Replaying the 1960 baseball season using Stratomatic
My first real awareness of Major League baseball was in 1962 when I saw the last game of the World Series won by the NY Yankees in seven games. The game was kind of boring as I remember the Yankees scoring a run on a bases loaded, double play ground out. The final play was quite exciting (a Willie McCovey line-out to Bobby Richardson with two runners on base). I had no idea who McCovey was but I did know Willie Mays who was on deck.
I don’t remember much of the 1963 season either although I did come home from school in time to see Ray Barker strikeout for the last out of Game 1 of the World Series. (Koufax complete game with 14 Ks) I also remember a HR in Game 4 by Mickey Mantle, the idol of my youth, off Koufax but the Yankees ended up on the short end of a 2-1 game and a four game series sweep. I was hooked on baseball and love the NY Yankees and have been a lifelong fan.
In my early days of playing Stratomatic baseball, My first set of teams was the 1966 season for Yankees, Mets, Giants, Dodgers, Orioles and Twins. I also bought a set of “old-timer” teams. One of those teams was the 1961 Yankees featuring Roger Maris and his 61 HRs and a record setting team. (Other teams were 1922 Giants, 1927 Yankees, 1934 Cardinals, 1941 Yankees, 1940 Reds, 1941 Dodgers and the 1946 Cardinals.) I started playing with the 1922 Giants and found out that Casey Stengel, the withered and buffoonish manager of the early Mets teams, had actually be a ball player too!
I have no real knowledge of baseball in those days just before I became a big fan and annual baseball card collector. I bought many packs of cards with the hard pink gum sticks in them. Baseball cards were a great way to become familiar players and statistics. I was very interested in all of these things as I became aware of the game of baseball, statistics that drove the game and strategy of how the game was managed.
Outside of the famous players like Mays, Aaron, Kaline, Clemente, etc., I don’t know much about the teams or players from the late 50s or early 60s except for those who were still active in the mid 60s.
Stratomatic makes it easy to play teams vs. others from the same year, across generations, separated into draft leagues, etc. there’s practically no limit to the possible permutations and combinations of potential replay seasons.
To get a true feeling for the teams and players, I chose to play all of the games for the Yankees, White Sox, Pirates and Braves. The 1960 was the last season before expansion began so there were only 8 teams in each league and the schedule was 154 games. When the teams are playing each other, I plan to play as the Home team and let the Computer manage the Visitors. For all games not involving any of the teams mentioned above, the Computer will manage the games. This means each team plays the other teams 22 times per season and the entire league game total is 616. For the replay, this means I will play 286 games to complete each league’s season.
What happened in MLB in 1960?
My recollection of baseball history for 1960 is from reading about one specific play… Bill Mazeroski hit a HR off Ralph Terry in the bottom of the ninth inning in Forbes Field in Pittsburgh to win the World Series in a walkoff. (Note: This is the same Ralph Terry who was pitching in the bottom of the ninth with the tying run on 2nd in Game 7 of the 1962 World Series.)
The key official records from that season (from Wikipedia)…
- Most Valuable Player
- Cy Young Award
- Rookie of the Year
- The Sporting News Player of the Year Award
- The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award
- The Sporting News Manager of the Year Award
What will I report on?
The plan is to report on each league, each month. I plan to discuss the team and league leader results and stats and report on any weird or wild games that I am involved in.