Jimmie Hall virtually assured MINNESOTA (6-1) of its first American League pennant last week with the most resounding two-run homer of the season. With that one swing, Hall, who had not hit a home run in more than five weeks, gave the intrepid Twins a 3-2 victory over the second-place White Sox and shot them on a modest but extremely productive four-game winning streak. For while the Twins were beating Chicago twice and Boston twice, the White Sox lost four straight and the Orioles three of four. Consequently, Minnesota doubled its lead from 4½ to 9 games—and the pennant race fizzled. But it was just a typical week for the Twins. Pitcher Jim Grant, the league's first 19-game winner, beat Chicago for the fourth time this year. Camilo Pascual, the league's best pitcher until he was sidelined by an elbow operation five weeks ago, returned and beat the Red Sox. Manager Sam Mele continued to play hit-and-run with astounding success, also saw his players steal nine bases in two games against the Red Sox. And by sweeping another series, the Twins finished 17-1 against BOSTON (2-4) for the season. "The Twins should vote the Red Sox a World Series share." said one writer. Manager Al Lopez of CHICAGO (3-5) finally admitted what everyone has been saying all year: "Our pitching hasn't been exceptional and we haven't been hitting." Then Lopez added: "But you can't get mad at the players." Pete Ward, with only eight homers and 48 RBIs for the year, may spend the winter months at the White Sox Florida base in Sarasota. "And it won't be because I want to sec the Ringling Brothers Circus Museum," said Ward. BALTIMORE (6-3) played four doubleheaders in five days, winning two and splitting two. Last year, as a rookie, CLEVELAND'S (3-3) Chico Salmon slept with the lights on because he was scared of ghosts. This year he is scaring the White Sox. Chico hit a grand-slam home run to help beat them last week and nine of his first 10 RBIs were against Chicago. WASHINGTON (2-4) will not lose 100 games for the first year since expansion in 1961. Rookie Mickey Stanley, recalled from Syracuse, probably won DETROIT'S (4-2) center-field job for 1966 with 14 hits and several sensational fielding plays in his first 12 games. Bert Campaneris played all nine positions in one game, but KANSAS CITY (3-4) lost. He dropped a fly ball playing right field, gave up a run while pitching and was sent to the hospital when he was knocked over in a collision at home plate in the ninth inning. Johnny Keane of NEW YORK (3-5) and Bill Rigney of CALIFORNIA (3-4) were given new one-year contracts. Yankee Infielders Bobby Richardson and Tony Kubek were undecided about playing next year, even after the Yankees ended a seven-game losing streak—their longest in 12 years.
Standings: Minn 92-54, Chi 83-63, Balt 81-62, Det 80-64, Clev 77-65, NY 71-76, Cal 67-79, Wash 64-81, Bos 56-90, KC 53-90
"Sandy Koufax," said Ron Santo of CHICAGO (0-6), "could drive you to drink." In LOS ANGELES (3-3) last week the Dodgers were given champagne, compliments of the house, after Koufax pitched a perfect game to beat the Cubs 1-0. Ironically, the losing pitcher, Bobby Hendley, gave up only one hit, a bloop double by Lou Johnson in the seventh inning and, according to Dodger custom, that did not even figure in the scoring. A walk, a sacrifice, a stolen base and a throwing error—good for one run—provided Koufax with the only support he needed. "I got stronger as I went along, and that's something that had not happened to me before this year," said Koufax, who struck out the last six Chicago batters and 14 in all as he edged within 16 strikeouts of Bobby Feller's record of 348 for one season. "In the last three innings I had my best fast ball in a long, long time. Early in the game I had a great curve." Now Koufax has become the first pitcher in baseball history to throw four no-hit, no-run games (one in each of the last four seasons) and the fourth in 89 National League seasons to pitch a perfect game. He missed a perfect game last season when he walked Richie Allen on a three-and-two pitch en route to his no-hitter against the Phillies. Incidentally, Johnson, who scored the Los Angeles run, was voted the best Cub rookie in spring training three years ago. The perfect game revived the Dodgers, who had lost twice to SAN FRANCISCO (8-0) earlier in the week. Willie McCovey of the Giants hit three home runs, including a pinch-hit grand slam that beat the Cubs. Willie Mays hit three, Jim Hart and Tom Haller two each. Juan Marichal, cheered by the home-town fans in his first appearance there since the Roseboro incident, allowed only two balls to be hit out of the infield while winning his 21st game. Commissioner Ford Frick irked PITTSBURGH (4-2) officials when he told all the contenders but the Pirates to print World Series tickets. Manager Harry Walker fined First Baseman Donn Clendenon $100 for dugout backtalk. Pitcher Bob Veale twice beat CINCINNATI (4-3), which needed a two-out homer by Tony Perez in the ninth inning to beat NEW YORK (1-6). The Mets were held to one hit by three MILWAUKEE (4-2) pitchers in one game, then tied a 48-year-old record by being held to one hit again by Tony Cloninger in the next. PHILADELPHIA'S (4-1) Wes Covington had 54 hits for the year—and 44 RBIs. Pitcher Dick Farrell of HOUSTON (2-4) predicted: "We'll sweep the Dodger series. I'll win mine, Robbie [Robin Roberts] will win his and Larry Dierker will win his." Despite such outspoken optimism, the Astros lost two out of three. Reliever Hal Woodeshick of ST. LOUIS (1-4) lost again to the Phillies and was 0-11 against them in his career.
Standings: SF 83-59, LA 82-62, Cin 81-62, Mil 79-63, Pitt 78-67, Phil 73-68, StL 70-73, Chi 65-81, Hou 61-83, NY 46-100
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: SANDY KOUFAX