Minnesota Twins: 1962’s successful season brought fans to the seats in 1963, an AL leading 1.4 million fans saw the Twins win 91 games, good for third. Killer led the AL with 45 homers, Camilo Pascual led the league in K’s with 202. But we still couldn’t put it all together, coming as close as one and a half games behind, a string of losses in June and July made the AL ripe for the Yankees to take. However, the Twins crushed the ball on an August 29th double-header against the Washington Senators(entering the day 38 games back!). In the first game the Twins cruised to a 14-2 victory, with jacks by Vic Power(2), Harmon Killebrew(2), Rich Rollins, Bob Allison, and Bernie Allen. In the second game, Bernie Allen, Jimmie Hall, Versalles, and Killer would all hit ’em out of the park to a 10-1 victory. Quoting the AP at the time:
The spree set major league records for most homers hit in four consecutive games(17) and for three straight(15). The Twins slammed eight homers in the first game to equal a major league mark for a single contest. Also tied in the first contest was a record of six players on one team hitting homers.
Results: 91-70, 3rd American League.
On the farm: Single-A affiliate Wilson Tobs won their league championship, lead by future Twins Ron Clark, Jerry Fosnow, Frank Quilici, Paul Ratliff, Ted Uhlaender, Bill Whitby; ex-Twins Dan Dobbek, Jim Manning and career minor leaguers Charles Holle(13-10 in 200+ innings) and Luke Vasser(.317, 17 homers, 22 doubles and 152 hits – having spent his entire pro career with the Twins from 1961-1971, Luke’s the definition of career minor leaguer – only retiring after the 1972 season in the Mexican leagues).
Rule 5 Draft – Drafted Bill Fisher from the Athletics.
First-Year Draft – Drafted Bill Bethea(Cardinals), Jim Ollom(Yankees), Bud Bloomfield(Cardinals), drafted away John Donaldson(Athletics), Rob Gardner(Mets), Rudy May(White Sox), Reggie Smith(Red Sox), Steve Jones(White Sox). It hurts to think what could have been had we kept Rudy May and Reggie Smith through the 70s.
Key Trades – Traded Jack Kralick for Cleveland’s Jim Perry. Such a bad move for the Indians – Kralick would pitch four seasons for the Indians before retiring – meanwhile Jim Perry helped bolster a Twins starting rotation for 10 seasons. Pitching to the tune of a 128-90 record, 3.15 ERA, 1025 Ks and for the saber-friendly, a 113 ERA+ with a 3.50 FIP. Perry earned two All-Star Game nominations, and in 1970 went 24-12 in 40 starts, earning the Cy Young Award!
Card Of The Year:
1963 Topps #228 – Tony Oliva’s rookie card. Also features Max Alvis, Bob Bailey, and Ed Kranepool. I absolutely love these multi-player cards that dominated the 60s cardboard era. For comparisons sake, here’s each player’s career stats:
Kranepool – 1853 games/1418 hits/225 doubles/25 triples/118 homers/614 runs batted in/.261/.316/.377 bWAR of 5.5 highest single-season 2.5 – 1971.
Alvis – 1013 games/895 hits/142 doubles/22 triples/111 homers/373 runs batted in/.247/.302/.390 bWAR of 8.2 highest single-season 3.7 – 1963.
Bailey – 1853 games/1564 hits/234 doubles/43 triples/189 homers/773 runs batted in/.257/.347/.403 bWAR of 28.7 – highest single-season – 4.8 – 1973.
Oliva – 1676 games/1917 hits/329 doubles/48 triples/220 homers/947 runs batted in/.304/.353/.476 bWAR of 43.0 highest single-season 7.0 – 1970.
I’d like to think we’ve got the better player of the four.
Best of Media: 20th Century Fox’s Cleopatra dominated the box offices this year, despite nearly bankrupting the studio to film, and the scandalous affairs of Elizabeth Taylor and Rich Burton. MGM’s How The West Was Won, and United Artists’ The Pink Panther and It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World were also successful. Alan Alda, and Mel Brooks make their film debuts. 100 Grand, General Hospital, My Favorite Martian, Let’s Make A Deal, Magilla Gorilla Show, and the New Casper Show begin showing on t.v.’s near you this year. The Japanese cult-favorite Astroboy cartoon starts airing. Dr. Who premieres in Great Britain in November. Yosemite Sam ends it’s original run from 1945-1963, as do Leave It To Beaver, and The Jetsons. CBS and NBC adopt 1/2 hour weeknight news broadcasts. Walter Cronkite interrupts your scheduled programming to bring you the news of John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Daley Plaza, Dallas, Texas. The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Opera, The Yardbirds, and Bob Marley and The Wailers were formed. Chart toppers included The Kingsmen’s Louie Louie, Lesley Gore’s It’s My Party, and The Beach Boys Surfer Girl.
In sports, Loyola of Illinois defeats Cincinatti 60-58 to win the NCAA basketball title. The Celtics defeat the Lakers 4 games to 2. The Maple Leafs clinch the title 4 games to 1 against Detroit’s Red Wings. Sonny Liston defeats Floyd Patterson in the 1st round. In the AFL the San Diego Chargers route the Boston Patriots 51-10, in the NFL the Bears beat the Giants 14-10. In the Rose Bowl, USC defeats Wisconsin for the NCAA National title 42-37. Roger Staubach wins the Heisman. For the first time, instant replay is shown during the Army v. Navy game. The NFL’s first Hall of Fame class includes Sammy Baugh, Red Grange, Earl Lambaugh, George Halas, Jim Thorpe, the University of Minnesota’s own Bronko Nagurski, among others. The Yankees would be swept by the World Series winning Los Angeles Dodgers in four games. The NL all-stars beat out the AL all-stars 5-3 at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium, the All-Star MVP was awarded to Willie Mays(1-3, 2 runs, 2 RBI).
Beatles Check: Released: She Loves You, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Please Please Me, P.S. I Love You, Mr. Postman.
Famous Births: Michael Jordan(Athlete), Chase Masterson(Actor – Star Trek Deep Space Nine), Mike Meyers(Actor/Comedian), Conan O’Brien(Late-nite talk host), Johnny Depp(Actor), Helen Hunt(Actress), Lisa Kudrow(Actress), Brad Pitt(Actor), Jason Newsted(Musician), Jeff Ament(Musician), Vanessa Williams(Musician/Actress), Coolio(Musician), Fatboy Slim(Musician), Sir-Mix-A-Lot(Musician), Eazy-E(Musician), Les Claypool(Musician), Lars Ulrich(Musician), Scott Ian(Musician).
Famous Deaths: John F. Kennedy(President), Patsy Cline(Musician).
Twins Born This Week:
January 13th – Fred Schulte(Senators).
January 14th – Mike Pelfrey, Ron Clark, Ralph Miller, Nig Perrine(Senators).
January 15th – Don Cooper, Mike Marshall, Georges Maranda.
January 16th – Jeff Manship, Matt Maloney, Joe Bonikowski, Buck Jordan(Senators), Showboat Fisher(Senators), Marv Goodwin(Senators).
January 17th – Chili Davis, Jay Porter(Senators), Roy Glover(Senators), Lum Harris(Senators).
January 18th – Mike Fornieles.
All decade candidate: How great was Bob Allison in 1963? Lemme explain, the 1959 Rookie of the Year finished ’63 off with 35 dingers, 25 doubles, 91 runs batted in, a league leading 99 runs scored, 143 hits, and a .271/.378/.533 slash line good for a .911 OPS, 151 OPS+, both OPS’ lead the league. An All-Star appearance and MVP considerations(15th…) were announced throughout the year. Check out his appearance’s on the old TV show Home Run Derby here(vs. Hank Aaron), here(vs. Bob Cerv), and here(vs. Willie Mays). Pretty solid, I think…