Tuesday, February 14, 2023

The Best of the 1960s


TRIVIA WINNER: Congrats to Alan Drooz of San Diego, CA, who identified the answer we were looking for; Archibald Moonlight Graham was the player mentioned in "Field of Dreams" and to the surprise of many was a real life player as depicted in the film. The Prize: Starbucks Gift Card.

NEW TRIVIA CONTEST:  By answering the TRIVIA QUESTION CORRECTLY you are automatically entered into a weekly drawing for a Starbucks Gift Card.  Please enter via and please put your mailing address in with the answer so we can send you the gift card in the mail.

ANSWER to the Trivia question in the previous column: Archibald Moonlight Graham.

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NEW TRIVIA QUESTION:  Who was the slugger the Giants could not find a place for when Willie McCovey became their no. 1 first baseman and who ended up traded within the National League?

 Baseball is the place where arguments are too many and answers too few but its is probably one of the most fun things about the sport for fans. For instance, if we asked who were the best five non-pitchers of the 1960s you wouldn't need to think about it too much because there would be a consensus of  at least two-or-three but maybe not.

You would think Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson would be on the list. What about Willie Stargell, Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda, Roberto Clemente, Joe Torre, Al Kaline, Rocky Colavito or Harmon Killebrew. Well, let's break it down.

Mays and Robinson had some great years in the 1950s as did Mickey Mantle so much of their stats are not included in the 1960s. In breaking down the players Home Runs, RBI and BA were key but for players who performed greatly but were not HR hitters we substituted Run Scored for RBI and times they had 200 hits was thrown in.

Henry Aaron stands out at the top of the list. 375 homers and 1107 RBI with seven times batting .300 or better. Harmon Killebrew and Mays and Robinson would be in the next three. Probably the strongest right handed hitter in baseball, Killebrew smacked 393 homers and drove in 1013 while never batting .300. Mays hit 350 and drove in 1003 while crossing the .300 barrier four times and Robinson  belted 316, drove in 1011 and six times hit the key BA mark.

Willie McCovey makes a case for top five while hitting 300 dingers and only once hitting .300 he did drive in 821. If Killebrew was the strongest RH hitter, McCovey makes a case along with Willie Stargell for being the strongest from the left side of the plate. Mantle continued to suffer injuries and lack of playing time in the 1960s but still managed to hit 256 homers, 668 RBI and four times in nine seasons batted .300.

Of the non-homer group Roberto Clemente, Pete Rose and Lou Brock led the parade. Rose hit .300 five times, four times he had at least 200 hits and scored 679 runs. He did all of that in seven seasons. Brock played seven years scored 767 runs and twice batted .300 while getting 200 hits on two occasions. Clemente was amazing when you figure he hit .300 in nine of 10 seasons, scored 916 runs, drove in 862, and four times had 200 hits. He could easily be in the top five.

There are certainly others in the mix and we've surely left someone out, so add yours to the list.

TRIVIA CONTEST; After reading this column you can enter the weekly trivia contest for a chance to win a Starbucks Gift Card. Enter via the following email. Send 1) your answer to the trivia question at the top of the column, 2) your name, address and email so where we know where to send the card if you win 3) any comment you have on the column. One winner will be selected at random each week based on correct answers with the odds being based on the number of correct entries.  Please cut and paste or enter the following email into your email system.
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