BASEBALL—The LOS ANGELES DODGERS, relying almost exclusively on pitching, won their second National League championship since moving from Brooklyn in 1957. Clinching the pennant six days before the season ended, the Dodgers finished six games ahead of St. Louis. Led by Sandy Koufax (25-5), who was best in the NL in ERA (1.88) and strikeouts (306), and Ron Perranoski, their outstanding reliever (16-3, 1.67 ERA), the Dodger staff led both leagues with a 2.84 ERA, lowest in the majors in nine years. Most of the Dodgers' light offense (third in hitting, sixth in runs, seventh in HRs) was supplied by Tommy Davis, the batting leader (.326) for the second straight year, and Maury Wills, the leading base stealer (40). The surprising Cardinals (sixth in 1962) dominated the NL in runs scored and batting, with three players—Dick Groat, Bill White and Curt Flood—getting 200 hits. Last year's champion San Francisco Giants finished a disappointing third although Juan Marichal won 25 games and Willie McCovey tied the Braves' Henry Aaron as the top home run hitter (44). Aaron was the league's most productive hitter, since he also won the RBI title (130) and tied for third in batting (.319). Other 20-game winners besides Koufax and Marichal were Jim Maloney of the Reds (23-7), Warren Spahn of the Braves (23-7) and Dick Ellsworth of the Cubs (22-10).
The NEW YORK YANKEES, who just about clinched the American League pennant at midseason, coasted home 10½ games ahead of Chicago. Relying on nothing more than the best balance in baseball (second in the AL in pitching, fielding, hitting, home runs and runs), the Yankees had no .300 hitters (except Mickey Mantle, who appeared in only 65 games) or anyone with 100 RBIs. But they were the only team in baseball with two 20-game winners—Whitey Ford, who led the league in victories (24-7), and Jim Bouton (21-7). The White Sox' unexpected showing (fifth in 1962) was due in large measure to the best pitching staff in the AL (2.99 ERA) and two exceptional rookies—Gary Peters (19-8), the league ERA leader with 2.33, and Third Baseman Pete Ward, the fifth best batter in the league (.295). The third-place Minnesota Twins, led by Harmon Killebrew's 45 home runs (best in the AL), hit more homers (225) than any other team in major league history except the 1961 Yankees. The Twins also had the league's strikeout leader in Camilo Pascual (202 and a 21-9 record). In contrast to the Yankees, the Boston Red Sox had the batting champion (Carl Yastrzemski with .321), the RBI leader (Dick Stuart with 118 and second in HRs with 42), the best reliever in the league (Dick Radatz with a 2.05 ERA and a 15-6 record), plus a 20-game winner (Bill Monbouquette with 20-10). The Red Sox, alas, finished 28 games behind New York in seventh place. Baltimore's Luis Aparicio was the No. 1 base stealer with 39, and Steve Barber became the first Oriole pitcher ever to Win 20 games.
BOXING—Toronto Heavyweight GEORGE CHUVALO knocked down Mike De John of Miami Beach twice and won a 10-round split decision in Louisville. The victory earned Chuvalo a November fight with Cassius Clay.
FOOTBALL—NFL: Frank Ryan completed nine of 15 passes for 152 yards (and two touchdowns) and rushing leader Jimmy Brown gained 95 yards in 22 tries and scored one TD to give the CLEVELAND BROWNS, the Eastern Division leaders, their third straight victory, 20-6 over Los Angeles (see page 16). PITTSBURGH scored 17 points in the last quarter to give St. Louis its first defeat, 23-10. Y. A. Tittle threw three touchdown passes to spark NEW YORK to a 37-14 victory over Philadelphia. Jim Steffen of the Redskins intercepted a Dallas pass in the first quarter and ran 78 yards for a TD, and then, in the game's closing minutes, intercepted another to insure a 21-17 win for WASHINGTON. Cowboy End Bill Howton caught four passes for 82 yards to set an NFL career pass-receiving record of 8,067 yards as Dallas lost its third straight game. CHICAGO held on to first place in the Western Division when Bill Wade completed three touchdown passes and ran for another to defeat Detroit 37-21. GREEN BAY, held scoreless in the first half and behind by three points at the end of the third quarter, scored 17 points in the last period to beat Baltimore 31-20. Fran Tarkenton completed 14 passes for 242 yards as MINNESOTA crushed San Francisco 45-14. The next day 49ers' Coach Red Hickey resigned.
October 6, 1963
AFL: Defenseman Dainard Paulson intercepted three Raider passes and recovered a fumble to help the rejuvenated NEW YORK JETS to a 10-7 upset win over Oakland and first place in the Eastern Division. Former Minnesota Viking John McCormick made a successful debut as a Bronco when he threw a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Lionel Taylor to give DENVER a 14-10 victory (its first) over Boston. SAN DIEGO, led by Tobin Rote's three touchdown passes, stayed undefeated and in first place in the Western Division by beating Kansas City 24-10. George Blanda threw three first-half touchdown passes to End Charley Hennigan as HOUSTON defeated winless Buffalo 31-20.
GOLF—French amateur champion BRIGITTE VARANGOT, 23, overcame an attack of tonsilitis and defeated Irish champion Philomena Garvey 3 and 1 in the 36-hole final of the British women's amateur championship in Newcastle, Ireland.
HARNESS RACING—Yonkers Futurity and Hambletonian winner SPEEDY SCOT, with Ralph Baldwin in the sulky, once again lived up to his name by trotting the fastest competitive mile ever when he won a prep for the $55,000 Kentucky Futurity at Lexington in 1:56[4/5].
HORSE RACING—Mrs. Richard C. duPont's KELSO ($2.50), with Ismael Valenzuela in the saddle, beat pace-setting Never Bend to the wire by 3½ lengths to win the $108,800 Woodward Stakes at Aqueduct for a third straight year (see page 26).
Avonwood Stable's HIGHFIZ ($47.60) and Ernest Havemann's NUBILE ($8.00) scored the first stakes victories of their careers in the first and second divisions of the Margate Handicap at Atlantic City. Nubile, who has been worth several dollars in print to Owner Havemann, a freelance writer (SI, July 15), collected $14,625 in beating Doll Ina to the wire by a length in the second race, and Highfiz picked up $14,462-in defeating Blue Thor by half a length.
SOFTBALL—The defending champion CLEARWATER BOMBERS defeated the Aurora (Ill.) Seal-masters 1-0, to win their seventh world softball championship (no other team has won it more than four times) in Clearwater, Fla.
TENNIS—In a surprisingly easy Davis Cup interzone semifinal victory at Bournemouth, England, the U.S. swept England off the courts 5-0 (see page 56). The U.S. team will now play India in November, with the winner meeting Australia in the Challenge Round in December.
TRACK & FIELD—At a two-day meet in Volgograd, Russia the BRITISH men's team scored a stunning 112-99 upset over a Russian team that contained most of the athletes who almost beat the U.S. last July. Russia redeemed some prestige when her women came back and edged the British girls 62-56, but even scoring track the Russian way, the British won 168-161.
MILEPOSTS—FIRED: BILLY HITCHCOCK, as manager of the Baltimore Orioles, after two disappointing seasons (seventh in 1962 and fourth this year).
SENTENCED: HANK THOMPSON, 37, former New York Giant third baseman and outfielder, to a 10-year prison term for stealing a pistol and robbing a liquor store. Thompson joined the Giants in 1949 and played in two World Series (1951 and 1954).
DIED: SALLY AMES LANGMUIR, 33, the pert and pretty Boston-born yachtswoman who was one of the few of her sex to pursue the rugged sport of ocean sailboat racing, in Manhattan. Sally raced across most of the world's oceans aboard her 75-foot schooner Constellation and its successor, the 73-foot yawl Bolero.
DIED: ANDY COAKLEY, 80, former major league pitcher (20-8 with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1905) and baseball coach at Columbia University for 36 years, in New York.