Year In Review : 1963 National League

Off the field...

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.

In 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.

In 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.

Around 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.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"That way I can see see where I've been (on why he ran around the bases facing backwards after hitting his 100th career home run). I always know where I'm going." - Jimmy Piersall on June 23, 1963

1963 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls
Milwaukee
124
Batting Average
Los Angeles
.326
Doubles
St. Louis
43
Hits
Cincinnati
204
Home Runs
Milwaukee
44
San Francisco
On Base Percentage
Milwaukee
.400
RBI
Milwaukee
130
Runs
Milwaukee
121
Slugging Average
Milwaukee
.586
Stolen Bases
Los Angeles
40
Total Bases
Milwaukee
370
Triples
Cincinnati
14

1963 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games
Milwaukee
22
ERA
Los Angeles
1.88
Games
Los Angeles
69
Saves
Chicago
22
Shutouts
Los Angeles
11
Strikeouts
Los Angeles
306
Winning Percentage
Los Angeles
.842
Wins
Los Angeles
25
San Francisco

1963 National League

Team Standings

Los Angeles Dodgers 99 63 .611 0
St. Louis Cardinals 93 69 .574 6
San Francisco Giants 88 74 .543 11
Philadelphia Phillies 87 75 .537 12
Cincinnati Reds 86 76 .531 13
Milwaukee Braves 84 78 .519 15
Chicago Cubs 82 80 .506 17
Pittsburgh Pirates 74 88 .457 25
Houston Colt .45s 66 96 .407 33
New York Mets 51 111 .315 48

1963 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls
Milwaukee
525
Batting Average
St. Louis
.271
Doubles
St. Louis
231
Hits
St. Louis
1,540
Home Runs
San Francisco
197
On Base Percentage
St. Louis
.328
Runs
St. Louis
747
Slugging Average
San Francisco
.414
Stolen Bases
Los Angeles
124
Triples
St. Louis
66

1963 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games
Milwaukee
56
ERA
Los Angeles
2.86
Fewest Hits Allowed
Philadelphia
1,262
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
Houston
95
Fewest Walks Allowed
Houston
378
Saves
Cincinnati
36
Shutouts
Los Angeles
24
Strikeouts
Los Angeles
1,095
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

On April 11, 1963, it all started with a triple - that patricular triple was the first hit for future Hit King Pete Rose and the pitcher who served it up was Bob Friend of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The extremely high temperatures in Houston, Texas set the stage for the first ever Sunday night game. The historic event took place on June 9, 1963, at Colt Stadium where the Houston Colt .45s defeated the San Francisco Giants 3-0.

Several trivia experts know that when Felipe Alou , Jesus Alou , and Matty Alou appeared in the San Francisco Giants outfield together on September 6, 1963, it was a Major League first. However, did you know that 4 days later they set an even more unique record when they became the first trio of brothers to record all three outs during the same inning (8th inning versus the New York Mets).

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