The 1968 baseball season was dominated by pitching, but other players tested their mettle as well. Below, you can read some of the headlines of the 1968 baseball season.
Lou Brock Steals the Show Again
No player has ever been more awesome in back-to-back World Series affairs than Lou Brock. In the fall classics of 1967 and 1968, he made 25 hits in 14 games, stole 14 bases, scored 14 runs, and collected three home runs and eight RBI. For the two regular seasons, he hit a combined .289.
Wilbur Wood Hurls in Record 88 Games
Wilbur Wood made 241 mound appearances between 1968 and 1970, all but two of them in relief roles. In 1968, he set a record in the majors by pitching in 88 games. In 1971, the White Sox converted him to a starting pitcher and he made 224 starts between 1971 and 1975, the highest number over a five-year span by any hurler in this century.
Carl Yastrzemski All Alone at .300
A late-season surge made Carl Yastrzemski the American League's lone .300 hitter in 1968. There weren't even any subs who topped the mark. Offensive production that year was so minuscule that Mickey Mantle, who hit just .237, had the third-highest on-base percentage in the junior circuit with a .387 mark.
Tigers Boast Big Bats
Willie Horton, of the 1968 World Champion Detroit Tigers, led the team in home runs with 36 and batting with a .285 average. Although Al Kaline had a slightly higher average (.287), he didn't have enough at-bats to be considered a regular. Eddie Mathews joined the team just in time to play in the 1968 World Series.
Johnny Bench Catches 154 Games
Rookie of the Year Johnny Bench set a new rookie record in 1968 when he caught 154 games for the Reds. He never again worked so many contests, which contributed heavily to his longevity. Randy Hundley, who caught 160 games for the Cubs in 1968 then 151 games in 1969, was burned out by age 30.
Pete Rose Flashes Unusual Power
Pete Rose posted a .470 slugging average in 1968, the second-highest mark of his career. He collected just 49 RBI, however -- the fewest of any National League outfielder with more than 500 at-bats. Also on the Reds that year was Alex Johnson, another high average hitter (.312) who produced notoriously few RBI (58).
Don Drysdale: 14 Wins, Eight Shutouts
Despite throwing six consecutive shutouts and eight all told in 1968, Don Drysdale won just 14 games for the Dodgers that year. The following season, when he was hit hard in his first 12 starts, he felt he had lost it and quit. He was barely 33 years old.
Juan Marichal Wins 26, But No Cy Young
The Dave Stewart of the 1960s, Juan Marichal won 20 or more games four years in a row and six times altogether, yet he never received a Cy Young Award. He even won 25 or more games on three occasions, with a high of 26 triumphs in 1968, when he also paced the National League in complete games (30) and innings (326).Check out additional headlines from the 1968 baseball season on the next page.
To learn more about baseball, see:
- 1967 Baseball Season
- 1969 Baseball Season
- Baseball History
- How Baseball Works
- How the Baseball Hall of Fame Works
- How Minor League Baseball Teams Work
- Babe Ruth