1959 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 1959 throughout the world.

List of years in baseball

Champions

Major League Baseball

Other champions

Winter Leagues

Awards and honors

MLB statistical leaders

  American League National League
Type Name Stat Name Stat
AVG Harvey Kuenn DET .353 Hank Aaron MIL .355
HR Rocky Colavito CLE
Harmon Killebrew WSH
42 Eddie Mathews MIL 46
RBI Jackie Jensen BOS 112 Ernie Banks CHC 143
Wins Early Wynn CHW 22 Lew Burdette MIL
Sam Jones SF
Warren Spahn MIL
21
ERA Hoyt Wilhelm BAL 2.19 Sam Jones SF 2.83

Major league baseball final standings

American League final standings

Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
1st Chicago White Sox 94   60 .610     --
2nd Cleveland Indians 89   65 .578   5.0
3rd New York Yankees 79   75 .513   15.0
4th Detroit Tigers 76   78 .494   18.0
5th Boston Red Sox 75   79 .487   19.0
6th Baltimore Orioles 74   80 .481   20.0
7th Kansas City Athletics 66   88 .429   28.0
8th Washington Senators 63   91 .409   31.0

National League final standings

Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
1st Los Angeles Dodgers 88   68 .564     --
2nd Milwaukee Braves 86   70 .551   2.0
3rd San Francisco Giants 83   71 .539   4.0
4th Pittsburgh Pirates 78   76 .506   9.0
5th Cincinnati Reds 74   80 .481   13.0
6th Chicago Cubs 74   80 .481   13.0
7th St. Louis Cardinals 71   83 .461   16.0
8th Philadelphia Phillies 64   90 .416   23.0

Events

January

February

April

  • April 11 – On Opening Day, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale hits a home run, becoming the only pitcher to hit more than one career homer in opening games. Drysdale's historic blast doesn't prevent the Dodgers from losing their game, 6–1, to the Chicago Cubs.
  • April 17 – Detroit Tigers' Al Kaline bats his 100th career home run.
  • April 22 – The Chicago White Sox defeat the Kansas City Athletics 20–6 at Municipal Stadium. The White Sox score 11 of those runs in a wild seventh inning in which they collect only one hit. Ray Boone and Al Smith lead off the inning by reaching on errors. Johnny Callison then collects the hit, a single that scores Boone; on the play, Smith scores and Callison reaches third on a Roger Maris error. Eight of the next nine runs score on ten bases on balls; Callison is hit by a pitch to force in the remaining run.

May

June

  • June 12 – The Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame opens in Tokyo.
  • June 14 – Ernie Banks hits 200th career home run helping Chicago Cubs beat Milwaukee Braves 6-0.
  • June 18 – At Memorial StadiumChico Carrasquel drives in two runs in both the eighth and ninth innings to give the Baltimore Orioles win, 7–6, over the visiting Detroit Tigers.
  • June 21 – At Seals Stadium, Hank Aaron hits three home runs in the Milwaukee Braves' 13–3 victory over the San Francisco Giants. For Aaron, Major League Baseball's future home run king, it will be the only three-home run game of his career.
  • June 30 – The St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs are involved in a bizarre play at Wrigley Field in which two balls are in play at the same time. With one out in the fourth inning, Stan Musial is at the plate with a 3–1 count. The next pitch from the Cubs’ Bob Anderson evades catcher Sammy Taylor and rolls to the backstop. Home plate umpire Vic Delmore calls ball four on Musial, much to the chagrin of Anderson and Taylor, both of whom argue that Musial had foul tipped the ball. With the ball still in play and Delmore arguing with both Anderson and Taylor, Musial attempts to run for second. Meanwhile, Cubs third baseman Alvin Dark runs to the backstop and retrieves the ball despite it having ended up in the hands of field announcer Pat Pieper. However, Delmore unknowingly pulls out a new ball and gives it to Taylor. Anderson sees Musial attempting to advance to second and throws the ball to second baseman Tony Taylor, only for it to sail into the outfield. At the same time, Dark throws the original ball to shortstop Ernie Banks. Musial sees Anderson's ball go over Tony Taylor's head and attempts to advance to third, unaware that Dark's throw has reached Banks, who tags Musial. After a delay, Musial is declared out. Both teams play the game under protest; the Cardinals drop theirs after defeating the Cubs 4–1.

July

August

September

October

November

December

Births

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Deaths

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Sources

  1. ^ Harvey Frommer. A Yankees Century, A Celebration of the First Hundred Years of Baseball's Greatest Team. The Berkley Publishing Group. p. 392. ISBN 0-425-18617-2.
  2. ^ Hooks Wiltse. Article written by Gabriel Schechter. SABR Biography Project. Retrieved on July 6, 2019.
  3. ^ New York Giants 1, Philadelphia Phillies 0 (1). Game Played on Saturday, July 4, 1908 (D) at Polo Grounds IV. Box score. Retrosheet. Retrieved on July 6, 2019.
  4. ^ Ken Williams. Article written by Joseph Wancho. SABR Biography Project. Retrieved on July 8, 2019.
  5. ^ Nap Lajoie. Article written by David Jones and Stephen Constantelos. SABR Biography Project. Retrieved on July 11, 2019.
  6. ^ Howard Ehmke. Article written by Gregory H. Wolf. SABR Biography Project. Retrieved on July 11, 2019.
  7. ^ Johnny Allen. Career statistics and history. Baseball Reference. Retrieved on July 11, 2019.
  8. ^ "A's Rookie Wins One-Hitter, 3 to 0". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. May 31, 1943. p. 26.
  9. ^ Marshall, William (January 13, 2015). Baseball's Pivotal Era, 1945-1951. University Press of Kentucky. p. 153.
  10. ^ Willy Fetzer. Major and Minor Leagues career. Baseball Reference. Retrieved on July 12, 2019.
  11. ^ John Hummel. Article written by Tom Simon. SABR Biography Project. Retrieved on July 12, 2019.
  12. ^ Gene Packard. Article written by Bill Lamb. SABR Biography Project. Retrieved on July 12, 2019.
  13. ^ a b c Ed Walsh. Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved on July 13, 2019.
  14. ^ a b Big Ed Walsh. Article written by Stuart Schimler. SABR Biography Project. Retrieved on July 13, 2019.
  15. ^ Frank Huelsman. Major and Minor leagues career. Baseball Reference. Retrieved on July 13, 2019.
  16. ^ Caruso, Gary (1995). The Braves Encyclopedia (Baseball Encyclopedias Of Nort). Temple University Press. ISBN 978-1-56-639384-3
  17. ^ Bill Hoffer. Major and Minor leagues career. Baseball Reference. Retrieved on July 14, 2019.
  18. ^ Boston Red Sox at New York Highlanders Box Score, April 12, 1912. Baseball Reference. Retrieved on July 14, 2019.
  19. ^ New York Highlanders at Boston Red Sox Box Score, April 20, 1912. Baseball Reference. Retrieved on July 14, 2019.
  20. ^ Boileryard Clarke. Major and Minor leagues career. Baseball Reference. Retrieved on July 14, 2019.
  21. ^ 1902- First Ever Pinch Hit Grand Slam. History of Cardinals. Retrieved on July 15, 2019.
  22. ^ Dave Fultz. Article written by Brian McKenna SABR Biography Project. Retrieved on July 19, 2019.
  23. ^ Joe Harris. Article written by Bill Nowlin. SABR Biography Project. Retrieved on July 20, 2019.
  24. ^ Jim Bottomley. Article written by Bill Johnson. SABR Biography Project. Retrieved on July 20, 2019.

External links

1959 Asian Baseball Championship

The 1959 Asian Baseball Championship was the third continental tournament held by the Baseball Federation of Asia. The tournament was held in Tokyo, Japan for the first time. It was the second time Japan had won the tournament, and was the second of what would be three consecutive Asian Championship wins in a row. South Korea (2nd), Taiwan (3rd) and Philippines (4th) were the other participants.

1959 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1959 followed a system established after the 1956 election. The baseball writers were voting on recent players only in even-number years (until 1967).

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier major league players.

It selected outfielder Zack Wheat, who made 2884 hits from 1909 to 1927.

1959 Caribbean Series

The eleventh edition of the Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) was played in 1959. It was held from February 10 through February 15 with the champions teams from Cuba (Almendares), Panama (Coclé), Puerto Rico (Santurce) and Venezuela (Oriente). The format consisted of 12 games, each team facing the other teams twice. The games were played at UCV Stadium in Caracas, Venezuela, which boosted capacity to 35.000 seats, and the first pitch was thrown by Edgar Sanabria, by then the President of Venezuela.

1959 Claxton Shield

The 1959 Claxton Shield was the 20th annual Claxton Shield, it was held in Melbourne, Victoria. It was originally scheduled for Perth, Western Australia, but when teams hinted at pulling out of the Shield that year due to travel costs, the venue was moved. The participants were South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland. The series was won by South Australia, claiming their fifth Shield title.

1959 Little League World Series

The 1959 Little League World Series took place from August 25 through August 29 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The Hamtramck National Little League of Hamtramck, Michigan, defeated the West Auburn Little League of Auburn, California, in the championship game of the 13th Little League World Series. Hamtramck became the first team from the United States to win a championship since foreign teams were allowed to participate beginning in 1957. As of 2019, Hamtramck is the only team from Michigan to win the Little League World Series.

This was the first year that the LLWS was played at Howard J. Lamade Stadium. Two-time defending champion Monterrey, Mexico, was ruled ineligible to compete due to violations of player residency requirements.

Baseball at the 1959 Pan American Games

The 1959 Pan American Games were the first Pan American Games held in the United States and the third ever. They were held at Comiskey Park and Wrigley Field in Chicago from August 27 through September 7. They were the only Pan Am Games (through 2015) won by Venezuela.

Venezuela went 6-1 to claim the title. The team was managed by José Antonio Casanova and featured future big leaguer Dámaso Blanco. Infielder José Flores led the event with three triples while Manuel Pérez Bolaños was 2-0 on the mound, as was 18-year-old Luis Peñalver, about to embark on a 19-year Minor League career, mostly in AAA.

Puerto Rico won Silver, thanks to a 5-1 record. Irmo Figueroa led the competition in average (.500) while Carlos Pizarro had the most hits (12). R. Vazquez led in RBI (10) and tied for the home run lead with 2.

United States won Bronze at 4-3; their 3-2 win over Cuba helped them lock up the Medal. An A. Hall, presumably Alan Hall, tied for the homer lead with two. Charles Davis had the best ERA (0.69). Lou Brock was 1 for 10.

Cuba had a very disappointing tourney, going 2-4 and failing to take a medal, a contrast with the upcoming state-sponsored Fidel Castro era teams that breached the amateur code and won 10 Pan Am Games Gold Medals in a row. Urbano Gonzalez hit .353 and Pedro Chavez was 5 for 9.

Mexico was 5th at 3-2. Roberto Coto led the event with 5 doubles. Mauro Ruiz went 2-0, the only non-Venezuelan to post that record.

Costa Rica had one of their best events ever, going 3-3 to finish 6th. They were followed by Nicaragua (7th, 2-4) and Dominican Republic (8th, 2-3). Brazil pulled up the rear, losing all six of their games.

Harvey Haddix's near-perfect game

On May 26, 1959, at Milwaukee County Stadium, Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitched a perfect game for 12 innings against the Milwaukee Braves, but lost the game in the 13th. His perfect game bid was broken up in the bottom of the 13th by a throwing error; he would lose the no-hitter, and the game with it, on a Joe Adcock hit (a baserunning mistake caused it to be changed from a 3-run home run to a 1-run double) later in the inning.

Braves starter Lew Burdette, despite giving up eight hits through nine innings, was pitching a shutout of his own. Three times, the Pirates came close to scoring the winning run for Haddix. In the third inning, a baserunning blunder by Don Hoak negated three consecutive singles; in the ninth, Bill Virdon, after reaching base on a hit with one out, advanced to third on Rocky Nelson's single; however, Bob Skinner grounded back to Burdette the threat. In the 10th inning, with the Pirates still not having scored, pinch-hitter Dick Stuart flied out to center fielder Andy Pafko on a ball that came within a few feet of a two-run home run. The Pirates also recorded hits in the 11th, 12th and 13th innings, but left a runner on base in the latter two innings.

Félix Mantilla, who entered the game in the 11th after Del Rice had pinch-hit for Johnny O'Brien, was the Braves' first hitter in the 13th inning. He hit a ground ball to third baseman Hoak, who fielded the ball cleanly but threw wide to first, pulling Nelson off the base. Mantilla was then sacrificed to second by Eddie Mathews. Haddix, his perfect game bid gone but his no-hit bid still intact, then intentionally walked Hank Aaron to set up a double play situation for Adcock, who had already grounded out twice earlier in the game, striking out the other two times. Adcock hit a fly ball to deep right-center field, just beyond the reach of right fielder Joe Christopher, who was making his Major League debut (he replaced Román Mejías in right field after Stuart had pinch-hit for Mejías), for an apparent home run, the ball landing between the outfield fence and another fence behind it, in front of a line of pine trees. Mantilla rounded third and touched home plate for the winning run; however, in the confusion, Aaron saw the ball hit the second fence but did not realize it had carried over the first and, thinking that the game had ended when Mantilla scored the winning run, rounded second and headed for the dugout. Adcock rounded the bases, running out his home run. First base umpire Frank Dascoli ruled that the final score was 2-0; he was overruled by National League president Warren Giles, who changed Adcock's home run to a double and declared that only Mantilla's run counted for a final score of 1-0. In addition to Stuart being used as a pinch-hitter, two other Pirate regulars did not play in this game: Dick Groat, who would win the 1960 National League Most Valuable Player Award, was mired in a slump and had been benched, and Roberto Clemente was sidelined with a sore shoulder.

In 1989, during a banquet attended by players from both teams commemorating the game's 30th anniversary, Milwaukee pitcher Bob Buhl told Haddix that the Braves' bullpen had stolen Smoky Burgess' signs, the Pittsburgh catcher exposing them due to a high crouch. From their bullpen, the Braves pitchers repeatedly repositioned a towel to signal for a fastball or a breaking ball, the only two pitches Haddix used in the game. If a fastball was coming, the towel was made visible to the batter; if a breaking pitch was coming, the towel was out of sight. Despite this assistance, the usually solid Milwaukee offense managed only the one hit. All but one Milwaukee hitter, Aaron, took the signals. Haddix's 12 2/3-inning complete game, in which he struck out eight batters against the team that had just won the previous two National League pennants (including winning the 1957 World Series), and featured one of the top offensive lineups in the Major Leagues, is considered by many to be the best pitching performance in Major League history. Pirate second baseman Bill Mazeroski would say, "Usually you have one or two great or spectacular defensive plays in these no-hitters. Not that night. It was the easiest game I ever played in." In 1991, Major League Baseball changed the definition of a no-hitter to "a game in which a pitcher or pitchers complete a game of nine innings or more without allowing a hit." Under this new definition, Haddix's masterpiece was one of 12 extra-inning no-hitters to be struck from the record books. Haddix's response was, "It's O.K. I know what I did." Haddix's near-perfect game is immortalized by the Baseball Project, whose song, Harvey Haddix, appears on their debut album, 2008's Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails.

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