1962 Baseball Season Headlines
Harmon Killebrew Leads American League in HRs, RBI
Harmon Killebrew paced the American League in major slugging departments in 1962 with 48 home runs and 126 RBI. He led the league in home runs while playing each of the three different positions he served at as a regular for at least one full season.
Speedy Willie Davis Ties for National League Lead in Triples
Willie Davis tied with three other players for the title of triples king in the National League in 1962; all four had ten apiece. Davis was also the circuit's second-best base thief that year, swiping 32 cushions (72 less than teammate Maury Wills). After 17 years in the majors, Davis left after the 1976 season to play in Japan.
Sandy Koufax No-Hits Hapless Mets
Sandy Koufax threw his first no-hitter on June 30, 1962. His victims, the Mets, were everyone's patsies that year. New York's five main starters had a combined 30-92 record. Reliever Ken MacKenzie somehow managed to collect five wins and just four losses for the Mets.
Veteran Bob Friend Wins 18 Games
Although he was just age 31 at the end of the 1962 season, Bob Friend had already put in 12 full years in the majors. He debuted with the 1951 Pirates, who finished in next-to-last place, then pitched for five cellar-dwellers in the next six seasons, thus accounting for his poor career-win percentage. He had an 18-14 season in 1962, tying for the league-lead with five shutouts.
Elroy Face Posts National League-High 28 Saves
Elroy Face topped the National League in saves for the third and final time in 1962, tallying 28. His work helped the Pirates triumph in 93 games. In 1962, however, with the circuit so unbalanced by expansion that seven teams finished above .500, 93 victories was good only for a fourth-place spot.
Don Drysdale Goes 25-9
Don Drysdale was the National League's top pitcher in 1962, posting a 25-9 record. He led a mound staff that, for the sixth year in a row, topped the majors in strikeouts (1,104 that season). The Dodgers' skein was ended at seven seasons in 1964 by the Reds. Drysdale's personal high of 251 Ks came in 1963.
Bobby Richardson Bats 692 Times
Bobby Richardson set a Yankees club record in 1962 by collecting 692 at-bats. Most Bomber fans will be hard-pressed, though, to recall even one of his plate appearances that season. What Yankees fans remember is the moment, forever frozen in time, when he snagged the 1962 World Series-ending line drive.
Elston Howard, 33, Finally Starts
In 1962, for the first time in his major league career, Elston Howard played just one position -- catcher. He was already 33 years of age then, and on the downside of the hill (.279 average, 21 home runs, 91 RBI). With any team other than the Yankees (who were led for years by All-Star backstop Yogi Berra), Howard would probably have been a full-time regular ten years sooner. He would not, however, have cashed ten World Series checks. Howard played in 54 Series games in his career-third most in history.
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