February 22, 2024

Had ’em All the Way: The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates

February 8, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Preface It was 1955 when my dad took me to Forbes Field to see my first major league baseball game. I was nine years old. Our family lived in North Carolina, and every year during Dad’s vacation week, we visited Indiana, Pennsylvania, which is about sixty miles to the east of Pittsburgh. Indiana was my […]

The Glory Days: Six Pitchers with Hall of Fame Credentials

June 23, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

Okay, I’m just going to throw some numbers out there for you. They are pitching numbers, the heart of them etched in the 1960s and 70s. Before we start, keep in mind that three of the six pitchers statistically chronicled here are in the Hall of Fame. (a) 14 years, 209-166, 2.95, 49 shutouts, 3432 […]

The Glory Days: First NL Expansion Draft

June 10, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

The New York Mets and the Houston Colt .45s stocked their rosters with players selected in the expansion draft held by the National League on October 10 of 1961 at the Netherland-Hilton Hotel in Cincinnati. The Mets’ brain trust was headed up by general manager George Weiss and manager Casey Stengel, both of whom had […]

The Glory Days: Stocking the Angels and Senators

June 1, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

On December 14, 1960, an expansion draft was held to stock the Los Angeles Angels and Washington Senators. The eight American League teams were required to pull seven players apiece from active rosters (as of August 31, 1960) and eight additional players from their 40-man rosters and make them available for the draft. The Senators […]

The Glory Days: How MLB’s First Expansion Unfolded

May 28, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Major league baseball’s first modern-day expansion did not just happen overnight. It was not simply the result of a shrewd job of blackmailing by William Shea and renowned baseball man Branch Rickey; they did not hold Commissioner Ford Frick and 16 team owners hostage by threatening to start a new league. The shadow of the […]

The Glory Days: More 1960s Stars Depart

May 22, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

There were other players who retired in the 1960s after having helped the Dodgers and Yankees make regular treks to the World Series in the late 1940s and into the 1950s. The best-known players from that group were Dodgers Carl Furillo, Johnny Podres, Jim “Junior” Gilliam and Clem Labine, and Yankees Bobby Richardson, Gil McDougald, […]

The Glory Days: Dramatic Homers Usher in the 1960s

May 13, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

A pair of monumental home runs ushered in the 1960s, and both blasts have been talked and written about ever since. Bill Mazeroski’s seventh-game homer was the first to end a World Series, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates victory over the New York Yankees. Various polls of fans and writers have ranked it the most dramatic […]

The Glory Days: Kaline the Selfless Star

May 6, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Al Kaline never sought the spotlight. It found him at Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, the All-Star Game and the World Series, places the light shines brightest. Otherwise, he was Everyday Al. He could have been carrying a black lunch pail, the way he went about his job. So workmanlike, so steady. Kaline was a steady […]

The Glory Days: 1960s Held Certain Mystique

March 17, 2012 by · 7 Comments 

There was a certain mystique surrounding baseball in the 1960s. Unlike today, with the Internet and satellite television providing an abundance of information as well as viewing of every big league game, fans knew very little about their favorite players. They were limited to one televised Game of the Week on Saturdays, and the rest […]

The Glory Days: Indians Showcase Triple-20s

March 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Cleveland Indians’ pitching staff rode herd over the American League the first seven years of the 1950s, leading the league in earned run average four times during that period More impressive is the fact that three times during the decade, the Indians had three 20-game winners. No other team in major league history has […]

The Glory Years: Triple Crown Winners

February 29, 2012 by · 6 Comments 

The Glory Years of the 1950s and ’60s gave us the last three triple crown performances in the major leagues. Since 1900, major league baseball has had 13 triple crown winners, nine in the American League and four in the National. That number represents 11 players since two – Ted Williams and Rogers Hornsby – […]

The Glory Days: The Original Big Red Machine

February 23, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

The 1956 Cincinnati baseball team was the original Big Red Machine. Of course, Sparky Anderson’s Cincinnati clubs of 1970-76 were given that nickname, the ’75 and ’76 teams steamrolling through the National League on the way to 210 wins and back-to-back World Series championships. But the ’56 Redlegs (that’s what they were called back then) […]

The Glory Days: The Old Left-Hander

February 19, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Warren Spahn was a wonderful pitcher. The winningest left-hander in history, his 363 victories place him sixth on the all-time list. His career earned run average was 3.09 over 5,243 innings. I am amazed that Spahn is omitted from some of the recent listings of the greatest pitchers of all time as ranked by current […]

Glory Days of the 50s and 60s: Tito’s Big Year

February 5, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Terry Francona, the man who managed the Red Sox to two World Series championships, is often called Tito. That’s because it was his dad’s nickname. And his dad was quite a hitter. So good that in 1959, he had the highest batting average in the major leagues. But he did not win the American League […]

Glory Days of the 50s and 60s: Offseason Transactions

January 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Transactions make the offseason fun. Until free agency came along, we watched for trades and waited for the blockbuster variety. Of course, those deals still pump life into baseball’s winter – the rumors alone provide plenty of drama – but now there are also signings and those rumors as well. Nobody liked trades more than […]

Glory Days of the 50s and 60s

January 19, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Oh, for the good old days when Major League Baseball meant two leagues, 16 teams and a playoff format spelled WORLD SERIES. That’s right … the best team in each league, best-of-seven, and Shazzam! Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t go around talking about walking five miles to school in two feet of snow. […]