DMB-Blog — 1960


1960 Deluxe Past Season with transaction and lineups available now!

1960: An End and A Beginning

by Steve Ehresman

Americans in the 1950s were on the move, enjoying unprecedented growth and prosperity, as well as a booming birth rate. More likely to be clothed in a gray flannel suit than to be “half naked [and] sweating” like Carl Sandburg’s personification of “Chicago,” we surged ahead, “under the terrible burden of destiny . . . as an ignorant fighter. . .who has never lost a battle.”

As General Electric bragged, “Progress is our most important product.”

When we turned the page and began writing a new chapter in our national narrative, few could have predicted the decade that lay ahead, ripe with promise and fraught with challenge. Perhaps we can think of 1960 as a moment when we looked back wistfully at what had seemed a time of innocence, then turned resolutely to face a future that would change how we thought about ourselves forever.

Kerry Keene wrote a baseball history called 1960:  The Last Pure Season.  It celebrates a season in the sun:  one in which the Beaver got into and out of trouble, one in which Chubby Checker showed us how to Twist, and one in which the Pittsburgh Pirates won the World Series.  Last wearing the World Series crown in 1925, the underdog Bucs faced baseball’s most storied franchise, the New York Yankees, and did something no team had done before them:  win the World Series with a home run.

Lest we underestimate those Pirates, the Steel City’s 79th iteration of their Major League Baseball team, we must remember that the Bucs were not flukes.  Finishing with a record of 95-59, seven games ahead of the second-place Milwaukee Braves, the Pirates earned the right to represent the National League in the World Series.  With MVP Dick Groat, whose .325 average topped all of baseball, and Roberto Clemente, whose 16 home runs and 94 RBI led his team, the Pirates had star power.  On the mound, Cy Young winner Vern Law (35 GS, 18 CG, 271.2 IP, 20-9, 3.08) and Bob Friend (37 GS, 16 CG, 275.2 IP, 18-12, 3.00) were durable and reliable.  Elroy Face emerged from the Buc’s bullpen to do yeoman-like work (68 G, 61 GF, 24 SV, 114.2 IP, 3.28).  For the season, the Pirates led the National League in runs scored (734) and tied for the fewest runs allowed (593).

The New York Yankees finished with a 97-57 record, winning their 25th pennant and finishing eight games ahead of the second-place Baltimore Orioles.  With MVP Roger Maris (39 HR, 112 RBI, and a league-leading .581 SLG) and Mickey Mantle (40 HR, 94 RBI, and a league-leading 294 total bases) supplying the heavy ordnance, the Bronx Bombers outslugged the opposition.  Deep and talented, the Yankee pitching staff featured four solid starters and one shut-down relief ace.  Art Ditmar (28 GS, 8 CG, 200 IP, 15-9, 3.06), Whitey Ford (29 GS, 8 CG, 192.2 IP, 12-9, 3.08), Bob Turley (24 GS, 4 CG, 173.1 IP, 9-3, 3.27), and Ralph Terry (23 GS, 7 CG, 166.2 IP, 10-8, 3.40) made most of the starts for New York, while Bobby Shantz, listed at 5 feet, 6 inches and 139 pounds, enjoyed a superb year, appearing in 42 games, finishing 21, saving 11, pitching 67.2 innings, and posting a 2.79 E.R.A.  New York led the American League in runs scored (746), home runs (193), earned run average (3.52), and saves (42), while allowing a record low 2.83 runs per game on the road.

The National League runner-up Milwaukee Braves had, arguably, the best one-two punch in baseball, as Hank Aaron blasted 40 home runs with a league-leading 126 RBI, while Eddie Mathews shocked 39 home runs with 124 RBI.  Since Warren Spahn returned from World War II, he had been the leader of the Braves’ pitching staff.  The 1960 season was no different, as the seemingly ageless Spahn pitched superbly (33 GS, 18 CG, 267.2 IP, 21-10, 3.50).  Partnering with Spahn was the MVP of the 1957 World Series, control pitcher Lew Burdette (32 GS, 18 CG, 275.2 IP, 19-13, 3.36).

The third-place St. Louis Cardinals enjoyed fine seasons from pitchers Ernie Broglio (52 G, 24 GS, 9 CG, 226 IP, 21-9, 2.74), Larry Jackson (38 GS, 14 CG, 282 IP, 18-13, 3.48,) and Lindy McDaniel (65 G, 47 GF, 26 SV, 116 IP, 2.09).  Slugging third baseman Ken Boyer (32 HR, 97 RBI, .304) was the offensive leader, while Redbird legend Stan Musial chipped in 17 home runs and 63 RBI.

For the defending World Series Champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Norm Larker hit .323; Maury Wills swiped a league-leading 50 bases; and Don Drysdale (36 GS, 15 CG, 269 IP, 15-14, 2.84) stood tall as the Dodger ace.  For good measure, the 6-foot, 5-inch “Big D.” struck out 246 to lead the major leagues.  Speaking of large, the Dodgers debuted a 6-foot, 7-inch All-American basketball star from The Ohio State University, Frank Howard, who socked 23 home runs, drove in 77 runs, and won the National League ROY Award.

The National League’s second division teams--only one of which finished above .500—could take solace in the exploits of their star players.  In San Francisco, Willie Mays (29 2B, 12 3B, 29 HR, 103 RBI, 25 SB, .319) and Orlando Cepeda (36 2B, 24 HR, 86 RBI, 15 SB, .297) displayed excellent all-around firepower, while Mike McCormick (34 GS, 15 CG, 253 IP, 15-12, 2.70) was brilliant on the mound, leading the Senior Circuit in earned run average.  Cincinnati enjoyed exceptional years from Frank Robinson (33 2B, 31 HR, 83 RB, 13 SB, .297I) and Vada Pinson (a major-league leading 37 2B, 12 3B, 20 HR, 61 RBI, 32 SB, .287).  Chicago’s Ernie Banks, MVP in 1958 and 1959, was a one-man wrecking crew, leading the league in games played for a record fourth consecutive season.  The finest shortstop of his era, Banks slammed 32 doubles, legged-out 7 triples, launched 41 home runs, and drove in 117 runs.  Although Banks had little help offensively, veteran Richie Ashburn paced the league in walks (116) and OBP (.416).  A couple of youngsters, Ron Santo and Billy Williams, seemed ready to make major contributions in the future.  Finally, Philadelphia, 35 games off the pace, had little about which they could crow.  Nevertheless, former Cub Tony Taylor (22 2B, 24 SB, .287) and Pancho Herrera (26 2B, 17 HR, 71 RBI) provided offense, despite Herrera’s record-setting 136 strikeouts in a 154-game season.

The American League runner-up Baltimore Orioles received offensive contributions from Brooks Robinson (27 2B, 9 3B, 14 HR, 88 RBI), and ROY Ron Hansen (22 2B, 22 HR, 86 RBI).  In addition, Robinson won the first of his career 16 Gold Glove Awards, all at third base.  Chuck Estrada (36 G, 25 GS, 12 CG, 209 IP, 18-11, 3.58), Milt Pappas (30 G, 27 GS, 11 CG, 206 IP, 15-11, 3.38), Hal Brown (30 G, 20 GS, 6 CG, 159 IP, 12-5, 3.06), Jack Fisher (40 G, 20 GS, 8 CG, 198 IP, 3.41), and Steve Barber (36 G,27 GS, 6 CG, 182 IP, 10-7, 3.21) gave the Birds a deep, talented, and versatile pitching staff.  Knuckleball master Hoyt Wilhelm, who started 11 games himself, was effective coming out of the bullpen, as he appeared in 41 games, finished 24, and saved 7, en route to an 11-8 record, 147 IP, and a 3.31 E.R.A.

The defending American League Champion Chicago White Sox had a great deal more to offer than did their crosstown rivals, the Cubs.  Roy Sievers (28 HR, 93 RBI), Luis Aparicio (a league-leading 51 SB), Al Smith (31 2B, .315), and Minnie Minoso (32 2B, 20 HR, 105 RBI, 17 SB, .311) provided reliable bats for the Pale Hose.  On the mound, two familiar faces, Billy Pierce (30 GS, 8 CG, 196 IP, 14-7, 3.63) and Early Wynn (35 GS, 13 CG, 237 IP, 13-12, 3.49), and one newcomer from the Red Sox, Frank Baumann (47 G, 20 GS, 7 CG, 185 IP, 13-6, and a league-leading 2.67), supplied the quality pitching often associated with Chicago’s South Siders.  In addition, Gerry Staley (64 G, 45 GF, 9 SV, 115 IP, 13-8, 2.43) was the star of the White Sox relief corps.

On April 17, 1960, the Cleveland Indians’ General Manager Frank Lane engineered one of baseball’s most memorable--if not most infamous--trades:  the American League home run champion of 1959 (Rocky Colavito, who hit 42 homers.) for the American League batting champion of 1959 (Harvey Kuenn, who batted .353.).  This trade formed the premise of Terry Pluto’s The Curse of Rocky Colavito.  Whether one believes in curses or not, the trade did nothing to improve the fortunes of Cleveland or Detroit, as both squads failed to break even in 1960.

The Cleveland Indians finished fourth in the American League (76-78), 21 games behind the Yankees.  Harvey Kuenn, wearing his new Cleveland uniform, hit .308; shortstop Woody Held connected for 21 homers; center fielder Jimmy Piersall smacked 18 long balls while swiping 18 bases; and left fielder Tito Francona enjoyed a solid all-around year (a league-leading 36 2B, 17 HR, 79 RBI, .292).  The Tribe pitching staff featured Jim Perry (36 GS, 10 CG, 261 IP, 18-10, 3.62) and reliever Johnny Klippstein (49 G, 30 GF, 14 SV, 74 IP, 2.92).

All of the teams in the second division of the American League finished with records below .500.  Washington, which would become Minnesota in 1961, enjoyed good production from Jim Lemon (38 HR, 100 RBI) and twenty-four-year-old Harmon Killebrew (19 2B, 31 HR, 80 RBI).  Their pitchers carried the water, as Camilo Pascual (22 GS, 8 CG, 152 IP, 12-8, 3.02), Pedro Ramos (43 G,  36 GS, 14 CG, 274 IP, 11-18, 3.45), Jack Kralick (35 G, 18 GS, 7 CG, 151 IP, 8-8, 3.04), and Chuck Stobbs (40 G, 13 GS, 119 IP, 12-7, 3.33) labored to put wins into the record book.  In Detroit, Rocky Colavito (35 HR, 87 RBI) adjusted nicely to his new team.  Perennial star Al Kaline (29 2B, 15 HR, 68 RBI, 19 SB) produced solid numbers.  The third Bengal outfielder, “Sunday Charlie” Maxwell, slugged 24 home runs and drove in 81 runners.  Two veteran hurlers anchored Detroit’s pitching staff:  Frank Lary (35 GS, 15 CG, 274 IP, 15-15, 3.51) and Jim Bunning (34 GS, 10 CG, 252 IP, 11-14, 2.79).  Boston’s season was a farewell to Ted Williams--who arrived in 1939, who became an immediate star, who lost all or part of five seasons serving his country during war, and who hit a home run in his final at bat on September 28, 1960 at Fenway Park.  Forty-one years of age, Williams dominated in limited at bats during the 1960 season:  310 AB, 15 2B, 29 HR, 72 RBI, 75 BB, .316 BA, .645 SA).  Complementing Williams in the Sox lineup was American League batting champion Pete Runnels (29 2B, .320).  Boston’s pitching staff was far from impressive, but Bill Monbouquette (30 GS, 12 CG, 215 IP, 14-11, 3.64) and reliever Mike Fornieles (a league-leading 70 G, a league-leading 48 GF, 13 SV, 109 IP, 2.64) posted good numbers amid mediocrity.  Finishing 39 games behind New York, Kansas City enjoyed solid seasons from former Yankees, first baseman Norm Siebern (31 2B, 6 3B, 19 HR, 69 RBI) and second baseman Jerry Lumpe (19 2B, 8 HR, 53 RBI).  On the mound, Ray Herbert (33 GS, 14 CG, 253 IP, 14-15, 3.27) pitched well in a losing cause.

The 1960 World Series bordered on the miraculous, as the Yankees outscored the Pirates 55-27, scored the most runs by one team in World Series history, and won three blow-out games (16-3, 10-0, and 12-0).  Nevertheless, with the score tied 9-9 in the bottom of the 9th in Game Seven, Bill Mazeroski made history by smashing a 1-2 pitch from Ralph Terry over the left field wall at Forbes Field.  Improbably, Mazeroski had just hit a game-ending home run to win the World Series.  In another first, Bobby Richardson was named the Series MVP, the only time a player from the losing team has received this honor.  For everyone except Yankee fans, the 1960 season had come to an historic and thrilling conclusion. 

In 1960, Jim Brosnan’s The Long Season upset the conservative baseball community.  Years later, Jim Bouton would truly shatter myths with Ball Four.  The Philadelphia Phillies were no-hit twice by the Milwaukee Braves (Lew Burdette on August 18 and Warren Spahn on September 16).  In addition, Juan Marichal one-hit the hapless Phillies in his debut on July 19.  Don Cardwell no-hit the St. Louis Cardinals on May 15 in his Cubs debut.  The innovative Paul Richards, manager of the Baltimore Orioles, devised a catcher’s mitt that was 50 inches in circumference to handle Hoyt Wilhelm’s knuckleball.  Pitchers made history in 1960, whether on the printed page or on the baseball diamond.

Pitchers were not alone in their achieving memorable feats in 1960.  George Crowe of the St. Louis Cardinals hit four pinch hit homers, giving him a Major League record of fourteen.  Elmer Valo, splitting the season between New York and Washington, received a Major League record 18 walks as a pinch hitter.  In the Junior Circuit, Pete Runnels went 6 for 7 in a 15-inning game on August 30.  In the Senior Circuit, Dick Groat went 6-6 in a game on May 13.

The year 1960 was a memorable opening of a decade both for our nation and for Major League Baseball.  We can never go back to those Sandlot days, but we can remember them.  We can use them as a framework that entertains us, that inspires us, and that unites us.  For America, the year 1960 was a watershed moment.  For Major League baseball, the year 1960 was unmatched for its legendary personalities and events.  Order the 1960 season from Diamond Mind Baseball, and in your replay, you just might save Casey Stengel’s job.

The 1960 Deluxe Past Season database contains everything you need to play games using teams and players from the 1960 season -- a full set of ratings and statistics for every player who appeared in the big leagues that year, plus team rosters, manager profiles, ballpark ratings and league schedules. Statistics include official batting, pitching and fielding totals with left/right splits for all batters and pitchers.

Also included is a complete set of real-life player transactions -- trades, disabled list moves, promotions, demotions, suspensions, and more -- plus the actual starting lineups for every regular-season game played.

If you are a registered owner of the 1960 Classic Past Season, you are eligible for upgrade pricing for this item. Send an email to to request your discount promotion code.

** Important Note ** This season database is a companion product for the Diamond Mind Baseball version 11 game. To use this database, you must also have Diamond Mind Baseball version 11. The game software provides you with all of the tools you need to play simulated games, make roster moves, produce dozens of statistical reports, generate league schedules, and more.