The fifty-star Flag of the United States was officially dedicated on July 4. The newly expanded banner had been modified following the admission of the 50th state, Hawaii, on August 21, 1959 with an Executive Order filed by President Eisenhower providing the arrangement of nine rows of stars staggered horizontally and eleven rows staggered vertically.
President Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1960 enabling federal judges to appoint referees to hear persons claiming that state election officials had denied minorities the right to register and vote. Though well intended, the statute proved ineffective, making it necessary for President Lyndon B. Johnson to persuade Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act in 1965.
John F. Kennedy, a first-ballot nominee, defeated Richard Nixon to become the youngest President ever elected in the United States. Winning by a narrow margin in the popular vote, Kennedy became the first Roman Catholic President and immediately set out to redeem his campaign pledge to get America moving again. His economic programs launched the country on its longest sustained expansion since World War II.
On Opening Day, "Teddy Baseball" (Ted Williams) tied the "Iron Horse" (Lou Gehrig) with the 493rd home run of his career. The 500' blast in his first at-bat remained the only bright moment for Boston as the Washington Senators' Camilo Pascual struck out 11 Red Sox batters on the way to a 10-1 victory. Williams hit number 500 later that season with a 3-1 win over the Cleveland Indians on June 17.
American League Most Valuable Player Roger Maris debuted as a New York Yankee against the Boston Red Sox with 2 home runs and 4 RBIs en route to an 8-4 win at Fenway Park.
Baltimore Orioles catcher Clint Courtney became the first at his position to complete 2 career unassisted double plays during a 5-3 loss to the New York Yankees.
George Crowe of the St. Louis Cardinals hit four-pinch homers for a Major League career record of fourteen.
Baseball's greatest defensive player became baseball's greatest offensive player with a single at-bat during the Pittsburgh Pirates versus New York Yankees World Series. After being statistically dominated by their American League rivals for six outings, the National League champions found themselves with their backs against the wall at Forbes Field for Game 7. Stats mattered little in the end though as second baseman Bill Mazeroski stepped up to the plate (in the bottom of the ninth) and delivered a desperate, bases-empty home run for the 10-9 victory and the first Pirates World Championship in thirty-five years.
The Los Angeles Dodgers set an all-time National League record for attendance with 2,253,887 coming out to the Coliseum.
Bill Veeck became the first to break uniform tradition after putting the names of his players on the backs of their Chicago White Sox jerseys. In reaction, the rest of the league's teams sent formal protests to the commissioner's office demanding that the names be removed. After hearing both sides, it was determined that each team would have the option to add their names or stay with the traditional number only.
Television icon Gene Autry attended the annual American League owners meeting while investigating possible broadcasting opportunities. After realizing Autry's true respect for the game of baseball as well as his political connections in California, American League President Joe Cronin nominated him for ownership. The result was the birth of the California Angels expansion franchise.
The Sporting News named Boston Red Sox icon Ted Williams as their "Player of the Decade" for the 1950s.
The last remaining chapter in the Negro Leagues disbanded after a steady decline in talent due to the inclusion and rapid growth of African-American players in the Major Leagues.
"There wasn't any one thing (that caused him to resign after an Opening Day loss in 1960), just a lot of things. I'm forty-nine and I want to live to be fifty." - Phillies Manager Eddie Sawyer
Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard
Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard
On July 19, 1960, Juan Marichal of the San Francisco Giants made his Major League debut and pitched a one-hitter, twelve strikeout, 2-0 victory versus the Philadelphia Phillies. Did you know that the lone single was hit by Clay Dalrymple ?
What a great summer for Pirate fans. After enduring a decade of horrible baseball — hallelujah! The last Buc team to move into the World Series was in 1927 which, unfortunately, meant facing and being lambasted by the legendary Yanks of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
The 1960 Bucs were led by the chorus of Roberto Clemente, 2B Bill Mazeroski and SS Dick Groat along with pitcher Vern Law. They assumed and held on to first place almost from day one.
The Braves provided an early- and mid-season challenge. The Cardinals helped the Pirates in a late May by sending them pitcher Vinegar Bend Mizell and his 13 wins in exchange for SS Julian Javier. The Dodger with aging Duke Snider, Gil Hodges and Carl Furillo being relegated to part time duty never challenged.
#1 Pittsburgh Pirates (95-59) . In addition to the threesome of batters noted above, great offensive support was provided by the inspirational and gutsy 3B Don Hoak, the home run power of 1B Dick Stuart and the consistency of OF Bob Skinner. SS Groat won the NL batting title hitting .328. The Bucs had the highest team batting average in the NL. In addition to pitcher Vern Law’s 20 wins, the pitching staff boasted Bob Friend, Vinegar Bend Mizell and Harvey Haddix, all with double-digit win seasons.
#2 Milwaukee Braves (88-66) . Warren Spahn, Lew Burdette and Bob Buhl were as efficient as ever combining to win 56 games. Same held true for the bomb squad of Hank Aaron, Eddie Matthews and Joe Adcock who combined for 104 home runs. The Braves totaled 170 home runs the highest in the NL. The only weak link to this team was the bullpen.
#3 St. Louis Cardinals (86-68) . Hope was springing forth in St. Louis. After a disastrous seventh place in ’59, a 15-game win improvement was enthusiastically embraced by their fans It was no longer just Stan Musial. Newcomers SS Julian Javier and Curt Flood, a maturing 1B Bill White, and the continuing fine production from 3B Ken Boyer (.304, 32 hrs, 97 RBIs) supplied the offense. Add to this was a big step up from pitcher Ernie Broglio with 21 wins with solid seasons from Lindy McDaniel and Larry Jackson made the advancement possible.
#4 Los Angeles Dodgers (82-72) . Falling from first place to a never challenging fourth was unexpected. It was now very evident that the days of Duke Snider and Gil Hodges were over. The power was gone. New faces like 1B Norm Larker and 2B Charlie Neal could not reach the fences. The excitement for the team came from SS Maury Wills who stole 60 bases to lead the NL - the first of many years in his illustrious career. The young pitching staff was maturing and had the lowest ERA in the NL.
#5 San Francisco Giants (79-75) . With the addition of a full year of 1B Willie McCovey to Willie Mays and Orlando Cepeda much was expected, but little was delivered. Although Mays and Cepeda continued to deliver. McCovey was still feeling his way hitting only .238. The pitching staff was not up for the task. Sam Jones fell from his 21 win season to 16 and Johnny Antonelli reversed back to inconsistency and won only six games. Twenty-one year-old Mike McCormick posted the lowest ERA in the NL.
#6 Cincinnati Reds ( 67-87) . Frank Robinson produced with 31 home runs, but the remaining part of the power offense faded. Journeyman pitcher Bob Purkey surprised by winning 17 games but the newly acquired Cal McLish was a disaster, falling to 4-14.
#7 Chicago Cubs (60-94) . The off-season pick up of OF Richie Ashburn kept outfielder Billy Williams on the bench. Twenty-year-old Ron Santo made his debut taking over 3B. Neither of them was ready to support the one man Ernie Banks show who once again hit over 40 home runs and 100 RBIs. Twenty game loser Glen Hobbs was the ace of the beleaguered pitching staff.
#8 Philadelphia Phillies (59-85) . Last place for three consecutive years with little hope in sight. Richie Ashburn was gone so there was no consistency at the plate, which was coupled with no power. It was sad to see the once indestructible Robin Roberts fall to a 12-win, 16-loss season.
On August 18, 1960, Lew Burdette of the Milwaukee Braves hit Tony Gonzalez of the Philadelphia Phillies during the fifth inning. Burdette went on to record a complete game, no-hit , no-walk, 1-0, victory.