Sixty years ago last week, the 1963 Dodgers ran roughshod through the second-year Mets, finishing off a wraparound four-game sweep to extend their winning streak to eight games. That pulled Los Angeles to within a game of the Giants, only to lose two out of three games in San Francisco to stay behind in the National League standings.
Batter of the week
Last year’s batting champion Tommy Davis was off to a slow start, starting the week hitting just .267. A syndicated column for the Associated Press written by Davis that ran during the week, including advice he gave to the Little League team he sponsored in Compton.
“I always tell the kids to be mad at the ball. ‘You want to hurt the ball,’ I tell them,” Davis wrote. “This gives them that aggressive swing. It gets them to attack the pitched ball.”
Dodgers coach Pete Reiser has similar advice, for Davis, per Don Johnson at the Pasadena Independent-Star News:
“Tommy’s inclined to be lazy,” says Pete. “So I tell him I hear other managers are saying Tommy Davis can’t hit, that he’s just a flash in the pan, and he gets mad. Or I found out who’s pitching against us, and I know if he got Tommy out four times the last time he faced him, I say, ‘I guess this guy is just too tough for you to hit,’ and Tommy gets mad and hits him good.”
Davis had three hits, including a two-run home run in Tuesday’s win over the Mets, and had six hits against the Giants, including the game-winning single in the 10th inning on Sunday for the Dodgers to salvage a game in San Francisco. He ended the week hitting .305.
Pitcher of the week
Don Drysdale pitched a pair of complete games, picking up two of the Dodgers’ three wins during the week. Home runs were a bugaboo for the right-hander, allowing two in each start, after giving up only five home runs in his first 10 starts.
Despite the home runs, Drysdale only allowed six total runs, and even pitched 10 innings on Sunday to beat the Giants in the series finale in San Francisco.
In a note from Lou in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Drysdale beat out Braves veteran Lew Burdette for the best spitball in the league in a survey of players. The outlawed pitch was described in great detail by Dodgers coach Leo Durocher in a syndicated column by Andy O’Brien, which included this from the author:
Naturally, nobody in the Dodger camp will admit what the opposition claims about Dodgers’ Don Drysdale being the game’s master in spitballing — the best since Burleigh Grimes retired.
Week 7 results
18 runs scored (3.60 per game)
21 runs allowed (4.20 per game)
.430 pythagorean win percentage
Year to date
179 runs scored (4.07 per game)
161 runs allowed (3.66 per game)
.548 pythagorean win percentage (24-20)
What a difference two weeks makes: Sandy Koufax faced eight Giants batters on Friday in San Francisco, but only retired one. Just 13 days after no-hitting the Giants at Dodger Stadium, San Francisco got revenge with five hits and five runs against the Dodgers ace. Orlando Cepeda hit a three-run double, and Felipe Alou hit a two-run home run.
Getting only one out was not Koufax’s shortest start — he retired no batters in a start in both 1958 and 1960 — but it was still shocking. Koufax also walked two and threw a wild pitch, and saw his ERA rise from 1.46 to 1.72.
“They just hit him,” manager Walt Alston told United Press International. “Sandy was not as sharp with control as he has been, but he was overdue to get hit after the sensational way he had been going.”
Mr. Hodges goes to Washington: Dodgers legend Gil Hodges, who was 5-for-22 with the Mets this season, was traded to the Senators for outfielder Jim Piersall on May 23, with Hodges ending his playing career to become Washington’s manager.
“He’ll do a great job and add a lot of class,” Dodgers general manager Buzzie Bavasi said of the 39-year-old Hodges, per United Press International. “The Dodger organization now becomes a fan of the Washington Senators.”
- Tuesday, May 21: Dodgers 4, Mets 2
- Wednesday, May 22: Dodgers 7, Mets 3
- Friday, May 24: Giants 7, Dodgers 1
- Saturday, May 25: Giants 6, Dodgers 2
- Sunday, May 26: Dodgers 4, Giants 3 (10 innings)
1963 Week 7 batting
1963 Week 7 pitching
The week ahead
The Dodgers road trip continues with the Jim Pendleton gauntlet, heading to Milwaukee and Cincinnati.