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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best
Friday, July 08, 2011
Most Meritorious Player 1963 discussion
After the dramatic changes of 1961 and 1962, with expansion in both leagues, in 1963 the Major Leagues went through a rather dull patch.
The baseball season opened on 8 April 1963. Earlier events of note in the year included the release of The Beatles’ first album Please Please Me, the premiere of the manga-based cartoon Astro Boy on Japanese television and Charles De Gaulle’s veto of the United Kingdom’s application to join the “Common Market” (now the European Union). During the season, great political oratory was displayed by Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, while Kennedy turned himself into a pastry in Berlin (“Ich bin ein Berliner”). Meanwhile the folk heroes of Britain’s Great Train Robbery carried out their nefarious deed.
Fans of lesser sports might note that the first NHL draft was held, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame opened.
The season itself did not provide much excitement in the races, as last season’s signs of parity completely disappeared. The Yankees took sole possession of first place on 18 June and never relinquished it, even maintaininng a double-digit lead in games over other AL teams from 21 August onwards. Their closest rivals were the White Sox. The National League was barely more comptetitive. The Dodgers moved ahead of the Cardinals on 2 July, and kept ahead of the Cards and the Giants to the end of the season. The season ended on 6 October, when the Dodgers completed a sweep of the Yankees. Seven weeks later, John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, in circumstances that eventually gave rise to many hypotheses.
Here is a list of top players, limited to what I can access from BB-ref, as I am at SABR. DanR data and Win Shares can be added in the comments by the public-spirited, or I’ll add them when I can get at my books again.
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