Year In Review : 1958 National League

O

The United States launched its first satellite "Explorer I" into orbit around the earth. The launch was in response to the Soviets who had successfully launched their first satellite "Sputnik" one year earlier.

U.S. Troops landed in Lebanon for the first time after President Eisenhower ordered approximately five-thousand .S. Marines deployed to help maintain order after a revolt in Iraq resulted in the ouster of the pro-Western Lebanese government.

Pan Am introduced the first 707 trans-Atlantic jet service on October 27, when its first 707 airliner, christened the "Clipper America", took off for Paris, France from New York.

I n the American League

Cleveland Indian Vic Power became the first American League player since 1927 to steal home twice in the same game. The crafty first baseman first stole home in the eighth inning, then again in the tenth giving the Indians a 10-9 win over the Detroit Tigers.

Two walks and a hit batsman are all that Jim Bunning allowed as he won his sixth game in seven decisions and tossed the only American League no hitter of the season on July 20.

Boston's Ted Williams hit the 17 th grand slam of his career (along with a three-run home run) during an 11-8 win over the Detroit Tigers on July 29 th . The bases-loaded-round-tripper tied the Red Sox slugger for 2 nd place with Babe Ruth and moved him within six of the all-time leader, Lou Gehrig.

I n the National League

Tragedy struck the Los Angeles Dodgers after catcher Roy Campanella was involved in a serious auto accident on Long Island. Although he survived suffering a broken neck, his spinal column was nearly severed and his legs were permanently paralyzed.

On May 11 th , the St. Louis Cardinals set a National League record by using ten pinch hitters during a regulation double-header. Despite walking fourteen batters in game one, The "Redbirds" managed to top the Chicago Cubs 8-7 and followed in game two with another 6-5 win. Despite the lengthy line-up, Stan Musial remained the Cardinals biggest threat at the plate and posted a home run and four singles to come within two hits of three-thousand. Amazingly, the Cards would tie their own record two months later against the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 13 th .

Milwaukee Braves ace Warren Spahn became the first lefty to win twenty or more games, nine times, after beating the St. Louis Cardinals 8-2 on September 13 th . (Eddie Plank and Lefty Grove, each won twenty games, eight times).

A round the league

Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick announced that the players and coaches (rather than the fans) would elect their line-ups for the All-Star Game.

"Teddy Ballgame" aka Ted Williams, signed a whopping $135,000 contract extension with the Boston Red Sox making him the highest paid player (to date) in the history of Major League Baseball. Later that season he became only the 10 th player ever to get one-thousand extra-base hits.

Decades before the premiere of ESPN or the YES Network, the New York Yankees announced that they would televise an unprecedented one-hundred forty games during the 1958 season. The Philadelphia Phillies followed several days later agreeing to broadcast seventy-eight games in the New York City area.

Starting this season, all American League hitters were required to wear batting helmets.

"Let's keep the Dodgers in Brooklyn, So send the Phils to Trenton, the Giants to St. Paul, but keep the Dodgers in Brooklyn, the greatest borough of all." - Phil Foster
1958 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Philadelphia

97

Batting Average

Philadelphia

.350

Doubles

San Francisco

38

Hits

Philadelphia

215

Home Runs

Chicago

47

On Base Percentage

Philadelphia

.440

RBI

Chicago

129

Runs

San Francisco

121

Slugging Average

Chicago

.614

Stolen Bases

San Francisco

31

Total Bases

Chicago

379

Triples

Philadelphia

13

1958 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Milwaukee

23

ERA

San Francisco

2.47

Games

Chicago

69

Saves

Pittsburgh

20

Shutouts

Milwaukee

4

Strikeouts

St. Louis

225

Winning Percentage

Milwaukee

.667

Milwaukee

Wins

Pittsburgh

22

Milwaukee

1958 National League

Team Standings

Milwaukee Braves

92 62 .597 0

Pittsburgh Pirates

84 70 .545 8

San Francisco Giants

80 74 .519 12

Cincinnati Redlegs

76 78 .494 16

Chicago Cubs

72 82 .468 20

St. Louis Cardinals

72 82 .468 20

Los Angeles Dodgers

71 83 .461 21

Philadelphia Phillies

69 85 .448 23

1958 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Philadelphia

573

Batting Average

Milwaukee

.266

Doubles

Pittsburgh

68

Hits

Philadelphia

1,424

Home Runs

Chicago

182

On Base Percentage

Philadelphia

.341

Runs

San Francisco

727

Slugging Average

Chicago

.426

Stolen Bases

Los Angeles

73

Triples

Pittsburgh

68

1958 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Milwaukee

72

ERA

Milwaukee

3.22

Fewest Hits Allowed

Milwaukee

1,261

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Pittsburgh

123

Fewest Walks Allowed

Cincinnati

419

Saves

Pittsburgh

41

Shutouts

Milwaukee

16

Strikeouts

Los Angeles

855



The Baseball Writers Association did not select any players to the National Baseball Hall of Fame , but they did pick a Silver Anniversary team which included: 1B Lou Gehrig , 2B Rogers Hornsby , 3B Pie Traynor , SS Honus Wagner , C Bill Dickey , OF Ty Cobb , OF George Sisler , OF Babe Ruth , P Walter Johnson , P Lefty Grove , P Carl Hubbell , and managed by John McGraw .

On Opening Day, Major League baseball was played in front of 23,448 West Coast fans for the first time! The transplanted Giants (New York to San Francisco) defeated the transplanted Dodgers (Brooklyn to Los Angeles) 8-0 at Seals Stadium.

On September 13, 1958, Warren Spahn of the Milwaukee Braves won his 20th game of the season - the 9th time he joined the 20 Wins Club during his career and a new Major League benchmark for left-handed pitchers.

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@krbach @mcall I did typo that entry, and was off by a little, but not by much! 😉
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