The virtual 1958-68 Giants, Reds, and Cardinals (Part 10: 1966-67)

Our long and winding road has completed nine-elevenths of its imaginary journey:

1957-58
1958-59
1959-60
1960-61
1961-62
1962-63
1963-64
1964-65
1965-66

In the 1966 season, we witnessed a stunning reversal of the long-holding dynamic as our Cardinals, the perennial also-rans, suddenly burst out with a 105-victory performance—only to finish second to our Giants, who rose to the challenge to the tune of 106 wins. Who will come out on top in The Summer of Love?

          Giants:  Actual             Reds:  Actual               Cardinals:  Actual
 Year    W    L  Pos   RS   RA       W    L  Pos   RS   RA       W    L  Pos   RS   RA
 1958    80   74  3    727  698      76   78  4    695  623      72   82  5T   619  704
 1959    83   71  3    705  613      74   80  5T   764  738      71   83  7    641  725
 1960    79   75  5    671  631      67   87  6    640  692      86   68  3    639  616
 1961    85   69  3    773  655      93   61  1    710  653      80   74  5    703  668
 1962   103   62  1    878  690      98   64  3    802  685      84   78  6    774  664
 1963    88   74  3    725  641      86   76  5    648  594      93   69  2    747  628
 1964    90   72  4    656  587      92   70  2T   660  566      93   69  1    715  652
 1965    95   67  2    682  593      89   73  4    825  704      80   81  7    707  674
 1966    93   68  2    675  626      76   84  7    692  702      83   79  6    571  577

          Giants:  Virtual            Reds:  Virtual              Cardinals:  Virtual
 Year    W    L  Pos   RS   RA       W    L  Pos   RS   RA       W    L  Pos   RS   RA
 1958    83   71  2T   747  692      73   81  5    683  637      77   77  4    640  677
 1959    87   67  1T   737  615      87   67  1T   802  662      84   70  4    725  685
 1960    93   61  1    709  561      76   78  6    705  666      86   68  4    661  632
 1961    88   66  2    787  648     106   48  1    813  629      72   82  6    689  724
 1962   103   59  1    800  632     101   61  2T   779  663      84   78  6    809  703
 1963    97   65  3    726  578     100   62  1    704  540      80   82  6    664  668
 1964   100   62  2    726  576     101   61  1    689  533      87   75  4    662  657
 1965    99   63  1    697  587      98   64  2    843  646      85   76  5    692  622
 1966   106   55  1    739  581      87   73  5    769  677     105   57  2    667  514

The 1966-67 offseason: Actual deals we will make

Nov. 28, 1966: The Cincinnati Reds drafted pitcher Ted Abernathy from the Atlanta Braves in the 1966 Rule 5 draft.

The Rule 5 draft is a highly unreliable source of competent, dependable major league pitching talent. Yet the Reds in the mid-1960s got themselves on a roll of plucking such a useful needle out of the haystack over and over again. In 1961, they took Moe Drabowsky, in ‘62 Al Worthington, and in ’65, it was Don Nottebart.

And this time they’re helping themselves to the best one yet. The submarining right-hander Abernathy intermittently struggled with controlling his wickedly breaking hard sinker, and thus had been inconsistent, and 1966 was one of his down years. But that was on the heels of a brilliant performance in 1965 when he’d set major league records for appearances and saves.

Thus, the wisdom of Atlanta GM Paul Richards in leaving the 33-year-old Abernathy off his 40-man roster on Rule 5 draft day is dubious, and the decision by Cincinnati owner-GM Bill DeWitt (in one of his very final acts before selling the club) to take a flyer on the veteran isn’t. Our Reds will go along with DeWitt’s reasoning.

The 1966-67 season: Actual deals we will not make

Oct. 15, 1966: The Cincinnati Reds sold infielder Gus Gil to the Cleveland Indians.

Gil doesn’t project as anything more than a utility man, and like the actual Reds, our version doesn’t have room for him in the majors. But he’s been putting up .350-plus OBPs in Triple-A, and thus might yield more in the market than just this cash payment. If we have to settle for selling Gil, we will, but we’ll hang on to him for now and see what shakes out during trading season.

Dec. 8, 1966: The St. Louis Cardinals traded third baseman Charley Smith to the New York Yankees for outfielder Roger Maris.

Like the actual Cardinals, we’re intrigued to see what the mighty-yet-fallen Maris might have left in his tank, especially far removed from the sour atmosphere pervading the mighty-yet-fallen Yankees. After all, he’s still just 32 and once presented a marvelous breadth of skill.

But we don’t have Smith, and we certainly aren’t willing to part with Mike Shannon, the third baseman we do have. So we’ll have to pass on the single-season home run king.

Dec. 13, 1966: The San Francisco Giants traded outfielder Cap Peterson and pitcher Bob Priddy to the Washington Senators for pitcher Mike McCormick.

This was a splendid deal by the actual Giants. Alas, our version has already traded Peterson to Washington, so we won’t be able to re-acquire the lefty McCormick, who’s impressively worked his way back from career-threatening arm trouble.

Dec. 14, 1966: The San Francisco Giants traded outfielder Len Gabrielson to the California Angels for first baseman-outfielder Norm Siebern.

Nor do we have Gabrielson, so we won’t be able to pick up the veteran Siebern.

The 1966-67 offseason: Deals we will invoke

Oct. 12, 1966: The Cincinnati Reds traded pitcher Juan Pizarro and cash to the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitcher Wilbur Wood.

Actually, it was the White Sox trading the former star Pizarro to Pittsburgh for the young southpaw Wood.

Though he wasn’t yet 25, the Pirates were the second organization giving up on Wood, despite the fact that his minor league stats were terrific, and he’d acquitted himself decently in the limited opportunities he’d gotten in the majors. The issue, no doubt, was that Wood just didn’t throw hard, and thus wasn’t wowing anyone.

But Wood’s control of his assortment of junk is extraordinary, so our Reds, like the White Sox, are more confident in his future than that of the struggling Pizarro. And we understand the soft-tossing kid has been experimenting with a knuckleball.

Dec., 1966: The San Francisco Giants traded outfielder Jesus Alou and pitchers Dick LeMay and Bob Garibaldi to the Atlanta Braves for pitcher Dick Kelley.

Based on his superb minor league performance (as well as his family pedigree), the 24-year-old Alou had seemed to be a star in the making, but he hasn’t been able to get it going in the majors. We’ve run out of patience with him, and also with the former Bonus Baby Garibaldi, who’s been spinning his wheels, as well, mostly in Triple-A.

The left-hander Kelley is a couple of years older than Alou and Garibaldi and has no star potential, but he appears poised for a nice run as a spot starter/long reliever. It’s plausible the Braves would take this swap, particularly given that in this scenario they don’t have Alou’s big brother in their outfield.

Dec., 1966: The St. Louis Cardinals traded first baseman-outfielder Lee Thomas to the Chicago Cubs for infielder-outfielder Jim Stewart and cash.

Our Cardinals are fed up with the maddeningly inconsistent bat of Thomas. Stewart is just a utility guy, but one with particular speed and versatility.

Dec., 1966: The St. Louis Cardinals traded second baseman Julian Javier to the New York Mets for shortstop Eddie Bressoud, outfielder Danny Napoleon, and pitcher Jerry Hinsley.

And our Cardinals are also quite concerned about the deteriorating offensive output from Javier. We still like his glove, but as he enters his 30s, we fear his value will dwindle, and so we’ll get what we can for The Phantom now. The veteran Bressoud can contribute in a utility role, and Napoleon and Hinsley are decent prospects.

(During this offseason, the Mets actually traded Bressoud and Napoleon to the Cardinals for Jerry Buchek. Unlike the actual Cards, we see the talented but erratic young Buchek as a better second baseman than Javier going forward. Oops: Javier will suddenly deliver the best hitting of his life in 1967-69.)

Dec. 14, 1966: The St. Louis Cardinals traded outfielder Walt Williams and pitcher Don Dennis to the Chicago White Sox for infielder Wayne Causey.

Actually, on this date, the Cardinals traded Williams and Dennis to the White Sox for veteran catcher John Romano. Our Cardinals see the middle infielder Causey as being far more useful than Romano, especially given that we’ve just traded Javier.

Causey is about to turn 30 and slumped a bit with the bat in 1966. But in the past he’s delivered outstanding on-base ability and the capacity to competently handle either shortstop or second base. It’s plausible that the White Sox would agree to expend him instead of the power-hitting Romano in order to get this pair of young players they like, in particular the 22-year-old No-Neck, who’d hit .330 with 54 doubles in Triple-A in 1966.

Dec. 15, 1966: The Cincinnati Reds traded third baseman-first baseman Deron Johnson, pitchers Jim O’Toole and Ted Davidson, and infielder Gus Gil to the Chicago White Sox for third baseman-outfielder Pete Ward, catcher John Romano, outfielder Floyd Robinson, and pitcher Jack Lamabe.

This builds upon the actual trade made on this date, which was simply O’Toole for Robinson, one faded former star for another. This expanded version helps the White Sox get younger, which was the theme in their acquisitions of Wood and Williams, while upgrading their power bat at third base.

For our Reds, the logic is basically that Ward bats left-handed, and thus is a better fit for us as a third-base partner with our emerging young right-handed-batting Tony Perez. We’re taking a risk that the bad back that plagued Ward in 1966 won’t heal, but we think he probably can do well enough in a limited role, and we also see the veterans Romano and Robinson nicely filling spots on our bench.

Jan., 1967: The Cincinnati Reds sold catcher Dave Ricketts to the Kansas City Athletics.

With Romano on board, we no longer have room for this guy.

April, 1967: The San Francisco Giants sold infielder Andre Rodgers to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Rodgers has had a nice career for us but is finally getting squeezed off the roster.

The 1967 season: Actual deals we will make

May 31, 1967: The Cincinnati Reds purchased pitcher Bob Lee from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

This huge Horse isn’t throwing nearly as hard as he did just a few years ago, but he’s still just 29, and we’ll give him a chance in our bullpen.

Sep. 18, 1967: The Cincinnati Reds traded infielder Len Boehmer to the New York Yankees for pitcher Bill Henry.

A transaction of the merest consequence, no doubt. But it makes sense for us to convert infield surplus into a left-handed prospect, albeit a middling one. (Oh, this is this 1960s left-handed pitcher named Bill Henry, not the other 1960s left-handed pitcher named Bill Henry.)

The 1967 season: Actual deals we will not make

May 14, 1967: The St. Louis Cardinals sold outfielder Ted Savage to the Chicago Cubs.

Our Cards will keep this multi-talented spare part.

May 31, 1967: The San Francisco Giants purchased outfielder-first baseman Ty Cline from the Atlanta Braves.

Our Giants don’t have room for this journeyman.

June 22, 1967: The San Francisco Giants purchased shortstop Dick Groat from the Philadelphia Phillies.

Nor for this declining veteran.

July 16, 1967: The St. Louis Cardinals traded a player to be named later to the New York Mets for pitcher Jack Lamabe. (On Oct. 13, 1967, the Cardinals sent pitcher Al Jackson to the New York Mets, completing the deal.)

Our Cardinals have no interest in Lamabe.

The 1967 season: Deals we will invoke

May, 1967: The Cincinnati Reds sold outfielder Floyd Robinson to the Philadelphia Phillies.

May, 1967: The St. Louis Cardinals traded pitcher Hal Woodeshick to the Philadelphia Phillies for pitcher John Morris and cash.

May, 1967: The St. Louis Cardinals sold infielder-outfielder Jim Stewart to the Chicago White Sox.

May, 1967: The St. Louis Cardinals sold shortstop Eddie Bressoud to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

May 14, 1967: The St. Louis Cardinals sold outfielder Jim Beauchamp to the Atlanta Braves.

None of these guys will survive this year’s mid-May roster trim.

May 30, 1967: The Cincinnati Reds purchased infielder Jake Wood from the Detroit Tigers.

Actually, the Reds made this purchase a month later, but we’ll pick Wood up now to fill in for an injured Tommy Harper.

May 31, 1967: The Cincinnati Reds sold pitcher Jack Lamabe to the New York Mets.

And our Reds will let this veteran go to make room for Lee.

1967 season results

Giants

Following our monster 106-win season, changes to the roster are minimal. Kelley joins the pitching staff, along with rookie right-hander Rich Robertson. And we’ll give spots on our bench to the former Bonus kids Bob Schroder in the infield and Ken Henderson in the outfield, both of whom did well in Triple-A in 1966.

1967 San Francisco Giants     Won 84    Lost 78    Finished 4th

 Pos  Player        Age    G  AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
  1B  W. McCovey*    29  135 456  73 126  17   4  31  91  71 110 .276 .377 .535 .912  159
2B-SS B. Schroder*   22  128 322  35  75   9   1   0  17  29  33 .233 .293 .267 .560   62
  SS  H. Lanier      24  121 263  19  56   8   2   0  21   8  31 .213 .232 .259 .491   41
3B-OF J. Hart        25  158 578  98 167  26   7  29  99  77 100 .289 .373 .509 .882  151
RF-CF J. Cardenal    23  108 381  44  93  14   6   6  27  14  60 .244 .270 .360 .629   79
  CF  W. Mays        36  141 486  83 128  22   2  22  70  51  92 .263 .333 .453 .785  123
LF-1B O. Cepeda      29  151 563  86 182  35   0  27 105  62  75 .323 .398 .529 .927  164
  C   T. Haller*     30  141 455  54 114  23   5  14  49  62  61 .251 .341 .415 .756  116

  OF  F. Valentine#  32  121 357  45  87  14   2   9  31  41  64 .244 .333 .370 .702  101
SS-2B D. Schofield#  32  110 255  25  58  11   1   3  15  33  44 .227 .310 .314 .623   80
  2B  T. Fuentes     23  111 261  19  57  10   1   4  21  22  45 .218 .271 .310 .581   66
3B-1B K. Boyer       36   85 231  21  58   9   2   5  23  23  30 .251 .315 .372 .687   97
  OF  K. Henderson#  21   89 215  20  44   8   1   4  16  27  51 .205 .294 .307 .601   73
  C   D. Dietz       25   28  60   5  13   1   0   2  10  12  23 .217 .351 .333 .685   98
  C   T. Talton*     28   46  59   7  15   4   1   0   5   7  12 .254 .324 .356 .679   95
  C   B. Barton      25   22  37   2   8   1   0   0   3   1   6 .216 .237 .243 .480   38

      Others                 113  17  25   3   1   2  12  11  20 .221 .299 .319 .618   78

      Pitchers               447  24  63  11   1   0  12   8 191 .140 .144 .170 .314  -10

      Total                 5539 677 1369 226 37 158 627 559 1048 .247 .315 .387 .702 101

      *  Bats left
      #  Bats both

      Pitcher       Age    G  GS  CG   W   L  SV  IP   H   R  ER   HR   BB   SO  ERA ERA+
      G. Perry       28   39  37  18  16  16   1 293 231  98  85   20   84  230 2.61  128
      J. Marichal    29   26  26  18  15   9   0 202 195  79  62   20   42  166 2.76  121
      R. Robertson   22   41  29   3   7   9   0 192 207 107  97    8  111  158 4.55   73
      D. Ellsworth*  27   32  21   3   7   6   0 125 147  70  59    7   36   45 4.25   79
      B. Bolin       28   37  15   0   7   7   0 120 120  71  65   16   50   69 4.88   69
      D. Estelle*    25   13  13   1   4   4   0  64  64  34  26    6   38   44 3.66   91
      B. O'Dell*     34   18   7   1   4   3   0  58  55  38  37    7   26   22 5.74   58

      D. McMahon     37   63   0   0   7   1   5 109  74  30  27    9   38   80 2.23  150
      F. Linzy       26   57   0   0   8   6  14  96  67  21  16    4   34   38 1.50  223
      S. Miller      39   42   0   0   4   8   8  81  69  28  25    5   34   59 2.78  120
      D. Kelley*     27   42  12   1   3   9   2 113 107  54  49    7   48   85 3.90   86

      Others                   2   0   2   0   0  21  19   9   6    1   11   11 2.57  130

      Total                  162  45  84  78 30 1474 1355 639 554 110  552 1007 3.38   99

      * Throws left

Some things turn out just fine. Orlando Cepeda’s knee trouble is fully in the past as he delivers a peak-level performance. Jim Ray Hart is better than ever, Gaylord Perry proves that his 1966 breakout was for real, and Don McMahon and Frank Linzy are superb heading up the bullpen.

But our list of emerging problems is long. Willie Mays suddenly looks every bit his 36 years of age. Juan Marichal misses nearly a third of the year with a leg injury. Bob Bolin and Dick Ellsworth both slump badly, and the rookie Robertson, consequently pressed into heavier service than planned, struggles.

Sophomore second baseman Tito Fuentes flops, Schroder hits poorly when given the opportunity to replace him, and our middle infield overall is an offensive disaster. In the outfield, Jose Cardenal slumps and at first base, Willie McCovey begins to be bothered by a sore knee.

It’s an aggravating year as, despite our real strengths, we’re unable to put together any sustained hot streaks. We stumble in just six games above .500, our least-impressive performance in our decade in San Francisco.

Reds

Attempting to bounce back from our disappointing 1966, we’ve largely revamped the bench via the big trade with the White Sox and also with the promotion of rookie first baseman-outfielder Lee May. Our pitching staff includes multiple new faces as well, with Abernathy joining the bullpen. Additionally, Wood and Lamabe—as well as journeymen Dick Stigman and Rollie Sheldon—all compete for starts.

Perhaps our most significant alteration is a position shift. We’ll allow impressive youngsters Tommy Helms and Cesar Tovar to battle it out for the second base job and move Pete Rose to left field, easing incumbent left fielder Tony Gonzalez into a part-time role. This will improve us defensively as well as insulate our terrific young star Rose from the injury risks inherent in the middle infield.

1967 Cincinnati Reds     Won 94    Lost 68    Finished 1st

 Pos  Player        Age    G  AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
  1B  B. White*      33  110 308  35  81   7   2   9  36  51  60 .263 .367 .386 .753  106
2B-OF C. Tovar       26  109 325  52  88  17   4   3  24  21  25 .271 .320 .375 .696   90
  SS  L. Cardenas    28  108 379  33  97  14   3   2  23  34  77 .256 .318 .325 .643   76
  3B  T. Perez       25  140 480  68 139  22   6  21  90  26  82 .290 .326 .492 .818  121
  RF  F. Robinson    31  129 479  91 155  25   8  28 103  67  80 .324 .410 .585 .994  169
  CF  V. Pinson*     28  150 585  89 169  25  12  16  65  23  77 .289 .317 .455 .772  109
LF-2B P. Rose#       26  148 585  97 176  32   8  12  80  56  66 .301 .363 .444 .808  120
  C   J. Azcue       27   95 325  43  86  14   7  12  44  23  36 .265 .315 .462 .776  110

2B-SS T. Helms       26  123 373  33 101  20   3   2  29  17  32 .271 .297 .357 .654   78
1B-OF L. May         24  102 297  40  80  21   2   9  44  14  49 .269 .315 .444 .759  105
  OF  T. Gonzalez*   30   99 254  45  89  12   5   5  33  23  29 .350 .405 .496 .901  145
3B-1B P. Ward*       29   97 234  30  59   9   2  11  37  29  52 .252 .347 .449 .796  116
  C   J. Edwards*    29   72 188  11  39   5   0   2  18  14  25 .207 .256 .266 .522   43
  OF  T. Harper      26   52 122  22  27   6   1   2   7  14  17 .221 .297 .336 .633   73
  C   J. Romano      32   24  58   1   8   1   0   0   2  12  14 .138 .286 .155 .441   24
  IF  L. Boehmer     26   24  43   5   8   1   0   1   3   3   5 .186 .234 .279 .513   40
  2B  J. Wood        30   16  17   1   2   0   0   0   1   1   3 .118 .167 .118 .284  -21
  OF  B. Perry       32   14  16   1   3   1   0   0   2   0   3 .188 .188 .250 .438   19

      Others                  52   6   7   2   0   1   3   6  11 .135 .220 .231 .451   24

      Pitchers               439  22  60  11   2   2  28  19 164 .136 .162 .184 .346   -6

      Total                 5559 725 1474 245 65 138 672 453 907 .265 .321 .407 .728   98

      *  Bats left
      #  Bats both

      Pitcher       Age    G  GS  CG   W   L  SV  IP   H   R  ER   HR   BB   SO  ERA ERA+
      C. Osteen*     27   35  35  12  18  12   0 259 288 122 112   22   49  136 3.89   98
      J. Maloney     27   30  29   6  16  10   0 196 181  76  71    8   72  153 3.26  117
      S. Ellis       26   32  27   8   9  10   0 176 197  86  75   18   67   80 3.84   99
      M. Queen       25   21  15   4  10   4   0 130 103  46  40   11   35  103 2.77  137
      B. McCool*     22   31  11   0   4   6   2  97  92  45  37    8   56   83 3.43  111
      D. Stigman*    31   21  15   2   6   9   0  93 101  52  47   13   45   67 4.55   84
      G. Nolan       19   11  11   3   6   2   0  76  64  24  22    6   21   69 2.61  146
      R. Sheldon     30   10   5   1   3   2   0  48  62  25  22    4   17   31 4.13   92

      T. Abernathy   34   70   0   0   7   3  28 106  63  19  15    1   41   88 1.27  298
      W. Wood*       25   54  11   0   8   2   4 116 131  55  46    4   30   53 3.57  106
      D. Nottebart   31   47   0   0   1   3   5  79  75  25  17    4   19   48 1.94  196
      B. Lee         29   27   1   0   4   3   2  51  51  26  25    0   25   33 4.41   86
      J. Lamabe      30   11   1   0   1   1   0  22  22  10   9    1    6   14 3.68  103

      Others                   1   0   1   1   1  17  11  10  10    2   15   13 5.29   72

      Total                  162  36  94  68 42 1466 1441 621 548 102  498  971 3.36  113

      * Throws left

We may have protected Rose from an injury, but this year our team is nonetheless riddled with injuries. Harper, first baseman Bill White, shortstop Leo Cardenas, and, most ominously, superstar right fielder Frank Robinson all miss significant time with various hurts.

This makes frantic lineup-juggling a necessity and, moreover, the back end of our starting rotation is a jumble, as well. There are ample reasons for this team to swoon.

But we don’t swoon. Instead, we demonstrate the value of tremendous depth. Ward and May prove quite useful off the bench, and Gonzalez hits a ton in spot duty. Neither Romano nor our other veteran catcher, Johnny Edwards, hits at all, so Joe Azcue calmly takes over and performs wonderfully.

Perez busts out as a star, and Vada Pinson persists as one.

Our pitching problems are overcome via two mid-season promotions from Triple-A: first, converted outfielder Mel Queen and then teenage sensation Gary Nolan, both of whom perform like veteran stars down the stretch. And all season long, our bullpen is staunchly anchored by Abernathy, who is dominant, astoundingly good.

This Cincinnati ballclub courts disaster but deftly sidesteps it and finds itself at the head of the parade when the season ends, back in the winner’s circle after a two-season absence. We’ve featured better Reds teams, but perhaps never one with more organizational resilience.

Cardinals

Thrilled though we were with our 105-victory breakthrough last year, we’re not blind to the fact that we achieved it despite some offensive weaknesses. And we’ve made several bold moves to address them.

Moving from shortstop to second base will be Buchek, who hasn’t yet developed as we thought he might but is still young and could benefit from a bit less defensive stress. Taking over as the primary shortstop is the veteran Causey.

Art Shamsky will open the season as our primary first baseman, but if speedy rookie Bobby Tolan proves ready for a regular job in the outfield, then we might slide the veteran Felipe Alou in to first base instead.

1967 St. Louis Cardinals     Won 90    Lost 71    Finished 3rd

 Pos  Player        Age    G  AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
1B-RF F. Alou        32  140 574  68 161  28   4  11  68  32  49 .280 .324 .401 .725  108
  2B  J. Buchek      25  124 411  44  98  11   3  13  46  27 100 .238 .285 .375 .660   89
SS-2B W. Causey*     30  124 350  34  83  13   5   1  37  36  40 .237 .302 .311 .614   77
  3B  M. Shannon     27  130 482  48 118  18   3  12  69  37  89 .245 .301 .369 .670   92
RF-CF B. Tolan*      21  110 319  42  83   9   3   7  34  22  50 .260 .311 .373 .684   96
  CF  C. Flood       29  134 514  61 172  24   1   5  45  37  46 .335 .375 .414 .790  128
  LF  L. Brock*      28  159 666  99 199  31  12  20  66  23 105 .299 .326 .471 .797  127
  C   T. McCarver*   25  138 471  61 139  26   3  14  62  54  32 .295 .367 .452 .819  135

  SS  D. Maxvill     28  122 286  20  64   8   2   1  22  28  41 .224 .292 .276 .569   65
 1B-C D. Pavletich   28   74 231  25  52  14   3   5  34  22  39 .225 .301 .377 .678   94
  IF  P. Gagliano    25   73 217  18  48   7   0   2  19  19  26 .221 .280 .281 .561   62
  1B  A. Shamsky*    25   88 182   9  35   4   1   3  18  18  41 .192 .271 .275 .546   58
  OF  T. Savage      30   88 155  24  33   7   1   3  20  26  38 .213 .332 .329 .661   91
  3B  E. Spiezio     25   55 105   8  22   2   0   3   9   7  18 .210 .265 .314 .580   67
  C   B. Uecker      32   36  78   6  12   2   0   1   7   9  25 .154 .236 .218 .454   32

      Others                  36   5   5   0   1   0   1   4   9 .139 .225 .194 .419   22

      Pitchers               430  34  64   5   0   0  15  24 163 .149 .185 .160 .346    1

      Total                 5507 606 1388 209 42 101 572 425 911 .252 .306 .360 .666   91

      *  Bats left

      Pitcher       Age    G  GS  CG   W   L  SV  IP   H   R  ER   HR   BB   SO  ERA ERA+
      L. Jackson     36   40  37  11  13  15   0 262 240  97  87   16   56  142 2.99  110
      S. Carlton*    22   30  28  11  13  10   1 193 173  71  64   10   62  168 2.98  110
      B. Gibson      31   24  24  10  12   8   0 175 151  62  58   10   40  147 2.98  110
      L. Jaster*     23   34  23   2   9   8   3 152 141  57  51   12   44   87 3.02  109
      D. Hughes      29   25  18   8  10   5   2 148 109  48  44   15   32  107 2.68  123

      J. Hoerner*    30   57   0   0   4   4  15  66  52  25  19    5   20   50 2.59  127
      N. Briles      23   49  14   4  13   6   6 155 139  45  42    8   40   94 2.44  134
      E. Fisher      30   46   0   0   4   2   3  90  89  42  39    7   25   50 3.90   84
      L. McDaniel    31   41   3   0   2   6   5  73  69  32  29    4   25   48 3.58   92
      A. Jackson*    31   38  11   1   8   4   1 107 117  61  47    7   29   43 3.95   83
      J. Gelnar      24   10   1   0   0   1   0  19  30  17  17    4   11    5 8.05   41

      Others                   2   0   2   2   2  28  20  12  10    0   15   17 3.21  102

      Total                  161  47  90  71 38 1468 1330 569 507  98  399  958 3.11  106

      * Throws left

Our middle infield shuffle isn’t a resounding success, but it does deliver marginally more offense at those positions. And while Shamsky lays an egg, the young Tolan stands up well enough that, with Alou at first, we’ve got every position at least reasonably productive, supporting star turns by Lou Brock in left field, Curt Flood in center, and Tim McCarver behind the plate.

And though our pitching can’t sustain the dazzling pace it kept in 1966, it’s very good. A broken leg suffered by ace Bob Gibson is a significant challenge, but the depth of this staff is up to it. Nelson Briles strides forward, as does retread Dick Hughes, but perhaps most impressive is the showing of 22-year-old left-hander Steve Carlton, back from a year in the minors following his Bonus Baby debut of 1965.

We’re a genuinely good team; the ’66 beauty proves to be no fluke. But we aren’t as good as the Reds, who outpace us by three-and-a-half games, nor quite as good as an upstart Chicago Cubs team that comes in just a shade ahead of us in second. Finishing in third place again is frustrating, no doubt, but we are a serious contender. We know it won’t take much more to get to the top.

Next time

In our eleventh and final season, will the Giants rebound? Will the Reds defend their title? Will the Cardinals break their two-decade pennant drought?

          Giants:  Actual             Reds:  Actual               Cardinals:  Actual
 Year    W    L  Pos   RS   RA       W    L  Pos   RS   RA       W    L  Pos   RS   RA
 1958    80   74  3    727  698      76   78  4    695  623      72   82  5T   619  704
 1959    83   71  3    705  613      74   80  5T   764  738      71   83  7    641  725
 1960    79   75  5    671  631      67   87  6    640  692      86   68  3    639  616
 1961    85   69  3    773  655      93   61  1    710  653      80   74  5    703  668
 1962   103   62  1    878  690      98   64  3    802  685      84   78  6    774  664
 1963    88   74  3    725  641      86   76  5    648  594      93   69  2    747  628
 1964    90   72  4    656  587      92   70  2T   660  566      93   69  1    715  652
 1965    95   67  2    682  593      89   73  4    825  704      80   81  7    707  674
 1966    93   68  2    675  626      76   84  7    692  702      83   79  6    571  577
 1967    91   71  2    652  551      87   75  4    604  563     101   60  1    695  557

          Giants:  Virtual            Reds:  Virtual              Cardinals:  Virtual
 Year    W    L  Pos   RS   RA       W    L  Pos   RS   RA       W    L  Pos   RS   RA
 1958    83   71  2T   747  692      73   81  5    683  637      77   77  4    640  677
 1959    87   67  1T   737  615      87   67  1T   802  662      84   70  4    725  685
 1960    93   61  1    709  561      76   78  6    705  666      86   68  4    661  632
 1961    88   66  2    787  648     106   48  1    813  629      72   82  6    689  724
 1962   103   59  1    800  632     101   61  2T   779  663      84   78  6    809  703
 1963    97   65  3    726  578     100   62  1    704  540      80   82  6    664  668
 1964   100   62  2    726  576     101   61  1    689  533      87   75  4    662  657
 1965    99   63  1    697  587      98   64  2    843  646      85   76  5    692  622
 1966   106   55  1    739  581      87   73  5    769  677     105   57  2    667  514
 1967    84   78  4    677  639      94   68  1    725  561      90   71  3    606  569
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Comments

  1. Tony A said...

    As a Cincy fan, I’m loving this, but, since it didn’t happen this way, I’m hating it, too.  Mixed emotions, such is life…

    Started rooting for Cincy in the ‘56 season.  Wished you’d started there for this exercise.  The darkest day of my life til then was when the Reds traded Frank R to the Orioles.  I knew they’d be sorry, but I had NO idea how sorry…

    Really love this series of what-ifs.  Great job!

  2. Steve Treder said...

    Thanks for the kind words, Tony.

    That ‘56 team must have been a blast to watch.  They’re definitely one of my all-time favorite Strat-o-Matic teams.  Who couldn’t love a team, when it’s a key late-inning situation and you need a pinch hitter, the bench offers up not one, not two, but three terrifying left-handed power bats?

  3. will hammons said...

    Have to agree with you both.  This is a fascinating series and I enjoy every installment.  I also am a life-long Reds fan (only since ‘67) and to see the amount of talent given away or not utilized by the Reds is amazing.  It seems this club could have dominated the 60’s and 70’s like earlier Yankee teams did.  Well done, Steve, and I hope there are more such series in the future!!

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