1961 Major League Baseball season

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This article is about the 1961 Major League Baseball season only. For information on all of baseball, see 1961 in baseball.
President John F. Kennedy throws out first ball in Washington, D.C. at Griffith Stadium on April 10, 1961

The 1961 Major League Baseball season. The New York Yankees defeated the Cincinnati Reds in five games in the World Series. The season is most well known for Yankee teammates Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle's pursuit of Babe Ruth's prestigious 34-year-old single-season home run record of 60. Maris ultimately broke the record when he hit his 61st home run on the final day of the regular season, while Mantle was forced out of the lineup in late-September due to a hip infection and finished with 54 home runs.

In response to the proposed Continental League, the American League expanded by two teams in the first MLB expansion since 1901. The original Washington Senators moved to Minnesota and became the Minnesota Twins. The American League therefore placed a new team in Washington, also called the Senators. Also, the American League placed a team in Los Angeles called the Los Angeles Angels.

In order to keep its schedule balanced, the American League season was extended by eight games. Previously, teams had played 154 games (22 games per opponent), but from 1961 AL teams would play opponents 18 times each for a total of 162 games. The National League played a 154 game schedule for the final time in 1961 before switching to 162 games when they also expanded to ten teams for the next season.

Regular season standings[edit]

American League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
1st New York Yankees 109 53 .673
2nd Detroit Tigers 101 61 .623 8.0
3rd Baltimore Orioles 95 67 .586 14.0
4th Chicago White Sox 86 76 .531 23.0
5th Cleveland Indians 78 83 .484 30.5
6th Boston Red Sox 76 86 .469 33.0
7th Minnesota Twins 70 90 .438 38.0
8th Los Angeles Angels 70 91 .435 38.5
9th Washington Senators 61 100 .379 47.5
10th Kansas City A's 61 100 .379 47.5
National League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
1st Cincinnati Reds 93 61 .604
2nd Los Angeles Dodgers 89 65 .578 4.0
3rd San Francisco Giants 85 69 .552 8.0
4th Milwaukee Braves 83 71 .539 10.0
5th St. Louis Cardinals 80 74 .519 13.0
6th Pittsburgh Pirates 75 79 .487 18.0
7th Chicago Cubs 64 90 .416 29.0
8th Philadelphia Phillies 47 107 .305 46.0

World series[edit]

Main article: 1961 World Series
1961 World Series
New York Yankees (4) vs. Cincinnati Reds (1)
MVP Award: Whitey Ford, P, New York
Game Date Score Series
(NYY-CIN)
Location Attendance Time
1 October 4 Yankees 2, Reds 0 1–0 Yankee Stadium 62,397 2:11
2 October 5 Reds 6, Yankees 2 1–1 Yankee Stadium 63,083 2:43
3 October 7 Yankees 3, Reds 2 2–1 Crosley Field 32,589 2:15
4 October 8 Yankees 7, Reds 0 3–1 Crosley Field 32.589 2:27
5 October 9 Yankees 13, Reds 5 4–1 Crosley Field 32,589 3:05

Awards and honors[edit]

Major Awards[edit]

1961 Award Winners
  American League National League
Award Player Position Team Player Position Team
Most Valuable Player Roger Maris RF NYY Frank Robinson LF CIN
Cy Young Award Whitey Ford P NYY
Rookie of the Year Don Schwall P BOS Billy Williams LF CHC

Gold Glove Awards[edit]

1961 Gold Glove Awards
  American League National League
Position Player Team Player Team
P Frank Lary DET Bobby Shantz PIT
C Earl Battey MIN Johnny Roseboro LAD
1B Vic Power CLE Bill White STL
2B Bobby Richardson NYY Bill Mazeroski PIT
3B Brooks Robinson BAL Ken Boyer STL
SS Luis Aparicio CHW Maury Wills LAD
OF Al Kaline DET Roberto Clemente PIT
OF Jim Landis CHW Vada Pinson CIN
OF Jim Piersall CLE Willie Mays SFG

League leaders[edit]

  American League National League
Type Name Stat Name Stat
AVG Norm Cash, DET .361 Roberto Clemente, PIT .351
HR Roger Maris, NYY 61 Orlando Cepeda, SFG 46
RBI Roger Maris, NYY Jim Gentile, Bal 141 Orlando Cepeda, SFG 141
SB Luis Aparicio, CHW 53 Maury Wills, LAD 35
Wins Whitey Ford, NYY 25 Joey Jay, CIN
Warren Spahn, MLN
21
ERA Dick Donovan, WSA 2.40 Warren Spahn, MLN 3.02
SO Camilo Pascual, MIN 221 Sandy Koufax, LAD 269
SV Luis Arroyo, NYY 29 Roy Face, PIT
Stu Miller, SFG
17

All-Star Games[edit]

Game 1[edit]

July 11, 1961
Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
American League 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 1 4 4 2
National League 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 5 11 5
Starting pitchers:
AL: Whitey Ford
NL: Warren Spahn
WP: Stu Miller (1–0)   LP: Hoyt Wilhelm (0–1)
Home runs:
AL: Harmon Killebrew (1)
NL: George Altman (1)

Game 2[edit]

July 31, 1961
Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
National League 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 5 1
American League 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 0
Starting pitchers:
NL: Bob Purkey
AL: Jim Bunning
WP: None   LP: None
Home runs:
NL: None
AL: Rocky Colavito (1)
  • The game ended in a 1–1 tie due to rain.

Managers[edit]

American League[edit]

Team Manager Comments
Baltimore Orioles Paul Richards Replaced during the season by Lum Harris
Boston Red Sox Pinky Higgins
Chicago White Sox Al Lopez
Cleveland Indians Jimmy Dykes Replaced during the season by Mel Harder
Detroit Tigers Bob Scheffing
Kansas City Athletics Joe Gordon Replaced during the season by Hank Bauer
Los Angeles Angels Bill Rigney Expansion team
Minnesota Twins Cookie Lavagetto Replaced during the season by Sam Mele
New York Yankees Ralph Houk Won the World Series
Washington Senators Mickey Vernon Expansion team

National League[edit]

Team Manager Comments
Chicago Cubs College of Coaches
Cincinnati Reds Fred Hutchinson Won the National League pennant
Los Angeles Dodgers Walter Alston
Milwaukee Braves Chuck Dressen Replaced during the season by Birdie Tebbetts
Philadelphia Phillies Gene Mauch
Pittsburgh Pirates Danny Murtaugh
San Francisco Giants Alvin Dark
St. Louis Cardinals Solly Hemus Replaced during the season by Johnny Keane

Records[edit]

Major League[edit]

Maris' 61 home runs broke Babe Ruth's 34-year-old major league single-season record of 60, set in 1927. Maris' record would stand for 37 years until it was broken by Mark McGwire's 70 in 1998. Maris, however, still holds the American League record.

Events[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Of 4 Homerun Games and Cub No-Hitters". BaseballLibrary.com. 

External links[edit]