1961 Major League Baseball season

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1961 MLB season
LeagueMajor League Baseball
SportBaseball
DurationApril 10 – October 12, 1961
Number of games162 (AL), 154 (NL)
Number of teams18
Regular season
Season MVPAL: Roger Maris (NY)
NL: Frank Robinson (CIN)
AL championsNew York Yankees
  AL runners-upDetroit Tigers
NL championsCincinnati Reds
  NL runners-upLos Angeles Dodgers
World Series
ChampionsNew York Yankees
  Runners-upCincinnati Reds
World Series MVPWhitey Ford (NY)
MLB seasons

The 1961 Major League Baseball season was played from April 10 to October 12, 1961. That season saw the New York Yankees defeat the Cincinnati Reds in five games in the World Series. The season is best 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 following season.

Standings[edit]

Postseason[edit]

Bracket[edit]

  World Series
       
  AL New York Yankees 4
  NL Cincinnati Reds 1

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 NY Frank Robinson LF CIN
Cy Young Award Whitey Ford P NY
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 NY 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 SF

League leaders[edit]

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

Home Field Attendance[edit]

Team Name Wins Home attendance Per Game
Los Angeles Dodgers[1] 89 8.5% 1,804,250 -19.9% 23,432
New York Yankees[2] 109 12.4% 1,747,725 7.4% 21,577
Detroit Tigers[3] 101 42.3% 1,600,710 37.1% 19,521
San Francisco Giants[4] 85 7.6% 1,390,679 -22.5% 18,061
Minnesota Twins[5] 70 -4.1% 1,256,723 69.0% 15,515
Pittsburgh Pirates[6] 75 -21.1% 1,199,128 -29.7% 15,573
Chicago White Sox[7] 86 -1.1% 1,146,019 -30.3% 14,148
Cincinnati Reds[8] 93 38.8% 1,117,603 68.4% 14,514
Milwaukee Braves[9] 83 -5.7% 1,101,441 -26.5% 14,304
Baltimore Orioles[10] 95 6.7% 951,089 -19.9% 11,599
St. Louis Cardinals[11] 80 -7.0% 855,305 -22.0% 10,965
Boston Red Sox[12] 76 16.9% 850,589 -24.7% 10,373
Cleveland Indians[13] 78 2.6% 725,547 -23.7% 8,957
Kansas City Athletics[14] 61 5.2% 683,817 -11.8% 8,548
Chicago Cubs[15] 64 6.7% 673,057 -16.9% 8,629
Los Angeles Angels[16] 70 603,510 7,360
Washington Senators[17] 61 597,287 7,561
Philadelphia Phillies[18] 47 -20.3% 590,039 -31.6% 7,565

Events[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Los Angeles Dodgers Attendance, Stadiums and Park Factors". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  2. ^ "New York Yankees Attendance, Stadiums and Park Factors". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  3. ^ "Detroit Tigers Attendance, Stadiums and Park Factors". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  4. ^ "San Francisco Giants Attendance, Stadiums and Park Factors". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  5. ^ "Minnesota Twins Attendance, Stadiums and Park Factors". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  6. ^ "Pittsburgh Pirates Attendance, Stadiums and Park Factors". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  7. ^ "Chicago White Sox Attendance, Stadiums and Park Factors". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  8. ^ "Cincinnati Reds Attendance, Stadiums and Park Factors". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  9. ^ "Atlanta Braves Attendance, Stadiums and Park Factors". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  10. ^ "Baltimore Orioles Attendance, Stadiums and Park Factors". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  11. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals Attendance, Stadiums and Park Factors". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  12. ^ "Boston Red Sox Attendance, Stadiums and Park Factors". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  13. ^ "Cleveland Indians Attendance, Stadiums and Park Factors". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  14. ^ "Oakland Athletics Attendance, Stadiums and Park Factors". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  15. ^ "Chicago Cubs Attendance, Stadiums and Park Factors". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  16. ^ "Los Angeles Angels Attendance, Stadiums and Park Factors". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  17. ^ "Texas Rangers Attendance, Stadiums and Park Factors". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  18. ^ "Oakland Athletics Attendance, Stadiums and Park Factors". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  19. ^ "Of 4 Homerun Games and Cub No-Hitters". BaseballLibrary.com. Archived from the original on November 18, 2012. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
  20. ^ Paschal, John. "Once Upon A Time: When Hall of Famers Go One-And-Done". tht.fangraphs.com. Retrieved April 2, 2019.

External links[edit]