1959 in baseball

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The following are the baseball events of the year 1959 throughout the world.  

Champions[edit]

Major League Baseball[edit]

Other champions[edit]

Awards and honors[edit]

MLB statistical leaders[edit]

  American League National League
Type Name Stat Name Stat
AVG Harvey Kuenn DET .353 Hank Aaron MLN .355
HR Rocky Colavito CLE
Harmon Killebrew WSH
42 Eddie Mathews MLN 46
RBI Jackie Jensen BOS 112 Ernie Banks CHC 143
Wins Early Wynn CHW 22 Lew Burdette MLN
Sam Jones SFG
Warren Spahn MLN
21
ERA Hoyt Wilhelm BAL 2.19 Sam Jones SFG 2.83

Major league baseball final standings[edit]

American League final standings[edit]

Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
1st Chicago White Sox 94   60 .610     --
2nd Cleveland Indians 89   65 .578   5.0
3rd New York Yankees 79   75 .513   15.0
4th Detroit Tigers 76   78 .494   18.0
5th Boston Red Sox 75   79 .487   19.0
6th Baltimore Orioles 74   80 .481   20.0
7th Kansas City Athletics 66   88 .429   28.0
8th Washington Senators 63   91 .409   31.0

National League final standings[edit]

Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
1st Los Angeles Dodgers 88   68 .564     --
2nd Milwaukee Braves 86   70 .551   2.0
3rd San Francisco Giants 83   71 .539   4.0
4th Pittsburgh Pirates 78   76 .506   9.0
5th Cincinnati Reds 74   80 .481   13.0
6th Chicago Cubs 74   80 .481   13.0
7th St. Louis Cardinals 71   83 .461   16.0
8th Philadelphia Phillies 64   90 .416   23.0

Events[edit]

January–March[edit]

  • February 28 – Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees ends his holdout after one day. Mantle agrees to a salary of $72,000 and a bonus of $2,000. He had been asking the Yankees for $85,000 after batting .304 with 42 home runs and 97 RBI in 1958.

April–June[edit]

  • April 11 – On Opening Day, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale hits a home run, becoming the only pitcher to hit more than one career homer in opening games. Drysdale's historic blast doesn't prevent the Dodgers from losing their game, 6–1, to the Chicago Cubs.
  • April 22 – The Chicago White Sox defeat the Kansas City Athletics 20–6 at Municipal Stadium. The White Sox score 11 of those runs in a wild seventh inning in which they collect only one hit. Ray Boone and Al Smith lead off the inning by reaching on errors. Johnny Callison then collects the hit, a single that scores Boone; on the play, Smith scores and Callison reaches third on a Roger Maris error. Eight of the next nine runs score on ten bases on balls; Callison is hit by a pitch to force in the remaining run.
  • May 20 – The New York Yankees lose to the Detroit Tigers 13–6 at Yankee Stadium, the loss dropping the New Yorkers to last place in the American League—their first time in the cellar since May 23, 1940. The Yankees had won nine pennants over the previous ten years, as well as winning 103 games in 1954, the one year in that stretch when they didn't win the pennant (that year, they finished second to the Cleveland Indians, who won 111). The Yankees will battle back this year but finish in 3rd place, 15 games behind the pennant-winning White Sox.
  • June 30 – The St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs are involved in a bizarre play at Wrigley Field in which two balls are in play at the same time. With one out in the fourth inning, Stan Musial is at the plate with a 3–1 count. The next pitch from the Cubs’ Bob Anderson evades catcher Sammy Taylor and rolls to the backstop. Home plate umpire Vic Delmore calls ball four on Musial, much to the chagrin of Anderson and Taylor, both of whom argue that Musial had foul tipped the ball. With the ball still in play and Delmore arguing with both Anderson and Taylor, Musial attempts to run for second. Meanwhile, Cubs third baseman Alvin Dark runs to the backstop and retrieves the ball despite it having ended up in the hands of field announcer Pat Pieper. However, Delmore unknowingly pulls out a new ball and gives it to Taylor. Anderson sees Musial attempting to advance to second and throws the ball to second baseman Tony Taylor, only for it to sail into the outfield. At the same time, Dark throws the original ball to shortstop Ernie Banks. Musial sees Anderson's ball go over Tony Taylor’s head and attempts to advance to third, unaware that Dark’s throw has reached Banks, who tags Musial. After a delay, Musial is declared out. Both teams play the game under protest; the Cardinals drop theirs after defeating the Cubs 4–1. At the end of the season, Delmore’s contract is not renewed—undoubtedly in part because of the incident.

July–September[edit]

  • September 28–29 – The L.A. Dodgers and Milwaukee Braves finish the NL regular schedule in a tie and the Dodgers defeat the Braves in a best-of-three playoff series 3–2 and 6–5 (12) to reach the World Series.

October–December[edit]

  • October 8 – The Los Angeles Dodgers defeat the Chicago White Sox, 9–3, in Game 6 of the World Series to win their second World Championship, and first since moving to Los Angeles, four games to two. The Dodgers have an 8–0 lead after 4 innings and hold on despite Ted Kluszewski's 3-run home run. The round-tripper gives the slugger a new 6-game RBI record of 10. Chicago's Chuck Essegian hits his second pinch HR to establish a new record, later equalled by Bernie Carbo of the Boston Red Sox in 1975. This was the first pennant for the White Sox since the Black Sox scandal, 40 years earlier. It marked the first Championship for a West Coast team. It was the first ever World Series in which no pitcher for either team pitched a complete game. Dodgers P Larry Sherry was named MVP.

Births[edit]

January–March[edit]

April–June[edit]

July–September[edit]

October–December[edit]

Deaths[edit]

January–March[edit]

  • January 21 – Hooks Wiltse, 79, pitcher for the New York Giants with two 20-win seasons and a 10-inning no-hitter
  • January 22 – Ken Williams, 68, outfielder who in 1922 became the first player to have 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in the same season
  • February 7 – Nap Lajoie, 84, Hall of Fame second baseman who batted .338 in his career, winning the 1901 American League Triple Crown with a .426 batting average and becoming the third player to make 3000 hits
  • February 12 – Dode Paskert, 77, outfielder and leadoff hitter known for his speed and defense
  • February 27 – Howie Fitzgerald, 56, outfielder for the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox in the 1920s
  • March 17 – Howard Ehmke, 64, pitcher with six 15-win seasons whose last major league victory was a record 13-strikeout performance in the 1929 World Series
  • March 29 – Johnny Allen, 53, All-Star pitcher named Major League Player of the Year by The Sporting News in 1937 after a 15–1 season

April–June[edit]

  • May 18 – John Hummel, 76, longtime Brooklyn utility player
  • May 18 – Gene Packard, 71, pitcher who enjoyed a pair of 20-win seasons in the short-lived Federal League
  • May 26 – Ed Walsh, 78, Hall of Fame spitball pitcher for the Chicago White Sox who compiled the lowest career ERA in history (1.82) and won an astonishing 40 games in 1908
  • June 9 – Frank Huelsman, 85, regarded as the first player in major league history to play for four different teams in a season (1904), who later gained notoriety as a minor league star, compiling a .342 career average over nearly 20 years, including five batting titles, six RBI titles, and two Triple Crowns
  • June 17 – Jim McHale, 83, outfielder for the 1908 Boston Red Sox
  • June 28 – Joe Sugden, 88, platooning catcher for five teams, later a Cardinals scout for 31 years

July–September[edit]

  • July 7 – Norwood Gibson, 82, pitcher for the Boston Americans between 1903 and 1906
  • July 11 – Frank Gilhooley, 77, outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox between 1911 and 1919
  • July 21 – Bill Hoffer, 88, pitcher who won 20 games in each of his first three seasons
  • July 25 – Buck O'Brien, 77, pitcher who won 20 games for the Boston Red Sox 1912 World Champions
  • July 25 – Jim Boyer, 50, American League umpire from 1944 to 1950
  • July 26 – Otto Miller, 58, third baseman for the St. Louis Browns and Boston Red Sox between 1927 and 1932
  • July 29 – Boileryard Clarke, 90, backup catcher for the 1890s Baltimore Orioles, later a coach at Princeton for 34 years
  • August 4 – Chappy Charles, 78, infielder for the Browns and Reds from 1908–1910
  • August 4 – Pop Williams, 85, pitcher for 4 NL teams from 1898–1903
  • September 20 – Tilly Walker, 72, power-hitting outfielder known for his strong arm
  • September 28 – Red Corriden, 72, longtime MLB coach and manager of the 1950 Chicago White Sox

October–December[edit]

  • October 16 – Herb Bradley, 56, pitched for the Boston Red Sox from 1927 through 1929
  • October 29 – Dave Fultz, 84, outfielder who became a lawyer and unionized players in the 1910s, later coaching baseball and football at six universities
  • November 4 – Claude "Lefty" Williams, 66, one of the eight White Sox players suspended for life in the Black Sox scandal
  • November 20 – Roy Thomas, 85, Phillies outfielder and leadoff hitter who batted .300 five times
  • November 28 – Ed McFarland, 85, catcher for five teams, known for his fielding
  • November 30 – Jack Scott, 67, pitcher who threw a shutout in the 1922 World Series for the Giants and won 16 games the next year
  • December 6 – Wid Conroy, 82, infielder for four teams, including the 1902 NL champion Pirates
  • December 10 – Joe Harris, 68, first baseman and outfielder who batted .300 in his first eight seasons
  • December 11 – Jim Bottomley, 59, power-hitting first baseman for four Cardinal pennant-winners and career .310 hitter who was named the NL's MVP in 1928 and set a record with 12 RBI in a 1924 game