In the American League, the Yankees were in the 4th of 5 straight pennant winning years, and, led by MVP Elston Howard, cruised to the American League title by 10.5 games over the 2nd place White Sox.
In the National League, most experts figured the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers would be locked in another battle for the pennant, much like 1962 when the Giants came from behind and beat the Dodgers in a playoff. The Dodgers started slowly, perhaps feeling the hangover effect from blowing the pennant the year before. They were 2 games under .500 in early May, and trailed the surprising St. Louis Cardinals by 4.5 games. Then their pitching asserted itself, and on August 28, the Dodgers led the Giants by 5.5 games and the Cardinals by 6.5 games. The Cardinals proceeded to win 19 of their next 20 games and, while the Dodgers didn't exactly slump, they went "only" 14–7 during that same period. Thus, the Dodgers went into St. Louis on September 16 to play the Cardinals in a 3 game series leading by only 1 game. With the memory of blowing the 1962 pennant fresh in their minds, the Dodgers proceeded to sweep the Cardinals and take a 4 game lead with 7 games to go. The key game was the third one; the Cardinals led 5–1 in the 8th inning and a win would move them back to within 2 games of L.A. But the Dodgers got 3 in the 8th and in the top of the 9th, late season call up Dick Nen, in only his 8th major league at bat, hit a pinch hit homer to force extra innings. The Cardinals got a leadoff triple from Dick Groat in the 10th but could not score. The Dodgers then scored an unearned run in the 13th innigng and won, 6–5. The disheartened Cardinals then lost their next 3 games as well while the Dodgers won 3 of their next 4 to clinch the pennant with 6 games left.
March 22 – The New York Mets, who finished last in the National League with a 40–120 record in their inaugural season, purchase pitcher Carlton Willey from the Milwaukee Braves. Willey will boost a pitching rotation that include Roger Craig, Al Jackson and Tracy Stallard. The Mets will improve to 51–111 in that season.
April 13: After 11 hitless at bats, Cincinnati second baseman Pete Rose records his first major league hit, a triple off Pittsburgh'sBob Friend. Increased enforcement of the balk rule produces a major-league record seven in the Pirates' 12–4 trouncing at Crosley Field. Friend commits four of the balks.
July 9 – At Municipal Stadium, the National League wins 5–3 over the American League in the All-Star Game. After four years, MLB had decided to return to the original single-game format. The American League out-hit the National League 11–6, but the effort went in vain as MVP Willie Mays put on a one-man show. Although he was held to a single, Mays collected two runs, two RBI, two stolen bases and made the defensive play of the game — a running catch that deprived Joe Pepitone of an extra base in the eighth inning. This game also marked the 24th and final All-Star appearance of Stan Musial, who pinch-hit in the fifth inning. He lined out to right field, leaving behind a .317 batting average (20-for-63) and an All-Star Game record of six home runs.
October 6 – At Dodger Stadium, Sandy Koufax defeats the New York Yankees, 2–1, completing a shocking World Series sweep for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Whitey Ford gives up only two hits, both by Frank Howard, who belts a long home run in the fifth inning to start the Dodgers' scoring. In the Series, the Yankees bat just .171 and score only four runs, the second-lowest total in World Series history. Curiously enough, the Dodgers would set the mark for the least runs scored in a World Series only three years later, falling victim to a decisive sweep at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles.
January 2 – Al Mamaux, 68, pitcher who twice won 20 games for Pittsburgh
January 5 – Rogers Hornsby, 66, Hall of Fame second baseman who posted the highest lifetime batting average (.358) of any right-handed batter, 7-time batting champion including a .424 mark in 1924; twice MVP, and the first NL player to hit 300 home runs
January 29 – Lee Meadows, 68, pitcher won 188 games for the Cardinals, Phillies and Pirates, was first modern major leaguer to wear glasses
January 31 – Ossie Vitt, 73, third baseman for the Tigers and Red Sox, later a minor league manager
February 9 – Ray Starr, 56, All-Star pitcher who pitched for six teams and won 138 games
February 15 – Bump Hadley, 58, pitcher who ended Mickey Cochrane's career with a 1937 pitch that fractured his skull; later a broadcaster
February 20 – Bill Hinchman, 79, outfielder twice batted .300 for Pittsburgh, later a scout
February 28 – Eppa Rixey, 71, pitcher elected to the Hall of Fame just one month earlier, until 1959 was winningest left-hander in NL history with 266 victories for Phillies and Reds
March 1 – Irish Meusel, 69, left fielder batted .310 lifetime, led NL in RBI in 1923
March 11 – Joe Judge, 68, first baseman batted .300 nine times for Senators, later coach at Georgetown for 20 years
March 29 – Wilcy Moore, 65, relief pitcher who won last game of 1927 World Series for Yankees
April 23 – Harry Harper, 67, pitched from 1913 through 1923 for the Senators, Red Sox, Yankees and Robins
May 4 – Dickie Kerr, 69, pitcher who as a 1919 rookie won two World Series games for the White Sox, as one of the players not involved in fixing the Series; later helping a struggling pitcher-turned-hitter, Stan Musial
May 22 – Dave Shean, 79, second baseman and captain of champion 1918 Red Sox
May 23 – Gavvy Cravath, 82, right fielder who won six home runs titles with Phillies
May 27 – Dave Jolly, 38, knuckleball relief pitcher for Milwaukee Braves from 1953–1957
June 6 – Charlie Mullen, 74, first baseman for White Sox and Yankees in 1910s
June 8 – Earl Smith, 66, catcher for five NL champions, batted .350 in 1925 World Series