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Stan (The Man) Musial retired, finishing his magnificent career with a National League record of 3,630 hits and a lifetime batting average of .331. He led the league in hitting seven times. Early Wynn, at 43, won his 300th game on July 13.
Scotland's Jim Clark became the first Grand Prix driver to win seven major races in a year. At Indy he led a foreign invasion that enlivened the mid-'60s. Clark won the 500 in 1965. In one of the wildest Rose Bowl games, USC defeated Wisconsin 42-37, but the Badgers' quarterback, Ron VanderKelen, emerged as a hero, completing 33 passes for 401 yards. Coach of the Year Darrell Royal brought the Southwest its first national football title since 1939. His Texas Longhorns were the sole unbeaten, untied major team, and in the subsequent Cotton Bowl they beat Roger Staubach's Midshipmen. Ernie Davis, the 1961 Heisman Trophy winner from Syracuse, died of leukemia. Although he never played a game for them, the Cleveland Browns retired his No. 45 jersey.
In one of the oddest heavyweight title fights, young Cassius Clay took the championship from Sonny Liston when Liston was unable to answer the bell for the seventh round, claiming a shoulder injury. Clay, who announced after the fight that henceforth he would answer only to his Muslim name, Muhammad Ali, nearly quit himself after the fifth round when he was momentarily blinded by ointment on Liston's gloves. The Clay victory was considered a shocking upset, even with the bizarre finish, because most fight experts had had difficulty taking the clowning youngster seriously. They would later.
Don Schollander became the first swimmer to win four Olympic gold medals, taking the 100-and 400-meter freestyle events and competing on two victorious relay teams at Tokyo. Donna de Varona won two golds, in the 400-meter individual medley and the 400 freestyle relay. In a vintage performance by U.S. track and field athletes, Bob Schul became the first American to win the Olympic 5,000 meters and Billy Mills the first to take the 10,000. Bob Hayes winged to victory in the 100, and Al Oerter won the third of his four discus golds. New Zealand's Peter Snell won both the 800 and the 1,500, and Abebe Bikila—shod this time—repeated his 1960 marathon triumph.
The Yankees won their fifth straight American League pennant, but for the second year in a row they were beaten in the World Series, this time by the Cardinals, who won in seven games. In the aftermath, the Yankees pulled an unprecedented switcheroo, firing their manager, Yogi Berra, and hiring the one who had just beaten them, Johnny Keane of the Cardinals. In so doing, they coined a new axiom: if you can't beat them, have them join you. Ken Johnson of the Colt .45s became the first major league pitcher to lose a no-hitter. At Washington, D.C.'s Congressional Country Club, Ken Venturi nearly wilted in the blistering sun but survived to win the U.S. Open on a 36-hole final day.
Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale won 49 games between them to propel the weak-hitting Dodgers, who had but 78 home runs, to the National League pennant in a tight race with the Giants, Pirates and Reds. The slugging Minnesota Twins, meanwhile, breezed to 102 victories in winning the American League pennant, and they defeated both Koufax and Drysdale in the first two games of the World Series. But the Dodgers' Claude Osteen pitched a five-hit shutout in the third game, Drysdale won 7-2 in the fourth and Koufax threw another shutout in the fifth. The Twins beat Osteen in the sixth game, and Dodger Manager Walter Alston was obliged to pick between Koufax and Drysdale for the deciding seventh game. He chose Koufax, who would have only two days' rest. Sandy pitched his second successive shutout and struck out 10 as the Dodgers won 2-0. Earlier in the year Koufax pitched his fourth career no-hitter, a major league record.
In a game at Candlestick Park, Giant Pitcher Juan Marichal conked Dodger Catcher Johnny Roseboro with a bat during an argument at the plate. Jim Maloney pitched two nohitters for the Reds, losing one of them, and Casey Stengel retired at age 75. The Houston Astrodome opened with an exhibition between the Astros—formerly the Colt .45s—and the Yankees. It was the major leagues' first indoor baseball game.
Joe Namath, the University of Alabama quarterback, signed a $400,000 contract with the New York Jets of the AFL—an enormous sum at the time—conferring big-time stature on the fledgling league. Gale Sayers of the Chicago Bears scored six touchdowns against the San Francisco 49ers in the rain at Wrigley Field. Olympic hero Don Schollander, 18, became the youngest winner of the AAU's Sullivan Award. Gary Player won the Open and Jack Nicklaus the Masters, and Carol Mann took the Women's Open. Jos� Torres won the light-heavyweight boxing championship by knocking out Willie Pastrano.