The 1960’s
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The 1960’s

To be filled in later.


1960

Baseball rang in the new decade with good pennant races all around; three of the four divisions were decided by two games. In order to win its third straight NBL West title, Cincinnati (91-71) had to weather challenges from Dallas (89-73), the Chicago Traders (87-75), and a surprising Kansas City (82-80) club which stayed in the race until late in the season. San Francisco (102-60) trailed the Chicago Hawks (98-64) for much of the campaign but rolled past them in September to repeat in the ABL West; the Seagulls’ four-game margin of victory was the largest in either league. Both Eastern Divisions crowned new champions, as Philadelphia (96-66) slipped by an injury-plagued Cleveland (94-68) squad, while Baltimore (85-77) fought off challenges by the New York Empires (83-79) and Toronto (80-82).

Matt Garrison (.337) of the Hawks and Jim Horrigan (.378) of the Quakers were the batting champions, while Los Angeles’ Bill Fulton (41) and Cincinnati’s Barry Sheridan (44) were the home run kings. Fulton (114) edged Seattle’s Tom Howard (113) to pace the Junior Circuit in RBI, while two players, Cincinnati’s Ralph King and Cleveland’s John Sublett, claimed the top spot in the Senior Circuit, both driving in 111.

The Nationals shut out the Americans in the All-Star Game in Brooklyn, giving each loop seven victories in the all-time series.

In the NBL, Witness York (27 HR/83 RBI/.317 BA) of Cincinnati won his sixth Most Valuable Player Award, while Hamilton Craft (40 HR/101 RBI/.280 BA) of Los Angeles kept pace in the ABL, winning his fourth MVP trophy in five years. In contrast, the leagues’ Royal Ricketts Awards went to two first time winners, Cleveland’s Skip Shannon (25-11/3.27 ERA/179 K) and the Hawks’ Al Charrette (17-9/2.69 ERA/182 K). The top rookies in their respective leagues were Jose Nova of Milwaukee (11 HR/35 RBI/.270 BA) and Willie Purter of Twin Cities (9-9/ 3.45 ERA/71 K).

Philadelphia needed just six games to eliminate Cincinnati in the NBL Championship Series, while Baltimore took San Francisco the full seven in the ABL tourney before yielding. The World Series was a rematch of the 1946 Fall Classic, the first to pit the champions of the modern rival circuits. The Quakers prevailed again, downing the Seagulls in seven games to bring Philadelphia its 11th world title.

Augustus Bagley, Hampton Bunker, Mitchell Decker, and Tom McMullin were the new Hall of Famers this year, swelling the hallowed Hall’s membership to 55.

NBL Season statistics

ABL Season statistics

Weekly standings


1961

Three of the divisional races were all but academic by early September, as Los Angeles (109-53), Cleveland (100-62), and Cincinnati (93-69) had built large leads over their nearest competitors. The odd division out, and therefore the most exciting, was the ABL East, in which five of the six teams jockeyed for position for nearly the entire summer. With a week to play, Baltimore, Detroit, and New York were tied for first, with Boston a game back and Toronto trailing by four. When the dust settled the Lords had earned the title over the Empires by the margin of a single game.

Chicago’s Union Field hosted the All-Star Game, a 4-3 thriller won by the Americans on a walk-off RBI-double by San Francisco’s Randy Paterson. The victory gave the Junior Circuit an 8-7 edge all-time.

Paterson's hot bat also earned him the ABL batting title, although his .315 clip paled next to that of Cincinnati’s Ralph King, who hit .358 to pace the Senior Circuit. King also led his loop in RBI with 149, while teammate Barry Sheridan paced the circuit in home runs with 51. The top ABL sluggers were Baltimore’s Armando Landa, who hit 47 homers, and Los Angeles’ Bill Fulton, who knocked in 113 runs.

In the NBL, Witness York (27 HR/83 RBI/.317 BA) of Cincinnati won his sixth Most Valuable Player Award, while Hamilton Craft (40 HR/101 RBI/.280 BA) of Los Angeles kept pace in the ABL, winning his fourth MVP trophy in five years. In contrast, the leagues’ Royal Ricketts Awards went to two first time winners, Cleveland’s Skip Shannon (25-11/3.27 ERA/179 K) and the Hawks’ Al Charrette (17-9/2.69 ERA/182 K). The top rookies in their respective leagues were Jose Nova of Milwaukee (11 HR/35 RBI/.270 BA) and Willie Purter of Twin Cities (9-9/ 3.45 ERA/71 K).

Los Angeles was widely expected to advance to the Fall Classic, so it was no surprise when the Pobladores dispatched Baltimore in five games in the ABL Championship Series. A bit more surprising was Cincinnati’s triumph over Cleveland in six games to take the NBL flag. The Packers were underdogs again in the World Series, but took just six games to upset L.A. and claim their first world title since 1908. It was Cincinnati’s fourth overall.

Two players who began their careers in the Negro Leagues and ended them in the majors, catcher A.J. King and first baseman Jesse Russell, were selected as the Hall of Fame’s 56th and 57th members.

NBL Season statistics

ABL Season statistics

Weekly standings


1962

Cleveland’s Bobcats rolled to 115 regular season wins, dominating the NBL East, while Cincinnati (95-67) caught fire in September to turn a relatively close NBL West race into no contest. San Francisco (100-62) had a double-digit lead over Chicago in late August before seeing it slowly melt away into an uncomfortable two-game cushion with a week to play, but the Seagulls rebounded and took the ABL West title by five games. The ABL East appeared to be headed towards its usual multi-team photo finish, as six games separated the top five teams in July. A month later, Detroit held a seven-game lead, but the Wolverines fell apart during the season’s final two months while Montreal (88-74), a cellar-dweller just a season before, flew past them. It was the Habs’ first division crown.

Tom Austin’s bases-clearing first-inning triple helped lift the ABL over the NBL in the All-Star Game in Brooklyn‘s venerable Flatbush Park. The Juniors had now taken 9 of the 16 interleague meetings in the Mid-Summer Classic.

Cincinnati’s Ralph King hit .349 to repeat as the NBL batting champion, while teammate Barry Sheridan won his sixth home run crown with 52 and his third RBI title with 132. In the ABL, first time winners took all three titles: Detroit’s Dave Wynn hit .358, Montreal’s Nana Hubbard belted 45 homers, and Boston’s Armando Carrillo knocked in 120 runs. Vern Gould of Cleveland posted league-leading marks in ERA (2.13) and wins (26), while Washington’s Dave Allen fanned 209 to pace the Senior Circuit. Seattle’s Dick Reinke posted the top ERA in the ABL at 2.54, while San Francisco’s Mike Myers (24 wins) and Detroit’s Mark Johnson (218 strikeouts) topped the loop in those respective categories.

The Most Valuable Players were Cleveland’s Joe Rafferty (32 HR/122 RBI/.282 BA) and Los Angeles’ Hamilton Craft (42 HR/105 RBI/.208 BA). The Royal Ricketts Award winners were Gould (26-4/2.13 ERA/117 K) and Myers (22-10/2.98 ERA/153 K), and the Rookies of the Year were Rob Lockner (8 HR/77 RBI/.266 BA) of the Knickerbockers and Charlie Sokol (6-10/4.11 ERA/90 K) of Twin Cities.

For the second year in a row, an all-Ohio NBL Championship Series saw a favored Cleveland team fall to Cincinnati; it took seven games this time around. San Francisco got past Montreal in five games for the ABL flag, setting up a California/Ohio Fall Classic for the fourth time in seven years. The Seagulls spoiled Cincinnati’s bid to become the first repeat champion since 1951, downing the Packers in six games. It was San Francisco’s second world title.

Home run king Melbourne Trench and Negro League/Major League great Richard Willin were this season’s Hall of Fame inductees, the 58th and 59th players so honored.

NBL Season statistics

ABL Season statistics

Weekly standings


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