02 January 2009

1965 American League

Breaking news: the Yankees did not win the pennant! They weren't even contenders, finishing 6th and under .500, while the Minnesota Twins wielded the best offense (by a large margin) in the league and won 102 games to take the pennant. Pitching-based Chicago and Baltimore finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively, with Detroit 4th and Cleveland 5th. California (formerly Los Angeles, now playing in Anaheim) was 7th and Washington 8th, while Boston lost 100 games and Kansas City dropped 103. The Twins then lost the World Series in 7 games. It was the first pennant for the franchise in Minnesota, and the first pennant for the franchise since 1933 in Washington. They would win a couple of division titles, but no more pennants until 1987.

Tony Oliva won the batting title with a .321 average, while Carl Yastrzemski led in OBA, slugging, and OPS. He was also second with a .312 average. The only other .300 hitter was Vic Davalillo at .301. Tony Conigliaro led in HR with 32, followed by Norm Cash at 30. Rocky Colavito led in RBI with 108, and Willie Horton at 104 was the only other player in triple digits. Bert Campaneris led in steals with 51. Zoilo Versalles led in total bases, runs with 126, and tied Yaz with 45 doubles and Campy with 12 triples. Versalles won the MVP as the pennant club's shortstop in his career year.

Jim "Mudcat" Grant led in wins with 21, followed by Mel Stottlemyre with 20. Sam McDowell led in both ERA and strikeouts, posting a 2.18 ERA and punching out 325 batters. Eddie Fisher's 2.40 ERA was second-best, as was Mickey Lolich with 226 strikeouts. Ron Kline led in saves with 29. Stottlemyre led in innings with 291 and complete games with 18, while Grant hurled six shutouts. McDowell also led the league in walks and wild pitches. Satchel Paige made his last pro appearance, starting one game for Kansas City and pitching three innings in a publicity stunt. He allowed just one hit and no runs, though.

Win Shares leaders, players; Tony Oliva (Minnesota) 33, Zoilo Versalles (Minnesota) 32, Don Buford (Chicago) 30, Rocky Colavito (Cleveland) 28, Curt Blefary and Brooks Robinson (Baltimore) and Jimmie Hall (Minnesota) 26, Tom Tresh (New York) and Frank Howard (Washington) 25, Jim Fregosi (California), Floyd Robinson (Chicago), Leon Wagner (Cleveland), and Norm Cash (Detroit) 24, Bob Allison, Earl Battey, and Harmon Killebrew (Minnesota) 22, Carl Yastrzemski (Boston), Don Wert (Detroit) and Ken McMullen (Washington) 21.

Win Shares leaders, pitchers; Sam McDowell (Cleveland) 25, Mel Stottlemyre (New York) 23, Stu Miller (Baltimore) 22, Bob Lee (California), Eddie Fisher (Chicago) and Denny McLain (Detroit) 20, Hoyt Wilhelm (Chicago) 19, Sonny Siebert (Cleveland), Mudcat Grant and Jim Kaat (Minnesota) 17.

WARP3 leaders, position players: Versalles 8.5, Fregosi 8.2, Oliva 6.8, Colavito and Buford 6.0, Ron Hansen (Chicago) 5.3, Battey 4.9, Killebrew 4.7, Tony Conigliaro (Boston) 4.5, Blefary 4.3, B. Robinson and Johnny Romano (Chicago) 4.0.

WARP3 leaders, pitchers: Stottlemyre 9.2, McDowell 6.8, Pete Richert (Washington) 6.4, Miller 6.0, McLain 5.7, Ford 5.6, Wilhelm 5.5, Siebert 4.8, Earl Wilson (Boston) 4.7, Lee 4.5.

WAR leaders, position players (fWAR): Versalles 7.9, Buford 7.2, Fregosi 6.3, Robinson 6.1, Cash and Oliva 5.9, Yastrzemski 5.4, Blefary and Tresh 5.0, McMullen 4.9, Hall 4.8, Colavito 4.7, Wert 4.5, Allison 4.4, Aparicio and Davalillo 4.2, Hansen 4.1. Pitchers (bWAR): McDowell 8.0, Stottlemyre 6.7, Richert 4.9, Newman and Siebert 4.4, McLain 4.1, Brunet 3.9, Lee and Miller 3.7, Ford 3.5, Chance 3.4, Lopez 3.2, Barber 3.0, McNally and Wilhelm 2.9.

Actual award winners;
MVP (top 20): Season Results
Rk Name Team 1st Place Points Max Points Share| AB H HR BA OPS SB| W-L IP ERA WHIP SO SV
+--+----------------+----+-----+------+------+-----+-----+---+-----+---+--+
1 Zoilo Versalles MIN 19 275 280 0.98 | 666 182 19 .273 .781 27
2 Tony Oliva MIN 1 174 280 0.62 | 576 185 16 .321 .870 19
3 Brooks Robinson BAL 0 150 280 0.54 | 559 166 18 .297 .797 3
4 Eddie Fisher CHW 0 122 280 0.44 | 29 4 0 .138 .339 0| 15-7 165 2.40 0.974 90 24
5 Rocky Colavito CLE 0 89 280 0.32 | 592 170 26 .287 .851 1
6 Mudcat Grant MIN 0 74 280 0.26 | 97 15 0 .155 .438 0| 21-7 270 3.30 1.158 142
7 Stu Miller BAL 0 45 280 0.16 | 16 1 0 .062 .243 0| 14-7 119 1.89 0.997 104 24
8 Willie Horton DET 0 24 280 0.09 | 512 140 29 .273 .831 5
9 Tom Tresh NYY 0 23 280 0.08 | 602 168 26 .279 .825 5
10 Earl Battey MIN 0 22 280 0.08 | 394 117 6 .297 .783 0
10 Don Wert DET 0 22 280 0.08 | 609 159 12 .261 .704 5
10 Carl Yastrzemski BOS 0 22 280 0.08 | 494 154 20 .312 .932 7
13 Jimmie Hall MIN 0 19 280 0.07 | 522 149 20 .285 .810 14
14 Mel Stottlemyre NYY 0 17 280 0.06 | 99 13 2 .131 .372 0| 20-9 291 2.63 1.162 155
15 Harmon Killebrew MIN 0 15 280 0.05 | 401 108 25 .269 .885 0
16 Al Kaline DET 0 9 280 0.03 | 399 112 18 .281 .859 6
17 Jerry Adair BAL 0 7 280 0.02 | 582 151 7 .259 .653 6
17 Ron Hansen CHW 0 7 280 0.02 | 587 138 11 .235 .649 1
17 Sam McDowell CLE 0 7 280 0.02 | 95 12 0 .126 .272 0| 17-11 273 2.18 1.136 325 4
20 Bobby Richardson NYY 0 6 280 0.02 | 664 164 6 .247 .609 7

Versalles won an easy victory, even though teammate Oliva was roughly as deserving. A good case could be made for Sam McDowell as MVP, but Versalles and Oliva were on the winning team.

The NL's Sandy Koufax was a unanimous Cy Young.

Rookie: | Season Results
Rk Name Team 1st Place Points Max Points Share| AB H HR BA OPS SB| W-L IP ERA WHIP SO SV
+--+----------------+----+-----+------+------+-----+-----+---+-----+-----+---+--+
1 Curt Blefary BAL 12 12 20 0.60 | 462 120 22 .260 .851 4
2 Marcelino Lopez CAL 8 8 20 0.40 | 69 14 1 .203 .498 1| 14-13 215 2.93 1.240 122 1

Top player: Zoilo Versalles, in a close race with Tony Oliva. Either is a good choice, but we'll give the voters of the time the benefit of the doubt, and so Versalles gets the nod here.
#1 Zoilo Versalles, #2 Tony Oliva, #3 Don Buford, #4 Brooks Robinson, #5 Rocky Colavito, #6 Carl Yastrzemski.

Top pitcher: Sam McDowell was the best in this season, leading in both ERA and Ks. He won 17 games as well.
#1 Sam McDowell, #2 Stu Miller, #3 Mel Stottlemyre, #4 Bob Lee, #5 Sonny Siebert.

Top rookie: Curt Blefary, who was never quite able to duplicate this success.

Top manager: Sam Mele, for the pennant winners.

2 comments:

TDLindgren said...

I've heard historians say that Versalles was perhaps the worst MVP in history. But when you look, at what he did in the context of the year 1965, he really deserved the award. Leading the league in Total Bases, Runs, Win Shares and WARP3,plus add to it great defense and playing on a pennant winner, he was one vote from being named a unanimous MVP and deservedly so in my opinion. Great blog by the way!

Shawn said...

Over his career, possibly, except Jim Konstanty was probably worse, and a worse pick. But Versalles deserved it for his great year.