1963 Leaders & Numbers

Hank Aaron never won a triple crown, but he came closest to one in 1963. Willie McCovey, who like Aaron matched his uniform number with 44 homers, finally managed to play everyday as an outfielder while Orlando Cepeda, for the moment, took Big Mac’s usual spot at first base. Carl Yastrzemski didn’t yet possess the power numbers to scare the pants off opposing pitchers, but he was potent in so many other ways. Minnesota’s slugging trio of Bob Allison, Harmon Killebrew and Jimmie Hall combined for 118 homers—yet neither knocked in over 100. Dick Groat flourished in St. Louis after a trade from the Pirates—who said they couldn’t win another pennant with him. Another former Pirate, Dick Stuart—a.k.a. Dr. Strangeglove—set career highs in homers and RBIs at Boston while leading all first basemen in errors for the sixth time in six years. The expanded strike zone was music to the ears of Sandy Koufax, Jim Maloney and Juan Marichal—all of whom loved firing the high strike. Marichal became the first Latino to throw a major league no-hitter. Even if any team could knock Koufax out of the box, they likely would have had to next contend with reliever Ron Perranoski. Gary Peters, officially a rookie despite four straight years of late-season call-ups, let the White Sox know what they’d been missing. Dick Ellsworth’s stellar season highly contrasted his seven other years at Chicago, from which he combined for a 62-100 record. The breakout campaign of future Ball Four author Jim Bouton made him, for now, more celebrated than notorious.

The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1963
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Hank Aaron Milwaukee 161 .319 631 121 201 29 4 44 130 60 18 0 31 5 11
2. Willie Mays San Francisco 157 .314 596 115 187 32 7 38 103 61 5 2 8 3 15
3. Orlando Cepeda San Francisco 156 .316 579 100 183 33 4 34 97 26 11 10 8 3 18
4. Willie McCovey San Francisco 152 .280 564 103 158 19 5 44 102 45 5 11 1 1 10
5. Vada Pinson Cincinnati 162 .313 652 96 204 37 14 22 106 33 3 1 27 8 16
6. Bill White St. Louis 162 .304 658 106 200 26 8 27 109 50 9 0 10 9 5
7. Billy Williams Chicago 161 .286 612 87 175 36 9 25 95 59 9 2 7 6 12
8. Frank Robinson Cincinnati 140 .259 482 79 125 19 3 21 91 61 20 14 26 10 7
9. Johnny Callison Philadelphia 157 .284 626 96 178 36 11 26 78 46 4 2 8 3 8
10. Dick Groat St. Louis 158 .319 631 85 201 43 11 6 73 54 2 6 3 1 18
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1963
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Bob Allison Minnesota 148 .271 527 99 143 25 4 35 91 88 2 3 6 1 7
2. Al Kaline Detroit 145 .312 551 89 172 24 3 27 101 42 12 4 6 4 12
3. Carl Yastrzemski Boston 151 .321 570 91 183 40 3 14 68 89 6 1 8 5 12
4. Harmon Killebrew Minnesota 142 .258 515 88 133 18 0 45 96 68 4 3 0 0 16
5. Tom Tresh New York 145 .269 520 91 140 28 5 25 71 78 5 4 3 3 4
6. Dick Stuart Boston 157 .261 612 81 160 25 4 42 118 42 2 1 0 0 24
7. Pete Ward Chicago 157 .295 600 80 177 34 6 22 84 51 1 5 7 6 6
8. Jimmie Hall Minnesota 156 .260 497 88 129 21 5 33 80 59 4 0 3 3 8
9. Elston Howard New York 135 .287 487 75 140 21 6 28 85 31 4 6 0 0 17
10. Albie Pearson Los Angeles 154 .304 578 92 176 26 5 6 47 87 5 3 17 10 5
The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1963
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Sandy Koufax Los Angeles 1.88 25 5 .833 0 40 40 311 308 65 51 7 6 3 1 11 1 9
2. Dick Ellsworth Chicago 2.11 22 10 .688 0 37 37 290.2 299 68 67 8 3 2 0 5 9 21
3. Juan Marichal San Francisco 2.41 25 8 .758 0 41 40 321.1 393 86 55 6 2 2 3 15 9 16
4. Bob Friend Pittsburgh 2.34 17 16 .515 0 39 38 268.2 321 70 35 9 6 5 6 10 4 29
5. Warren Spahn Milwaukee 2.60 23 7 .767 0 33 33 259.2 355 75 45 4 4 0 0 4 1 35
6. Larry Jackson Chicago 2.55 14 18 .438 0 37 37 275 340 78 51 3 3 6 2 2 10 22
7. Curt Simmons St. Louis 2.48 15 9 .625 0 32 32 232.2 294 64 45 3 3 5 0 8 10 15
8. Don Drysdale Los Angeles 2.63 19 17 .528 0 42 42 315.1 413 92 44 13 4 10 0 11 8 25
9. Jim Maloney Cincinnati 2.77 23 7 .767 0 33 33 250.1 273 77 87 1 19 6 2 7 8 16
10. Ron Perranoski Los Angeles 1.67 16 3 .842 21 69 0 129 146 24 29 14 4 4 0 0 0 11
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1963
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Gary Peters Chicago 2.33 19 8 .704 1 41 30 243 253 63 66 2 5 8 0 11 3 17
2. Jim Bouton New York 2.53 21 7 .750 1 40 30 249.1 302 70 85 2 4 3 1 3 5 20
3. Whitey Ford New York 2.74 24 7 .774 1 38 37 269.1 366 82 53 3 8 2 0 3 9 30
4. Camilo Pascual Minnesota 2.46 21 9 .700 0 31 31 248.1 304 68 77 4 10 3 0 10 4 22
5. Juan Pizarro Chicago 2.39 16 8 .667 1 32 28 214.2 248 57 62 1 5 3 0 2 3 12
6. Al Downing New York 2.56 13 5 .722 0 24 22 175.2 164 50 79 1 5 0 1 5 3 12
7. Steve Barber Baltimore 2.75 20 13 .606 0 39 36 258.2 352 79 82 10 3 4 1 4 7 28
8. Ray Herbert Chicago 3.25 13 10 .565 0 33 33 224.2 299 81 30 5 2 2 0 4 2 28
9. Dick Radatz Boston 2.04 15 6 .714 24 66 0 132.1 133 30 38 12 5 5 0 5 2 5
10. Ralph Terry New York 3.22 17 15 .531 1 40 37 268 388 96 38 1 1 4 0 7 4 22

Brown type indicates league leader.
Notes: Walks (BB) do not include intentional walks (IB). For pitchers, caught stealing (CS) also includes pickoffs.
How does This Great Game determine the best hitters and pitchers? Find out here.


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1963 Awards


NL MVP
Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles

AL MVP
Elston Howard, New York


Cy Young Award
Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles (N)


NL Rookie of the Year
Pete Rose, Cincinnati

AL Rookie of the Year
Gary Peters, Chicago


NL Gold Glove Awards
P Bobby Shantz, St. Louis
C Johnny Edwards, Cincinnati
1B Bill White, St. Louis
2B Bill Mazeroski, Pittsburgh
3B Ken Boyer, St. Louis
SS Bobby Wine, Philadelphia
OF Roberto Clemente, Pittsburgh
OF Curt Flood, St. Louis
OF Willie Mays, San Francisco


AL Gold Glove Awards
P Jim Kaat, Minnesota
C Elston Howard, New York
1B Vic Power, Minnesota
2B Bobby Richardson, New York
3B Brooks Robinson, Baltimore
SS Zoilo Versalles, Minnesota
OF Al Kaline, Detroit
OF Jim Landis, Chicago
OF Carl Yastrzemski, Boston