Year In Review : 1966 National League

O

After murdering both his wife and mother, serial sniper Charles Whitman ascended to the observation deck at Austin's University of Texas tower killing fourteen people and injuring thirty-one others during a ninety-minute shooting spree. He was eventually shot and killed himself after a civilian and two police officers stormed the tower and overpowered him.

Media icon Walt Disney, who turned the whimsical cartoon world of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck into a million dollar a year entertainment empire, died of cancer at the age of sixty-five. The pioneering animator had produced the first fully animated motion picture and had invented the original concept of theme parks with his final masterpiece, Disneyland in California.

The first U.S. manned space flights, Gemini 8 thru 12, were launched in preparation for man's eventual trip to the moon. Following the pioneering Mercury program and preceding the Apollo missions, Gemini flights were specifically developed to learn how to maneuver a spacecraft into orbit and rendezvous with other docking vehicles.

I n the American League

On July 29th, Mickey Mantle hit his four-hundred ninety-fourth homerun off of Chicago White Sox ace Bruce Howard moving himself ahead of fellow Yankee Lou Gehrig for sixth place on the all-time list. Teammate Al Downing sweetened the deal with a clutch 2-1 performance on the mound.

Baltimore Orioles slugger "Boog" Powell astonished the crowd at Fenway Park after hitting not one, not two, but three, opposite-field homers OVER the "Green Monster" on the way to a 4-3, victory in which he totaled thirteen bases himself. Powell would also go on to become the first player ever to appear in the Little League World Series as well as the Major League version.

Teammate Frank Robinson was unanimously voted as the American League MVP becoming the first player to win the title in both the American and National Leagues since the Baseball Writers Association took it over in 1931. Robinson, who also won the American League Triple Crown, was also voted most valuable player in 1961 as a member of the Cincinnati Reds.

I n the National League

Tony Cloninger, of the recently transplanted Atlanta Braves, became the first National League pitcher to ever hit two grand-slams in a single game during a July 3rd, 17-3 triumph over the San Francisco Giants. Cloninger's first slam came off of rival pitcher Bob Priddy in the first, and then in the fourth he added another off of Ray Sadecki.

Willie Mays moved up to #2 (behind Babe Ruth) on the all-time list with his five-hundred thirty-fifth career home run, off of Ray Washburn, as the San Francisco Giants topped the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 on August 17th.

On October 2nd, Sandy Koufax tallied his last Major League victory with a 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies for the National League pennant. The Los Angeles Dodgers ace completed his twelve-year career with an amazing 165-87 record with a 2.76 ERA, forty shutouts and two-thousand three-hundred ninety-six strikeouts. Koufax also held the National League single-season strikeout record with three-hundred eighty-two K's (1965) and compiled an astounding 0.95 ERA in World Series starts.

A round the League

Major League Baseball's first African-American umpire, Emmett Ashford made his debut on Opening Day as the American League's Washington Senators lost to the visiting Cleveland Indians 5-2.

Ted Williams used a portion of his Hall of Fame induction speech to plead for the inclusion of Negro League players including Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The infield at Houston's Astrodome became the first to be replaced by the new experimental surface known as "Astroturf". In the first game ever to be played on the artificial grass, the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers prevailed over the home team 6-3.

Dan Topping sold his remaining shares of interest in the New York Yankees to the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) for a reported $1.4 million dollars. In the end, the television dynasty paid a total of $14 million for total control of the franchise. Topping initially looked to come out on top in the deal as three days later, only four-hundred thirteen fans showed up at Yankee Stadium for a game against the Chicago White Sox.

"You know, I never had a cross word with anybody in 15 years in Milwaukee. Everybody had fun. We'd get to the park 2 or 3 hours early, sit around 2 or 3 hours after the game. Boy, that was enjoyable." - Eddie Mathews
1966 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Chicago

95

Batting Average

Pittsburgh

.342

Doubles

Philadelphia

40

Hits

Atlanta

218

Home Runs

Atlanta

44

On Base Percentage

Chicago

.417

RBI

Atlanta

127

Runs

Atlanta

122

Slugging Average

Philadelphia

.632

Stolen Bases

St. Louis

74

Total Bases

Atlanta

355

Triples

St. Louis

13

1966 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Los Angeles

27

ERA

Los Angeles

1.73

Games

Atlanta

73

Saves

Los Angeles

21

Shutouts

Philadelphia

5

St. Louis

Chicago

Philadelphia

St. Louis

Los Angeles

Cincinnati

Strikeouts

Los Angeles

317

Winning Percentage

San Francisco

.806

Wins

Los Angeles

27

1966 National League

Team Standings

Los Angeles Dodgers

95 67 .586 0

San Francisco Giants

93 68 .578

Pittsburgh Pirates

92 70 .568 3

Philadelphia Phillies

87 75 .537 8

Atlanta Braves

85 77 .525 10

St. Louis Cardinals

83 79 .512 12

Cincinnati Reds

76 84 .475 18

Houston Astros

72 90 .444 23

New York Mets

66 95 .410 28½

Chicago Cubs

59 103 .364 36

1966 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Atlanta

512

Batting Average

Pittsburgh

.279

Doubles

Pittsburgh

238

Hits

Pittsburgh

1,586

Home Runs

Atlanta

207

On Base Percentage

Pittsburgh

.331

Runs

Atlanta

782

Slugging Average

Pittsburgh

.428

Stolen Bases

St. Louis

144

Triples

Pittsburgh

66

1966 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Los Angeles

52

Philadelphia

San Francisco

ERA

Los Angeles

2.63

Fewest Hits Allowed

Los Angeles

1,287

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Los Angeles

84

Fewest Walks Allowed

Los Angeles

356

Saves

Pittsburgh

43

Shutouts

Los Angeles

20

Strikeouts

Los Angeles

1,084



On April 12, 1966, baseball made its debut in Atlanta, Georgia when the Milwaukee Braves moved their "home" to Fulton County Stadium. Nearly a quarter-million fans watch the pre-game parade and 50,671 fans attended the inaugural game where the Pirates won 3-2 on a 13th inning Willie Stargell home run.

On April 24, 1966, Willie Mays tied Mel Ott for the National League record for career home runs when he hit his 511th long ball. On May 4, 1966, Claude Osteen of the Dodgers served up the record breaker and Mays stood at the top of the senior circuit.

On October 2, 1966, one of the most dominant pitchers of the era recorded his final victory. Sandy Koufax won his 27th of the season and captured the Dodgers second consecutive pennant before hanging up his spikes at the top of his career. Asked why he chose to leave the game at this moment he replied, "I've got a lot of years to live after baseball and I would like to live them with the complete use of my body."

Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac13h
Joe Grzenda will be laid to rest today in St. Catherine's Cemetery, Moscow, PA. Eight-year career, 219 GP, #Tigers,… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac13h
RIP Pumpsie Green (baseball-almanac.com/players/player…). SO much more than just 1st African-American with #Boston #RedSox. In-d… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac14h
Happy Birthday Derek Dietrich (baseball-almanac.com/players/player…). Two new DYK items added - a team record he set in 2016 wit… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac17 Jul
Sir Didi (baseball-almanac.com/players/player…) hit 4th slam with #Yankees, each WHILE PLAYING SS, new team record! Some… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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End of an Era 😢. Q: "Earlier this month you reported the death of Glenn Mickens, a Brooklyn Dodger, how many of the… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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ICYMI: The Michael Chavis grand slam was caught by an employee on the 14th floor of The Pru (#PrudentialTower).… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac15 Jul
Donn Clendenon (baseball-almanac.com/players/player…): born OTD1935. Bud Harrelson said, "He was the MVP -- a very dangerous pla… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac14 Jul
UPDATED: Phillip Ervin joined 6-for-6 Club [baseball-almanac.com/feats/6_hits_1…]. EVERY instance in #MLB history, every extra-i… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac13 Jul
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Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac12 Jul
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Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac12 Jul
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