Warren and Christy … Together at Last

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(September 8, 1963) Pitching a nine-hit complete game, Warren Spahn raised his season record to 20-5 as the Milwaukee Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 at Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia.

It was the thirteenth time in his career that Spahn won 20 or more games. That tied him with Christy Mathewson for the most 20-vistory seasons in the major leagues.

The 1963 season was the thirteenth 20-victory season in the career of Warren Spahn. It was the seventh straight season when Spahn led the National League in complete games.

The 1963 season was the thirteenth 20-victory season in the career of Warren Spahn. It was the seventh straight season when Spahn led the National League in complete games.

For the 42-year-old Spahn, it was his nineteenth complete game of the 1963 season. He would finish the season with 22 complete games, the most in the majors. Spahn recorded no strikeouts or walks during the game.

The Braves scored in the first inning when lead-off batter Lee Maye singled and advanced to second on an error by Phillies starter Dallas Green. Frank Bolling sacrificed Maye to third, and Maye scored on Hank Aaron’s groundout to Phillies second baseman Tony Taylor. It was Aaron’s 117th RBI of the season.

The Braves’ lead held up as Spahn pitched a shutout through six innings. Tony Gonzalez led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a triple and scored on a Roy Sievers sacrifice fly.

In the eighth inning, Green walked Eddie Mathews, who scored on Gene Oliver’s sixteenth home run. Spahn pitched a scoreless eighth inning and allowed a solo home run by Don Demeter in the ninth. Don Hoak doubled to put the potential tying run in scoring position, but Spahn retired Bob Oldis and Wes Covington to end the game.

The losing pitcher was Green (5-4).

Shown in an undated photo is Christy Christy Mathewson was the first major league pitcher to win 20 or more games 13 times. (Warren Spahn was the second.) Mathewson finished his career with 373 victories, third most in major league history (tied with Grover Cleveland Alexander) and 10 more than Spahn.

Christy Mathewson was the first major league pitcher to win 20 or more games 13 times. (Warren Spahn was the second.) Mathewson finished his career with 373 victories, third most in major league history (tied with Grover Cleveland Alexander) and 10 more than Spahn.

Spahn’s 1963 season was one of the best of his career, as he finished the season at 23-7 with a 2.60 earned run average. It was also his seventh straight season leading the National League in complete games, and he pitched seven shutouts, tying his season high and the second most in the league (behind 11 Sandy Koufax shutouts).

Though he tied Mathewson for most 20-win seasons, Spahn fell short of matching Mathewson’s 373 career wins. Spahn retired after the 1965 season with 363 victories, the most by any left-hander in baseball history.

Making Papa’s Day Perfect

 

Lights Out: Phillies’ Jim Bunning Achieves Pitching Perfection

When: June 21, 1964

Where:  Shea Stadium, New York, New York

Game Time: 2:19

Attendance: 32,026

Jim Bunning was a pitcher with two careers. Both were of Hall of Fame caliber.

In his first season with the Phillies, Jim Bunning went 19-8 with a 2.62 ERA – and one perfect game.

In his first season with the Phillies, Jim Bunning went 19-8 with a 2.62 ERA – and one perfect game.

For the first nine of his 17 big league seasons, Bunning was one of the best right-handed pitchers in the American League, winning 118 games for mostly mediocre Detroit Tigers teams, leading the league in victories once (20-8 in 1957) and in strikeouts twice (201 in 1959 and 1960 each).

When Bunning was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies before the 1964 season, he started the year – and his second baseball career – with a vengeance. He immediately established himself as the ace of a Phillies staff that was in its first pennant race in more than a decade. In fact the Phillies were in first place by two games going into a Father’s Day matinee against the New York Mets.

For all practical purposes, the game was decided in the top of the first inning. John Briggs led off the game by working Mets starter Tracy Stallard for a walk. John Herrnstein bunted Briggs to second, and then Stallard struck out Johnny Callison for the second out. The next batter, third baseman Dick Allen, smashed the ball to left field to drive in Briggs.

It would turn out to be all the runs Jim Bunning would need on this Father’s Day.

Jim Bunning was the first player to pitch a no-hitter in each league. And he was the first pitcher to win more than 100 games in each league.

Jim Bunning was the first player to pitch a no-hitter in each league. And he was the first pitcher to win more than 100 games in each league.

Bunning struck out Mets lead-off hitter Jim Hickman, then induced Ron Hunt to ground out to Tony Taylor at second base and Ed Kranepool  to pop up to Phillies shortstop Cookie Rojas. A three-up, three-down inning for Bunning. He would have eight more before the afternoon was over.

The Phillies scored another run in the second and four more runs in the sixth, including a solo home run by Callison and a two-run single by Bunning, who allowed no Mets base runners in retiring all 27 batters he faced. He ended the game with 10 strikeouts, including two each in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

Bunning’s 1964 season would turn out to be the best of his career. In 39 starts, he went 19-8 with a 2.63 ERA in 284.1 innings pitched. He completed 13 of his starts, and five were shutouts. He made two relief appearances, and earned saves in both of them.

And he was the first National League pitcher to throw a perfect game in the Twentieth Century.

Eight for Eight … Just Great

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(May 20, 1962) Always known more for his prowess with his glove than his bat, Chicago Cubs rookie second baseman Ken Hubbs today was baseball’s single best hitter.

Ken Hubbs won both a Gold Glove and the National League Rookie of the Year award for 1962.

In a double header against the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs second baseman Ken Hubbs stroked eight singles on the day, raising his season’s batting average to .307.

During the Cubs’ double header sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies, Hubbs stroked eight singles in 10 trips to the plate at Connie Mack Stadium. Hubbs scored twice and drove in two runs as the Cubs won both ends of the twin bill, 6-4 and 11-2.

In the first game, the Phillies lost despite getting home runs from the bats of Tony Taylor, Johnny Callison and Clay Dalrymple. Cubs left fielder Lou Brock drove in four runs for winning pitcher Cal Koonce (2-0).

In the nightcap, home runs by Billy Williams, Ernie Banks and George Altman – in addition to Hubbs’ five for five hitting performance – spurred the Cubs to an 11-2 victory. Bob Buhl (2-2) pitched a complete game for the win.

At the end of this doubleheader, Hubbs was batting .307. He would finish the season – his first full season in the big leagues – batting .260 and winning the Gold Glove for his play at second base.

Ken Hubbs won both a Gold Glove and the National League Rookie of the Year award for 1962.

Ken Hubbs won both a Gold Glove and the National League Rookie of the Year award for 1962.

He would also be named Rookie of the Year for 1962.

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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Johnny’s Jolt Bounces Bucs

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball …

(August 25, 1963) A dramatic eleventh-inning home run by Johnny Callison propelled the Philadelphia Phillies to a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Johnny Callison's walk-off home run in the 11th inning lifted the Phillies past the Pirates 4-2.

Johnny Callison’s walk-off home run in the 11th inning lifted the Phillies past the Pirates 4-2.

It was Callison’s nineteenth home run of the season. The walk-off blast came at the expense of Pirates reliever Roy Face (3-7).

The Pirates opened the scoring in the third inning on Bob Bailey’s sacrifice fly. The Pirates added another run in the seventh inning off Phillies reliever John Boozer.

The Pirates starter, Bob Veale, allowed no runs on four hits through the first seven innings. The Phillies scored their first run in the eighth inning off reliever Harvey Haddix. Philadelphia tied the game in the ninth inning on Tony Taylor’s lead-off home run.

Taylor singled with one out in the eleventh inning, and scored the game-winning run on Callison’s homer.

Veteran reliever Roy Face gave up the winning home run.

Veteran reliever Roy Face gave up the winning home run.

The winning pitcher was Jack Baldschun (10-5), who shut out the Pirates on one hit over the last three innings.

Maybe Roy Face shouldn’t have faced Callison in the eleventh with the game on the line. During the 1963 season, Callison batted .733 in extra innings.

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.