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BASEBALL'S WEEK
Frank Deford
July 30, 1962
AMERICAN LEAGUE No longer with us anymore, sports fans, is the Great American League Pennant Race of 1962. Last week New York stopped losing and started the wildest runaway in the league since, oh, September 1961. So winning were the Yankee ways that Minnesota, which won all six of its games, wound up losing ground. The Twins were tough because Harmon Killebrew (.474, 3 HRs, 14 RBIs) and Bob Allison (3 HRs, 11 RBIs) were hitting. Once they both smashed grand slams in the same inning, and nobody ever did that before. The Twins moved to third in the stead of the vanishing Indians, who started losing on Friday the 13th and, with an 8.22 ERA for the week, couldn't stop. To make matters worse, the boom-boom Cleveland scoreboard went off to herald a rare Indian homer, and a pigeon was killed by the explosion. Ornithologists will also note that the Orioles won five in a row. Manager Billy Hitchcock said he could detect an "atmosphere in the dugout that we're going to win," whereupon Baltimore lost three of its next four. Kansas City, battling to get out of ninth place, held the first of its "Salute to the American League" nights. Detroit promptly saluted the A's. After having hit .139 in seven straight losses, the Tigers arrived in KC and scored two wins, 8 HRs and 17 runs. Boston almost reached .500, then slumped with a 1-5 mark. Chicago wasn't much better, with a 2-4, despite Juan Pizarro's two-hitter. Ken McBride of Los Angeles had two shutouts, giving him 10 straight wins. Washington got beautiful pitching (2.35 ERA for the week) to win five quick ones in a row. Don Rudolph's win took an hour and 32 minutes; the average game time was a mere 2:12. That's nothing new for the Senators, who have played 12 games this year in two hours or less.
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July 30, 1962

Baseball's Week

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THE SEASON (through July 21)

BEST

WORST

Batting (AL)

Runnels, Bos .338

Versalles, Minn .202

Batting (NL)

T. Davis, LA .3484

Lillis, Hous .208

Home run hitters (AL)

Wagner, LA 27 (1 per 13 AB)

Fox, Chi 1 (366 AB)

Home run hitters (NL)

Mays, SF 27 (1 per 14 AB)

Lillis, Hous 0 (264 AB)

Pitching (AL)

Pascual, Minn 14-5

Schwall, Bos 4-11

Pitching (NL)

Drysdale, LA 17-4

Craig, LA 5-14
Ellsworth, Chi 5-14

ERA (AL)

Aguirre, Det 2.36

Walker, KC 5.75

ERA (NL)

Koufax, LA 2.15

Hook, NY 5.57

Complete games (AL)

Pascual, Minn 13 (21 starts)

Bowsfield, LA 0 (14 starts)

Complete games (NL)

Drysdale, LA 13
Mahaffey, Phil 13

Brown, Phil 0 (9 starts)

Team HRs (AL)

New York 121

Chicago 56

Team HRs (NL)

San Francisco 120

Pittsburgh 71

Team runs (AL)

Minnesota 472

Washington 332

Team runs ( NL)

San Francisco 558

New York 361

Team SBs (AL)

Washington 57

New York 17

Team SBs (NL)

Los Angeles 99

Houston 25

AMERICAN LEAGUE
No longer with us anymore, sports fans, is the Great American League Pennant Race of 1962. Last week New York stopped losing and started the wildest runaway in the league since, oh, September 1961. So winning were the Yankee ways that Minnesota, which won all six of its games, wound up losing ground. The Twins were tough because Harmon Killebrew (.474, 3 HRs, 14 RBIs) and Bob Allison (3 HRs, 11 RBIs) were hitting. Once they both smashed grand slams in the same inning, and nobody ever did that before. The Twins moved to third in the stead of the vanishing Indians, who started losing on Friday the 13th and, with an 8.22 ERA for the week, couldn't stop. To make matters worse, the boom-boom Cleveland scoreboard went off to herald a rare Indian homer, and a pigeon was killed by the explosion. Ornithologists will also note that the Orioles won five in a row. Manager Billy Hitchcock said he could detect an "atmosphere in the dugout that we're going to win," whereupon Baltimore lost three of its next four. Kansas City, battling to get out of ninth place, held the first of its "Salute to the American League" nights. Detroit promptly saluted the A's. After having hit .139 in seven straight losses, the Tigers arrived in KC and scored two wins, 8 HRs and 17 runs. Boston almost reached .500, then slumped with a 1-5 mark. Chicago wasn't much better, with a 2-4, despite Juan Pizarro's two-hitter. Ken McBride of Los Angeles had two shutouts, giving him 10 straight wins. Washington got beautiful pitching (2.35 ERA for the week) to win five quick ones in a row. Don Rudolph's win took an hour and 32 minutes; the average game time was a mere 2:12. That's nothing new for the Senators, who have played 12 games this year in two hours or less.

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Things were so good for Philadelphia that Manager Gene Mauch left the dugout for the third base coaching box, the better to send his men home against the Houston Colt .45s. The Phils beat the Colts four straight, have now won all 12 games against Houston. General Manager Paul Richards was anxiously scanning the .45s' farm system for more hitters, but nothing much helped. Dick Farrell even admitted that he tossed a spitter—a sweat ball, technically—to Stan Musial, but The Man lined it for a single. "I can't even get you out on an illegal pitch," Farrell groaned. St. Louis got a third straight three-hitter from right-hander Hoot Gibson but still slipped to fifth. Chicago lost six of seven with inept fielding. The league statistics show the Cubs fourth in fielding, but not included in such statistics are the 70 battery errors that the club has made. Three passed balls in one inning cost them a game this week. Pittsburgh was still a winner (5-2), and the New York Mets were still losers (another six in a row). Even when the Mets managed eight earned runs off Bob Bolin of San Francisco, they lost 9-8. Even with the powerful Giants backing him, Bolin can't expect to win that way too often. It is much easier to win by pitching five innings of shutout relief—which he did later in the week. Milwaukee played evenly, winning every other game, but the fans went berserk. They threw a beer can and a firecracker from the upper deck; somebody stole part of Manager Birdie Tebbetts" prized bat collection and a young boy interfered with a fly ball to cost Frank Boiling an extra-base hit. In Cincinnati a literary critic named Frank Howard went after Author-Pitcher Jim Brosnan with a bat. The pitchers' Pepys had written some uncomplimentary things about Howard, and Brosnan's pitching prose suffered as a result when Howard homered off him to give Los Angeles a big extra-inning win. Howard slapped four homers during the week, Tommy Davis ran his RBI total to 100 and Don Drysdale acquired his 17th win. For the Dodgers, however, the magic number is six—that's how many weeks it may be before the injured Sandy Koufax will be able to take his regular turn in the pitching rotation.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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