groat and Bill White to Philadelphia.

The trade not only eliminated half of the Cardinals’ starting infield, but also broke up what had been the starting infield for the National League in the 1963 All-Star game. The NL’s All-Star starters that season included third baseman Ken Boyer and second baseman Julian Javier as well as Groat and White.

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Lasting Relief

 

Oh, What a Relief: Lindy McDaniel

The 1960s were the baseball decade that witnessed the emergence of the relief specialist. And among the outstanding relief pitchers who toiled during the 1960s, few could claim a more brilliantly consistent career than that of Lindy McDaniel.

Lindy McDaniel led the National League in saves in 1959, 1960 and 1963.

Lindy McDaniel led the National League in saves in 1959, 1960 and 1963.

He pitched for 21 seasons, from 1955 to 1975. Among relievers, only Hoyt Wilhelm could match his record for longevity.

The St. Louis Cardinals signed McDaniel as a free agent in 1955. His minor league career lasted only six games (4-1 with a 3.64 ERA) as he joined the big league club at the end of 1955. He took turns as both a starter and reliever for the Cardinals in 1957, going 15-9 with a 3.49 ERA.

Gradually, McDaniel did less starting and more relieving for the Cards. In 1959 he went 14-12 and led the major leagues with 15 saves (in the days when starters were expected to pitch complete games). McDaniel had an outstanding season in 1960, with a 12-4 record and a 2.09 ERA. His 26 saves that season were again best in the majors, and earned McDaniel the first Fireman of the Year award as baseball’s best reliever. (He would win that award again in 1963.)

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Following the 1962 season, McDaniel was traded with pitcher Larry Jackson and catcher Jimmie Schaffer to the Chicago Cubs for outfielder George Altman, pitcher Don Cardwell and catcher Moe Thacker. For the Cubs in 1963, he won 13 games (all in relief) and saved 22 more (NL best). In his three seasons in Chicago, McDaniel averaged 64 relief appearances per season with a 3.06 ERA.

McDaniel spent two seasons with the San Francisco Giants, and then was traded to the New York Yankees in 1968 for pitcher Bill Monbouquette. In six seasons with the Yankees, McDaniel appeared in 265 games with a combined ERA of 2.89. His best season in New York was 1970, when his record was 9-5 in 62 appearances, with 29 saves and an ERA of 2.01. He closed out his career with the Kansas City Royals, retiring after the 1975 season.

In 21 major league seasons, McDaniel won 141 games and saved 174 with a 3.45 career earned run average. He was an All-Star in 1960.

 

 

 

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Travelin’ Man

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Don Cardwell

In 14 major league seasons – all in the National League – Don Cardwell pitched for five different teams. He was frequently a key player in the trades that involved him every three years or so, and his lifetime won-loss record reflected not so much his pitching ability as it did the quality of the teams supporting –or, more often, not supporting – him.

Don Cardwell began his 14-year major league career with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Don Cardwell began his 14-year major league career with the Philadelphia Phillies.

The right-handed Cardwell signed with the Philadelphia Phillies as an amateur free agent in 1954. He found a place on the big league club by 1957, but struggled with the then-struggling Phillies, as he posted a combined record of 17-26 over three-plus seasons in Philadelphia. In May of 1960, the Chicago Cubs acquired Cardwell in a trade for Cal Neeman and Tony Taylor. (Ed Bouchee went to Chicago with Cardwell.) His first start as a Cub was particularly memorable, as Cardwell pitched a no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals on May 13, 1960—the first (and still only) major league pitcher to toss a no-hitter in his first appearance after a trade. He went 8-14 that season with the woeful Cubs.

His best season came in 1961. Pitching for a Cubs team that would finish in seventh place, 26 games under .500, Cardwell’s record was 15-14 with a 3.82 ERA. He pitched three shutouts and led the National League in games started with 38. He was one of only two Cubs’ pitchers with winning records that season. (Reliever Barney Schultz was 7-6).

The following year, Cardwell was 7-16 for the Cubs, who traded him with George Altman and Moe Thacker to the St. Louis Cardinals for Larry Jackson, Lindy McDaniel and Jimmie Schaffer. Cardwell never had the opportunity to pitch in a Cardinals uniform. The Cards in turn packaged Cardwell in a deal with Julio Gotay to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Dick Groat and Diomedes Olivo.

With injuries making Vern Law’s contributions unpredictable for the 1963 season, the Pirates needed an innings-eater like Cardwell. His record was 13-13, with a 3.02 ERA in 213.2 innings. Injuries limited his 1964 season to only four appearances, but he rebounded in 1965 to 13-10 with an ERA of 3.18 in 240.1 innings. In 1966, he was 6-6 as a starter and reliever for the Pirates.

Cardwell was 5-1 down the September stretch for the New York Mets in 1969.

Cardwell was 5-1 down the September stretch for the New York Mets in 1969.

In December of 1966, Cardwell was traded by the Pirates with Don Bosch to the New York Mets for Gary Kolb and Dennis Ribant. As a starter-reliever for the Mets in 1967, he was 5-9 with a respectable 3.57 ERA. Of his five victories, three were shutouts. In 1968, as a member of the Mets’ starting rotation, Cardwell was 7-13 with a 2.95 ERA. Then in 1969, Cardwell played a major role in the Mets’ “miracle” season. He finished the year 8-10 with a 3.01 ERA, but was 5-1 down the pennant stretch.

In 1970, Cardwell was traded to the Atlanta Braves, where he saw spot duty, almost entirely in relief, and retired after that season with a career record of 102-138 and an ERA of 3.92.

 

 

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At Home at Second

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Tony Taylor

Tony Taylor was an All-Star in 1960 when he batted .284 with 25 doubles and 44 RBIs.

Tony Taylor was an All-Star in 1960 when he batted .284 with 25 doubles and 44 RBIs.

Throughout the 1960s, Tony Taylor was a fixture at second base for the Philadelphia Phillies. Always dependable in the field, Taylor could also be counted on to make contributions at the plate. And until the very end of his 19-year major league career, you could count on him to be ready every day. Taylor appeared in an average of 137 games per season from 1958 through 1970.

A Cuban native, Taylor was signed by the New York Giants in 1954 and was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1957. He became the Cubs’ starting second baseman in 1958, batting .235 his rookie year and .280 in 1959. In 1960, he was traded with Cal Neeman to the Phillies for Ed Bouchee and Don Cardwell. He spent the next 11 seasons as the Phillies’ starting second baseman, and occasionally playing all four infield positions (and the outfield) when needed.

Taylor was an All-Star in 1960 when he batted .284 with 25 doubles and 44 RBIs. He also stole 26 bases that season, third highest in the National League (behind Maury Wills and Vada Pinson). He batted .281 in 1963 and had his best season in Philadelphia in 1970, when he batted .301 with 26 doubles, nine triples, nine home runs and 55 RBIs.

In 1971 the Phillies traded Taylor to the Detroit Tigers for a pair of minor league players. He hit .287 for the Tigers in helping that team with the division title, and batted .303 in 1972. He signed with the Phillies after the 1973 season and spent three more years as a part-time infielder before retiring at the end of the 1976 season.

In his 19 years in the big leagues, Taylor collected 2,007 hits for a .261 career batting average. He also had 298 doubles and 86 triples.

So Many Innings with Ne’er an Error

 

The Glove Club: Larry Jackson

Throughout his career, Larry Jackson was one of the best defensive pitchers in the National League. On four different occasions, he finished a season with no errors. In 1964 he set a major league record for pitchers with 109 total chances without an error, a mark that stood until 1976.

Larry Jackson had 4 separate seasons when he played the entire year without committing an error.

Larry Jackson had four separate seasons when he played the entire year without committing an error.

In addition to his mound quickness that made him so effective defensively, Jackson was the poster boy for innings workhorse. Jackson averaged 250 innings per season from 1957 through 1968, his last year in the majors. Even in his final big league season, at age 37, Jackson still piled up 243.2 innings, a total which would have led the National League in half the seasons from 2001 to 2010.

Jackson was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1951 and had a spectacular minor league season in 1952, going 28-4 for Fresno with a 2.85 ERA in 300 innings pitched. He made his debut with the Cardinals in 1955, going 9-14 with a 4.31 ERA … and pitching a career-low (as a starter) 177.1 innings. The next year he became the Cardinals’ closer, finishing 26 of his 51 appearances and saving nine games while starting only one game.

In 1957-58 he averaged only 22 starts per season, coming out of the bullpen in half his appearances for a combined record of 28-22 with three shutouts and nine saves. From then on Jackson’s role would be in the starting rotation, going 14-13 with a 3.30 ERA for the 1959 season. In 1960 he led the National League in starts (38) and innings pitched (282) with an 18-13 record, his best season in St. Louis. He would win 14 games for the Cards in 1961 and 16 games in 1962 before being traded with Lindy McDaniel and Jimmie Schaffer to the Chicago Cubs for George Altman, Don Cardwell and Moe Thacker.

Jackson’s three-plus seasons in Chicago were a roller coaster challenge to the consistency he had demonstrated  in St. Louis. Despite a 2.55 ERA and four shutouts, Jackson finished 14-18 for the Cubs in 1963. He pitched 275 innings and had a career-best 153 strikeouts.

He had a career season in 1964. Jackson’s 24-11 record led the major leagues in victories. That season he finished second in the National League in innings pitched (297.2), and third in both games started (38) and complete games (19). He finished second to Dean Chance in the Cy Young voting, and finished twelfth in the voting for NL Most Valuable Player.

Then the Cubs roller coaster carried Jackson the other way. He finished the 1965 season at 14-21 with a 3.85 ERA. In 39 starts, he pitched 257.1 innings and tossed four shutouts.

Jackson opened the 1966 season by losing his first two starts for the Cubs. He was then traded with Bob Buhl to the Philadelphia Phillies for John Herrnstein, Ferguson Jenkins and Adolfo Phillips. Jackson went 15-13 for the Phillies with a 2.99 ERA and pitched a league-best five shutouts. Over the next two seasons, Jackson went a combined 26-32 with the Phillies, and retired after the 1968 season.

Larry Jackson was an All-Star four times, and retired with a record of 194-183, making him the winningest National League 20th century right-hander to never play for a pennant winner.

 

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