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What happened to the 1962 patsies? Houston (66-96) and the Mets (51-111) were still bad in 1963, but somehow they were good against the Phillies. A case could be made that they cost the Phillies the pennant. The math goes like this: In 1962, the Phillies were 31-5 versus the Colt .45s and Mets; in 1963 they were 20-16. The final tally for the 1963 Phillies was 87-75; eleven more wins and 11 fewer losses would have left them 98-64, a game behind the winning Dodgers who were 99-63. In a close race, who knows what might have happened? The Phillies took the season series from the Dodgers 11-7, a game better than the 10-8 edge they had over Houston and New York. Go figure.
Manager Gene Mauch got a nice surprise as the 1963 season unfolded: he had some guys who could pitch; where did that come from? It came from a rookie and a veteran. Cal McLish, a 14 year veteran, had come over from the American League last year and put up good numbers, 154 innings, 11-5 record, with one shutout and one save. In 1963, McLish pitched in 209 innings to lead the team; he won 13 and lost 11 with a 3.26 ERA and 2 shutouts. The rookie was 22 year-old right hander Ray Culp who was 14-11, 2.97, five shutouts. Reliever Jack Baldschun was a major contributor – 65 appearances, 113 innings, 44 games finished, 16 saves, 11-7, ERA 2.30. Johnny Klippstein saved eight.
The team started well, stumbled badly in the last two weeks of May (3-17), then picked it up in July through September (64-52) to edge out Cincinnati (86-76) for 4th place, and almost beat the Giants (88-74) for third. They showed a nice spark at the end, winning five of six on the West Coast, including a three-game sweep of the champion Dodgers to end the season
1963 Deals of note:
March 14 – Purchased right handed reliever Ryne Duren from the LA Angels
March 25 – Purchased right handed reliever John Klippstein from Cincinnati Reds
June 16 – Signed right handed pitcher Rick Wise as an amateur free agent.
December – 5 Traded Don Demeter and Jack Hamilton to Detroit for right handed pitcher Jim Bunning (33) and catcher Gus Triandos (43).
Honors: Bobby Wine was voted best shortstop in the league by Managers and Coaches, and given a Gold Glove.By max blue