TRIVIA WINNER: Congrats to Mike Mescall, of New Castle, PA, who correctly stated that Carroll Hardy as the two sport player with the San Francisco 49er's and an MLB career with several teams. The Prize: Starbucks Gift Card.
TRIVIA QUESTION: How many of the players mentioned in the written article below (not counting the video) went on to become Major League Managers, and name them?
ANSWER TO TRIVIA QUESTION IN THE PREVIOUS COLUMN: Carroll Hardy played a season with the SF 49er's and had an eight year MLB career with several teams.
You know what baseball fans say after the Super Bowl is over? "Pitchers and Catchers are just weeks away." Well, today it may be just days away but in the 1960s hope sprang eternal as the new fallen snow in New York said bye-bye to the players headed for the palm trees of Florida and Arizona. The Video below may tell you more than you want to know but in 1962, there was a lot of hope in the National League air.
No, as the announcer in the video said the "Giants had not won the pennant yet in San Francisco," but after starting the seasons with a five game winning streak, by May 8, 1962, they were 21-6. It was the year of the Giants who won 103 games, including that wild playoff series with the Dodgers and the pennant clincher 6-4 on October 3rd in game 165.
The Dodgers saw Maury Wills win the MVP Award while stealing 104 bases. Tommy Davis hit .346 to lead the NL in BA and drove in 153 to also take top honors in that category, Willie Mays 49 homers led the Senior Circuit. Don Drysdale led all pitchers in Starts, Strikeouts and Innings Pitched. as well as Wins with 25. Pittsburgh's Roy Face Saved 28 to top the relievers. The Cy Young Award went to Drysdale of course in what was to be his best season (if you can overlook that shutout string a few years later). He finished 5th in the MVP voting back when a pitcher could win both. Ken Hubbs was named Rookie of the Year for Chicago but only played a short time, as he was killed in a plane crash after the 1963 season.
Houston would debut with 64 wins and finish in 8th place of the 10 team league. That was because the Cubs were so bad and the Mets were basically the Mets. Houston opened the season winning their first three games, against Chicago. Pittsburgh castoff Roman Mejias led the Colt 45's with 24 homers, BA .286 and 76 RBI. It was his only good year and his only full time season. He was out of baseball after a short stint with Boston a couple of seasons later. Turk Farrell lost 20 games with a superb 3.02 ERA.
The Mets? Well, what can you say? Gil Hodges hit 9 homers in 54 games in his last full season, Roger Craig and Al Jackson lost 44 games between them (both lost at least 20) and Jay Hook lost 19. The club lost 120 games.
And then there were the Cubs. If it wasn't for the Mets, the 103 game losers would have finished in last place. Three managers and Ernie Banks 37 home runs could not right this ship.
But as we saw in the above video; it's Spring and Hope springs eternal, unless your club is basically mathematically eliminated by May 1st. And there is a big LOL on that one.
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