Tuesday, August 3, 2010

PTWSW #59: The 1962 New York Yankees

Manager: Ralph Houk
Record: 96-66
Ballpark: Yankee Stadium
Owner: Dan Topping & Del Webb
GM: Roy Hamey
Coaches: Frankie Crosetti, Jim Hegan, Wally Moses, Johnny Sain

Future Hall of Famers: Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle

All-Stars: Yogi Berra, Elston Howard, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Bobby Richardson, Ralph Terry, Tom Tresh

Team Leaders, Batting

BA:
Mickey Mantle, .321
OBP: Mickey Mantle, .486 (AL leader)
SLG: Mickey Mantle, .605 (AL leader)
OPS: Mickey Mantle, 1.091 (AL leader)
2B: Bobby Richardson, 38
3B: Bill Skowron, 6
HR: Roger Maris, 33
RBI: Roger Maris, 100
BB: Mickey Mantle, 122 (AL leader)
SB: Bobby Richardson, 11

Team Leaders, Pitching

W:
Ralph Terry, 23 (AL leader)
SO: Ralph Terry, 176
ERA: Whitey Ford, 2.90
IP: Ralph Terry, 298.2 (AL leader)
CG: Ralph Terry, 14
SHO: Ralph Terry, 3
K/BB: Ralph Terry, 3.09
SV: Marshall Bridges, 18

Tidbits

Oldest Player: Hal Brown (b. December 11, 1924)

Youngest Player: Al Downing (b. June 28, 1941)

First to Leave Us: Elston Howard (d. December 14, 1980)

Last Survivor: Most are still living as of the date of this post.

First in Majors: Yogi Berra (debut September 22, 1946)

Last in Majors: Jim Bouton (final game September 29, 1978)

First to Play For the Franchise: Yogi Berra (September 22, 1946)

Last to Play For the Franchise: Jake Gibbs (September 29, 1971)

Pre-union Team: The 1958-59 Athletics with five: Bob Cerv, Bud Daley, Hector Lopez, Roger Maris and Ralph Terry.

Reunion Team: The 1966 Athletics (Rollie Sheldon, Bill Stafford, Ralph Terry) and 1967 Mets (Phil Linz, Hal Reniff, Ralph Terry) both had three.

Accomplishments

Mickey Mantle, AL MVP
Tom Tresh, AL Rookie of the Year
Mickey Mantle, 400th career home run, September 10
Bobby Richardson, AL Second Base Gold Glove
Mickey Mantle, AL Outfield Gold Glove

Season Summary

The Yankees, per tradition, were an offense-oriented team. Their 107 OPS+ was by far the circuit's best mark, and they led the league in runs per game despite playing in a pitcher's park. They also led in batting and slugging average, while finishing second in homers and OBP. They weren't very speedy, as they were among league trailers in triples and stolen bases. Like the previous season, their pitching staff relied mostly on control and a strong defense behind them to prevent the other team from scoring.

It was another typical season in the American League: several teams were in the mix during the first half, and in the second half the Yankees took over. The Bronxers didn't dominate, as their lead was never more than 6.5 games, and the second-place Twins were still within striking distance in mid-September. Mickey Mantle won the MVP award despite missing a month with a leg injury; his .321/.486/.605 batting line and 30 homers helped him to a 7.1 WAR, best in the AL. The club also received a boost in August when shortstop Tony Kubek returned from military duty. Star rookie Tom Tresh, who'd been manning the six spot in his absence, was moved to left field for the remainder of the season. The league pennant races in 1962 recalled 1951: The Yankees won it for the AL, while the NL needed a best-of-three playoff between the Dodgers and Giants to determine its champion. The Giants won in three, just like before, and the stage was set for a World Series rematch between two former citymates.

The Giants were uncannily similar to the Yankees: they were an offense-heavy club that hit for a lot of power and didn't steal many bases, while they prevented runs with control pitching and great defense. The Yankees won Game 1 behind Whitey Ford, but the Giants tied the Series with a Game 2 shutout from Jack Sanford. The Yankees took two of three in New York, bringing them back to San Francisco only one win away from victory. Due to heavy rains in northern California, Game 6 would be delayed three times before it was finally played. When the teams finally took the field, the Giants tied the Series with a three-hitter from veteran Billy Pierce. Game 7 was a classic pitcher's duel. Ralph Terry didn't allow a hit until the sixth inning, and Sanford allowed only one run in his seven innings. The Yankees still held that 1-0 lead in the ninth when the Giants mounted their final threat. With two outs, San Fran had two runners in scoring position and Willie McCovey coming up. McCovey lined Terry's final pitch right into the glove of second baseman Bobby Richardson, and the Yankees were champs for the second year in a row.

Acknowledgements:

Baseball Reference
Baseball Almanac
Google News Archives

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