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TRIVIA WINNER: Congrats to Tim Fealy of Punta Gorda Fl who correctly identified Gene Oliver as the player traded for Bob Uecker by the Braves to Philadelphia. The Prize: Starbucks Gift Card.
TRIVIA QUESTION: The Giants of the 1960s only won fewer than 85 games once. What was the year?
ANSWER TO TRIVIA QUESTION IN THE PREVIOUS COLUMN: The Atlanta Braves traded journeyman catcher/first baseman/outfielder and slugger Gene Oliver to the Phillies for Bob Uecker.
The San Francisco Giants were without a doubt, one of the most successful teams in the 1960's. In the 10 years of the decade they won 902 games or more than 90 wins per season, topping out with 103 in 1962. They lost the World Series to the Yankees in seven games. Despite their aforementioned success, it would be the club's only World Series appearance in the decade.
The team was always known for its sluggers. Willie Mays blasted 350 home runs in the 1960's while Willie McCovey hit 300 more. In the mid-1960's Jim Ray Hart came on the scene and added extra power twice hitting over 30 homers, while during the entire run the club had solid defensive players such as Jim Davenport and Hal Lanier.
There was Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry too. He won in double figures multiple times including a 21 win season. He pitched over 300 innings in a season in 1969 and twice tossed more than 290. Bobby Bolin had a career with the Giants. Tom Haller held up the catching duties and was strong behind the plate.
There were other key players such as the Alou brothers who played in the same outfield for the Giants. Perhaps the Giants were too good and had too many good players. They shipped Felipe Alou off to Milwaukee/Atlanta where he enjoyed an all-star career. They sent Matty to Pittsburgh where he won the batting title in his first year there hitting .342. Jay was eventually moved to Houston.
Still they finished second five straight years to close out the '60's. In 1962 they put it all together though. Cepeda blasted 34 homers, McCovey had 44 and Mays hit 38 while Felipe Alou added 20. Mays and Cepeda both hit over .300 while utility man Harvey Kuenn whacked .290. Marichal won 25, Jack Sanford 16 and Billy O'Dell 14 while a bullpen by committee shared 30 saves among 10 pitchers. Bolin and Billy Pierce shared the honors for the most with seven each.
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