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1968

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The following are the baseball events of the year 1968 throughout the world.  

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Sources


This article is currently under construction.

The Year of the PitcherEdit

In Major League Baseball, the trend throughout the 1960s was of increased pitching dominance, caused by enforcing a larger strike zone (top of armpit to bottom of knee) beginning in 1963. The delicate balance of power between offense and defense reached its greatest tilt in favor of the pitcher by 1968.

Individually, Bob Gibson set a modern Earned Run Average record of 1.12 and a World Series record of 17 strikeouts in Game 1, while Series opponent Denny McLain of the Detroit Tigers won 31 regular season games, the only player to reach the 30 win milestone since Dizzy Dean in 1934. Mickey Lolich won three complete games in the World Series, the last player as of 2006 to do so. Luis Tiant of the Cleveland Indians had the American League's lowest ERA at 1.60 and allowed a batting average of only .168, a major league record.

Hitting was anemic. Carl Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox had the lowest batting average of any league champion when his .3005 was good enough for the American League batting title. The AL's collective slugging average of .340 remains the lowest since 1915 in the dead-ball era, while the collective batting average of .231 is the all-time lowest.

After the season, the Rules Committee, seeking to restore balance, restored the pre-1963 strike zone and lowered the height of the pitching mound from 18 to 16 inches. Four expansion teams joined the majors. 1969 batting averages zoomed back to their historical averages and never again would pitching have as large a statistical average over batting in the major leagues.

ChampionsEdit

Major League BaseballEdit

Other championsEdit

Awards and honorsEdit

MLB Statistical LeadersEdit

  American League National League
Type Name Stat Name Stat
AVG Carl Yastrzemski BOS .301 Pete Rose CIN .335
HR Frank Howard WAS 44 Willie McCovey SFG 36
RBI Ken Harrelson BOS 109 Willie McCovey SFG 105
Wins Denny McLain DET 31 Juan Marichal SFG 26
ERA Luis Tiant CLE 1.60 Bob Gibson STL 1.12
Ks Sam McDowell CLE 283 Bob Gibson STL 268
SB Bert Campaneris 62 Lou Brock STL 62

Major League Baseball final standingsEdit

American League final standingsEdit

American League
Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
Detroit Tigers 103 59 .636 --
Baltimore Orioles 91 71 .562 12
Cleveland Indians 86 75 .534 16.5
Boston Red Sox 86 76 .531 17
New York Yankees 83 79 .512 20
Oakland Athletics 82 80 .506 21
Minnesota Twins 79 83 .488 24
California Angels 67 95 .414 36
Chicago White Sox 67 95 .414 36
Washington Senators 65 96 .404 37.5

National League final standingsEdit

National League
Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
St. Louis Cardinals 97 65 .599 --
San Francisco Giants 88 74 .543 9
Chicago Cubs 84 78 .519 13
Cincinnati Reds 83 79 .512 14
Atlanta Braves 81 81 .500 16
Pittsburgh Pirates 80 82 .494 17
Los Angeles Dodgers 76 86 .469 21
Philadelphia Phillies 76 86 .469 21
New York Mets 73 89 .451 24
Houston Astros 72 90 .444 25

EventsEdit

  • September 18 - Sixteen hours after Perry's feat, Ray Washburn of the St. Louis cardinals makes major league history by hurling a 2nd consecutive no-hitter in the same park. Run-scoring hits by Mike Shannon and Curt Flood at Candlestick down the Giants 2-0.
  • October 2 - For the first time in history, two soon-to-be-named MVPs oppose each other in Game One of the 1968 World Series. St. Louis Cardinals' Bob Gibson is nearly untouchable with a World Series-record 17 strikeouts and a 4-0 win over Denny McLain. Detroit Tigers manager Mayo Smith moves Gold Glove outfielder Mickey Stanley to shortstop, improving his offense by opening a spot for Al Kaline.
  • October 10 - In Game Seven of the World Series, Mickey Lolich of the Tigers, pitching on two days rest, wins his third game of the series as he beats Bob Gibson of the Cardinals and brings Detroit its first World Championship since 1945. Lolich hurls a five-hitter, giving Detroit a 4–1 win, and is named Series MVP. Key moments came in the 6th inning when Lolich picked Lou Brock and Curt Flood off 1st base to keep the score 0-0. With the game scoreless in the 7th, the Tigers had two on and two out when Jim Northrup hit a line drive to center field. Gold glover Curt Flood misjudged the ball and started in, allowing the ball to sail over his head for a triple. Northrup then scored on Bill Freehan's double for a 3-0 lead. Each team added a 9th inning run to account for the 4-1 final. It was the first time the Cardinals had ever lost a 7th game of a World Series. The Tigers became only the 3rd team to rally from a 3-1 deficit to win the series 4 games to 3 (the 1925 Pirates and 1958 Yankees were the first two).

BirthsEdit

DeathsEdit

  • April 19 - Tommy Bridges, 61, 6-time All-Star pitcher who won 194 games for the Detroit Tigers, including three 20-win seasons. Was 1 out short of perfect game in 1932.
  • May 26 - Doc Ayers, 78, spitball pitcher for the Washington Senators and Detroit Tigers
  • June 15 - Sam Crawford, 88, Hall of Fame right fielder for the Tigers, a lifetime .309 hitter who hit a record 312 triples, led both leagues in home runs, and retired with the 5th-most RBI in history
  • July 8 - Dusty Boggess, 64, NL umpire for 18 seasons from 1944 to 1962 who worked in four World Series
  • July 27 - Babe Adams, 86, pitcher who won 194 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates; the only member of their championship teams in both 1909 and 1925, he won three games in the 1909 World Series
  • August 22 - Heinie Groh, 78, third baseman for the New York Giants and Cincinnati Reds who led the NL in hits, runs and walks once each and in doubles twice, widely known for his "bottle bat"
  • November 3 - Vern Stephens, 48, 8-time All-Star shortstop who led the AL in RBI three times and in home runs once
  • November 17 - Earl Hamilton, 77, pitcher with the St. Louis Browns and Pittsburgh Pirates, later a minor league team owner
  • December 6 - Fats Jenkins, 70, All-Star left fielder of the Negro Leagues

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