We start our look back at the 1963 Dodgers, their second at Dodger Stadium, with a review of the first week of the season.
Don Drysdale, fresh off his Cy Young Award last year, started the first game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The fifth career opening day start for Drysdale set a new Dodgers record, breaking his tie with Brooklynites Nap Rucker, Van Mungo, and Carl Erskine.
Tommy Davis tore a muscle in his thigh on March 31 in spring training and was considered questionable for opening day. He did start the opener against the Cubs, and started five of six games during the week.
Batter of the week
Offense was hard to come by for the Dodgers, who averaged only two games in the opening week. We’ll go with Tommy Davis here, who hit .316 (6-for-19) with two doubles, the only player on the team to slug over .400. Honorable mention goes to Frank Howard, who was 6-for-18 (.333) with a double.
Pitcher of the week
Don Drysdale completed both of his starts, winning both, and struck out 13 batters. Honorable mention goes to swingman Bob Miller, acquired from the Mets in November, who pitched scoreless baseball into the eighth inning in a no-decision against the expansion Colt .45s in their second season. Miller struck out nobody, but worked around three singles and four walks to keep Houston off the board.
Week 1 results
15 runs scored (2.50 per game)
12 runs allowed (2.00 per game)
.629 pythagorean win percentage
Rookies Nate Oliver and Ken McMullen started on opening day, at second base and third base respectively. McMullen played six games in a cup of coffee last September, while Oliver was playing in his first game, the third Dodgers player to make his major league debut on opening day since the team moved to Los Angeles.
The first week was unique in that the Dodgers hit zero home runs — after finishing fifth in the National League with 140 homers the year before, a tad below league average — and allowed no home runs in their first six games. Six homerless games to start the season tied a franchise record for the offense, tying the 1943 Brooklyn team. On the pitching side, only the 1932 (11 straight games) and 1933 (nine games) had longer homerless streaks to open a season.
- Tuesday, Apr. 9: Dodgers 5, Cubs 1
- Wednesday, Apr. 10: Dodgers 2, Cubs 1
- Thursday, Apr. 11: Cubs 2, Dodgers 0
- Friday, April 12: Colt .45s 2, Dodgers 1 (12 innings)
- Saturday, April 13: Dodgers 3, Colt .45s 1
- Sunday, April 14: Colt .45s 5, Dodgers 4
1963 Week 1 batting
1963 Week 1 pitching
The week ahead
The Dodgers return home to Los Angeles to run the Dick Gernert gauntlet, playing the same two teams. But this time they will face the Cubs and Colt .45s at Dodger Stadium. Sunday, April 21 is a doubleheader.