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Original Issue


A final report on the ups and downs of the 1960 regular season

Baseball 1960 will be remembered as the year Ted Williams retired with a Frank Merriwell flourish and Stan Musial didn't; the year the Pittsburgh Pirates won a pennant and made the oldtimers happy by hitting behind the runner; the year the New York Yankees took a .001 lead into the second week of September then vigorously won the race with 15 straight and a record number of home runs (193); and the year nice guys Warren Spahn, Pete Runnels and Dick Groat finished first. The Pirates were the steadiest team in baseball, never losing more than four straight (twice), never winning more than nine straight. Pittsburgh was out of first place only 25 days all season. They fell into second place for one day in July ("They're cracking," sneered the critics) but responded with four victories in a row in August beat back the mild challenge of the Cardinals and in September coasted home. Charley Dressen won more games than Fred Haney did last year, but the Milwaukee Braves were in first place for only one day all year. Spahn, Lou Burdette and Bob Buhl did well (56 wins among them), but Dressen moaned because he didn't have an Elroy Face. Red Schoendienst flashed early in the season but injuries and age slowed him down The surprise team of the year the St Louis Cardinals couldn't win a game in the first week of the season and were in fifth place in July, but they came fast and actually threatened the Pirates in August. Ernie Broglio won 21 garn (14 more than last year) and, with young (19) Ray Sadecki and old (31) Curt Simmons, helped to soothe the pitching problems of Manager Solly Hemus. Norm Larker of the Los Angeles Dodgers missed the batting crown in the last week of the season, but second best was plenty good enough for a fellow whose hitherto undistinguished career dates back to 1949. The San Francisco Giants started fast, faded faster. Manager Bill Rigney was fired in June, and in September newspaper ads asked that new manager Tom Sheehan go, too. The admen's choice to succeed Sheehan; Leo Durocher.

In the American League, the Yankees played for half the season as though they didn't care. Roger Maris carried the club in the early stages, but the pitchers couldn't win. Then Mickey Mantle failed to run out a ground ball, Casey Stengel chewed him out, Mickey got mad and began to hit and the Yankees caught fire. They swept four games from the Baltimore Orioles in September and turned the pennant race into a rout with a season-end winning streak. Mantle led the homer-happy New Yorkers with 40. Whitey Ford's pitching was spotty (12-9) but he won when he had to (five against Baltimore). The Orioles, young and exciting and rich in pitching, seemed to have the Yanks in trouble before that series in September. Rookies Chuck Estrada, Ron Hansen, Jim Gentile and Marv Breeding give Manager Paul Richards reason for optimism for next year. Minnie Minoso drove in 105 runs for the Chicago White Sox, but the Sox slipped to third—lowest finish ever for Manager Al Lopez. Injuries to Woodie Held and Gary Bell hurt the Cleveland Indians, but they rallied late to finish fourth. For a while it seemed that the Washington Senators might beat out the Indians for the first division, but an injury to Pitcher Camilo Pascual ruined that dream. The Boston Red Sox provided thrills only when 42-year-old Ted Williams—who announced his retirement late in September—hit home runs (29 this year, 521 lifetime).