1962 Los Angeles Dodgers season

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1962 Los Angeles Dodgers
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s) Walter O'Malley
Manager(s) Walter Alston
Local television KTTV (11)
Local radio KFI
Vin Scully, Jerry Doggett
Jose Garcia, Jaime Jarrín
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The 1962 Los Angeles Dodgers season was the fifth for the team in Southern California, and the 73rd for the franchise in the National League. After spending the previous four seasons at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, they began the season by opening Dodger Stadium, the team's new ballpark. The stadium opened on April 10 with a game against the Cincinnati Reds. The Dodgers proceeded to win a Los Angeles record 102 games and tied the San Francisco Giants for first place in the National League. The Giants won the ensuing playoff series two games to one.


Regular season[edit]

The Los Angeles Times described the Dodgers' season as a "gamut of sublime" and "ridiculous", noting their successes—such as Maury Wills' 100 stolen bases breaking Ty Cobb's single-season record, Don Drysdale's 25 wins, and Sandy Koufax's no-hitter on June 30—together with problems such as the 18 unearned runs the defense had allowed for the season behind Drysdale, and other fielding issues.[5]

The Dodgers spent most of the early part of the season trying to keep pace with the San Francisco Giants, who established an early lead in the standings and continued to hold at least a share of that lead continuously from April 28 to June 7.[6] At that point the Dodgers overtook the Giants, and for the next month the lead was traded between the two sides five times. The Giants held the lead for the last time on July 7.[6] The Dodgers went 20–6 in July while the Giants went 16–11, allowing the Dodgers to take the league lead on July 8 and hold it until season's last regular game.[7]

The Dodgers lost 10 of their final 13 games from September 16 to 30, while the Giants lost just 6 over the same span.[6][7] However, with seven games remaining the Dodgers were still ahead in the league by four games, and later held a two-game lead with three left to play.[7] They entered their final game with a one game lead over the Giants, but fell 1–0 to the St. Louis Cardinals. Meanwhile the Giants won 2–1 over the Houston Colt .45's, after an eighth-inning home run by Willie Mays.[8] These results left the Dodgers and Giants tied in the league at 101–61, necessitating a tie-breaker to decide the NL pennant. The three-game tiebreaker series was considered part of the regular season for statistical purposes. The Giants won game one, while the Dodgers took game two. The Giants then took game three to capture the NL pennant.

Records and achievements[edit]

In 1962 two players set Los Angeles Dodgers team records that still stand. Tommy Davis, batting in the heart of the Dodgers' batting order, had a season that in another season might have earned him the National League Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. Davis set Dodger records with 230 hits and 153 runs batted in that have never been matched. In addition, Davis won the National League batting title with a .346 batting average, he scored 120 runs himself, and he also hit 27 doubles and 27 home runs. Davis finished third in the voting for the MVP trophy.

The winner of the MVP was Davis's teammate Maury Wills, who set the all-time Dodger record of 104 stolen bases. This was also a major league season record until it was broken in 1974 by Lou Brock. Wills also led the league in playing in all 165 of the Dodgers' games (including their three-game playoff with the Giants) and with 695 at-bats. The 165 games played in a single season remains an all-time major league record, and is unlikely to be broken under the current major league rules. Wills totaled 208 hits and 130 runs scored, and he also led the league with 10 triples. To top it off, Wills won the Gold Glove at shortstop. All of this impressed the voters for the MVP more than Davis's performance did.

Another Dodger, Don Drysdale, won the Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in Major League Baseball. Drysdale led the league with 25 wins, 41 games started, 19 complete games, 314 innings pitched, and 232 strikeouts. He only suffered nine lost games, and he also finished fifth in the voting for the MVP trophy.

Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax

In addition, a young pitcher named Sandy Koufax had a breakthrough year of a kind for the Dodgers. Koufax led the league with an earned-run average (ERA) of 2.54, and this was first time that he had had an ERA nearly that low, and it was the first of five consecutive years in which he led the league in ERA in just 28 games played, Koufax has a won-loss record of 14–7, 11 complete games, and 216 strikeouts.

Season standings[edit]

National League W L GB Pct.
San Francisco Giants 103 62 -- .624
Los Angeles Dodgers 102 63 1 .618
Cincinnati Reds 98 64 3.5 .605
Pittsburgh Pirates 93 68 8 .578
Milwaukee Braves 86 76 15.5 .531
St. Louis Cardinals 84 78 17.5 .519
Philadelphia Phillies 81 80 20 .503
Houston Colt .45s 64 96 36.5 .400
Chicago Cubs 59 103 42.5 .364
New York Mets 40 120 60.5 .250

Opening Day lineup[edit]

Opening Day starters
Name Position
Maury Wills Shortstop
Jim Gilliam Second baseman
Wally Moon Left fielder
Duke Snider Right fielder
Johnny Roseboro Catcher
Ron Fairly First baseman
Daryl Spencer Third baseman
Willie Davis Center fielder
Johnny Podres Starting pitcher


1962 Los Angeles Dodgers
Pitchers Catchers


Outfielders Manager


Player stats[edit]


Starters by position[edit]

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C Roseboro, JohnnyJohnny Roseboro 128 389 97 .249 7 55
1B Fairly, RonRon Fairly 147 460 128 .278 14 71
2B Gilliam, JimJim Gilliam 160 588 159 .270 4 43
3B Spencer, DarylDaryl Spencer 77 157 37 .236 2 12
SS Wills, MauryMaury Wills 165 695 208 .299 6 48
LF Davis, TommyTommy Davis 163 665 230 .346 27 153
CF Davis, WillieWillie Davis 157 600 171 .285 21 85
RF Howard, FrankFrank Howard 141 493 146 .296 31 119

Other batters[edit]

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Carey, AndyAndy Carey 53 111 26 .234 2 13
Walls, LeeLee Walls 60 109 29 .266 0 17


Starting pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Drysdale, DonDon Drysdale 43 314 25 9 2.83 232
Koufax, SandySandy Koufax 28 184 14 7 2.54 216

Other pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Relief pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Hunter, WillardWillard Hunter 1 0 0 0 40.50 1

Awards and honors[edit]

Sporting News awards[edit]


Farm system[edit]

Level Team League Manager
AAA Omaha Dodgers American Association Danny Ozark
AAA Spokane Indians Pacific Coast League Preston Gómez
A Greenville Spinners South Atlantic League Roy Hartsfield
B Salem Dodgers Northwest League Stan Wasiak
C Great Falls Electrics Pioneer League Al Ronning
C Reno Silver Sox California League Roy Smalley
D Keokuk Dodgers/Midwest Dodgers Midwest League Ed Serrano
D Ozark Dodgers/Andalusia Dodgers Alabama-Florida League George Scherger
D St. Petersburg Saints Florida State League Spider Jorgensen


  1. ^ Stan Johnson page at Baseball Reference
  2. ^ Charlie Neal page at Baseball Reference
  3. ^ Duke Carmel page at Baseball Reference
  4. ^ Ramón Conde page at Baseball Reference
  5. ^ Finch, Frank (October 1, 1962). "Dodgers Ran Gamut of Sublime to Ridiculous in Pennant Quest". Los Angeles Times. 
  6. ^ a b c "1962 San Francisco Giants Schedule, Box Scores, and Splits". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 8, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c "1962 Los Angeles Dodgers Schedule, Box Scores, and Splits". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 8, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Giants Win on Mays' Homer to Force Play-off Today". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. October 1, 1962. 
  9. ^ Associated Press Athlete of the Year (male)


External links[edit]