Unappreciated in LOS ANGELES, the Angels (4-2) signed a contract with the city of Anaheim (pop. 140,000) to move into a new, municipally built stadium in 1966. The team's decision was neither unexpected (SI, July 20) nor unprovoked. While the Los Angeles fans continued to dote on the second-division Dodgers last week, the unnoticed fourth-place Angels went on playing brilliantly. In the course of four wins Angel pitchers allowed just one run and 27 hits. Rookie Outfielder Bob Perry led the attack with a .438 BA. Even so, the Angels could not attract 10,000 fans a game. So certain is their front office that life will be more beautiful in Anaheim, that they signed up to stay there until at least 2001. The CLEVELAND Indians, who have also threatened to move out of town, drew even fewer fans (only 6,000 a game), but played better baseball than the Angels. With good pitching (only 22 runs allowed) and strong hitting (.325 team average), the Indians had no trouble winning seven of eight and moving up to seventh place. The DETROIT Tigers (5-2) were another team on the move. Jumping from seventh to fifth, the Tigers received scoreless relief pitching from Fred Gladding and Julio Navarro, who led the team to three late or extra-inning wins. The Tigers made it a particularly frustrating week for the CHICAGO White Sox (4-3). The Sox opened a home stand against Detroit with a chance to move into first place. While the other contenders lost, the Sox did, too. Their ace pitchers, Joel Horlen, Gary Peters and Juan Pizarro, dropped three straight. Things were even tougher for the NEW YORK Yankees (2-4), who lost two to Kansas City when they allowed six unearned runs. The Yanks then returned home to begin a critical two weeks of play against the other contenders and promptly lost two to the Orioles, which dropped them to third place. By beating New York, BALTIMORE (4-2) moved back into first by 1½ games. Steve Barber won one game with a 2-0 shutout, his third straight clutch performance against the Yanks, and Sam Bowens won the other game with a 10th-inning homer. The MINNESOTA Twins (3-4) broke out of their July hitting slump with 16 homers and a muscular display by Harmon Killebrew, who hit three home runs to raise his total to 39. He also batted .423, lifting his season's average over .300 for the first time in almost three years. The BOSTON Red Sox were outscored by their opponents, 37-13, and lost all six of their games. Relief star Dick Radatz suffered two of the losses. The KANSAS CITY Athletics (2-4) took both their victories from New York when John O'Donoghue and Orlando Pena allowed just two runs in 18 innings. With solid pitching in all but one game, the WASHINGTON Senators (2-5) still could not win because of inadequate hitting (.193 team BA). They scored only 12 runs in seven games and were shut out twice.
It is no secret that the LOS ANGELES Dodgers' (5-2) Sandy Koufax throws one of the fastest fast balls and the curviest curve balls in the big leagues. These two pitches, mixed with an occasional changeup, have made Koufax the best pitcher in the National League. But Sandy is still not satisfied. Some time ago, he watched the Pirates' Elroy Face throw his fork ball and decided he had to have one, too. Last week he tried out his new pitch against the Braves, and it worked. It worked so well that Sandy even used it once to strike out Henry Aaron on a 3-2 pitch as he won his second game of the week (17th this year) and helped boost the Dodgers to sixth place. The PHILADELPHIA Phillies (4-2), who have had trouble hitting left-handers like Koufax, decided they had to do something about their lack of right-handed power if they hoped to stay on top of the league. The help came from an unexpected source, the last-place Mets, who traded slugger Frank Thomas to the Phils. Thomas was so happy about the prospect of playing in his first World Series that he drove in three runs in his first two games as the Phils maintained a 2½-game league lead. The SAN FRANCISCO Giants (4-2) kept pace with the Phils. With veterans Juan Marichal and Jack Sanford ill, the Giants turned to youngsters Gaylord Perry, Ron Herbel, Jim Duffalo and John Pregenzer, each of whom won once. The MILWAUKEE Braves found out how risky it is to go with a young pitching staff. Using four different starters, all in their mid-20s and all shaky, the Braves lost six of seven and dropped from fifth to seventh. Don Nottebart, who won twice, stopped a seven-game losing streak for the HOUSTON Colts (3-4). Turk Farrell provided the team's other win after waiting almost two months for his 11th victory. The ST. LOUIS Cardinals (4-2) received tight pitching, allowing just 17 runs—including a five-hit shutout by Curt Simmons. Trouble came in pairs for the PITTSBURGH Pirates (4-5) who lost two doubleheaders, giving up 26 runs to the Dodgers and Cubs. Reviving Ernie Broglio won twice for the CHICAGO Cubs (4-3), whose star Third Baseman Ron Santo (.417) moved up to second or third in all three of the major hitting departments. The NEW YORK Mets (1-5), who began the week by winding up a four-out-of-five win streak over Houston, found the league leaders too tough, losing four straight to the Giants and Phillies. The CINCINNATI Reds (4-3) got another win from Joey Jay, who appears to be fully recovered from his two-season slump, and tight pitching from the rest of the staff, but, with the exception of Frank Robinson and Deron Johnson, no one on the team was hitting.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
August 16, 1964
In 1961 and 1962 there was no better outfielder in the National League than Frank Robinson of the Cincinnati Reds. He batted in the .300s, drove in a bushel of runs and showered opponents with homers, doubles and triples. On top of this Robby ran the bases and fielded so well that solid Cincinnati argued he was surely the best player in baseball. Then it all changed. Robinson injured a leg last year, and suddenly everything else began to hurt—his hitting, his fielding and, eventually, his salary. When he was injured again this year—a fractured finger, a sprained wrist—fans who were screaming his praises in previous seasons told the Reds they ought to sell Robby to the local medical research center at the waiver price. The deal never went through, and the fans are glad it did not. Robinson, healthy for the first time in two seasons, was mowing them down last week. Hitting only .276 on July 20, Robby raised his average to .296 with a .440 mark over the last seven games and was almost solely responsible for keeping the Reds in the pennant race. As the teams started their stretch drive, Cincinnati Manager Fred Hutchinson was particularly pleased by Robinson's return to form. Hoping for another pennant this year, Hutch said, "The rest of the players will have to chip in, but Robby's the big man. He's the fellow who's the complete player. I have no doubts he can continue this pace because I've seen him do it before."