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1960 Baseball News and Highlights

Pittsburgh won its first world championship in 35 years to cap a season of unpredictability in Major League Baseball.

Major Leagues

The New York Yankees won the American League pennant by winning their last 15 regular season games. Until then they had been involved in a three-way battle with the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox.

In the National League, the Pittsburgh Pirates moved into first on May 29 and stayed there for the rest of the year except for one day, July 24, when the Milwaukee Braves held the position.

Final Regular Season Standings

NATIONAL LEAGUE   AMERICAN LEAGUE
  won lost pct.   won lost pct.
Pittsburgh Pirates 95 59 .617 New York Yankees 97 57 .630
Milwaukee Braves 88 66 .571 Baltimore Orioles 89 65 .578
St. Louis Cardinals 86 68 .558 Chicago White Sox 87 67 .565
Los Angeles Dodgers 82 72 .552 Cleveland Indians 76 78 .494
San Francisco Giants 79 75 .513 Washington Senators 73 81 .474
Cincinnati Reds 67 87 .435 Detroit Tigers 71 83 .461
Chicago Cubs 60 94 .390 Boston Red Sox 65 89 .422
Philadelphia Phillies 59 95 .383 Kansas City Athletics 58 96 .377

Individual Performances

Three National League pitchers scored no-hit, no-run games in 1960. Don Cardwell of the Cubs scored the first on May 15 when he defeated the Cardinals 4 to 0. Warren Spahn and Lew Burdette, both of the Braves, scored theirs against the Phillies.

  NATIONAL LEAGUE   AMERICAN LEAGUE
Best Win-Loss Record Ernie Broglio (St. Louis), 21-9
Warren Spahn (Boston), 21-10
Jim Perry (Cleveland), 18-10
Chuck Estrada (Baltimore), 18-11
Best Earned-Run Average Mike McCormick (San Francisco), 2.70 Frank Baumann (Chicago), 2.68
Best Batting Average Dick Groat (Pittsburgh), .325 Pete Runnels (Boston), .320
Most Home Runs Ernie Banks (Chicago), 42 Mickey Mantle (New York), 40
Most Runs Batted In Hank Aaron (Milwaukee), 126 Roger Maris (New York), 112

World Series

The Pirates beat the Yankees 4 games to 3 to win the World Series. A home run in the ninth inning by second baseman Bill Mazeroski decided the climactic seventh game.

Game 1 (October 5, in Pittsburgh) Roger Maris got the Yankees off to a good start with a 1-run home run in the first inning, but the Yankees advantage was erased by 3 Pittsburgh runs in the bottom of the first. The Pirates ultimately won the game 6 to 4 thanks to great clutch pitching by Elroy Face in relief of starter Vernon Law, great defensive work by center fielder Bill Virdon, and a 2-run homer by Bill Mazeroski. Law got the win for his seven innings of pitching. Art Ditmar got the loss.

Game 2 (October 6, in Pittsburgh) The Yankees, who would smash a number of offensive records by the time the Series ended, routed the Pirates 16 to 3 in game two. Mickey Mantle pounded out 2 home runs and drove in 5 runs to spearhead a 19-hit attack that made things easy for winning pitcher Bob Turley. Losing pitcher Bob Friend had already left the game when New York scored 7 times in the sixth inning.

Bill Virdon awaits Whitey Ford's first pitch in game three of the SeriesGame 3 (October 8, in New York) The Yankees scored 6 runs in the first inning (4 of them the result of a bases-loaded home run by Bobby Richardson) and Whitey Ford limited the Pirates to 4 hits to win the third game 10 to 0. Richardson, who batted in a total of 6 runs, set a new one-game series record. Ford got the win, Vinegar Bend Mizell the loss.

Right: Whitey Ford throws the first pitch of game three to Bill Virdon.

Game 4 (October 9, in New York) Pittsburgh tied the Series with a 3 to 2 victory over New York. Vernon Law got the win, thanks to relief from Elroy Face, who kept the Yankees in check for the last 2-2/3 innings. The Pirates' margin came in the fifth inning when they got 3 runs off losing pitcher Ralph Terry to offset Bill Skowron's fourth-inning home run. One Pittsburgh run was produced on a double by Law, the other two on a single by Bill Virdon.

Game 5 (October 10, in New York) Harvey Haddix lasted until the seventh inning and turned things over to Elroy Face, with the Pirates ahead 4 to 2. The final score was Pittsburgh 5, New York 2. A 3-run rally in the second inning had forced Art Ditmar to hand over pitching duties to Luis Arroyo, who then turned them over to rookie Bill Stafford. Stafford pitched five shutout innings before Pittsburgh scored its fifth run in the top of the ninth inning.

Game 6 (October 12, in Pittsburgh) Whitey Ford pitched a 7-hitter shutout and Bobby Richardson hit 2 triples and drove in 3 runs to lead the Yankees to a 12 to 0 rout of the Pirates in the sixth game. Bob Friend got the loss.

Bill Mazeroski being greeted at third base after his game- and series-winning home runGame 7 (October 13, in Pittsburgh) Pittsburgh led after two innings 4 to 0, with Rocky Nelson's 2-run homer accounting for half the margin. Bill Skowron homered off Vernon Law in the fifth for the Yankees' first run and New York moved ahead 5 to 4 in the sixth when Yogi Berra hit a 3-run homer to cap a 4-run rally. The Yankees added 2 more runs in the eighth. The Pirates rebounded in the bottom of the eighth, scoring 5 runs to gain a 9-to-7 advantage; catcher Hal Smith climaxed that rebound with a 3-run home run. The Yankees tied the game 9-9 in the top of the ninth. Bill Mazeroski, leading off the in the ninth inning for the Pirates, sent Ralph Terry's second pitch over the left field wall to score the game- and series-winning run. The winner, in relief, was Harvey Haddix.

Right: Fans greet Mazeroski as he rounds third base after hitting the Series-winning home run.

All-Star Games

The National League won the first All-Star Game 5 to 3, in Kansas City, Missouri, on July 11. Bob Friend of Pittsburgh was the winning pitcher, Bill Monbouquette of Boston the loser. Ernie Banks and Del Crandall scored home runs for the National League; Al Kaline scored a home run for the American League.

The second All-Star Game was played in New York, New York, on July 13. The National League again emerged victorious, this time 6 to 0. Vernon Law of Pittsburgh was credited with the win, Whitey Ford of New York the loss. Home runs were scored by Eddie Mathews, Willie Mays, Stan Musial, and Ken Boyer.

Player Trades

Before the regular season began, Detroit traded its 1959 American League batting champion Harvey Kuenn to Cleveland in exchange for Rocky Colavito, defending co-holder of the league home run championship.

Manager Changes

Eddie Sawyer resigned as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies just one game into the season. He was replaced by Gene Mauch.

The season was still young when Lou Boudreau left his position as a broadcaster for the Chicago Cubs to replace Charlie Grimm as field manager, whereupon Grimm then replaced Boudreau in the broadcast booth. Boudreau resigned as Cubs manager and returned to broadcasting after the season ended.

While the season was under way, Detroit sents its manager Jimmy Dykes to Cleveland and Cleveland manager Joe Gordon, in turn, took over at Detroit. Gordon left Detroit at season's end to became manager of the Kansas City Athletics, following the Athletics' dismissal of Bob Elliott. The unusual chain of events gave Gordon the distinction of managing three different teams in a little more than two months.

Early in the season, San Francisco replaced Bill Rigney with Tom Sheehan. After the season ended, San Francisco named Alvin Dark to succeed Sheehan as manager.

Boston fired Billy Jurges during the season and brought back former manager Mike Higgins.

Pittsburgh was still celebrating its World Series win when the Yankees fired Casey Stengel and elevated coach Ralph Houk to the manager position. Two weeks later, George Weiss resigned as general manager and was succeeded by Roy Hamey.

Other News

The 1960 regular season ended with the retirement of Boston Red Sox player Ted Williams. He finished his career with a .344 lifetime batting average.

On October 17, National League owners voted to admit New York City and Houston, Texas, both to become active in 1962. The American League then voted to expand to ten teams by 1961. The Washington Senators franchise was moved to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, and Los Angeles, California, was admitted, making the latter a two-team city. Washington would remain in the League, but under a franchise owned by a syndicate headed by Elwood Quesada, retiring head of the Federal Aviation Agency. At a meeting of Major League owners in St. Louis, Missouri, it was agreed that the Los Angeles franchise would go to a syndicate headed by cowboy movie star Gene Autry, that the American League schedule would consist of 162 games instead of 154, and that the two new teams would be staffed by players drawn from a pool contributed by the other teams.

Minor League Winners

CLASS LEAGUE FINISHED FIRST WON PLAY-OFFS
AAA American Association Denver Louisville
International League Toronto Toronto
Pacific Coast League Spokane no play-offs
AA Mexican League Mexico City no play-offs
Southern Association Atlanta Little Rock
Texas League Rio Grande Tulsa
A Eastern League Williamsport Williamsport and Springfield (co-champions)
Sally League Columbia Savannah
B Carolina League Greensboro (1st)
Burlington (2nd)
Greensboro
Northwest League Yakima (1st)
Yakima (2nd)
Yakima
Three-I League Fox Cities no play-offs
C California League Reno (1st)
Reno (2nd)
Reno
Northern League Winnipeg Winnipeg
Pioneer League Boise (1st)
Idaho Falls Boise (2nd)
 
D Alabama-Florida League Panama City Pensacola
Appalachian League Wytheville no play-offs
Florida State League Lakeland (1st)
Palatka (2nd)
Palatka
Mexican Centre League Salamanca no play-offs
Midwest League Waterloo (1st)
Waterloo (2nd)
Waterloo
New York-Pennsylvania League Erie Wellsville
Sophomore League Alpine (1st)
Hobbs (2nd)
Hobbs
Western Carolina League Lexington Salisbury

College

The University of Minnesota captured the NCAA Title by defeating the University of Southern California 2 to 1 in the final game of the College World Series at Omaha, Nebraska, on June 20.

Little Leagues

Levittown, Pennsylvania, defeated Fort Worth, Texas, 5 to 0 to capture the 1960 Little League Championship at Williamsport, Pennsylvania, on August 21. Joe Mormello, the Levittown pitcher, threw a no-hitter, struck out 16, and hit a 2-run homer. In pitching his team to the title, Mormello struck out a total of 33 batters during the tournament for a record performance.

Huntington, West Virginia, with Tom Wolfe pitching a 2-hitter, defeated Charlotte, North Carolina, 3 to 0 to win the Babe Ruth World Series at St. Paul, Minnesota, on August 29.

Oak Park, Illinois, won Pony League honors by defeating West Covina, California, 5 to 4 in eight innings on August 27 at Washingto, Pennsylvania. It was the first extra-inning contest to decide a Pony League title.


Hank Aaron
Mickey Mantle
Gene Autry

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This page was last updated on February 19, 2016.

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