The virtual 1958-68 Giants, Reds, and Cardinals (Part 7: 1963-64)

Our extended counterfactual journey has now completed six seasons:

1957-58
1958-59
1959-60
1960-61
1961-62
1962-63

One of our Giants or Reds teams has achieved a first-place finish in every virtual seasons since 1959, when they tied for first. Meanwhile, the real each franchises snagged just one pennant each in that period. Our Cardinals, who actually broke through as a contender in 1963, remain mired in the middle of our version 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
 1963    88   74  3    725  641      86   76  5    648  594      93   69  2    747  628

          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

The 1963-64 offseason: Actual deals we will make

April 9, 1964: The St. Louis Cardinals traded outfielder-infielder Gary Kolb and catcher Jimmie Coker to the Milwaukee Braves for catcher Bob Uecker.

In an unusually light trading season, we see just one and only. And it barely makes it, coming on the eve of Opening Day. It’s no earth-shaker, as our Cards and their real-life counterparts, swap a pair of bench parts for a good-defense-little-offense backup catcher (albeit one with a notably wry sense of humor).

The 1963-64 offseason: Actual deals we will not make

Nov. 4, 1963: The St. Louis Cardinals traded outfielder George Altman and pitcher Bill Wakefield to the New York Mets for pitcher Roger Craig.

We never acquired Big George, and so won’t be acquiring Mr. Humm Baby.

Dec. 3, 1963: The San Francisco Giants traded outfielder Felipe Alou, catcher Ed Bailey, pitcher Billy Hoeft, and a player to be named later to the Milwaukee Braves for pitchers Bob Hendley and Bob Shaw and catcher Del Crandall. (On Jan. 8, 1964, the Giants sent infielder Ernie Bowman to the Braves, completing the deal.)

Since our Giants no longer have the eldest Alou brother, they won’t be able to partake in this big shakeup. Our Cardinals do have Felipe, but don’t wish to part with him.

Dec. 14, 1963: The Cincinnati Reds purchased third baseman Steve Boros from the Chicago Cubs.

Nor do our Reds have any interest in this journeyman.

Feb. 17, 1964: The St. Louis Cardinals traded outfielder Jim Beauchamp and pitcher Chuck Taylor to the Houston Colt .45s for outfielder Carl Warwick.

Beauchamp has jumped way up on our prospect list by hitting .337 with 31 homers in the Texas League in 1963. Our Cardinals would rather give him a chance to make the major league team in ’64 than exchange him for the journeyman Warwick.

The 1963-64 offseason: Deals we will invoke

Sep. 30, 1963: The San Francisco Giants purchased pitcher Don McMahon from the Houston Colt .45s.

On this date in real-life, Houston sold McMahon to Cleveland, but our Giants think he can bolster the bullpen at low cost, and won’t let him clear waivers.

Oct. 1, 1963: The Cincinnati Reds traded catcher Jimmie Coker to the St. Louis Cardinals for pitcher Dom Zanni.

Our Cincinnati organization stashed Coker in triple-A in ’63, but our St. Louisans think they might have a use for him. (He will be included in the Uecker trade in the spring.)

Oct. 10, 1963: In a special National League draft, the San Francisco Giants surrendered pitcher Mike McCormick to the New York Mets.

The NL decided (quite sensibly, it’s always seemed) to conduct a small supplementary expansion draft to help out the still-struggling Mets and Colt .45s. Each of the eight pre-expansion franchises made a list of non-marginal players available, and New York and Houston got one pick apiece. The player the Mets actually chose was pitcher Jack Fisher from the Giants, but since we didn’t trade McCormick for Fisher a year ago, it seems reasonable that in our scenario it’s McCormick they’ll take.

Nov. 30, 1963: The San Francisco Giants signed catcher Hal Smith as a free agent.

The Colt .45s have released this veteran, and our Giants will give him a shot at third-string catcher.

(And here we go again with the coincidental names … there have been three Hal Smiths to play in the major leagues, and two of them were right-handed-batting catchers playing at almost exactly the same time, this one from 1955-64 and the other one from 1956-65.)

Jan. 20, 1964: The St. Louis Cardinals traded infielder Eddie Kasko to the Houston Colt .45s for pitchers Jim Dickson and Wally Wolf and cash.

Actually, Houston made this trade with Cincinnati, but since it’s our Cardinals who still have Kasko, they’ll do it instead. Dickson and Wolf are second-tier prospects, but in St. Louis we have younger talent we believe ready to take over the utility infielder gig from Kasko.

March 1964: The St. Louis Cardinals traded pitcher Dick LeMay to the San Francisco Giants for pitcher Paul Doyle.

The southpaw LeMay has never been able to break through since our Cardinals acquired him back in 1960, and now St. Louis is ready to give someone else a shot. Doyle is also a left-hander, a year younger than LeMay and more raw, but harder throwing. Our Giants, in need of a lefty spot starter to replace McCormick, will give LeMay another chance, and the St. Louis organization will give Doyle the opportunity to further develop in the minors.

The 1964 season: Actual deals we will make

June 26, 1964: The Cincinnati Reds sold pitcher Al Worthington to the Minnesota Twins.

Worthington did well for our Reds in 1963, but has gotten squeezed back to triple-A this year, so we’ll let the Twins have him. (Oops. The 35-year-old Worthington, better late than never, will blossom into a splendid relief ace in Minnesota.)

The 1964 season: Actual deals we will not make

April 14, 1964: The San Francisco Giants purchased outfielder Duke Snider from the New York Mets.

May 13, 1964: The Cincinnati Reds purchased pitcher Ryne Duren from the Philadelphia Phillies.

As much fun as both of these additions would be, neither of our rosters have room.

June 15, 1964: The St. Louis Cardinals traded pitchers Ernie Broglio and Bobby Shantz and outfielder Doug Clemens to the Chicago Cubs for outfielder Lou Brock and pitchers Paul Toth and Jack Spring.

And then, of course, there was this little piece of business.

Alas, our Cards don’t have Broglio. And though our Giants do, as tempting as the toolsy-but-still-spinning-his-remarkable-wheels Brock is, there’s no room for him in the San Francisco outfield.

But, you know, there is room in the St. Louis outfield. So …

The 1964 season: Deals we will invoke

June 15, 1964: The St. Louis Cardinals traded pitcher Ray Sadecki to the Chicago Cubs for outfielder Lou Brock.

Sadecki doesn’t have anything near Broglio’s track record of success, but he’s still just 23 (five years younger than Broglio—heck, he’s two years younger than Brock), and looks as though he might be on the verge of busting out. So far in 1964, Sadecki’s displaying better control than ever before, and has six wins and four complete games.

Of course, he might not bust out, just as Brock might never fulfill his abundant potential. There’s risk on both sides of this one, as there is any time when talented young underperformers of this type are exchanged. But the Cubs need pitching help, and have other options in the outfield, and our Cards need outfield help and have other options on the mound. Both teams will roll the dice.

1964 season results

Giants

Our roster changes are minimal. McMahon joins the bullpen and LeMay gets an opportunity to join the back end of the rotation. The most significant alteration is in right field, where we’ll give Jim Ray Hart the regular job (assuming he can avoid beanballs) and move Walt Bond to a utility role.

1964 San Francisco Giants     Won 100    Lost 62    Finished 2nd

 Pos  Player        Age    G  AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
  1B  W. McCovey*    26  130 364  61  80  14   1  18  54  61  73 .220 .336 .412 .748  108
2B-SS H. Lanier      21   98 306  29  84  13   2   2  24   4  35 .275 .274 .350 .624   73
  SS  A. Rodgers     29  129 448  53 106  17   3  12  44  52  85 .237 .312 .368 .680   90
  3B  K. Boyer       33  162 649 103 187  30   8  24  66  71  85 .288 .358 .470 .828  130
  RF  J. Hart        22  153 566  73 162  15   6  31  83  47  94 .286 .341 .498 .839  132
  CF  W. Mays        33  157 578 123 171  21   9  47 114  82  72 .296 .382 .607 .989  172
LF-1B O. Cepeda      26  142 529  77 161  27   2  31 100  43  83 .304 .361 .539 .900  148
  C   T. Haller*     27  105 332  40  84  12   3  14  41  47  44 .253 .346 .434 .780  117

OF-1B W. Bond*       26   99 272  29  70   8   3  12  39  18  46 .257 .309 .441 .750  107
  C   J. Orsino      26   81 248  21  57  10   0   7  23  20  51 .230 .288 .355 .643   79
  IF  J. Pagan       29  101 221  19  50   6   1   1  17  21  40 .226 .288 .276 .564   59
  OF  J. Alou        22   77 188  21  50   5   0   2  14   6  18 .266 .291 .324 .616   72
  2B  C. Hiller*     29   72 164  17  30   6   1   1  14  14  18 .183 .245 .250 .495   39
  OF  M. Alou*       25   73 100  14  25   2   1   0   6   3  11 .250 .276 .290 .566   59
  SS  G. Garrido     23   38  70   6  11   1   0   0   3   4  11 .157 .197 .171 .369    4
  C   H. Smith       33   21  44   4   5   1   0   0   2   8  13 .114 .245 .136 .382   10
  C   T. Talton*     25   16  37   2   9   1   0   0   3   2   5 .243 .282 .270 .552   56
  1B  N. Larker*     33   14  24   2   6   1   0   0   1   3   2 .250 .333 .292 .625   77

      Others                  29   6   4   1   0   0   3   3   8 .138 .219 .172 .391   11

      Pitchers               404  23  52   7   0   0  22  23 150 .129 .167 .146 .313  -11

      Total                 5573 726 1404 198 40 202 673 532 944 .252 .316 .411 .726  102

      *  Bats left

      Pitcher       Age    G  GS  CG   W   L  SV  IP   H   R  ER   HR   BB   SO  ERA ERA+
      J. Marichal    26   33  33  22  23   6   0 269 241  89  74   18   52  206 2.48  144
      G. Perry       25   44  19   5  14   9   4 206 179  65  63   16   43  155 2.75  129
      E. Broglio     28   29  27   6   9  10   1 170 172  78  68   18   57   84 3.60   99
      B. Bolin       25   30  23   4   7   6   0 157 130  65  58   15   69  130 3.32  107
      D. LeMay*      25   29  23   5  11   8   0 151 140  60  54   14   48   86 3.22  111
      J. Sanford     35   18  17   3   7   5   0 106  91  44  39    7   37   64 3.31  108
      D. Estelle*    22   13  10   1   3   3   0  72  67  30  27    4   39   51 3.38  105

      S. Miller      36   66   0   0   8   6  20  97  81  38  34    6   30   80 3.15  113
      D. McMahon     34   56   0   0   6   2   5  81  56  26  21    7   34   66 2.33  153
      B. O'Dell*     31   36   8   1   8   6   1  85  82  55  51   10   35   54 5.40   66
      B. Pierce*     37   34   1   0   3   0   2  49  40  14  12    6   10   29 2.20  162

      Others                   1   0   1   1   1  34  29  12  12    4    6   26 3.18  112

      Total                  162  47 100  62 34 1477 1308 576 513 125  460 1031 3.13  114

      * Throws left

The good news for the offense is that Hart is healthy and terrific, an immediate star. The bad news is that our second base platoon partners Chuck Hiller and Jose Pagan, who’d hit pretty well back in 1962, and less well in ’63, hit terribly this time around. In frustration, we promote smooth-fielding, slap-hitting Hal Lanier from the minors in mid-season, and while he doesn’t hit well (that .274 OBP alongside a .275 batting average is a neat trick), he hits better than Pagan and (especially) Hiller.

The worst news is that our young star first baseman Willie McCovey is gripped by a season-long slump. The supposed explanation is chronically sore feet brought on by a pair of ill-fitting shoes. All we can say is, that must have been one truly nasty pair of shoes.

We’re still getting tremendous performances from Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda and Ken Boyer. Though we don’t present quite the run production capability of the past few years, we remain remarkably power-laden, exceeding 200 team home runs for a staggering fourth year in a row.

We have a few pitching issues. Jack Sanford misses almost half of the season with a shoulder injury, and Ernie Broglio and Billy O’Dell both endure off-years. But positives abound, including stepping-forward years from 25-year-old right-handers Gaylord Perry and Bob Bolin. McMahon more than repays our confidence, and LeMay is a delightful surprise. With Juan Marichal once again leading the way, our staff is outstanding, our best since 1960.

We win 100 ball games.

And finish in second place.

Reds

Cincinnati’s modifications are even more marginal than San Francisco’s. The only new names are a hard-throwing 22-year-old rookie right-hander, Sammy Ellis, to whom we’ll grant a bullpen slot, and second-chance corner infielder Deron Johnson fresh off a 33-homer season in triple-A.

1964 Cincinnati Reds     Won 101    Lost 61    Finished 1st

 Pos  Player        Age    G  AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
1B-3B D. Johnson     25  126 382  50 104  19   3  17  62  30  78 .272 .327 .471 .798  120
  2B  P. Rose#       23  129 464  53 125  12   2   4  30  32  46 .269 .317 .330 .646   81
  SS  L. Cardenas    25  155 537  56 137  29   2   8  60  38  98 .255 .302 .361 .663   84
  3B  T. Harper      23  134 429  60 106  10   3   7  32  52  75 .247 .325 .333 .658   84
  RF  F. Robinson    28  156 568 104 174  38   6  29  95  79  67 .306 .396 .548 .943  160
CF-LF V. Pinson*     25  148 584  95 158  21  11  22  80  39  90 .271 .320 .457 .777  114
  LF  T. Gonzalez*   27  124 379  47 108  23   3   5  36  40  64 .285 .357 .401 .758  111
  C   J. Edwards*    26  110 317  35  90  17   1   6  41  26  48 .284 .333 .401 .734  104

O-2-3 C. Flood       26  118 340  48 103  12   1   3  22  22  25 .303 .345 .371 .716  100
 C-1B E. Bailey*     33   82 217  23  56   8   1   5  25  27  30 .258 .340 .373 .713   99
1B-OF M. Keough*     30   98 221  23  56   7   1   7  22  17  47 .253 .310 .389 .699   94
  LF  J. Lynch*      33   95 198  23  53   9   1  11  39  18  37 .268 .327 .490 .817  124
  C   J. Azcue       24   69 181  13  49   6   1   3  23   9  23 .271 .303 .365 .667   85
  1B  W. Moon*       34   79 157  12  37   3   1   3  12  16  29 .236 .301 .325 .626   75
  IF  C. Ruiz#       25   51 104  11  24   4   1   1   5   1  15 .231 .234 .317 .552   52
  IF  B. Klaus       26   20  47   5   9   2   1   1   3   2   7 .191 .216 .340 .556   52

      Others                  79   8  14   2   0   2   7   7  20 .177 .244 .278 .523   45

      Pitchers               427  23  53   6   1   5  38  17 163 .125 .154 .177 .331   -8

      Total                 5631 689 1456 228 40 139 632 472 962 .259 .315 .387 .702   95

      *  Bats left
      #  Bats both

      Pitcher       Age    G  GS  CG   W   L  SV  IP   H   R  ER   HR   BB   SO  ERA ERA+
      J. Pizarro*    27   33  33  11  19   8   0 239 203  84  74   22   49  158 2.79  130
      J. O'Toole*    27   30  30   9  17   7   0 220 194  71  65    8   51  145 2.66  136
      J. Maloney     24   31  31  11  15  10   0 216 175  72  65   16   83  214 2.71  134
      C. Osteen*     24   37  24   8  12   7   0 171 164  68  60   11   38   90 3.16  115
      B. Purkey      34   34  20   7   9   7   1 157 141  59  50   12   39   64 2.87  126
      J. Jay         28   34  18   8   9   9   2 146 131  58  53   13   29  110 3.27  111

      S. Ellis       23   52   4   1   9   2  16 102  82  31  28    7   23  106 2.47  147
      H. Haddix*     38   49   0   0   3   3  10  72  56  22  18    3   16   72 2.25  161
      J. Nuxhall*    35   42   2   0   3   3   5  62  51  25  24    6   21   50 3.48  104
      J. Tsitouris   28   37   1   0   3   4   3  61  57  27  23    5   28   55 3.39  107

      Others                   0   0   2   1   1  21  25  16  12    1    8   19 5.14   70

      Total                  163  55 101  61 38 1467 1279 533 472 104  385 1083 2.90  125

      * Throws left

We see a transition at first base, as Wally Moon proceeds into full decline mode, but Johnson calmly steps up and takes over with lusty hitting. And Ellis proves to be superb, quickly becoming our top relief ace.

But across the breadth of our roster, what’s remarkable about this season is the degree to which virtually every player does more or less as expected. Some have pretty good years, some have slightly disappointing years, but all is well within the range of normal expectation. We get just about exactly what we should expect to get from this team.

And that proves to be one hell of a lot.

Our hitting comes in at okay, nothing special, slightly better than league average. But our pitching is just stunning, lights out across the board without a single superstar. Our team ERA+ is the best presented by any National League team in a decade.

We win 101 big ones, and in a race this close every last one of them is big. By the finest of margins, we walk away with our second straight pennant, and third in four years. It’s our fourth consecutive 100-victory season, the first time that’s ever been achieved in baseball history. We’re putting together something like a dynasty.

Cardinals

Like the Giants and Reds, our Cardinals have made few trades this offseason. But unlike them, we’re introducing numerous new faces from the farm system. Right-hander Harry Fanok will get a shot in the starting rotation, rookies Jerry Buchek and Phil Gagliano will get long looks in the infield, and a trio of rookie outfielders—Beauchamp, Johnny Lewis, and Mike Shannon—will get opportunities to win significant roles.

And, of course, in June we pull the trigger on the Sadecki-for-Brock swap, introducing yet another young outfielder into the mix (Lewis is sent down to make room), and opening up a spot on the staff for rookie left-hander Gordie Richardson.

1964 St. Louis Cardinals     Won 87    Lost 75    Finished 4th

 Pos  Player        Age    G  AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
  1B  B. White*      30  160 620  90 188  36   4  21  98  51 101 .303 .352 .476 .828  123
  2B  J. Javier      27  155 535  66 129  19   5  12  63  30  82 .241 .279 .363 .641   73
  SS  D. Schofield#  29  121 398  50 103  23   5   3  36  55  61 .259 .355 .364 .719   97
  3B  J. Davenport   30  116 357  29  88  14   8   2  31  36  58 .246 .301 .347 .648   76
RF-LF L. Thomas*     28  139 458  50 122  22   4  13  53  33  37 .266 .317 .417 .734   98
CF-RF F. Alou        29  121 415  60 107  27   3  11  49  31  41 .258 .311 .417 .728   96
LF-CF L. Brock*      25  103 419  81 146  21   9  12  42  27  87 .348 .377 .527 .905  144
  C   T. McCarver*   22  143 465  53 134  19   3   9  50  40  44 .288 .340 .400 .740  101

  IF  J. Buchek      22   95 291  32  69  11   6   4  30  24  81 .237 .292 .357 .649   76
  OF  M. Shannon     24   88 253  30  66   8   2   9  42  19  54 .261 .305 .415 .720   94
3B-2B P. Gagliano    22   88 241  21  56   9   1   2  23  17  30 .232 .278 .303 .581   58
  OF  J. Beauchamp   24   87 203  31  44  10   1  10  28  19  54 .217 .288 .424 .711   91
  OF  J. Lewis*      24   64 168  19  39   4   3   3  13  20  43 .232 .311 .345 .656   79
  OF  B. Burda*      25   70 122  15  26   5   0   3  17  14  12 .213 .290 .328 .618   68
  C   B. Uecker      29   33  71   5  14   0   0   1   4  11  16 .197 .313 .239 .553   53
  C   D. Ricketts#   28   27  42   2   8   2   0   0   2   2   3 .190 .227 .238 .465   27
  CF  H. Goss        29   13  20   2   4   1   0   0   2   1   6 .200 .238 .250 .488   33

      Others                  42   3  11   0   0   0   3   2  10 .262 .295 .262 .557   54

      Pitchers               421  23  65  14   3   1  20  13 153 .154 .172 .209 .382    3

      Total                 5541 662 1419 245 57 116 606 445 973 .256 .308 .384 .691   87

      *  Bats left
      #  Bats both

      Pitcher       Age    G  GS  CG   W   L  SV  IP   H   R  ER   HR   BB   SO  ERA ERA+
      L. Jackson     33   40  38  19  24  11   0 298 273 128 108   17   59  151 3.26  118
      B. Gibson      28   40  36  17  18  13   1 287 250 106  96   25   86  245 3.01  128
      A. Jackson*    28   34  31   7  11  11   0 170 183  94  78   15   44   90 4.13   93
      D. Hughes      26   21  15   2   5   4   0  95  94  45  35    7   46   60 3.32  116
      R. Sadecki*    23   13   8   4   6   5   0  71  70  30  29    3   20   36 3.68  104
      R. Washburn    26   15  10   0   3   5   2  60  60  29  27    7   17   28 4.05   95
      M. Cuellar*    27   16   7   1   3   4   1  48  55  32  26    6   21   35 4.88   79
      H. Fanok       24   11   6   1   1   3   0  41  40  32  26    3   33   31 5.71   67

      L. McDaniel    28   57   0   0   1   6  15  85  93  43  37    4   22   67 3.92   98
      E. Fisher      27   53   5   0   6   3   7 117  96  51  46   12   24   63 3.54  109
      B. Shantz*     38   50   0   0   2   5   1  61  54  26  22    5   19   42 3.25  118
      B. Henry*      36   37   0   0   2   2   6  52  33  11   6    2   12   28 1.04  370
      G. Richardson* 25   19   6   1   4   3   1  47  40  18  12    2   15   28 2.30  167

      Others                   0   0   1   0   0  13  24  12   7    2    7    8 4.85   79

      Total                  162  52  87  75 34 1445 1365 657 555 110  425  912 3.46  111

      * Throws left

Fanok struggles, and right-hander Ray Washburn is again bedeviled by arm trouble, so two more newcomers make mid-season debuts: 26-year-old rookie right-hander Dick Hughes (who does well), and 27-year-old nomadic southpaw Mike Cuellar (who doesn’t).

Larry Jackson and Bob Gibson, the pair of burly horses leading our staff, both come through big-time, each with his best season yet. Despite the significant churn at the back end of the rotation, our pitching overall is excellent, definitely capable of supporting a serious contender.

But our hitting isn’t, despite the fact that Brock is sensational, blossoming into stardom immediately upon arrival, and Bill White delivers his customary strong season. There just isn’t enough firepower surrounding them. Felipe Alou limps through the year with a sore knee. Lee Thomas, though rebounding from his bad 1963, doesn’t hit with the authority he displayed in 1961-62. And Jim Davenport fails to rebound from his disappointing 1963.

The strong pitching (plus some good luck with Pythag, outperforming our projected record by five wins) yields an 87-75 record, our best since 1960. But that’s still a couple of weeks’ worth of wins short of the flag. We’re far from a bad team, but we don’t seem to be capable of taking that big step upward.

Next time

We’ll find out if this Cincinnati juggernaut can reach the 100-victory circle five times in a row, if there’s anything our Giants can do to overtake them, and if our Cardinals will once again observe from afar.

          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

          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
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Comments

  1. Paul E said...

    Steve:
      Fascinating stuff, as always. Just noticing in your review section at the top, the actual 1961 Reds had quite an imoprovement over 1960, year over year. But, man, your ‘61 Reds virtual team improved by 30 games! Has this actually ever been done?

      Thanks again for all your hard work and research

  2. AaronB said...

    Hey Steve, I hadn’t posted yet, but I love this series.  Unfortunately, I probably would have to fire you as GM of the Cards…unless some real fun is about to happen!

  3. Steve Treder said...

    I know, I know, my job in St. Louis is dangling by a thread.  I’m sweating it out, believe me.

    But without giving anything way, just understand this:  I’m going to take some high-risk, high-reward action again this upcoming offseason, and it just might pay some serious dividends.

  4. Steve Treder said...

    “… your ‘61 Reds virtual team improved by 30 games! Has this actually ever been done?”

    Well, yes.  The Detroit Tigers improved by 30 wins from 1960 to ‘61 (aided by the move from a 154-game schedule to a 162-game schedule, of course).

    It’s at the very high end of historical normality, that’s for sure.  (In the case of both the actual ‘60-‘61 Reds’ 24-win improvement, and our version’s 30-win improvement, greatly underperforming against Pythag in 1960 and greatly overperforming against it in ‘61 really helped.)

  5. Paul E said...

    Steve:
      Just noticed ‘62 Phillies, aided by 162 game schedule and the NY Mets and Houston Colt 45’s AAA ballclubs, improved by 30 1/2 games over 1961. Without checking, I believe they may have gone 17-1 and 14-4 respectively against these two newcomers…
      But, the Reds of 1961 improved dramatically without the benefit of neither expansion and increased number of games

  6. Señor Spielbergo said...

    “your ‘61 Reds virtual team improved by 30 games! Has this actually ever been done?”

    The Arizona Diamondbacks improved by 35 games from 1998 to 1999.

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