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Series Wrapup

Story

Despite showing clear signs of vulnerability, the Los Angeles Dodgers edged out the San Francisco Giants for the National League pennant for the second straight year in 1966, finishing just 1 ½ games ahead of their arch-rivals with a record of 95-67.  The Pittsburgh Pirates finished third, just three games back, while the Philadelphia Phillies came in fourth, eight games off the pace.

The Dodgers captured their second consecutive league championship even though they finished just eighth in the senior circuit in runs scored.  Second baseman Jim Lefebvre led Los Angeles with only 24 home runs and 74 runs batted in.  Centerfielder Willie Davis batted .284, led the club with 74 runs scored, and stole 21 bases.  Shortstop Mary Wills finished third in the league with 38 steals.    

If not for their league-leading pitching staff, the Dodgers likely would have finished well out of contention.  Los Angeles pitchers compiled easily the lowest team ERA in the National League – a mark of 2.62 that placed them well ahead of the runner-up St. Louis Cardinals, who posted a team ERA of 3.11.  Don Drysdale had something of an off-year, finishing just 13-16 with a 3.42 ERA.  But Claude Osteen won 17 games and compiled a 2.85 ERA, while 21-year-old rookie Don Sutton posted 12 victories and finished second on the team with 209 strikeouts.  Meanwhile, Phil Regan excelled out of the bullpen, compiling a record of 14-1, a 1.62 ERA, and 21 saves.

However, there is little doubt that Sandy Koufax served as the driving force behind the Dodgers’ first-place finish.  The brilliant left-hander had the greatest swan song ever by a major league player, leading all N.L. hurlers in virtually every major statistical category in his final season.  Koufax led the league with a record of 27-9, a 1.73 ERA, 317 strikeouts, 323 innings pitched, and 27 complete games.  He earned the last of his three Cy Young Awards and a close second-place finish in the N.L. MVP voting, before announcing his retirement at the end of the year due to an arthritic pitching arm. 

Nevertheless, even Koufax found himself unable to overcome a Baltimore Orioles team that A.L. MVP Frank Robinson led into the World Series.  Oriole pitchers shut out the Dodgers over the final 33 innings of the Fall Classic, holding the Los Angeles lineup to a team batting average of just .142 over the course of the four-game sweep.  The 30-year-old Koufax tearfully announced his retirement shortly thereafter, explaining to the media in attendance at the time, “I’ve been getting cortisone shots pretty regularly, and I don’t want to take a chance on completely disabling myself…I’ve got a lot of years to live after baseball and I would like to live them with the complete use of my body.

In spite of Koufax’s magnificent performance, Pittsburgh’s Roberto Clemente finished just ahead of him in the N.L. MVP balloting.  In arguably his finest all-around season, Clemente batted .317, collected 202 hits, and established career highs with 29 home runs, 119 runs batted in, and 105 runs scored, in leading the Pirates to a close third-place finish.  Willie Stargell, Donn Clendenon, and Matty Alou also had big years for Pittsburgh.  Stargell hit 33 home runs, knocked in 102 runs, and batted .315.  Clendenon hit 28 homers, drove in 98 runs, and batted .299.  Alou led the league with a .342 batting average.

The fifth-place Braves, who finished 10 games off the pace, boasted the league’s most potent offense, topping the circuit with 782 runs scored.  Catcher Joe Torre hit 36 home runs, drove in 101 runs, and batted .315.  Outfielder Felipe Alou hit 31 homers, finished second in the league with a .327 batting average, and led the N.L. with 122 runs scored, 218 hits, and 355 total bases.  Outfield mate Rico Carty finished third in the league with a .326 batting average.  Hank Aaron had another exceptional year, leading the league with 44 home runs and 127 runs batted in, placing second with 117 runs scored, and batting .279.  

Willie Mays also had another outstanding season for the second-place Giants, batting .288, scoring 99 runs, and finishing near the top of the league rankings with 37 home runs and 103 runs batted in.  Willie McCovey and Jim Ray Hart joined him in the middle of San Francisco’s batting order.  McCovey hit 36 round-trippers, drove in 96 runs, and batted .295.   Hart went deep 33 times, knocked in 93 runs, and batted .285.  Meanwhile, Juan Marichal continued to anchor the Giants’ starting rotation, compiling a record of 25-6, a 2.23 earned run average, 222 strikeouts, 307 innings pitched, and 25 complete games.  Gaylord Perry gave San Francisco another outstanding starter, going 21-8 with a 2.99 ERA.  

Although Roberto Clemente captured league MVP honors, Philadelphia’s Richie Allen posted comparable offensive numbers.  Allen finished among the league leaders with 40 home runs, 110 runs batted in, 112 runs scored, a .317 batting average, and a .398 on-base percentage.  He also topped the circuit with a .632 slugging average.

Other outstanding performers, notable events, and points of interest from around the league follow:

• Prior to the start of the season, Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale staged the first dual holdout by teammates in major league history.

• Pitcher Tony Cloninger of the Braves hit two grand slams in one game on July 3.

• The Braves moved to Atlanta, playing their first game at Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium against the Pirates on April 12.

Willie Mays played in 150 or more games for a major league record 13th consecutive year.

St. Louis rookie Larry Jaster tied for the National League lead in shutouts with five.  He threw all five shutouts against the Dodgers.

• The Cardinals played their first game in Busch Stadium against the Braves on May 12.

• The National League won the All-Star Game 2-1 at St. Louis.

• Pittsburgh’s Gene Alley and Bill Mazeroski participated in a major league keystone record 289 combined double plays.

• Cincinnati's Tommy Helms captured N.L. Rookie of the Year honors.

• The Phillies traded Fergie Jenkins and two other players to the Cubs for Larry Jackson and Bob Buhl.

• The Giants traded Orlando Cepeda to the Cardinals for Ray Sadecki.

Bill Mazeroski performed a major league record 166 double plays by a second baseman.

Tim McCarver of the Cardinals became the only National League catcher ever to top the circuit in triples (13).

Lou Brock replaced Maury Wills as the National League stolen base king by swiping 74 bags.

Seasons of the National League

1876 · 1877 · 1878 · 1879 · 1880 · 1881 · 1882 · 1883 · 1884 · 1885 · 1886 · 1887 · 1888 · 1889 · 1890 · 1891 · 1892 · 1893 · 1894 · 1895 · 1896 · 1897 · 1898 · 1899 · 1900 · 1901 · 1902 · 1903 · 1904 · 1905 · 1906 · 1907 · 1908 · 1909 · 1910 · 1911 · 1912 · 1913 · 1914 · 1915 · 1916 · 1917 · 1918 · 1919 · 1920 · 1921 · 1922 · 1923 · 1924 · 1925 · 1926 · 1927 · 1928 · 1929 · 1930 · 1931 · 1932 · 1933 · 1934 · 1935 · 1936 · 1937 · 1938 · 1939 · 1940 · 1941 · 1942 · 1943 · 1944 · 1945 · 1946 · 1947 · 1948 · 1949 · 1950 · 1951 · 1952 · 1953 · 1954 · 1955 · 1956 · 1957 · 1958 · 1959 · 1960 · 1961 · 1962 · 1963 · 1964 · 1965 · 1966 · 1967 · 1968 · 1969 · 1970 · 1971 · 1972 · 1973 · 1974 · 1975 · 1976 · 1977 · 1978 · 1979 · 1980 · 1981 · 1982 · 1983 · 1984 · 1985 · 1986 · 1987 · 1988 · 1989 · 1990 · 1991 · 1992 · 1993 · 1994 · 1995 · 1996 · 1997 · 1998 · 1999 · 2000 · 2001 · 2002 · 2003 · 2004 · 2005 · 2006 · 2007 · 2008 · 2009 · 2010  

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
ATL 2124 5617 782 1476 734 .203 220 32 207 59 47 2381 .290 .270 .596 106 45 72
CHN 2075 5592 644 1418 603 .170 203 43 140 76 47 2127 .300 .221 .584 112 37 80
CIN 2107 5521 692 1434 651 .238 232 33 149 70 50 2179 .315 .318 .656 117 39 69
HOU 2029 5511 612 1405 570 .181 203 35 112 90 47 2014 .323 .252 .652 128 37 97
LAN 2079 5471 606 1399 565 .194 201 27 108 94 64 1978 .306 .269 .606 117 32 84
NYN 2163 5371 587 1286 534 .207 187 35 98 55 46 1837 .304 .274 .609 127 29 63
PHI 2057 5607 696 1448 628 .177 224 49 117 56 42 2121 .294 .242 .583 113 32 78
PIT 2084 5676 759 1586 715 .181 238 66 158 64 60 2430 .270 .256 .565 111 40 73
SFN 2146 5539 675 1373 627 .196 195 31 181 29 30 2173 .273 .286 .578 142 28 70
SLN 2066 5480 571 1377 533 .189 196 61 108 144 61 2019 .280 .283 .610 114 44 59

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
ATL 453 85 77 1468 884 485 6210 1430 129 83.980 601 683 37 9 36 83 5
CHN 447 59 103 1457 908 479 6283 1513 184 128.080 702 809 28 2 24 40 4
CIN 430 76 84 1435 1043 490 6119 1408 153 87.250 651 702 28 9 35 54 5
HOU 424 72 90 1445 929 391 6126 1468 130 86.660 602 695 34 9 26 60 6
LAN 376 95 67 1459 1084 356 5941 1287 84 26.840 425 490 52 13 35 42 3
NYN 449 66 95 1428 773 521 6177 1497 166 99.940 661 761 37 8 22 76 3
PHI 407 87 75 1458 928 412 6132 1439 137 91.420 579 640 52 14 23 43 4
PIT 447 92 70 1465 898 463 6128 1445 125 52.290 573 641 35 11 43 42 5
SFN 411 93 68 1477 973 359 6102 1370 140 54.690 531 626 52 12 27 44 3
SLN 423 83 79 1459 892 448 6053 1345 130 58.150 505 577 47 17 32 42 7

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
ATL 2572 7388 5442 1770 176 .932 17634 65 56 1.00 27
CHN 2388 7430 5317 1921 192 .961 17494 75 52 1.00 18
CIN 2597 6926 5226 1555 145 .973 17229 101 57 0 11
HOU 2362 7233 5313 1711 209 .918 17328 72 44 0 25
LAN 2496 7246 5288 1800 158 .959 17497 54 42 0 11
NYN 2577 7396 5171 2040 185 .966 17126 85 51 0 16
PHI 2490 7291 5303 1856 132 .976 17514 67 52 0 17
PIT 2463 7475 5343 1959 173 .968 17561 63 33 1.00 16
SFN 2586 7399 5356 1848 195 .963 17717 84 43 1.00 23
SLN 2364 7413 5380 1862 171 .968 17513 55 48 1.00 11

West

Central

East

Awards

Silver Slugger

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Tagged:
1966 World Series, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Baltimore Orioles, Bill Mazeroski, Bob Buhl, Busch Stadium, Claude Osteen, Don Drysdale, Don Sutton, Donn Clendenon, Felipe Alou, Fergie Jenkins, Frank Robinson, Gaylord Perry, Gene Alley, Hank Aaron, Jim Lefebvre, Jim Ray Hart, Joe Torre, Juan Marichal, Larry Jackson, Larry Jaster, Los Angeles Dodgers, Lou Brock, Matty Alou, Maury Wills, Orlando Cepeda, Pete Rose, Phil Regan, Ray Sadecki, Richie Allen, Rico Carty, Roberto Clemente, Ron Santo, San Francisco Giants, Sandy Koufax, Tim McCarver, Tommy Helms, Tony Cloninger, Willie Davis, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Willie Stargell

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