Koufax Wins 25; Killebrew Crushes 45

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Look back at the 1963 MLB season.

By Glen Sparks

  • Sandy Koufax wins the Cy Young award and National League MVP. The left-hander goes 25-5 with a 1.88 ERA for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He strikes out 306 batters in 311 innings and hurls 11 shutouts.
  • New York Yankees catcher Elston Howard wins the American League MVP. He belts 28 home runs and drives in 85 runs. Howard also wins a Gold Glove.
  • Minnesota Twins slugger Harmon Killebrew smashes 45 homers to lead the A.L. for the third time. He also tops the league with a .555 slugging percentage.
  • Early Wynn wins his 300th career game on July 13. The 43-year-old right-hander for the Cleveland Indians gives up four runs in five innings and beats the Kansas City A’s and Moe Drabowsky 7-4. It is the only win of the year for the future Hall of Famer, who retires with a 300-244 lifetime record.
  • Hometown boy Pete Rose takes N.L. Rookie of the Year honors. The second baseman collects 170 hits for the Cincinnati Reds and hits .273 with 101 runs scored. Rose beats out fellow second baseman Ron Hunt, who bats .272 for the New York Mets. Pitchers plunk Hunt 13 times. He retires following the 1974 season after being hit 243 times.
  • The Dodgers’ Tommy Davis earns his second straight batting crown. He finishes the year at .326, ahead of runner-up Roberto Clemente (.320).
  • Carl Yastrzemski wins his first batting title in his third season with the Boston Red Sox. He hits .321 and also leads the A.L. in hits (183), doubles (40), walks (95) and on-base percentage (.418).
  • Warren Spahn, 42, years old, keeps rolling. He becomes the oldest 20-game winner in baseball history. The southpaw finishes 23-7 for the Milwaukee Braves. Spahn also completes 22 games. He retires in 1965 with 363 career wins.
  • The Mets keep struggling, and Roger Craig keeps losing. Craig ties an N.L. single-season mark with 18 losses and finishes at 5-22.
  • The Dodgers and Yankees meet in the World Series. Behind strong pitching, the Dodgers sweep. Koufax wins two games, goes 18 innings, strikes out 23 and gives up three earned runs (1.50 ERA). Don Drysdale adds a three-hit shutout (nine strikeouts), while Johnny Podres wins his Game Two start. The Yanks bat .171 as a team.


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