1965 Leaders & Numbers

For Willie Mays, it all seemed to be about the home run; among his career-high 52 blasts was his 500th lifetime homer and 17 in one month (August) for a then-NL record. Tony Conigliaro hit a relatively scant 32 homers, yet became the youngest American Leaguer (at 20) to lead the junior circuit. No AL player had won back-to-back batting titles to start a career—until Tony Oliva, joined at the top of the league’s offensive ranks by fellow Twin (and fellow Cuban) Zoilo Versalles. Deron Johnson was a surprise among the usual suspects (Frank Robinson, Vada Pinson, Pete Rose) in a Red-hot Cincinnati lineup. All was well again in Cleveland with the return of popular Indian Rocky Colavito after a five-year absence. In the emerging era of great pitching, it was becoming crystal clear that Sandy Koufax reigned as the king of kings on the mound. “Sudden SamMcDowell suddenly became a poor man’s Koufax, but don’t tell that to opposing AL batters who hit just .185 and struck out 325 times against the Indian southpaw. Juan Marichal’s stellar ERA and ten shutouts were not enough to overcome the notoriety of bashing Johnny Roseboro with a bat. Mel Stottlemyre’s timing was rotten; his stock rose considerably while his Yankees began sinking for the long haul. Eddie Fisher never started a game, yet led the White Sox in wins, saves and threw enough innings to qualify for the AL ERA title—for which he placed second. Tony Cloninger’s career peaked in the Braves’ final year at Milwaukee.

The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1965
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Willie Mays San Francisco 157 .317 558 118 177 21 3 52 112 60 16 0 9 4 11
2. Billy Williams Chicago 164 .315 645 115 203 39 6 34 108 58 7 3 10 1 20
3. Frank Robinson Cincinnati 156 .296 582 109 172 33 5 33 113 52 18 18 13 9 14
4. Hank Aaron Milwaukee 150 .318 570 109 181 40 1 32 89 50 10 1 24 4 15
5. Deron Johnson Cincinnati 159 .287 616 92 177 30 7 32 130 43 9 2 0 4 13
6. Pete Rose Cincinnati 162 .312 670 117 209 35 11 11 81 67 2 8 8 3 10
7. Willie McCovey San Francisco 160 .276 540 93 149 17 4 39 92 83 5 6 0 4 8
8. Ron Santo Chicago 164 .285 608 88 173 30 4 33 101 81 7 5 3 1 12
9. Vada Pinson Cincinnati 159 .305 669 97 204 34 10 22 94 40 3 7 21 8 14
10. Richie Allen Philadelphia 161 .302 619 93 187 31 14 20 85 68 6 2 15 2 13
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1965
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Tony Oliva Minnesota 149 .321 576 107 185 40 5 16 98 43 12 4 19 9 8
2. Zoilo Versalles Minnesota 160 .273 666 126 182 45 12 19 77 38 3 7 27 5 7
3. Carl Yastrzemski Boston 133 .312 494 78 154 45 3 20 72 62 8 1 7 6 16
4. Leon Wagner Cleveland 144 .294 517 91 152 18 1 28 79 52 8 3 12 2 6
5. Rocky Colavito Cleveland 162 .287 592 92 170 25 2 26 108 82 11 3 1 1 14
6. Norm Cash Detroit 142 .266 467 79 124 23 1 30 82 72 5 4 6 6 9
7. Tom Tresh New York 156 .279 602 94 168 29 6 26 74 55 4 5 5 2 10
8. Harmon Killebrew Minnesota 113 .269 401 78 108 16 1 25 75 60 12 4 0 0 10
9. Jimmie Hall Minnesota 148 .285 522 81 149 25 4 20 86 45 6 1 14 7 6
10. Tony Conigliaro Boston 138 .269 521 82 140 21 5 32 82 45 6 5 4 2 9
The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1965
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 2.04 26 8 .765 2 43 41 335.2 337 76 67 4 11 5 0 16 4 13
2. Juan Marichal San Francisco 2.13 22 13 .629 1 39 37 295.1 347 70 42 4 2 4 0 14 5 19
3. Jim Bunning Philadelphia 2.60 19 9 .679 0 39 39 291 371 84 52 10 1 12 0 10 8 13
4. Vern Law Pittsburgh 2.15 17 9 .654 0 29 28 217.1 267 52 33 2 1 3 0 1 2 23
5. Don Drysdale Los Angeles 2.77 23 12 .657 1 44 42 308.1 421 95 55 11 12 12 0 12 7 19
6. Chris Short Philadelphia 2.82 18 11 .621 2 47 40 297.1 380 93 81 8 5 5 0 21 12 24
7. Jim Maloney Cincinnati 2.54 20 9 .690 0 33 33 255.1 266 72 107 3 19 5 0 24 7 19
8. Bob Veale Pittsburgh 2.84 17 12 .586 0 39 37 266 271 84 112 7 17 7 0 6 4 19
9. Claude Osteen Los Angeles 2.79 15 15 .500 0 40 40 287 367 89 68 10 4 3 1 2 6 28
10. Tony Cloninger Milwaukee 3.29 24 11 .686 1 40 38 279 345 102 114 5 22 3 1 14 10 15
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1965
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Sam McDowell Cleveland 2.18 17 11 .607 4 42 35 273 235 66 125 7 17 6 0 4 9 23
2. Eddie Fisher Chicago 2.40 15 7 .682 24 82 0 165.1 174 44 35 8 10 2 0 11 2 11
3. Mel Stottlemyre New York 2.63 20 9 .690 0 37 37 291 368 85 85 3 5 7 0 12 11 29
4. Sonny Siebert Cleveland 2.43 16 8 .667 1 39 27 188.2 211 51 44 2 3 5 1 8 3 13
5. Fred Newman California 2.93 14 16 .467 0 36 36 260.2 310 85 54 10 6 1 1 11 3 25
6. George Brunet California 2.56 9 11 .450 2 41 26 197 209 56 61 8 3 3 3 5 3 11
7. Mudcat Grant Minnesota 3.30 21 7 .750 0 41 39 270.1 402 99 59 2 8 0 0 6 7 28
8. Stu Miller Baltimore 1.89 14 7 .667 24 67 0 119.1 123 25 22 10 1 1 0 5 1 15
9. Hoyt Wilhelm Chicago 1.81 7 7 .500 20 66 0 144 139 29 25 7 10 2 0 9 3 10
10. Jim Kaat Minnesota 2.83 18 11 .621 2 45 42 264.1 391 83 57 6 3 5 0 8 3 26

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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1965 Awards


NL MVP
Willie Mays, San Francisco

AL MVP
Zoilo Versalles, Minnesota


Cy Young Award
Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles (N)


NL Rookie of the Year
Jim Lefebvre, Los Angeles

AL Rookie of the Year
Curt Blefary, Baltimore


NL Gold Glove Awards
P Bob Gibson, St. Louis
C Joe Torre, Milwaukee
1B Bill White, St. Louis
2B Bill Mazeroski, Pittsburgh
3B Ron Santo, Chicago
SS Leo Cardenas, Cincinnati
OF Roberto Clemente, Pittsburgh
OF Curt Flood, St. Louis
OF Willie Mays, San Francisco


AL Gold Glove Awards
P Jim Kaat, Minnesota
C Bill Freehan, Detroit
1B Joe Pepitone, New York
2B Bobby Richardson, New York
3B Brooks Robinson, Baltimore
SS Zoilo Versalles, Minnesota
OF Al Kaline, Detroit
OF Tom Tresh, New York
OF Carl Yastrzemski, Boston