In 1967, some serious on-field injuries turned out to be lucky escapes, and competition among teams was fierce to the end. Here are some of the headlines of the 1967 baseball season:
Hank Aaron Zeroes in on 500 Home Runs
In the mid-1960s, Hank Aaron said that he hoped to hit around 500 home runs in his career. He had 481 dingers at the end of the 1967 season, his fourth and last as the National League-leader. Aaron cleared the 500 mark in 1968.
Carl Yastrzemski Leads Across the Board
Although Carl Yastrzemski led the American League in almost every major offensive department in 1967 -- .326 batting average, .622 slugging average, 112 runs scored, 189 hits, 44 homers (tied for first), 360 total bases, 121 RBI, .421 OBP -- he was not a unanimous MVP selection. One New York writer voted for Cesar Tovar of the Twins. Some observers felt the reason for the choice was that the Red Sox took the flag while the Yankees finished ninth.
Lou Brock: Best in Runs, Steals
Lou Brock topped the National League in thefts in 1967 with 52, tied for first in runs scored with 113, and was second in total bases with 325 and hits with 206. Defense was another story: For the fourth consecutive year, Brock led National League outfielders in errors.
Dick Williams Wins American League Pennant
Dick Williams of the Red Sox joined a select fraternity in 1967 when he won a pennant in his first season managing. Three years earlier, in his last season as a player, Williams hit .159 for the Crimson Hose. He then managed the minor league Sox affiliate in Toronto for two campaigns before assuming the Boston helm.
Orlando Cepeda Wins Unanimous MVP Vote
Reaping the rewards that came with playing on a pennant-winning team, Orlando Cepeda was a unanimous choice for the National League MVP Award in 1967. He hit .325 that year, tallying 25 home runs and a league-high 111 RBI. Six years earlier, he posted a better season (.311 with 46 home runs and 142 RBI) yet finished second in the voting because his team at the time (the Giants) was an also-ran.
Jim Lonborg Leads Loop in Wins, Ks
A skiing accident deprived Jim Lonborg of the greatness that might have been his. He was the top pitcher in the American League in 1967 at age 24, tying for most wins in the circuit with 22 and topping the loop with 246 strikeouts. He did not again hurl more than 200 innings in a season until five years later. In 1978, his final full season, Lonborg logged 22 starts yet just 114 innings.
Ron Santo's 96 Walks Lead National League
Although Ron Santo led the National League in bases on balls four times during the 1960s, he never walked more than 100 times in a season. Between 1964 and 1968, no National League player broke the 100-walk barrier. In 1964, Santo topped the senior circuit with just 86 walks, the fewest since 1933 by a leader in either league. In 1967, he posted a loop-high 96 walks, 35 fewer than the American League-high.
Tommy John: 2.47 ERA, Ten Wins
Although Tommy John placed fourth in the American League in 1967 with a 2.47 ERA, he had only a 10-13 record. His team, the White Sox, batted .225 and scored just 531 runs that year, making life miserable for all the club's hurlers. No regular on the Pale Hose hit above .241 that season.
Additional headlines from the 1967 baseball season are on the next page.
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