Year In Review : 1962 National League

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After hearing the case of Engel vs. Vitale, the Supreme Court ruled that state-sponsored prayer in schools was unconstitutional. Although prayer was not outlawed in school entirely (only school-sponsored prayer) the decision ignited a controversy that has continued unabated until today.

On February 20, 1962, astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. Flying aboard his spacecraft, Friendship Seven, the Marine Lieutenant travelled roughly 81,000 miles as he circled our planet three times at speeds greater than 17,000 mph.

In late August, American spy planes detected the building of military missile sites in Cuba. U.S. Intelligence sources later determined the Soviets, under Nikita Khrushchev, had decided to shorten the strategic gap between the two world powers by placing missiles there limiting America's warning capabilities if attacked. In October, President John F. Kennedy was presented with conclusive proof that the Soviets were in fact installing medium-range ballistic missiles. After several tense days of defensive posturing, the issue was peacefully resolved after the United States agreed not to invade Cuba, and the Soviets agreed to withdraw all military forces and weapons.

I n the American League

The Baltimore Orioles' Brooks Robinson became only the fifth player in Major League history to hit grand slams in back-to-back games after knocking out a bases loaded round-tripper on May 6 th and May 9 th .

After missing thirty games due to recurring knee injuries, New York's Mickey Mantle limped to the plate as a pinch hitter and launched a four-hundred twenty foot blast off of Gary Bell of the Cleveland Indians. The home team crowd showed their respects by giving the visiting Yankee a standing ovation.

Earl Wilson became the first black pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the American League as the Boston Red Sox topped the California Angels 2-0 on June 26 th at Fenway Park. Wilson also dominated at the plate with a four-hundred foot homer off Bo Belinsky who had tossed a "no-no" of his own in his last start against the Baltimore Orioles.

I n the National League

On September 7 th , Los Angeles Dodger Maury Wills stole four bases off the Pittsburgh Pirates setting a National League record for eighty-two "robberies" in a single season.

The Houston Colt 45s, one of the National Leagues two new teams (New York Mets), opened with an impressive 11-2 triumph over the Chicago Cubs before a crowd of over 25,000. Roman Mejias set the pace with two, three-run home runs and Hal Smith followed close behind debuting with a round-tripper of his own.

Stan Musial set a National League record (previously held by Mel Ott) after scoring for the 1,806 th time in his career during a St. Louis Cardinals win over the Chicago Cubs on April 13 th . Later in the season Musial became the leagues all-time leader in total bases with 5,864 during a June 22 nd outing against the Philadelphia Phillies.

A round the League

John "Buck" O'Neil became the first African-American coach in Major League baseball after joining the staff of the Chicago Cubs. O'Neil had been a scout for the Cubs organization previously and was credited with discovering both Ernie Banks and Lou Brock.

Baseball's newest franchise, the New York Mets, debuted in what some referred to as "copycat uniforms" that featured Dodger blue sleeves, Giants orange lettering and Yankee pinstripes. Unfortunately the Mets played as bad as they looked and finished their inaugural season with a laughable 40-120 record.

After several years of "double-headers", both players and owners agreed to return the All-Star Game to its original, one-game format in 1963.

Kansas City owner Charles Finley hired the first woman in baseball broadcasting. Betty Caywood was brought in initially to do "color-commentary" for the A's games, but later became the first female to regularly announce baseball games while airing her reports from both the dugout and the stands.

"When I go back in my mind to our play in 1962 I just wonder how we ever got to win 40 games." - New York Mets manager Casey Stengel
1962 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Milwaukee

101

Batting Average

Los Angeles

.346

Doubles

Cincinnati

51

Hits

Los Angeles

230

Home Runs

San Francisco

49

On Base Percentage

Cincinnati

.424

RBI

Los Angeles

153

Runs

Cincinnati

134

Slugging Average

Cincinnati

.624

Stolen Bases

Los Angeles

104

Total Bases

San Francisco

382

Triples

Philadelphia

10

Los Angeles

Pittsburgh

Los Angeles

1962 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Milwaukee

22

ERA

Los Angeles

2.54

Games

Los Angeles

70

Saves

Pittsburgh

28

Shutouts

Pittsburgh

5

St. Louis

Strikeouts

Los Angeles

232

Winning Percentage

Cincinnati

.821

Wins

Los Angeles

25

1962 National League

Team Standings

San Francisco Giants

103 62 .624 0

Los Angeles Dodgers

102 63 .618 1

Cincinnati Reds

98 64 .605

Pittsburgh Pirates

93 68 .578 8

Milwaukee Braves

86 76 .531 15½

St. Louis Cardinals

84 78 .519 17½

Philadelphia Phillies

81 80 .503 20

Houston Colt .45s

64 96 .400 36½

Chicago Cubs

59 103 .364 42½

New York Mets

40 120 .250 60½

1962 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

New York

616

Batting Average

San Francisco

.278

Doubles

Cincinnati

252

Hits

San Francisco

1,552

Home Runs

San Francisco

204

On Base Percentage

San Francisco

.344

Runs

San Francisco

878

Slugging Average

San Francisco

.441

Stolen Bases

Los Angeles

198

Triples

Los Angeles

65

Pittsburgh

1962 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

San Francisco

62

ERA

Pittsburgh

3.38

Fewest Hits Allowed

Los Angeles

1,386

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Houston

113

Fewest Walks Allowed

Milwaukee

407

Saves

Los Angeles

46

Shutouts

St. Louis

17

Strikeouts

Los Angeles

1,104



Did you know that on June 30, 1962 , Sandy Koufax of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitched his first career no-hit game? Do you also know what number he ranks all-time in terms of no-hitters thrown?

On July 25, 1962, Stan Musial drove in two runs with a blast to left field giving him a new National League record 1,862 career runs batted in.

On September 29, 1962, Warren Spahn defeated the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 and won his 327th career game to become the winningest left-handed pitcher in Major League history.

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