Year In Review : 1963 American League

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Minister and civil-rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King led over two hundred thousand people in the largest non-violent demonstration ever held to support the passage of civil rights legislation. The historic march on Washington D.C. was highlighted by King's infamous "I have a dream" speech in which he stated "…one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: we hold these truths to be self evident; that all men are created equal."

On November 22 nd , President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed as he rode through the streets of Dallas, Texas aboard the presidential motorcade. Lee Harvey Oswald was later identified as the lone assassin although his guilt was never proven in a court of law. While in police custody, Oswald himself was shot and killed by nightclub owner Jack Ruby.

As a first step toward ending the "Cold War", a test ban agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union was ratified by the Senate on October 10. The contract between the world's two superpowers prohibited any future above ground testing of nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

I n the American League

Detroit Tiger Billy Bruton tied a Major League record for most doubles in a single game after hitting four straight to top the Washington Senators 5-1 on May 19 th . Teammate and rookie pitcher Bill Faul matched Bruton's efforts on the mound while tossing a three hitter in his first Major League start.

On May 22 nd , Mickey Mantle hit what is considered by many experts to be the longest homerun in Major League history. Batting left-handed against the visiting Kansas City A's at Yankee Stadium, Mantle opened the eleventh inning with a monumental blast off Bill Fisher that traveled three-hundred seventy-four feet from home plate, bouncing off of the third tier facade and falling just inches short of going out of the stadium. A senior physicist from the University of Arizona, Professor J.E. McDonald, calculated the estimated distance the ball would have traveled at six-hundred twenty feet.

Cleveland pitcher Early Wynn finally won his 300 th (and final) game thanks to a little help from the Indian's bullpen. After losing eight straight and struggling through five innings during the second half of a Kansas City doubleheader, Wynn was replaced by relief man Jerry Walker who tossed four scoreless sides en route to a 7-4 win over the Athletics.

I n the National League

Chicago Cubs first baseman Ernie Banks became the first National League player to tally twenty-two putouts (and twenty-three chances) in a game, during a May 9 th , 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

On June 15 th , Juan Marichal set two records after becoming the first Latin American pitcher AND only the second Giant (Carl Hubbell, 1929) to pitch a no-hitter during a 1-0 triumph over the Houston Colt 45s (Astros) at Candlestick Park.

Milwaukee Brave veteran Warren Spahn topped the National League record for most starts (previously held by Grover Alexander) with his 601 st appearance on the mound during a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 23 rd . Later in the season Spahn tied Christy Mathewson's National League record with his thirteenth, twenty-win season and became the oldest to do so at age forty-two.

A round the League

The Major League Rules Committee voted to expand the strike zone, extending it from the top of the shoulders to the bottom of the knees restoring its original pre-1950 specifications.

On September 6 th , Major League Baseball celebrated its 100,000 th game with a classic match-up between the Cleveland Indians and Washington Senators at D.C. Stadium.

St. Louis Cardinals' slugger Stan Musial made a record 24 th All-Star Game appearance as his National League teammates combined to beat their American League counterparts 5-3 in the Midsummer Classic.

Houston Colt 45s (Astros) manager Harry Craft shocked the New York Mets after starting an all-rookie line-up during a September 27 th contest. Fifteen rookies appeared in all, but were bested by the older and wiser Mets who "mentored" them with a 10-3 lesson in experience.

"I can see how he (Sandy Koufax) won 25 games, but what I can't understand is how he lost five." - Yogi Berra in 1963 World Series
1963 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Boston

95

Batting Average

Boston

.321

Doubles

Boston

40

Hits

Boston

183

Home Runs

Minnesota

45

On Base Percentage

Boston

.419

RBI

Boston

118

Runs

Minnesota

99

Slugging Average

Minnesota

.555

Stolen Bases

Baltimore

40

Total Bases

Boston

319

Triples

Minnesota

13

1963 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Minnesota

18

New York

ERA

Chicago

2.33

Games

Baltimore

71

Saves

Baltimore

27

Shutouts

Chicago

7

Strikeouts

Minnesota

202

Winning Percentage

New York

.774

Wins

New York

24

1963 American League

Team Standings

New York Yankees

104 57 .646 0

Chicago White Sox

94 68 .580 10½

Minnesota Twins

91 70 .565 13

Baltimore Orioles

86 76 .531 18½

Detroit Tigers

79 83 .488 25½

Cleveland Indians

79 83 .488 25½

Boston Red Sox

76 85 .472 28

Kansas City Athletics

73 89 .451 31½

Los Angeles Angels

70 91 .435 34

Washington Senators

56 106 .346 48½

1963 American League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Detroit

592

Batting Average

Minnesota

.255

Doubles

Boston

247

Hits

Minnesota

1,408

Home Runs

Minnesota

225

On Base Percentage

Detroit

.329

Runs

Minnesota

767

Slugging Average

Minnesota

.430

Stolen Bases

Baltimore

97

Triples

Chicago

40

1963 American League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

New York

59

ERA

Chicago

2.98

Fewest Hits Allowed

New York

1,239

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Chicago

100

Fewest Walks Allowed

Chicago

440

Saves

Baltimore

43

Shutouts

Chicago

21

Strikeouts

Cleveland

1,019



On June 19, 1963, Gates Brown hit a home run in his first Major League at-bat making him the first American League black player to join this unique set of long ball hitters.

After eight long failed starts, Early Wynn finally joined the elite 300 Wins Club on July 13, 1963. The forty-three year-old righthander (who began his Major League career in 1939) went five innings, struck out three batters, walked three, and gave up six hits in a 7-4 victory over the Kansas City Athletics.

Have you ever wondered about errorless streaks by a team? On August 7, 1963, the Detroit Tigers played their 12 th consecutive game without an error — a new Major League record for that time.

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