Below are more headlines from the 1963 baseball season, including Hank Aaron's amazing performance and the World Series win for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Willie McCovey Returns with 44 HRs
Even though he won the 1959 National League Rookie of the Year Award, Willie McCovey was not altogether ready for the majors. He had to return to the Pacific Coast League the following year for more seasoning. The 1963 campaign was the first in which he held a regular job for the entire season. He tied with Hank Aaron for the home run crown that year, racking up 44 round-trippers.
Bob Allison Part of Twins' HR Trio
Twins right fielder Bob Allison belonged to the only outfield trio whose members each hit 30 or more home runs in 1963. Allison clubbed 35 dingers, left fielder Harmon Killebrew led the American League with 45, and rookie center fielder Jimmie Hall contributed 33.
Los Angeles Polishes Off 1963 Yanks
The Dodgers celebrate their third World Championship in nine years. LA's sweep of the 1963 World Series was so one-sided that the Yankees were held to just four runs in the four-game tournament, the lowest of any team in the fall classic since the 1905 Philadelphia Athletics.
Harmon Killebrew Clouts 45 HRs
Never an acclaimed fielder, Harmon Killebrew was nevertheless one of the most versatile players in recent years. He began as a second baseman, was converted to third sacker in his second season, and later also played regularly as both a first baseman and an outfielder. In 1963, Killebrew bested the American League with 45 homers.
Ken Boyer Keeps Cards in Pennant Race
Ken Boyer's bat and steady glove at third base was a significant reason the Cardinals were able to stay in the National League pennant race until the final week of the 1963 season, Stan Musial's last. Boyer hit .285 that season with 24 home runs and 111 RBI. The following year, the Cards won their first flag without Musial since 1934. Again, Boyer would be the big bat. His 119 RBI would lead the league in 1964 and would earn him the National League Most Valuable Player Award.
Sandy Koufax Quiets the Yankees
Sandy Koufax had a superb season in 1963. He tied for the National League-lead in wins with 25 and topped the circuit with 11 shutouts, 306 strikeouts, and a 1.88 ERA. Yet he said that he felt somewhat ambivalent before he pitched the first game of that season's World Series. "I felt that I had to show myself and my team and the Yankees too that they were just a team of baseball players, not a pride of supermen," he said.
Hank Aaron Misses Triple Crown
In 1963, Hank Aaron came the closest of any National League player since 1948 to winning the Triple Crown. He led in RBI with 130, tied Willie McCovey for the top spot in home runs with 44, and finished third in the batting race, just seven points behind the winner, with a .319 average.
Harry Bright Ks to End Game One
Yankees pinch hitter Harry Bright ends game one of the 1963 World Series by fanning. Bright's strikeout was the 15th K registered by Dodgers ace Sandy Koufax (a Series record at the time).
The next page highlights key events and details from the 1963 baseball season.
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