The virtual 1958-68 Giants, Reds, and Cardinals (Part 5: 1961-62)

We’ve maneuvered our way through four years of virtual scenario thus far:

1957-58
1958-59
1959-60
1960-61

Our Giants have been the best of these three teams on an overall basis, while our Cardinals have struggled to compete. But our Reds, while wildly careening between the second division and the top of the standings, have put together by far the best single season, blowing everyone else out of the water in 1961.

          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

          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

Can Cincinnati keep up that pace in 1962? Can San Francisco mount a challenge? And can St. Louis find its way back over .500?

Our first order of business this time is to attend to our participation in the National League’s first-ever expansion draft. Wherever possible, we’ll have our ball clubs surrender the players they actually surrendered. When that isn’t possible, we’ll offer up an appropriate substitute.

1961-62 offseason: The National League Expansion Draft we will invoke

Oct. 10, 1961: In the Regular Phase, the San Francisco Giants surrendered infielder Dick Phillips (in place of infielder Eddie Bressoud, actually drafted from the Giants) and pitcher Sam Jones to the Houston Colt .45s.

Oct. 10, 1961: In the Regular Phase, the San Francisco Giants surrendered catcher Hobie Landrith and pitcher Ray Daviault to the New York Mets.

Oct. 10, 1961: In the Premium Phase, the San Francisco Giants surrendered infielder Daryl Spencer (in place of infielder Joey Amalfitano, actually drafted from the Giants) to the Houston Colt .45s.

Oct.10, 1961: In the Regular Phase, the Cincinnati Reds surrendered pitcher Orlando Peña (in place of pitcher Ken Johnson, actually drafted from the Reds) and first baseman Dick Gernert to the Houston Colt .45s.

Oct. 10, 1961: In the Regular Phase, the Cincinnati Reds surrendered infielder Elio Chacon, outfielder Lou Johnson (in place of outfielder Gus Bell, actually drafted from the Reds), and pitcher Sherman Jones to the New York Mets.

Oct. 10, 1961: In the Premium Phase, the Cincinnati Reds surrendered pitcher Jay Hook to the New York Mets.

Oct. 10, 1961: In the Regular Phase, the St. Louis Cardinals surrendered second baseman Don Blasingame (in place of infielder Bob Lillis, actually drafted from the Cardinals), outfielder Don Landrum (in place of outfielder Don Taussig, actually drafted from the Cardinals), and infielder-outfielder Ed Olivares to the Houston Colt .45s.

Oct. 10, 1961: In the Regular Phase, the St. Louis Cardinals surrendered pitcher Craig Anderson, catcher Chris Cannizzaro, and outfielder Jim Hickman to the New York Mets.

Oct. 10, 1961: In the Premium Phase, the St. Louis Cardinals surrendered pitcher Bob Miller to the New York Mets.

The 1961-62 offseason: Actual deals we will make

Nov. 27, 1961: The Cincinnati Reds drafted pitcher Moe Drabowsky from the Milwaukee Braves in the 1961 Rule 5 draft.

We haven’t been bothering to list Rule 5 draftees in this series, because typically they’re inconsequential. But the former-phenom Drabowsky will have a good shot at making our Reds’ staff in 1962, as he did with the actual Reds.

Nov. 27, 1961: The St. Louis Cardinals traded outfielder-first baseman Joe Cunningham to the Chicago White Sox for outfielder Minnie Miñoso.

Like the actual Cardinals, we’ll decide that this one, though it’s a teeny bit crazy, is just too tempting to pass up. Cunningham has had a nice run in St. Louis, but it’s clear he’s not going to be the star the Cardinals hoped for, and he’s always been out of position in the outfield. We’ll give the ever-exciting, who-knows-how-old-he-really-is Miñoso a whirl instead.

Dec. 15, 1961: The San Francisco Giants traded outfielder Jose Tartabull to the Kansas City Athletics for catcher Joe Pignatano.

Our Giants, like the real Giants, have more use for a workaday backup catcher than a slap-hitting speedster prospect.

The 1961-62 offseason: Actual deals we will not make

Nov. 30, 1961: The San Francisco Giants traded pitchers Eddie Fisher and Dom Zanni, first baseman-outfielder Bob Farley, and a player to be named later to the Chicago White Sox for pitchers Billy Pierce and Don Larsen. (On Aug. 17, 1962, the Giants sent pitcher Verle Tiefenthaler to the White Sox, completing the deal.)

We’ve already traded away Fisher, who was the key to this one for Chicago. But our Giants do have an interest in the soon-to-be-35-year-old southpaw Pierce, so below we’ll find another way to accomodate the White Sox, who are striving to get younger in all of their maneuvers this off-season.

Dec. 15, 1961: The Cincinnati Reds traded catcher Bob Schmidt and pitcher Dave Stenhouse to the Washington Senators for outfielder-first baseman Marty Keough and pitcher Johnny Klippstein.

Nor can our Reds, who don’t have Schmidt, make this one. But our Giants have Schmidt, and our Reds like the toolsy and versatile Keough, so we’ll also see about giving the Senators what they want.

The 1961-62 offseason: Deals we will invoke

Oct.13, 1961: The St. Louis Cardinals sold pitcher Wilmer “Vinegar Bend” Mizell to the New York Mets.

Actually on this date St. Louis sold pitcher Al Cicotte to the Mets. We don’t have Cicotte, but we’ll let them have Mizell instead, who slumped terribly in 1961.

Nov. 8, 1961: The St. Louis Cardinals sold outfielder Ellis Burton to the Milwaukee Braves.

Actually on this date the Braves purchased Burton from Toronto. Our Cards will let them take the 25-year-old switch-hitter, who’s failed to develop as we anticipated.

Nov. 30, 1961: The San Francisco Giants traded first baseman-outfielder Bob Farley and pitchers Ron Herbel and Verle Tiefenthaler to the Chicago White Sox for pitcher Billy Pierce.

Here our Giants re-work the actual Pierce deal. In place of Fisher and Zanni we’ll include the soon-to-be-24-year-old Herbel, who went 16-5 in triple-A in 1961. Herbel isn’t as good as Fisher, so we’ll allow the White Sox to keep Don Larsen.

Nov., 1961: The Cincinnati Reds sold infielder Alex Grammas to the Chicago Cubs.

The smooth-fielding Grammas has had a good long run as our infield handyman, but it’s time to go younger in that role.

Nov., 1961: The St. Louis Cardinals sold infielder Bob Sadowski to the Chicago White Sox.

The White Sox were actually acquiring Sadowski from the Phillies this off-season. Our Cardinals, acknowledging that we won’t have a spot for this utilityman, will let Chicago have him.

Dec. 1, 1961: The St. Louis Cardinals traded first baseman Fred Whitfield, outfielder Doug Clemens, and pitchers Jim Donohue and Bob Sadowski to the Los Angeles Angels for outfielder-first baseman Lee Thomas.

The not-yet-24-year-old Whitfield is a free-swinging left-handed slugger who’s hit for both average and power in every one of his four years in our minor league system, and now he’s ready for the majors. Delightfully, we have Bill White handling first base and don’t see a role for Whitfield.

Meanwhile, the soon-to-be-26-year-old Thomas, after being freed from long servitude in the Yankees’ chain, busted out a splendid rookie performance for the Angels in 1961. But he can’t play first base and right field simultaneously, and the fledgling Angels need him in both spots. This deal allows them to deploy Whitfield at first and Clemens (who hit .331 in a combined double-A-and-triple-A assignment at the age of 22 in 1961) in right field, as well as providing a couple of pitching prospects.

(That’s the other Bob Sadowski there, the pitcher—yes, it’s really weird that not only were there two Bob Sadowskis to play major league baseball, but they both played at the same time in the same organization.)

Dec. 14, 1961: The St. Louis Cardinals traded pitcher Marshall Bridges to the New York Yankees for catcher Jesse Gonder.

Actually on this date it was the Reds swinging this deal with the Yankees, but since our Cardinals still have Bridges, we’ll do it instead. The southpaw reliever had a bad year in 1961, and we like Gonder, whose minor league stats suggest he might be a younger version of Carl Sawatski.

Dec. 15, 1961: The Cincinnati Reds traded pitchers Dave Stenhouse and John Briggs, catcher Jerry Zimmerman, and cash to the Washington Senators for outfielder-first baseman Marty Keough and pitcher Dave Sisler.

Dec. 15, 1961: The San Francisco Giants traded catcher Bob Schmidt and infielder-outfielder Harry Bright to the Washington Senators for infielder Billy Klaus and pitcher Carl Mathias.

Here the Senators are able to acquire Stenhouse and Schmidt while surrendering Keough and Sisler, as they actually did in this off-season. Our Giants will also take the lefty-batting veteran Klaus, whom Washington also dealt away during this off-season, while providing them with Bright, whom we know they like.

April 5, 1962: The San Francisco Giants sold infielder Billy Klaus to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Alas, Klaus won’t make our Giants’ Opening Day roster, and so we’ll send him along to the Phils, who actually purchased him from Washington on this date.

The 1962 season: Actual deals we will make

May 7, 1962: The Cincinnati Reds traded third baseman-outfielder Cliff Cook and pitcher Bob Miller to the New York Mets for infielder Don Zimmer.

Like the actual Reds, we’ll decide that the big-swinging Cook probably isn’t going to make it, and we’ll be better off with the feisty journeyman Zimmer on our bench instead.

(And that throw-in pitcher is the other Bob Miller. Actually one of the other Bob Millers. Now, “Bob Miller” is such an ordinary name it isn’t surprising there have been four of them reaching the major leagues. But how about the fact that all four were pitchers, and three of the four were active simultaneously?)

May 8, 1962: The Cincinnati Reds purchased pitcher Ted Wills from the Boston Red Sox.

Luis Arroyo is on the shelf with a sore arm this spring, so our Reds will give this guy a shot at in a left-handed bullpen role. (He’ll take the spot vacated by Bob Miller.)

June, 1962: The Cincinnati Reds signed pitcher Joe Nuxhall as a free agent.

Our old friend has had a really rough time of it in the American League over the past year-plus, being released by three different teams. At nearly 34, he’s probably done, but like the actual Reds, we’ll take a chance on him and see what he can do in triple-A.

July 4, 1962: The San Francisco Giants signed pitcher Bob Garibaldi as a Bonus Baby.

After having been rescinded in 1957, the Bonus Baby rule is back in a modified form in 1962. Our Giants will be required to keep this Santa Clara star on the active big league roster for the balance of the season.

The 1962 season: Actual deals we will not make

April 20, 1962: The Cincinnati Reds purchased catcher Hank Foiles from the Baltimore Orioles.

The veteran Foiles hits quite a bit better than your typical backup catcher, but our Reds just don’t have room for him.

April 28, 1962: The St. Louis Cardinals traded pitcher Bobby Locke and cash to the Philadelphia Phillies for pitcher Don Ferrarese.

We haven’t decided whether our Cardinals would have had the journeyman right-hander Locke in the organization or not at this point, but it won’t matter, since we don’t have a spot for the journeyman lefty Ferrarese.

May 7, 1962: The St. Louis Cardinals traded outfielder Carl Warwick and pitcher John Anderson to the Houston Colt .45s for pitcher Bobby Shantz.

Since we don’t have Warwick, we can’t do this one, but below we’ll figure out a way for our Cards to pick up that smooth-as-silk little 36-year-old southpaw.

July 13, 1962: The San Francisco Giants sold catcher Joe Pignatano to the New York Mets.

Unlike the actual Giants, our version will keep Pignatano around as third-string catcher all year.

Aug. 13, 1962: The Cincinnati Reds sold pitcher Moe Drabowsky to the Kansas City Athletics.

Nor will our Reds give up on Drabowsky in August.

The 1962 season: Deals we will invoke

Apr. 28, 1962: In a three-club deal, the St. Louis Cardinals traded catcher Carl Sawatski and cash to the Milwaukee Braves, and pitcher John Anderson to the Houston Colt .45s. The Braves sent pitcher Don McMahon to the Colt .45s, and the Colt .45s sent pitcher Bobby Shantz to the Cardinals.

Actually in this time frame Houston was purchasing McMahon from Milwaukee and trading Shantz to St. Louis. The arrival of Jesse Gonder allows our Cardinals to offer the power-hitting veteran Sawatski to the Braves, who would find Swats to be of more help to their catching situation than the rookie Bob Uecker.

1962 season results

Giants

A few changes are in store as we compete with the 1961-runaway-Reds. At second base, replacing the veteran Spencer is lefty-hitting rookie Chuck Hiller, who’ll platoon with Jose Pagan. At catcher, replacing Schmidt is righty-hitting rookie John Orsino, whom we project to platoon with left-handed-batting sophomore Tom Haller.

And on the mound we’re bringing in the veteran Pierce to replace Toothpick Sam Jones.

1962 San Francisco Giants     Won 103    Lost 59    Finished 1st

 Pos  Player        Age    G  AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
  1B  W. McCovey*    24  156 585 101 166  19   4  44 108  66 105 .284 .360 .556 .915  142
  2B  C. Hiller*     27  122 422  60 119  18   2   2  33  43  32 .282 .350 .348 .698   89
  SS  A. Rodgers     27  152 553  63 150  25   8   6  50  55 109 .271 .339 .378 .717   93
  3B  K. Boyer       31  160 631 114 177  26   4  22  71  78 107 .281 .359 .439 .798  113
  RF  W. Kirkland*   28  114 312  43  69   8   1  16  51  30  53 .221 .284 .407 .692   84
  CF  W. Mays        31  159 610 120 184  36   5  47 130  75  85 .302 .380 .608 .988  161
  LF  O. Cepeda      24  159 612  95 188  26   1  34 106  37  97 .307 .349 .520 .869  130
  C   T. Haller*     25   99 272  47  71  13   1  18  52  51  59 .261 .381 .515 .895  138

  OF  M. Alou*       23  113 282  43  84  11   2   5  23  19  25 .298 .346 .404 .751  101
  C   J. Orsino      24   79 255  26  70  11   1   7  35  29  33 .275 .344 .408 .752  102
2B-SS J. Pagan       27   74 181  21  48   7   2   3  18  15  23 .265 .313 .376 .689   85
  OF  B. Perry       27   61 126  14  30   3   1   4  12   8  36 .238 .287 .373 .660   76
  C   J. Pignatano   32   38  70   5  16   2   0   0   3   7  12 .229 .299 .257 .556   52
SS-2B E. Bowman      26   54  52  10  10   1   0   1   5   1  13 .192 .211 .269 .480   28
  LF  B. Nieman      35   32  31   1   9   2   0   1   4   1  10 .290 .303 .452 .755  100

      Others                  11   2   3   0   0   0   0   1   5 .273 .333 .273 .606   66

      Pitchers               441  35  78   6   0   1  34  19 130 .177 .198 .198 .395    7

      Total                 5446 800 1472 214 32 211 735 535 934 .270 .335 .438 .772  106

      *  Bats left

      Pitcher       Age    G  GS  CG   W   L  SV  IP   H   R  ER   HR   BB   SO  ERA ERA+
      J. Sanford     33   38  37  13  24   8   0 260 231 109 100   23   89  143 3.46  109
      J. Marichal    24   36  35  18  17  11   1 256 225 108  95   33   89  151 3.34  113
      E. Broglio     26   34  30  11  15   9   0 222 183  74  65   20   93  132 2.64  144
      B. Pierce*     35   28  22   6  14   6   0 152 144  67  63   19   34   70 3.73  102
      B. O'Dell*     29   39  14   5  10   8   4 140 131  57  49    7   36  103 3.15  120
      M. McCormick*  23   21  11   1   4   4   0  74  84  48  44   13   34   32 5.35   71
      G. Perry       23    9   5   1   2   1   0  29  36  19  17    2    9   13 5.28   72

      S. Miller      34   56   0   0   5   7  21  96  95  49  43    7   38   71 4.03   94
      F. Funk        26   47   0   0   4   1   8  81  72  37  30   10   29   54 3.33  114
      B. Bolin       23   38   8   2   7   3   6  92  87  43  39   10   34   72 3.82   99
      B. Garibaldi   20    9   0   0   0   0   1  12  13   7   7    1    5    9 5.25   72

      Others                   0   0   1   1   0  22  26  14  12    3    9   16 4.91   77

      Total                  162  57 103  59 41 1436 1327 632 564 148  499  866 3.53  107

      * Throws left

We have some setbacks. 23-year-old Mike McCormick, who’d been so good in 1960-61, is rendered ineffective this year with a sore arm. Rookie Gaylord Perry struggles in a brief opportunity, and is sent down to make room for Garibaldi. And right fielder Willie Kirkland not only fails to break through as the star we’d hoped, but sees his batting average crater at the age of 28.

But by and large this is one of those lovely seasons in which just about everything goes according to plan. Right-handers Ernie Broglio, Juan Marichal, and Jack Sanford all rebound from so-so 1961 performances. Pierce does just fine, as does ever-steady southpaw Billy O’Dell, and thus our front-line pitching is solidly effective.

Our power-packed lineup explodes. The amazing Willie Mays leads the league in home runs, and right behind him in that category is the wonderfully maturing Willie McCovey. Orlando Cepeda doesn’t hit as spectacularly as he did in ’61, but he’s still outstanding, as is Ken Boyer. Haller surprises with robust power production. We become the first team in major league history to post back-to-back 200-home run seasons.

We’re just excellent all around, and we rack up 103 wins, the most by any Giants ball club in half a century. And it turns out we need just about every one of those victories to grasp the pennant in a tremendous race.

Reds

We’ve made no significant alterations to the roster that laid waste to the National League last year. Keough is on hand to provide help off the bench, and flamethrowing rookie right-hander Jim Maloney will compete for starts.

1962 Cincinnati Reds     Won 101    Lost 61    Finished 2nd (tied)

 Pos  Player        Age    G  AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
  1B  W. Moon*       32  120 370  50  95  14   2   9  48  46  50 .257 .336 .378 .715   89
2B-OF C. Flood       24  136 476  73 136  22   3  10  52  31  42 .286 .333 .408 .741   95
  SS  L. Cardenas    23  153 589  68 173  31   4  10  60  39  99 .294 .335 .411 .746   96
  3B  D. Hoak        34  121 370  45  91  13   4   8  44  41  43 .246 .319 .368 .687   81
  RF  F. Robinson    26  162 609 132 208  51   2  39 136  76  62 .342 .421 .624 1.045 172
  CF  V. Pinson*     23  155 619 106 181  31   7  23 100  45  68 .292 .341 .477 .817  114
  LF  T. Gonzalez*   25  118 393  67 122  14   3  21  55  36  72 .310 .376 .522 .898  135
  C   E. Bailey*     31   96 254  29  60   9   1  18  40  41  41 .236 .352 .492 .844  121

 C-1B G. Oliver      27  110 276  34  66  15   1  13  36  39  46 .239 .333 .442 .775  103
2B-3B J. Temple      34   84 227  29  60   7   1   1  19  27  22 .264 .335 .317 .652   74
  LF  J. Lynch*      31  103 230  33  65  12   3  10  46  19  30 .283 .337 .491 .829  116
1B-OF M. Keough*     28   99 192  28  53   7   2   6  23  17  26 .276 .336 .427 .763  100
  C   J. Edwards*    24   67 151  15  36   9   2   3  15  13  25 .238 .295 .384 .679   78
  3B  D. Zimmer      31   63 144  12  35   8   2   1  12  10  23 .243 .297 .347 .644   70
3B-LF T. Harper      21   35 106  17  27   3   1   3  12  17  28 .255 .357 .387 .744   97
  OF  J. Gaines      25   64  87  17  22   4   0   2  11  12  25 .253 .340 .368 .708   87

      Others                  73   8  17   3   0   0   5   6  12 .233 .296 .274 .570   52

      Pitchers               440  36  66   6   1   5  28  20 158 .150 .179 .202 .382    1

      Total                 5606 799 1513 259 39 182 742 535 872 .270 .334 .427 .761  100

      *  Bats left

      Pitcher       Age    G  GS  CG   W   L  SV  IP   H   R  ER   HR   BB   SO  ERA ERA+
      B. Purkey      32   35  33  16  21   4   0 259 232  97  80   25   58  129 2.78  145
      J. Jay         26   36  31  13  18  11   1 241 234 106 100   22   89  139 3.73  108
      J. O'Toole*    25   32  32  10  14  11   0 227 198 101  87   18   78  155 3.45  117
      J. Pizarro*    25   38  30   8  14  11   2 203 181 101  89   15   93  182 3.95  102
      J. Maloney     22   24  16   3   9   6   1 115  89  51  44   11   66  106 3.44  117
      C. Osteen*     22   30  10   3   8   4   3 100  93  40  38    7   29   45 3.42  118

      H. Haddix*     36   45   1   0   5   2  12  71  67  35  30    9   21   55 3.80  106
      M. Drabowsky   26   39   3   0   3   6   4  89  87  52  46   14   33   67 4.65   86
      D. Sisler      30   35   0   0   4   3   2  44  44  19  19    4   26   27 3.89  103
      L. Arroyo*     35   27   0   0   1   3   7  34  32  22  19    5   18   20 5.03   80
      T. Wills*      28    9   0   0   0   0   1  12  12   7   7    2    5   12 5.25   77

      Others                   6   2   4   0   1  66  68  32  30    4   27   43 4.09   98

      Total                  162  55 101  61 34 1461 1337 663 589 136  543  980 3.63  111

      * Throws left

Unlike 1961, this time around our Reds encounter some problems. Arroyo’s sudden collapse hits the bullpen hard, as Drabowsky, Sisler, and Harvey Haddix have a hard time picking up the slack. Veterans Don Hoak at third base and Wally Moon at first both start to run out of gas.

However, the great strengths of this team are in evidence. The scintillating Frank Robinson has never been better. Vada Pinson, Tony Gonzalez, Ed Bailey, and Jerry Lynch all hit a ton, and our young double-play combo of Leo Cardenas and Curt Flood is really good. And our very best feature, that killer starting rotation, is rendered even better with the emerging 22-year-olds Maloney and Claude Osteen doing their best to squeeze in edgewise.

It may not be the fairy-tale perfection of 1961, but our 1962 Reds are an extremely formidable competitor. They’ll battle it out not only with those Giants, but also with a dauntingly multi-faceted Los Angeles Dodgers club in a three-way dogfight for the ages, the first time a single major league has ever produced a trio of 100-victory contenders.

Cardinals

We aren’t introducing much shake-up this year, relying instead upon continued improvement in our many young players. Thomas is set to be the primary right fielder, with Miñoso sharing left field with Stan Musial in a colorful geriatric pairing. With the departure of Sawatski, Gene Green, on the basis of his greatly improved hitting in 1961, will step up to be our primary catcher.

Sophomore Julian Javier will settle in as our full-time second baseman, and rookie right-hander Ray Washburn will compete for a spot in the starting rotation.

1962 St. Louis Cardinals     Won 84    Lost 78    Finished 6th

 Pos  Player        Age    G  AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
  1B  B. White*      28  159 624  95 202  32   3  20 104  59  70 .324 .385 .481 .866  122
  2B  J. Javier      25  155 568  65 149  24   5   7  52  45  69 .262 .310 .359 .669   72
  SS  D. Schofield#  27  147 466  72 122  14   2   5  33  74  82 .262 .359 .333 .691   79
  3B  J. Davenport   28  144 485  83 151  27   6  16  58  45  76 .311 .365 .491 .855  118
RF-LF L. Thomas*     26  152 534  84 164  22   3  23  96  45  74 .307 .361 .489 .850  117
  CF  F. Alou        27  154 570  98 188  33   4  27  95  34  67 .330 .369 .544 .912  131
LF-RF S. Musial*     41  135 440  58 145  18   1  19  83  65  47 .330 .415 .505 .920  136
  C   G. Green       29  120 372  45 105  14   3  19  60  25  60 .282 .326 .489 .815  107

  IF  E. Kasko       30   89 213  30  59  10   1   2  16  13  19 .277 .322 .362 .683   76
  OF  M. Mota        24   77 183  28  43   7   2   2  14  14  20 .235 .296 .328 .624   61
  C   J. Gonder*     26   72 168  22  48   8   0   5  30  11  34 .286 .328 .423 .750   92
  RF  C. James       24   65 155  20  43   5   2   3  24   3  24 .277 .298 .394 .692   76
  IF  J. Gotay       23   64 123  16  29   4   0   1   9   8  17 .236 .291 .293 .584   51
  C   J. Schaffer    26   70 120  13  29   4   1   1  13  10  28 .242 .293 .317 .610   57
OF-1B B. Burda*      23   56 101  11  23   5   0   2  13  11  10 .228 .307 .337 .644   66
  LF  M. Miñoso      36   39  97  14  19   5   0   1  10   7  17 .196 .269 .278 .547   41

      Others                  56  10  17   3   0   1   4   6  12 .304 .371 .411 .782  101

      Pitchers               438  45  68   9   2   3  25  23 141 .155 .194 .207 .401    3

      Total                 5713 809 1604 244 35 157 739 498 867 .281 .337 .418 .755   93

      *  Bats left
      #  Bats both

      Pitcher       Age    G  GS  CG   W   L  SV  IP   H   R  ER   HR   BB   SO  ERA ERA+
      L. Jackson     31   36  35  11  16  11   0 252 267 121 105   25   64  112 3.75  115
      B. Gibson      26   32  30  15  15  12   1 234 174  84  74   15   95  208 2.85  151
      A. Jackson*    26   35  33   9  10  12   0 208 216 111  96   13   70  108 4.15  104
      E. Fisher      25   47  16   3  10   7   2 183 182  81  70   17   40   95 3.44  125
      R. Washburn    24   34  25   2  11   9   0 176 187  90  80   25   58  109 4.09  105
      R. Sadecki*    21   22  17   4   6   8   1 102 121  74  63   13   43   50 5.56   78

      L. McDaniel    26   52   2   0   3   9   9  96  86  47  43   11   26   72 4.03  107
      J. Brosnan     32   43   0   0   4   3   8  59  70  26  23    5   16   48 3.51  123
      D. LeMay*      23   31   3   0   2   3   1  51  49  29  26    6   23   23 4.59   94
      B. Shantz*     36   28   0   0   5   3   4  58  45  22  14    7   20   47 2.17  198
      P. Toth        27    6   1   1   1   0   0  17  18  10  10    1    4    5 5.29   81

      Others                   1   0   1   1   2  26  21   8   7    2   16   13 2.42  178

      Total                  163  45  84  78 28 1462 1436 703 611 140  475  890 3.76  115

      * Throws left

We expected to make progress this season, and we do. Thomas is a perfect fit in right field, solidifying the lineup and becoming one of five St. Louis regulars to hit .300. Among that quintet is the 41-year-old Musial, rallying to put together one final terrific season, filling the void left when Miñoso struggles early and then breaks an ankle.

But while the improvement in our offense is genuine, the gaudy stats we produce—leading the league in hits, batting average, and on-base percentage, second in the league in runs scored, a franchise record 157 home runs—are mostly a product of extreme hitter-friendly conditions prevailing at Sportsman’s Park. In truth, our hitting is just league-average.

It’s our pitching, enduring the same home-field effects that our hitters enjoy, that’s an authentic strength. Bob Gibson, at 26, matures into one of the league’s top starters. Eddie Fisher steps forward with a splendid swingman performance. A slipping-backward year from 21-year-old sophomore Ray Sadecki is the only chink in this staff’s armor, as altogether it’s among the best in the league.

Alas, none of this progress yields an improvement in the standings, as we remain stuck in sixth. But that result is mostly a product of an underperformance against our Pythagorean record by a whopping eight wins. So despite some frustrations, on balance we like the direction we’re headed in St. Louis.

Next time

We’ll find out if our Cardinals are ready to join our Giants and Reds as titans battling for supremacy at the lofty pinnacle of the National League.

          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

          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
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Comments

  1. Steve Treder said...

    I simulate the old-fashioned way:  on a spreadsheet.  I just adjust each player’s actual stats as appropriate, factoring in park and league effects, the possible effect of facing slightly different competition, and the effects of playing time/role.

    Glad you’re enjoying it!

  2. Tall Tactician said...

    I love the premise of this project.  I just discovered your project a few days ago.  How are you simulating the season?

  3. Cliff Blau said...

    There was no bonus baby, or bonus, rule in 1962.  There was a first-year player draft, which applied to all players after their first year, regardless of whether they received a signing bonus.

  4. Señor Spielbergo said...

    So, in this scenario, the Reds would gain three wins, the Giants would gain two wins, the Dodgers and Cardinals don’t win or lose any more than they did in real life… to which teams do the five losses required to balance this out go to? Would the Mets have lost even more than 120?

  5. Steve Treder said...

    “There was no bonus baby, or bonus, rule in 1962.”

    Yes, there was.  It wasn’t in the same form in which it applied most aggresively in 1953-57, but its existence is what explains the early-career major league roster time served by Garibaldi, as well as Tony LaRussa, Dave Duncan, Steve Carlton, Ken Henderson, and Willie Crawford, among others.

  6. Steve Treder said...

    “So, in this scenario, the Reds would gain three wins, the Giants would gain two wins, the Dodgers and Cardinals don’t win or lose any more than they did in real life… to which teams do the five losses required to balance this out go to? Would the Mets have lost even more than 120?”

    Possibly, since they wouldn’t have had Al Jackson.

    Other loser 1962 NL teams in this scenario would be the Phillies (without Tony Gonzalez), the Cubs (without Andre Rodgers), and the Pirates (without Don Hoak, Harvey Haddix, or Dick Schofield).

  7. roadrider said...

    Steve, these alternative histories you’ve put together are real gems. I especially love the ones from the early sixties since I get a baseball card flashback from nearly every name mentioned.

    I understand that you have the benefit of hindsight in your decision making but even at that it seems that back in the day teams were not all that good in evaluating players or roster management. Do you think that the reserve clause and the absence of the draft contributed to the stunted development of effective player evaluation methods?

  8. Steve Treder said...

    Hmmm … interesting comment and question.  I’m not so sure I agree that teams in general were significantly worse at talent evaluation/management in that era than today.  Obviously in the current era teams have access to far more sophisticated medical diagnoses and treatments, as well as more sophisticated statistical analyses, and it’s clear that this helps them predict and project future performance more reliably.  But it hasn’t struck me as all that huge an improvement.  Teams still make mistakes all the time; this stuff isn’t easy, and humans are fallible.

    I think you do have a point about the reserve clause and the absence of a free agent draft having an effect.  But I’d say the effect was largely in making life easier for the “have” teams, and harder for the “have nots.”  It took more skill to build a team up from the bottom then than it does today.

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