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1963 in Baseball
The following are the baseball events of the year 1963 throughout the world.
Major League Baseball
Awards and honors
MLB statistical leaders
1Major League Triple Crown Pitching Winner
Major league baseball final standings
American League final standings
National League final standings
- 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.
- July 31 - A crowd of 7,288 at Cleveland Stadium watched Cleveland Indians infielder Woodie Held, pitcher Pedro Ramos, outfielder Tito Francona, and shortstop Larry Brown slug four straight solo home runs off Los Angeles Angels right-hander Paul Foytack in the bottom of the sixth inning. The four homers built the Indians' lead to 9-1, and they won, 9-5.
- August 7 - The New York Mets beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 7-3. Mets outfielder Jim Hickman hits for the cycle, doing it in order. Both are firsts for the Mets.
- August 9 - Jim Hickman of the New York Mets becomes the second player to hit a walk-off grand slam against Chicago Cubs pitcher Lindy McDaniel this season, in a 7-3 victory at Polo Grounds. Bob Aspromonte of the Houston Colt .45s did that on June 11. McDaniel is the second pitcher in major-league history to surrender two game-ending grand slams in one season, joining Satchel Paige, who did that in 1952. Other pitchers will join Paige and McDaniel in the coming years: Lee Smith, in 1995, and Francisco Rodríguez in 2009.
- August 27 - Willie Mays hits 400th career home run helping San Francisco Giants beat St. Louis Cardinals 7-2.
- August 23 - Milwaukee Braves veteran pitcher Warren Spahn topped the National League record for most starts in a season, previously set by Grover Alexander, with his 601st appearance on the mound during a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Later in the season, Spahn would match a National League record set by Christy Mathewson with his 13th, 20-win season, while becoming the oldest pitcher to do so at age forty-two.
- August 29 - Helped by a league-record-tying eight home runs, the Minnesota Twins garner a team-record forty-seven total bases in the first game of a double-header at D.C. Stadium. Harmon Killebrew and Vic Power both strike for two homers in the 14-2 victory. In the second game, a 10-1 Minnesota win, the Twins hit four more homers for a team-record even dozen on the day.
- September 5 - Willie McCovey hits 100th career home run.
- September 6 - Major League Baseball celebrated its 100,000th game with a classic match-up between the Cleveland Indians and the Washington Senators at D.C. Stadium.
- September 10 - The Alous become the first brother trio to bat consecutively in one game, during the eighth inning of a San Francisco Giants' 4-2 loss to the New York Mets at the Polo Grounds. Jesús pinch-hits in his Major League debut and grounds out to shortstop Al Moran; Matty, also pinch-hitting, strikes out, and Felipe ends the inning by grounding out to pitcher Carl Willey, who goes the distance for the victory.
- September 13 - Cleveland Indians pitcher Early Wynn finally won his 300th and final game thanks to a little help from the Indian's bullpen. After losing eight straight starts and struggling through five innings against the Kansas City Athletics, Wynn was replaced by relief man Jerry Walker, who tossed four scoreless innings en route to a 7-4 win over the Athletics.
- September 18 - In the final regular-season game ever played at the Polo Grounds, the Philadelphia Phillies defeat the New York Mets 6-1. New York gets its only run on Jim Hickman's 4th-inning home run, the last home run to be hit at the park.
- September 21 - Harmon Killebrew, in a double-header split between his Minnesota Twins and the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, hits four home runs on the day to tie an American League record.
- September 22 - Willie McCovey hits 3 home runs helping San Francisco Giants beat New York Mets 13-4.
- September 22 - Outfielder Jimmie Hall of the Minnesota Twins hits his 33rd and final home run of the year. No other rookie without previous-year at bats has hit more. Hall tops the current record-holder, Boston's Ted Williams, who hit 31 in 1939.
- September 27 - Manager Harry Craft of the Houston Colt 45s fields the "Baby Colts", a starting line-up with an average age of nineteen years, against the New York Mets at Colt Stadium. The oldest player used by Houston all game was 26-year-old Dick Drott, who pitched the ninth inning.
- September 28 - Minnesota Twins first baseman Vic Power hits his tenth home run of the year. It is the club's 225th, a season total that ranks second behind the 1961 New York Yankees' 240.
- 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.
- October 12 - In the first (and last) Hispanic American major league All-Star Game, the National League team beats the American League 5-2 at the Polo Grounds. The game features such names as Felipe Alou, Luis Aparicio, Orlando Cepeda, Roberto Clemente, Julián Javier, Minnie Miñoso, Tony Oliva and Zoilo Versalles. Vic Power receives a pregame award as the number one Latin player. NL starter Juan Marichal strikes out six in four innings, though reliever Al McBean is the winning pitcher. Pinch hitter Manny Mota drives in two runs against loser Pedro Ramos. This was the last baseball game played at the Polo Grounds, as the New York Mets would move into the brand new Shea Stadium in 1964.
- November 26 - Second baseman Pete Rose is a landslide winner of National League Rookie of the Year honors, taking 17 of 20 first place votes, with the others going to Ron Hunt (2) and Ray Culp (1). Rose becomes the second Cincinnati Reds player to win the award, joining Frank Robinson.
- November 27:
- January 2 - Al Mamaux, 68, pitcher who twice won 20 games for the Pittsburgh Piates.
- January 5 - Rogers Hornsby, 66, Hall of Fame second baseman who posted the highest lifetime batting average (.358) of any right-handed batter, also a seven-time batting champion including a .424 mark in 1924, twice MVP, and the first National League player to hit 300 home runs.
- January 29 - Lee Meadows, 68, pitcher won 188 games for the Cardinals, Phillies and Pirates, as well as the first modern major leaguer to wear glasses.
- January 31 - Ossie Vitt, 73, third baseman for the Tigers and Red Sox, manager of the Indians (1938-1940) and a longtime minor league skipper.
- February 9 - Ray Starr, 56, All-Star pitcher who pitched for six teams and won 37 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 Washington Senators, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Brooklyn Robins.
- April 27 - Johnny Hutchings, 47, pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds and Boston Braves in the 1940s.
- May 4 - Dickie Kerr, 69, pitcher who as a 1919 rookie won two World Series games for the Chicago White Sox, as one of the players not involved in fixing the Series; later helped a struggling pitcher-turned-hitter, Stan Musial.
- May 22 - Dave Shean, 79, second baseman and captain of the World Series champion 1918 Boston 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 the Milwaukee Braves from 1953-1957.
- May 31 - Ernie Sulik, 52, Outfielder for the 1936 Philadelphia Phillies.
- June 6 - Charlie Mullen, 74, first baseman for the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees in the 1910s.
- June 8 - Earl Smith, 66, catcher for five National League champions, who batted .350 for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1925 World Series.
- June 18 - Ben Geraghty, 50, manager of the Jacksonville Suns of the International League, and legendary minor league pilot who played a key role in the early career of Henry Aaron.
- June 24 - George Trautman, 73, president of the minor leagues since 1946.
- June 24 - Jud Wilson, 69, All-Star third baseman of the Negro Leagues.
- June 28 - Frank "Home Run" Baker, 77, Hall of Fame third baseman, a lifetime .307 hitter and four-time home run champion, as well as the last surviving member of Philadelphia Athletics' "$100,000 infield".
- July 5 - Ben Demott, 74, pitcher for the Cleveland Naps from 1910 to 1911
- July 27 - Hooks Dauss, 73, pitcher won 222 games, all for Detroit
- August 15 - Karl Drews, 43, pitcher for four teams including 1947 champion Yankees
- August 24 - Ren Kelly, 63, pitched one game for the Philadelphia A's in 1923.
- September 4 - Home Run Johnson, 88, early shortstop of the Negro Leagues
- September 8 - Bill Knickerbocker, 51, infielder for five different teams from 1933-42, and a member of two Yankees champion teams as a backup for 2B Joe Gordon and 3B Frankie Crosetti
- September 19 - Slim Harriss, 66, pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics and Boston Red Sox in the early 1920s
- September 27 - Andy Coakley, 80, pitcher won 18 games for 1905 Athletics, later coach at Columbia for 37 years
- October 2 - Cy Perkins, 67, catcher for 16 seasons, most with Athletics, later a coach for many years
- November 6 - Clarence Mitchell, 72, spitball pitcher won 125 games, hit into unassisted triple play in 1920 World Series
- November 12 - Ed Connolly, 54, catcher for the Boston Red Sox between 1929 and 1932
- November 13 - Muddy Ruel, 67, catcher for 19 seasons including 1924 champions Senators, later a coach, manager, front-office executive and assistant to the Commissioner of Baseball
- November 14 - Oscar Melillo, 64, second baseman for Browns and Red Sox
- November 22 - John F. Kennedy, 46, President of the United States who threw out the ceremonial first pitch of the 1961 MLB season and became only the 2nd president to attend an All-Star Game in 1962
- December 8 - Red Worthington, 57, left fielder for Boston Braves from 1931-1934
- December 30 - Wilbur Good, 78, outfielder for six teams, primarily the Cubs