L.A.’s Other Southpaw Ace

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Claude Osteen

For nearly a decade, Claude Osteen was the best left-handed starting pitcher on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ staff, once a guy named Sandy Koufax had retired. He was a workhorse who averaged 261 innings pitched per season from 1963 to 1973. During that period, he pitched 121 complete games in 400 starts, with 36 shutouts and a combined earned run average of 3.13.

Claude Osteen was signed out of high school by the Cincinnati Reds in 1957. He made three token appearances with the Reds in 1958, and then progressed spectacularly through the Reds’ farm system, winning 19 games in 1956 and eight in 1959 before being called up to Cincinnati. He did more sitting than pitching in 1960, and was returned to the minors in 1961, where he won 16 games before being traded to the Washington Senators.

Traded to the Washington Senators in 1961, Claude Osteen emerged as a solid starting pitcher and the team’s ace.

Traded to the Washington Senators in 1961, Claude Osteen emerged as a solid starting pitcher and the team’s ace.

In Washington, Osteen finally got the chance to pitch regularly. In fact, in 1962, his first season with the Senators, his 150.1 innings pitched were more than he pitched in five previous seasons with the Reds. Osteen was 8-13 with a 3.65 ERA in 1962 for the American League’s worst team.

He quickly established himself as the ace of the Senators’ staff, going 9-14 with a 3.35 ERA in 1963 and 15-13 with a 3.33 ERA in 1964. He pitched 257.0 innings that season with 13 complete games in 36 starts, all for a team that finished the season at 62-100.

Over the winter, Osteen was involved in a blockbuster deal that sent him and infielder John Kennedy to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Frank Howard, Ken McMullen, Phil Ortega, Dick Nen and Pete Richert. In his first season with the Dodgers, Osteen went 15-15 with a 2.79 ERA.  He was 1-1 in his two World Series starts with a 0.64 ERA.

Osteen flourished as the Dodgers’ number three starter behind Koufax and Don Drysdale. He followed up in 1966 with a 17-14 season on a 2.85 ERA. His only World Series appearance in 1966 – and the last of his career – was a three-hit, 1-0 loss to Wally Bunker and the Baltimore Orioles.

In nine seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Claude Osteen won 147 games with a 3.09 ERA. He pitched an average of 266 innings per season with the Dodgers.

When Koufax retired after the 1966 season, Osteen stepped up as the Dodgers’ ace left-hander. He won 17 games in 1967 and then went 12-18 (tied with Ray Sadecki for the league high in losses) on a 3.08 ERA. He bounced back to win 20 games in 1969, pitching 16 complete games and 321.0 innings with a 2.66 ERA. He also threw seven shutouts.

Osteen pitched four more seasons with the Dodgers, winning 66 games. His best season was 1972, when he went 20-11 with a 2.64 ERA and 14 complete games. After a 16-11 campaign in 1973, he was traded to the Houston Astros for outfielder Jim Wynn. He was 9-9 for Houston before being traded near the end of the 1974 season to the St. Louis Cardinals. He signed with the Chicago White Sox at the beginning of the 1975 season, and went 7-16 for Chicago and then retired.

In 18 major league seasons, Osteen compiled a 196-195 record with a 3.30 ERA. He was an All-Star three times.

Clutch Master

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Jim Hickman

As a hitter, Jim Hickman specialized in both power and good timing. During his 13-year major league career, Hickman became more dangerous in the batter’s box in the game’s waning innings, when big hits counted most and Hickman consistently came up big.

Signed originally by the St. Louis Cardinals, outfielder Jim Hickman broke into the majors with the New York Mets. He was the Mets’ leading home run hitter in 1963.

Signed originally by the St. Louis Cardinals, outfielder Jim Hickman broke into the majors with the New York Mets. He was the Mets’ leading home run hitter in 1963.

Hickman was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1956 and toiled in the Cardinals’ farm system until he was selected by the New York Mets in the 1961 expansion draft. He hit .245 in his (and the Mets’) first season, with 13 home runs and 46 runs batted in. In 1963, Hickman was the Mets’ top home run hitter, with 17 homers and 51 RBIs. In five seasons with the Mets, Hickman batted a combined .241 and averaged 12 home runs per season.

In 1966 the Mets traded Hickman with Ron Hunt to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Tommy Davis and Darrell Griffith. In his only season with the Dodgers, Hickman batted .163 with no home runs and only 10 RBIs.

At the beginning of the 1968 season, the Dodgers sent Hickman and pitcher Phil Regan to the Chicago Cubs for Jim Ellis and Ted Savage. He spent most of the 1968 season with the Cubs’ Triple-A team in Spokane, and in 1969 batted .237 in Chicago with 21 home runs and 54 RBIs.

Hickman had a career season in 1970 with the Cubs. He batted .315 with 33 doubles, 32 home runs and 115 RBIs. He made his only All-Star appearance and drove in the game-winning run. He was also named National League Comeback Player of the Year for 1970.

Jim Hickman had his best season in 1970 as a member of the Chicago Cubs. Hickman batted .315 with 32 home runs and 115 RBIs.

Jim Hickman had his best season in 1970 as a member of the Chicago Cubs. Hickman batted .315 with 32 home runs and 115 RBIs.

Hickman never again had a season that would approach his productivity in 1970. He hit .272 in 1972 with 17 home runs and 64 RBIs. He played one more season in Chicago and was traded to the Cardinals in 1973. He batted .267 in 1974, used primarily as a pinch hitter, and retired after the 1974 season.

Hickman retired with a career batting average of .252. He collected 159 home runs and 560 RBIs during his 13-year career. But in his prime he was one of the most effective clutch hitters in the National League.  He hit several walk-off hits in his career for both the Mets and the Cubs. He was also responsible for many hitting “firsts” for the fledgling Mets, including the first Met to hit for the cycle, and the first Met to hit three home runs in a single game (off Ray Sadecki of the Cardinals). His was the last home run hit in the Polo Grounds (off Chris Short of the Philadelphia Phillies), and he was the first Met batter to earn a walk and to be hit by a pitch in Shea Stadium.

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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.

Boyer’s Slam Downs Downing

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(October 11, 1964) In Game Four of the World Series, Ken Boyer‘s sixth inning grand slam off Yankee starter Al Downing gave the St. Louis Cardinals a 4-3 victory over the New York Yankees. The St. Louis third baseman is the second National Leaguer to hit a post-season bases-loaded round-tripper.

The Cardinals’ victory tied the Series at two games apiece.

Ken Boyer’s grand slam home run off Al Downing was the game winner as the St. Louis Cardinals took Game Four of the 1964 World Series 4-3.

Ken Boyer’s grand slam home run off Al Downing was the game winner as the St. Louis Cardinals took Game Four of the 1964 World Series 4-3.

Boyer, who would be named the National League MVP for the 1964 season, got only one hit in the game, but it was the one that counted. Downing, the Yankee left-hander who went 13-8 during the regular season and led the American League with 217 strikeouts, had shut out the Cardinals over the first five innings, allowing only one hit.

The Cardinals loaded the bases on back-to-back singles by Carl Warwick and Curt Flood, and an error by second baseman Bobby Richardson that allowed Cardinals shortstop Dick Groat to reach base safely. Boyer, the National League RBI champion for 1964, promptly launched a Downing fastball deep into the left field seats, putting the Cardinals ahead for good.

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Boyer wasn’t the only hero for the Cardinals that day. Cardinals starter Ray Sadecki lasted only a third of an inning, allowing four consecutive hits and two runs before being replaced by Roger Craig. Craig was the Cardinals’ pitching star that day, allowing a third run on an Elston Howard single (run charged to Sadecki) before shutting down the Yankees’ bats, pitching 4.2 scoreless innings and striking out eight batters.

Craig was the pitcher of record when Boyer hit the game-winning home run. Ron Taylor shut out the Yankees over the final four innings for the save.

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Bullish on Slugging

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Orlando Cepeda

If you want to understand how really good a ballplayer Orlando Cepeda was in his prime, consider this: for more than six years, he kept a future Hall of Famer – who would produce 521 career home runs – out of the starting line-up.

That player was the great Willie McCovey, one of the most feared hitters in National League history, and deservedly so. But in the early 1960s, McCovey wasn’t good enough to displace Cepeda from first base in the Giants’ starting line-up.

In 1961, Orlando Cepeda led the National League with 46 home runs and 142 RBIs. From 1960 through 1964, Cepeda batted a combined .307, averaging 34 home runs and 109 RBIs per season.

In 1961, Orlando Cepeda led the National League with 46 home runs and 142 RBIs. From 1960 through 1964, Cepeda batted a combined .307, averaging 34 home runs and 109 RBIs per season.

Though remembered as a slugger himself, Cepeda (nicknamed “The Baby Bull”) was actually a well-rounded ballplayer. He was signed by the Giants in 1955, and was San Francisco’s starting first baseman by the beginning of the 1958 season. He was the National League’s Rookie of the Year that season, hitting .312 with 25 home runs, 96 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. He also led the league with 38 doubles. His second season was even better, hitting .317 with 27 home runs, 105 RBIs and 23 stolen bases.

In 1961, Cepeda led the league in both home runs (46) and RBIs (142) while hitting .311. He finished second in the MVP voting to Cincinnati’s Frank Robinson. From 1960 through 1964, Cepeda batted a combined .307, averaging 34 home runs and 109 RBIs per season.

During weight training following the 1964 season, Cepeda injured a knee, and tried playing through the injury without telling team management. Knee surgery sidelined him for most of the 1965 season, and in 1966 the Giants traded Cepeda to the St. Louis Cardinals for left-handed pitcher Ray Sadecki, a 20-game winner two seasons before. The Cardinals got the better end of the deal, as Cepeda’s bat rebounded with the gradual improvement in the health of his knee. For the Cardinals in 1966, Cepeda hit .303 with 17 home runs and 58 RBIs in 123 games.

Orlando Cepeda was the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1967 when he led the league with 111 RBIs.

Orlando Cepeda was the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1967 when he led the league with 111 RBIs.

In 1967, Cepeda captured the National League’s Most Valuable Award as the offensive leader of the pennant-winning Cardinals. He hit .325 with 25 home runs and a league-leading 111 RBIs. His power numbers slipped to 16 home runs and 73 RBIs as the Cardinals repeated as National League champions in 1968. However, in the 1968 World Series against the Detroit Tigers, Cepeda hit two home runs with six RBIs.

In the spring of 1969, Cepeda was traded to the Atlanta Braves for catcher-first baseman Joe Torre. His 22 home runs and 88 RBIs played an integral role in the Braves’ divisional championship. The following year, Cepeda had his last strong season, hitting .305 for the Braves with 34 home runs and 111 RBIs. He retired in 1974 after stops in Oakland, Boston and Kansas City.

In 17 seasons, the 11-time All-Star finished with 379 home runs and a career batting average of .297. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999.

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No More Fastballs to This Guy

 

Lights Out: Tony Cloninger’s Twin Grand Slams

When: July 3, 1966

Where:  Candlestick Park,   San Francisco, California

Game Time: 2:42

Attendance: 27,002

Of course, in the 1960s, all pitchers did their own hitting. And some of them were pretty good at it.

Some of them, in fact, set hitting records that no non-pitcher has ever topped. That’s what Tony Cloninger did on July 3, 1966.

On his way to his ninth victory of the 1966 season, Cloninger helped his cause with a pair of grand slam home runs and another run batted in on an eighth-inning single. His nine RBIs in one game are still the major league record for a pitcher.

On his way to his ninth victory of the 1966 season, Cloninger helped his cause with a pair of grand slam home runs and another run batted in on an eighth-inning single. His nine RBIs in one game are still the major league record for a pitcher.

On that Sunday afternoon in front of 27,000 fans at Candlestick Park, Cloninger pitched a complete game, winning his ninth victory of the season in a 17-3 laugher over the hometown Giants. What made the game significant wasn’t Cloninger’s arm but his bat, and the nine runs it produced that afternoon (a major league single-game record for a pitcher).

Before he threw his first pitch, Cloninger already had a seven-run lead. In the top of the first inning, against Giants southpaw Joe Gibbon, the Braves struck for three runs on a Joe Torre home run. Gibbon gave up two more singles before being replaced by Bob Priddy, who walked shortstop Denis Menke to load the bases. The next batter was Cloninger, who sent the ball over the left-center field fence for a grand slam that made the score 7-0.

Cloninger was just getting started.

Batting in the top of the fourth inning against Ray Sadecki, Cloninger launched his second slam of the afternoon. And after flying out to left field to lead off the sixth inning, Cloninger collected his ninth RBI of the game in the eighth inning, singling to left off Sadecki to score Woody Woodward from third base.

Tony Cloninger wasn’t the only pitcher in this game to hit a home run. The Giants’ third pitcher, Ray Sadecki, hit a solo home run off Cloninger in the fifth inning.

Tony Cloninger wasn’t the only pitcher in this game to hit a home run. The Giants’ third pitcher, Ray Sadecki, hit a solo home run off Cloninger in the fifth inning.

Cloninger allowed three runs (all earned) on seven hits, including a pair of solo home runs: one by Giants catcher Tom Haller, and the other by the opposing pitcher, Sadecki. Pitchers’ bats that afternoon accounted for 10 RBIs. Not a bad hitter for a pitcher (with a .192 lifetime average), Cloninger hit .234 in 1966, with five home runs and 23 RBIs. Unfortunately, by 1966, he was on the downside of his pitching career, finishing that season at 14-11, 10 victories fewer than the previous year and the most he would ever again win in any single season.

Cloninger finished his 12-year career with 113 wins … and 11 career home runs.

Regaining the Touch He Left in San Francisco

 

Swap Shop: The Giants Re-acquire Mike McCormick.

Left-hander Mike McCormick had two separate careers with the San Francisco Giants. In his first career, at the beginning of the 1960s, he was the promising young southpaw who posted the lowest ERA in the National League – 2.70 in 1960 – while winning 15 games and pitching in his first All-Star game, all by the age of 21. At age 22, he was 13-16 with a 3.20 ERA for the Giants, and a sore shoulder in 1962 produced only a 5-5 season with a 5.38 ERA.

Mike McCormick signed with the Giants at age 17. By 21 he was the National League ERA champion. By 24, the Giants had unloaded him to the Baltimore Orioles.

Mike McCormick signed with the Giants at age 17. By 21 he was the National League ERA champion. By 24, the Giants had unloaded him to the Baltimore Orioles.

By age 24, McCormick had already pitched over 1,000 major league innings, and had a soreness with every throw that x-rays could not diagnose. So in December of 1962, the Giants sent McCormick and his mysterious sore arm with Stu Miller and John Orsino to the Baltimore Orioles for Jimmie Coker, Jack Fisher and Billy Hoeft. Still pitching through the pain, McCormick was 6-8 as an occasional starter for the Orioles in 1963, and then appeared in only four games before being assigned to AAA Rochester in 1964. He was traded to the Washington Senators in 1965 and was 19-22 over two seasons in Washington.

Following the 1966 seasons, the Giants were looking for a fourth starter to complement Juan Marichal, Gaylord Perry and Ray Sadecki. The Giants parted with an outfielder (Cap Peterson) and a pitcher (Bob Priddy) to get McCormick back, but they got a different McCormick than the one they had surrendered four years earlier. He could pitch without pain, and this latest version of Mike McCormick had less of a fastball but more pitches and more control. He was still only 28, and about to embark on the best season of his career (make that, careers) as a Giant.

By the 1967 season’s end, McCormick was 22-10, leading all major league pitchers in victories. His 2.85 earned run average was the second-lowest of his career, and he pitched more innings than in any other season of his career. His five shutouts that seasons also represented a career high. He was named National League Cy Young award winner.

The Giants re-acquired McCormick to fill out the team's starting rotation. He turned out to be the team's ace, winning the National League Cy Young award in 1967 with a 22-10 record.

The Giants re-acquired McCormick to fill out the team’s starting rotation. He turned out to be the team’s ace, winning the National League Cy Young award in 1967 with a 22-10 record.

McCormick’s second tour in San Francisco would last three-plus seasons and produce 48 victories. He finished his 16-year major league career in 1971 with a record of 134-128 and a 3.72 ERA.

 

 

 

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Ask No Quarter, Give None

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Curt Simmons

At the close of the 1950s, the once promising career of left-handed pitcher Curt Simmons seemed on the verge of expiring. A bad arm and a bad team had resulted in zero wins in 1959, and Simmons faced an imminent release by the Philadelphia Phillies. But Simmons joined the St. Louis Cardinals following his release by the Phillies and mounted a comeback that helped thrust him and the Cardinals into the World Series.

Curt Simmons' best season with the St. Louis Cardinals came in 1964, with an 18-9 record for the National League champions.

Curt Simmons’ best season with the St. Louis Cardinals came in 1964, with an 18-9 record for the National League champions.

Simmons was signed by the Phillies in 1947 and was pitching in Philadelphia by 1948, going 7-13 in his rookie year. He was 4-10 in 1949. Then in 1950 came the breakthrough for Simmons and the Phillies “Whiz Kids,” who took their first National League pennant in more than three decades. Simmons (17-8) and Robin Roberts (20-11) were the righty-lefty foundation of the Phillies’ pitching staff. Simmons threw 11 complete games and two shutouts, compiling a 3.40 ERA that season.

Military service caused Simmons to miss both the 1950 World Series (in which the New York Yankees swept the Phillies in four games) and the entire 1951 season. Simmons came back for 1952, going 14-8 with a 2.82 earned run average and 15 complete games. He led the major leagues with six shutouts. Simmons won 16 games in 1953, 14 games in 1954, and 15 games in 1956.

But with each season, the victories were becoming harder to realize as the Phillies slipped gradually but steadily from their earlier glory. Roberts eventually went from perennial 20-game winner to 20-game loser. Simmons struggled to stay above .500 (12-11 in 1957) and then slipped to 7-14 in 1958.

A sore arm limited him to seven appearances and no decisions in 1959, and the Phillies released him in May of 1960. In 13 seasons, Simmons had won 115 games in the only uniform he had ever worn.

Robin Roberts (left) and Curt Simmons spearheaded the Philadelphia Phillies’ starting rotation during the team’s successful chase for the National League pennant in 1950.

Robin Roberts (left) and Curt Simmons spearheaded the Philadelphia Phillies’ starting rotation during the team’s successful chase for the National League pennant in 1950.

The Cardinals signed Simmons three days after he was released by the Phillies. Used primarily as a starter, Simmons won seven games for the Cardinals in 1960 (with a 2.66 ERA), nine games in 1961, and 10 games in 1962. In 1963 he went 15-9 with a 2.48 ERA. He pitched 11 complete games, six of them shutouts.

His best season with the Cardinals came in 1964, with an 18-9 record for the National League champions. Again he teamed with a right-hander, this time Bob Gibson (19-12), to form a power 1-2, right-left combination. (And, yes, the Cardinals had another left-hander on the team, as Ray Sadecki won 20 games in 1964.) This time, Simmons actually was allowed to pitch in the World Series that his own accomplished season had helped to bring about. He pitched well in two starts but had only a sixth game loss to show for his efforts.

Simmons slipped to 9-15 in 1965, and was purchased by the Chicago Cubs in June of 1966. He split the 1967 season between the Cubs and the California Angels before retiring after a 20-year career and a record of 193-183.

 

 

 

 

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How Orlando Cepeda Became a Cardinal MVP

Swap Shop: Orlando Cepeda for Ray Sadecki

It was a “baby” for “baby” swap that benefitted both teams, but was critical in resurrecting the career of slugger Orlando Cepeda.

For 6 seasons from 1958 through 1964, Cepeda hit for a combined .309 batting average and averaged 32 home runs and 107 runs batted in.

For six seasons from 1958 through 1964, Cepeda hit for a combined .309 batting average and averaged 32 home runs and 107 runs batted in.

Almost from the day he joined the San Francisco Giants, Cepeda was a beast with a bat. Signed by the Giants in 1955, the “Baby Bull” made his major league debut in 1958 and was the National League’s Rookie of the Year, batting .312 with 25 home runs and 96 RBIs. For six seasons from 1958 through 1964, Cepeda hit for a combined .309 batting average and averaged 32 home runs and 107 runs batted in. He had a monster year in 1961, batting .311 and leading the National League with 46 home runs and 142 RBIs. He finished second in the voting for Most Valuable Player to Cincinnati’s Frank Robinson.

How do you trade a player with that kind of productivity? The Giants had three reasons for dealing Cepeda in 1966 to the St. Louis Cardinals for pitcher Ray Sadecki:

  1. An off-season injury in 1964 required knee surgery and extended rehabilitation. Cepeda missed nearly all of the 1965 season, and the Giants weren’t willing to risk diminished performance from first base, especially when …
  2. The Giants were blessed with a surplus of talented hitters, and could replace Cepeda at first base with a guy named Willie McCovey, who hit 39 home runs in Cepeda’s absence in 1965, plus …
  3. The Giants needed starting pitching if they were going to catch the pennant-defending Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Cardinals had a good one available.

Ray Sadecki blossomed into a big-time starter in 1964, when he led the World Series champion Cardinals with a 20-11 record.

Ray Sadecki blossomed into a big-time starter in 1964, when he led the World Series champion Cardinals with a 20-11 record.

Ray Sadecki was a left-handed “bonus baby” who finally blossomed into a big-time starter in 1964, when he led the World Series champion Cardinals with a 20-11 record. But that year he posted a 3.68 ERA (which would be considered excellent today, but was merely average among 1960s pitchers). In 1965, his ERA ballooned to 5.21 and his record slipped to 6-15. The Giants took a chance on his turnaround.

Sadecki had a couple good seasons in San Francisco, but never quite turned into the southpaw ace the team was looking for. He was a combined 5-8 in 1966, and was 12-6 with a 2.78 ERA for the Giants in 1967 (when fellow Giants southpaw Mike McCormick went 22-10 and claimed the National league Cy Young award). Sadecki was 12-18 for the Giants in 1968 despite a 2.91 ERA and six shutouts. He was traded to the New York Mets after the 1969 season.

Cepeda’s knee healed, and his bat came back to life, though not with the ferocity he showed during his first six seasons. Cepeda batted for a combined .301 average in 1966 with 20 home runs and 73 RBIs. In 1967 he batted .325 with 25 home runs and a league-best 111 RBIs. He won the National League MVP award for 1967.

He hit only 16 home runs for the Cardinals in 1968 (a “down” year for hitters in both major leagues) and was traded to the Atlanta Braves for Joe Torre. He lasted in the major leagues through the 1974 season, and retired with a .297 career batting average, 379 home runs and 1,365 runs batted in … numbers good enough to earn him induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999.