The events of the 1960 baseball season were really rooted in a trade the year before. Over the winter that followed the 1959 season, in which the Yankees finished third, general manager George Weiss acquired Roger Maris via Kansas City for Hank Bauer, Don Larsen, Norm Siebern, and Marv Throneberry. Voted the Most Valuable Player, the 25-year-old left-handed hitter turned the trade into one of the century's greatest heists.
With Mickey Mantle contributing a league-high 40 round-trippers and Maris pounding the short right field porch in Yankee Stadium for 39 homers and a loop-best 112 RBI, New York had baseball's most devastating one-two power punch since Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Another 26 homers from Bill "Moose" Skowron boosted the team to -- a major league -- high 193 homers.
The Yankees needed all the offense they could get, as not one pitcher won more than 15 games. Even the great Whitey Ford was limited to just a dozen triumphs. Ten different pitchers won five or more (for a pennant-winner, the Yanks had an unusually high 16 hurlers). The Yankees won their last 15 contests to take the flag.
Chuck Estrada of Baltimore, which finished 8 games behind New York, and Jim Perry of fourth-place Cleveland tied for tops in the American League with 18 wins. Ranked third, Chicago owned league ERA leader Frank Baumann, who posted a 2.68 mark. Batting champ Pete Runnels hit .320 for seventh-place Boston. Baltimore's Ron Hansen (22 homers, 86 RBI) was voted Rookie of the Year.
The National League champion Pittsburgh Pirates had a 20-game winner in Vern Law, who took Cy Young honors, and an 18-game victor in Bob Friend. The savior of the staff, however, was reliever Elroy Face, who won ten games and saved 24 others.
On the other side of the ball, Pittsburgh shortstop Dick Groat led the league in batting with a .325 average and won the MVP title. Groat beat out some tough competition -- Willie Mays (.319, 103 RBI), Hank Aaron (40 homers, a circuit-high 126 RBI), and Ernie Banks (a league-best 41 homers, 117 RBI). Budding superstar Roberto Clemente also sparked the Bucs offense with a .314 average and 16 home runs. Pittsburgh's unsung hero was 23-year-old second baseman Bill Mazeroski, who anchored the defense with flashy fielding.
Finishing 7 games behind Pittsburgh, Milwaukee had veteran Warren Spahn, who tied with Ernie Broglio of third-place St. Louis for most wins with 21. Mike McCormick posted a league-low 2.70 ERA playing for fifth-place San Francisco. Rookie Frank Howard of Los Angeles emerged with 23 homers.
Over the first six games of the 1960 World Series, the Yankees outscored the Pirates 46-17 but couldn't win more than three contests. Law took games one and four with relief from Face, and veteran Harvey Haddix won game five. Ford posted shutouts in games three and six.
Game seven turned out to be a classic. The Pirates blew an early 4-0 lead as the Yanks went up 7-4. The Bucs' five-run eighth inning was highlighted by reserve catcher Hal Smith's three-run homer. The explosive Yankee offense then notched two runs in the ninth to tie the game at nine.
Mazeroski led off the bottom of the ninth against Ralph Terry, who had stopped the Pirates' rally in the eighth. Up to that point, Mazeroski (.273 with 11 homers during the season) had knocked seven hits in 24 at-bats for the 1960 World Series, hitting a game-winning two-run homer in the first contest. Maz belted Terry's second pitch over Yogi Berra's head and the left-field fence for the win.
The Yankees, not taking defeat well, fired manager Casey Stengel, the 71-year-old master who had engineered all those flags in the decade of the 1950s.
The next page provides headlines and summaries for some of the top stories of the 1960 baseball season.
To learn more about baseball, see:
1960 Baseball Season Headlines
In 1960, Jim Brosnan's first baseball novel was published, and Roger Maris won American League MVP. Here are some of the headlines from the 1960 baseball season:
Lindy McDaniel Saves 26 Games
No pitcher during the past 40 years was more underrated than Lindy McDaniel. He was effective for nearly 21 years as both a closer and a long reliever; on occasion, he even took a turn as a starter. In 1960, he racked up 26 saves, a record in the National League. That McDaniel was never on a pennant-winner is the only black mark on what was otherwise a brilliant career.
Jim Brosnan Tells All
Jim Brosnan's first book, The Long Season, was a genuine literary work, yet the baseball community still reacted negatively. The novel was a tell-all chronicle of the life of a pitcher during a season, from spring training through the end of the then-regular schedule of 154 games. In 1988, Brosnan found that ex-Cardinals general manager Bing Devine remained upset by the book. The pitcher's second novel, Pennant Race, was a record of his stint with the 1961 National League Champion Reds.
Frank Howard Best National League Frosh
During his junior year at Ohio Stare, 6' 7" Frank Howard was an All-America candidate in both basketball and baseball. To the chagrin of NBA scouts, he went on to sign with the Dodgers. In I960, he was the National League Rookie of the Year, hitting .268.
Bobby Richardson and Tony Kubek Spark 1960 Yankees
Yankees shortstop Tony Kubek totaled 77 runs scored that season while second sacker Bobby Richardson came up with 45 runs to help the Yankees win 97 games in 1960.
1960 Yankees Come Again
The 1960 American League Champion New York Yankees had the best offensive attack and the best pitching in the league, but both were group efforts. Art Ditmar led the team in wins with just 15. Jim Coates won 13 for the ballclub.
Dick Groat Tallies .325 BA
Dick Groat, the National League batting champ in 1960 with a .325 average, was the third Pirates shortstop since 1900 to win a hitting crown. No other National League team has had a shortstop win a batting title. Luke Appling, Lou Boudreau, Alex Rodriguez, and Nomar Garciaparra have won the crown in the American League.
Ernie Banks Excels at Plate, Short
Ernie Banks in 1960 became the only shortstop ever to lead his league in home runs (41) and win a Gold Glove in the same season. He was virtually a one-man gang for the Cubs that year. Being that Banks and Richie Ashburn were the only two team members to score more than 58 runs, the RBI total of 117 turned in by Banks is incredible.
Roger Maris Edges Micky Mantle for MVP
Three votes separated Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle in the voting for the American League's Most Valuable Player in 1960. Maris, who topped the circuit in slugging with a .581 mark and RBI with 112, took the title. Mantle led the loop in home runs with 40, runs scored with 119, and total bases with 294.
Check out more headlines from the 1960 baseball season on the next page.
To learn more about baseball, see:
More 1960 Baseball Season Headlines
Rocky Colavito Clubs 35 HRs
Like most home run hitters, Rocky Colavito had serious weaknesses at the plate. He may have had the strongest arm, though, of any slugger in history. Traded from Cleveland to Detroit for the 1960 season, Colavito posted a .474 slugging average, 35 home runs, and 87 RBI that year. In 1968, his last season, the Yankees brought Colavito on in relief in a tight game. When he got the win, he became the last American League nonpitcher to date to be credited with a victory.
Vern Law, 20-9, Nabs Cy Young Award
Vern Law received eight of the 14 votes cast for the 1960 Cy Young Award as he went 20-9 in 1960. The runner-up with four mentions was Warren Spahn of the Braves, who produced a 21-10 season. Ernie Broglio (21-9) and Lindy McDaniel (12-4) of the Cardinals both got one vote each. The reason no American League hurlers were cited is that none won more than 18 games. Law was probably the right choice for the award. He was second in the National League in wins, second in win pct. (.690), and tied for first in complete games. Without Law, the Pirates would have struggled to win the pennant.
Ted Williams Goes Out in Style
As a rookie in 1939, Ted Williams said, "All I want out of life is that when I walk down the street folks will say, There goes the greatest hitter who ever lived.' " Long before Williams retired in 1960, the year he hit his 500th home run, millions were saying just that.
1960 Pirates a Mix of Talent
The 1960 World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates were a mix of home-grown talent and clever trade acquisitions. Team star Roberto Clemente, for example, was pilfered from the Dodgers' farm chain. Clemente hit .314 with 16 home runs and 94 RBI that season.
Harvey Haddix, Art Ditmar Face Off
Harvey Haddix of Pittsburgh and Art Ditmar of New York shook hands prior to game five of the 1960 World Series. Neither of the two starting pitchers that day was around at the end of the clash. Haddix got the win, however, lasting until the seventh inning of the Pirates' 5-2 triumph.
Hal Smith Nails HR in 1960 World Series
Pittsburgh catcher Hal Smith blasts a three-run homer in the eighth inning of the final game of the 1960 World Series. The Pirates held a 9-7 lead in the top of the ninth; the Yankees, however, were not quite finished. A heady bit of baserunning by Mickey Mantle allowed the tying run to score and set the stage for Bill Mazeroski to win it.
Bobby Richardson Slams 1960 Pirates
Bobby Richardson hits a grandslam in game three of the 1960 World Series. The second baseman had 12 RBI in the 1960 World Series.
Sub Gino Cimoli Boosts 1960 Bucs
A sub during the regular season, Gino Cimoli scored four runs in the 1960 World Series to tie Pirates second sacker Bill Mazeroski for the club lead. This was his only bright moment in his ten-year, eight-team career.
The next page highlights key events and details from the 1960 baseball season.
To learn more about baseball, see:
1960 Baseball Season Highlights
The 1960 baseball season sees the making of greats and the retiring of greats. Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle begin their competition and Ted Williams hit his 500th home run and says goodbye to the game. Below, you will find the highlights from the 1960 baseball season:
- The Yanks back on top in American League.
- The Pirates win their first National League flag since 1927.
- The Pirates capture the 1960 World Series in seven games.
- Bill Mazeroski cracks a ninth-inning homer to win game seven of the 1960 World Series 10-9 -- it's the only home run in history to end a Series.
- Harvey Haddix and Vern Law each win two 1960 World Series games for the Pirates.
- Yanks outhit Pirates .338-.256, outscore them 55-27, saddle Pirate pitchers with 7.11 ERA, yet lose.
- Oriole Brooks Robinson wins first Gold Glove as American League third baseman.
- Manager Casey Stengel is fired after the 1960 World Series loss despite winning nine World Series in 12 seasons at New York helm.
- Yankee Roger Maris is American League MVP.
- Pirate Dick Groat named National League MVP.
- For first time in major league history, both batting leaders hit under .330.
- Detroit's Frank Lary tops American League with 15 CGs, lowest total to that juncture to lead a league.
- On April 17, on the eve of the season's first game, Cleveland swaps Rocky Colavito to Detroit for Harvey Kuenn.
- Branch Rickey's proposed rival major league, the Continental League, forces majors to expand for first time since 1901.
- Annual income from television tops $12 million for the first time in major league history.
- Lindy McDaniel of the Cards records 26 saves, new National League record.
- Jim Brosnan writes The Long Season, probably the best book on the game written by a player.
- National League wins first of two All-Star Games, 5-3 at KC.
- National League wins the second All-Star Game two days later, 6-0 at Yankee Stadium; McDaniel earns a save in both games.
- White Sox owner Bill Veeck is first to put names on his team's uniforms.
- Veeck unveils the first exploding Scoreboard.
- Baltimore's Ron Hansen is selected as American League Rookie of the Year.
- Dodger Frank Howard is the National League ROTY.
- Ted Williams hits his 500th homer on June 17.
- San Francisco's Juan Marichal debuts on July 19 with one-hit shutout of Phils.
- On August 10, Detroit trades manager Jimmy Dykes for Cleveland manager Joe Gordon.
- Williams homers in his last major league at-bat on Sept. 28.
- American League approves transfer of Washington franchise to Minneapolis-St. Paul.
- American League grants expansion franchises for 1961 season to Washington and LA.
- Reds second baseman Billy Martin punches Cubs pitcher Jim Brewer in an on-the-field fight, breaking his cheekbone.
- Orioles manager Paul Richards devises a catcher's mitt 50 inches in circumference to handle Hoyt Wilhelm's knucklers.
- Milwaukee's Lew Burdette no-hits Phils on August 18.
- Warren Spahn no-hits the Phillies on Sept. 16.
- Ernie Banks leads the majors with 41 homers.
- Mickey Mantle leads the American League in homers (40), runs (119), and total bases (294).
- Don Cardwell of the Cubs no-hits Cards on May 15.
- Spahn and Cardinal Ernie Broglio top majors with 21 wins.
For more 1960 baseball season highlights, see the next page.
To learn more about baseball, see:
More 1960 Baseball Season Highlights
See more highlights from the 1960 baseball season, including record-low hits and runs, and numerous Golden Glove winners:
- For the first time in major league history, war-shortened seasons excepted, no one in either league makes more than 190 hits.
- Yankees allow major league record-low 2.83 runs per game on road.
- Indians score major league record-low 2.65 runs per game on road.
- Arnold Johnson dies; Charley Finley buys the A's from his heirs.
- Jerry Holtzman of the Chicago Sun-Times helps initiate the crediting of saves to relief pitchers for first time in major league history.
- Haddix wins third straight Gold Glove as National League pitcher.
- Bobby Shantz of the Yankees wins fourth straight Gold Glove as American League pitcher.
- The Braves' Del Crandall wins third straight Gold Glove as National League catcher.
- Cardinal Bill White wins first of seven straight Gold Gloves as National League first baseman.
- Ernie Banks wins his only Gold Glove as National League shortstop.
- Willie Mays is the only outfielder to win fourth straight Gold Glove.
- Law wins Cy Young Award.
- Cubs trade Ron Perranoski and two other players to Dodgers for Don Zimmer.
- The Indians trade Norm Cash to the Tigers for Steve Demeter.
- Expansion Senators trade Shantz to Pittsburgh for Harry Bright, Benny Daniels, and R.C. Stevens.
- Braves deal Billy Bruton and three other players to Detroit for Frank Boiling and Neil Chrisley.
- Phils trade Harry Anderson and Wally Post to Cincinnati for Lee Walls and Tony Gonzalez.
- Cleveland trades Kuenn to the Giants for Johnny Antonelli and Willie Kirkland.
- Cincinnati trades Roy McMillan to the Braves for Joey Jay and Juan Pizarro.
- Buddy Daley wins nine games in a row to set KC A's record.
- Bobby Wallace dies.
- Fred Clarke dies at age 87.
- Phillie Pancho Herrera fans 136 times, a National League record for a 154-game season.
- Ernie Banks leads the National League in games played a record fourth consecutive season.
- Elmer Valo receives an major league record 18 walks as a pinch hitter.
- Giants skipper Tom Sheehan, at age 66, becomes baseball's oldest rookie manager.
- Candlestick Park opens on April 12, Cards vs. Giants.
- Pete Runnels of Boston goes 6-for-7 in a 15-inning game on August 30.
- Groat goes 6-for-6 on May 13.
- Runnels tops the American League in batting at .320.
- Groat leads National League in BA (.325).
- Howard sets LA Dodgers rookie record with 23 homers.
- Hank Aaron tops National League in total bases (334) and RBI (126).
- Chicago's Richie Ashburn paces National League in walks (116) and OBP (.416).
- Cincinnati's Vada Pinson leads majors with 37 doubles.
- Maris tops American League in RBI (112).
- Luis Aparicio leads American League with 51 steals, one more than National League leader Maury Wills of the Dodgers.
- Eddie Mathews leads majors with 193 runs produced.
- The Dodgers' Don Drysdale (246) and Detroit's Jim Bunning (201) repeat as league leaders in Ks.
- Cardinal Larry Jackson tops majors in innings with 282.
- Pittsburgh leads the National League in runs scored (734) and ties for fewest runs allowed (593).
- Yankees lead American League in runs scored (746), homers (193), ERA (3.52), and saves (42).