1960s Notable Baseball Events & Achievement Chronology

All-Star Game at Municipal Stadium in Kansas City, 1960



World Series: Pittsburgh Pirates edge out Casey Stengel’s Yankees 4-3 at Forbes Field for the Bucs’ first championship in 35 years (Pittsburgh, October).
Two All-Star Games: National League wins twice
  • Unusual uneven alignment: National League (est. 1876) grants franchises for Houston and New York for 1962 to bring the League to 10 teams; the American League (est. 1900) reaches its 10 total a year earlier with addition of teams in Minneapolis and Los Angeles to start in 1961 (October).  
  • Representing baseball’s expansion to the West Coast, Candlestick Park opens in San Francisco for the venerable Giants franchise that had moved, along with the Brooklyn (Los Angeles) Dodgers, from New York to California.



World Series: New York Yankees over the Cincinnati Reds
Two All-Star Games: National League wins first game; ties American League 1-1 in second
  • The Washington Senators spurn Los Angeles and move to Bloomington, Minnesota to become the Minnesota Twins.
  • New York Giant Willy Mays becomes ninth player in major league history to hit four home runs in one game (May) 
  • Roger Maris bests Ruth’s home run tally with 61, but with a longer season ! 
  • Whitey Ford sets record in fourth game of the World Series against the Reds, pitching an incredible 32 scoreless innings, surpassing Babe Ruth‘s 29 2/3 innings set in 1918.


World Series: New York Yankees over the San Francisco Giants
Two All-Star Games: National wins first; American wins second
  • The New York Mets play their inaugural season with a .250 average (40-120 !!)
  • Tom Cheney of the Senators sets record for an extra-inning game: fans 21 in 16 innings against the Orioles (September).










World Series: Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Yankees
All-Star Game [1]: National League, 5-3
  • Milwaukee’s 42-year-old Warren Spahn becomes 20-game winner for 13th time for National League record.
  • The Dodgers’ Sandy Koufax fans 15 Yankees; a World Series strike-out record (Oct. 2).



World Series: St. Louis Cardinals defeat the Yankees
All-Star Game: National, 7-4
  • Giants top Mets twice in longest-ever doubleheader of 9 hours 52 minutes; second game is 23-innings at 7 hours, 23 min; Mets make triple play; 12 pitchers recorded 83 strikeouts (May 31).
  • Jim Bunning pitches perfect game, retires 27 Met batters with 10 strikeouts; best in National League since 1880 (June).

Astrodome interior, 1965 (Houston Chronicle)


World Series: The Dodgers beat the Twins
All-Star Game: National, 6-5
  • Sandy Koufax matches Bunning of last year: pitches perfect game, strikes out 14 in 1-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs (September).
  • All 20 major league teams conduct baseball’s first free-agent draft to pick 320 players at the Hotel Commodore in NYC (now Grand Hyatt).
  • Astrodome opens in Houston, after three years of construction.



World Series: The Orioles over the Dodgers
All-Star Game: National, 2-1
  • Milwaukee Braves move to Atlanta.

    Brooks Robinson, Andy Etchebarren, and Dave McNally after 1966 World Series win.

  • The first season in which the Mets did not finish last among teams and lose fewer than 100 games (see 1969).
  • Underdog Baltimore Orioles sweep the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the franchise’s first World Series, holding the Dodgers to an amazing 2 total runs; Frank Robinson becomes first and only man to win MVP in both leagues (NL MVP as a Cincinnati Red in 1961).
  • Sandy Koufax wins his third (1963, 1965) Cy Young for pitching, unprecedented when the award was for all MLB, not one for each league as it became in 1967.





World Series: St. Louis Cardinals defeat the Boston Red Sox
All-Star Game: National again, 2-1 (in 15 innings)
  • 22-year-old Tom Seaver makes pitching debut with the Mets which at the time had 260 wins and 574 losses for a .322 win percentage; starts team revival that culminated with the championship two years later.
  • The American League clears Athletics to move from Kansas City to Oakland; plans expansion to twelve teams with new franchises in Kansas City and Seattle by 1971. 



World Series: Detroit Tigers over the Cardinals
All-Star Game: National, 1-0 (Astrodome) 
  • The Baltimore Orioles start their string of 18 winning seasons, second winningest in baseball history behind the Yankees’ 1926-64 streak.
  • Oakland As’ Jim “Catfish” Hunter pitches the American League’s first perfect

    Hunter (si.com)

    game in regular season play since 1922.
  • National League plans for expansion to 12 teams by 1969, adding San Diego as well as Montreal which pledged to build baseball’s second domed stadium (May). 
  • Don Drysdale set a major league record by pitching 58 2/3 scoreless innings in a row !
  • Denny McLain of the Detroit Tigers accomplishes what no man has been able to do since 1931: win 30 games in one season ! McLain contributes to the idea of the domineering pitcher and the disappearing hitter with such pitches as “the slider.” 
  • Bob Gibson passes Koufax’s record of 15 strikeouts with 17 in first World Series game against the Tigers.
  • San Francisco Giants’ Juan Marichal had his best season, 26-9, with a 2.43 ERA with 30 complete games. In an era of incredible pitching (Illustrations below), he won more games and struck out more batters than anyone else in the 1960s proper. The Giants retired Marichal’s number 27 when he retired in 1975. 



World Series: Mets beat Baltimore
All-Star Game: National, 9-3

  • The “Miracle Mets” (.617) upset a fine Baltimore Orioles team 4 to 1 to win the World Series, a remarkable feat for a team founded in 1962.
  • MLB lowers the height of the pitcher’s mound from 15” to 10” after 1968’s “Year of the Pitcher” (e.g., Bob Gibson, Denny McLain), shrinks the strike zone, and enforces rules about illegal pitches. Despite revisions, pitcher Steve Carleton strikes out a record 19 New York Mets for the St. Louis Cardinals (September 15); or the following year, 1970, when Tom Seaver matches Carleton but with 10 in a row !!! (April 22).




World Series: Baltimore beats the Reds
All-Star Game: National, 5-4.
  • The Seattle Pilots move to Milwaukee to become the Brewers.
  • MLB umpires strike for the first time, Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh
  • Tom Seaver of the NY Mets wins over the Padres, 2-1, setting a strikeout record of 19 batters – including 10 in a row!



World Series: The Pittsburgh Pirates win over the Orioles
All-Star Game: American ( ! ), 6-4
  • Senators vote to move from nation’s capital to Arlington, Texas (September).



World Series: The Oakland Athletics beat Cincinnati
All-Star Game: National, 4-3






World Series: Oakland beats the Mets
All-Star Game: National, 7-1
  • MLB’s 24 owners agree in Chicago to allow the American League to use a designated pinch-hitter to bat for the pitcher without forcing him from the game (September, “designated hitter rule”). 



World Series: Oakland beats the Dodgers
All-Star Game: National, 7-2
  • Nolan Ryan (California Angels) pitches third no-hitter, with 15 strikeouts against the Twins; becomes the sixth pitcher in major league history to do this, joining Sandy Koufax, the only man to pitch four; Bob Feller, Jim Maloney, Larry Corcoran, and Cy Young (September); New York Times reports Ryan achieves 100.9 MPH fast ball (September 9).
  • Frank Robinson becomes MLB’s first black manager, taking the helm of the Cleveland Indians; says “the only reason I’m the first black manager is that I was born black.”
  • 40-year-old Hank Aaron hits 715th homer to break Babe Ruth’s record, with Governor Jimmy Carter in attendance in Atlanta.
  • St. Louis Cardinals’ Lou Brock sets major league record for stolen bases in one season at 105.
  • Baseball’s longest night game ends at 3:13 am: 25 innings, 50 players, 12 records, and 15 dozen baseballs (Mets-Cardinals).
  • A’s win third straight World Series.
  • The tale of two pitchers: Edward “Whitey” Ford calls it quits; Yankees retire his jersey #16; the Yankees sign Jim “Catfish” Hunter for a record $3.75 million, a record for sport. 



World Series: Reds defeat Red Sox
All-Star Game: National, 6-3
  • Rod Carew wins 4th American League consecutive batting title.
  • Rennie Stennett gets 7 hits as Pirates hammer the Cubs 22-0 (October).
  • Cincinnati wins its first championship in 35 years.
  • Fred Lynn of the Red Sox becomes the first rookie to win the MVP in his league.
  • Baseball’s “reserve system” which binds a player to his team until he is traded or retires challenged by a labor arbitrator’s ruling that two pitchers, Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally, were “free agents” who could sell their services to the highest bidder.

Some big hitters, 1960-1975

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