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1964 Major League Baseball season

This article is about the 1964 Major League Baseball season only. For information on all of baseball, see 1964 in baseball.

The 1964 Major League Baseball season is often remembered for the end of the New York Yankees' third dynasty, as they won their 29th American League Championship in 44 seasons. However, the Yankees lost the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games. As of 2014, the Cardinals are the only National League team to have an edge over the Yankees in series played (3–2), amongst the non-expansion teams.

Regular season

Major league baseball final standings

American League final standings

American League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
1st New York Yankees 99   63 .611    –
2nd Chicago White Sox 98   64 .605   1.0
3rd Baltimore Orioles 97   65 .599   2.0
4th Detroit Tigers 85   77 .525   14.0
5th Los Angeles Angels 82   80 .506   17.0
6th Cleveland Indians 79   83 .488   20.0
6th Minnesota Twins 79   83 .488   20.0
8th Boston Red Sox 72   90 .444   27.0
9th Washington Senators 62   100 .383   37.0
10th Kansas City Athletics 57   105 .352   42.0

National League final standings

National League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
1st St. Louis Cardinals 93   69 .574    –
2nd Cincinnati Reds 92   70 .568   1.0
2nd Philadelphia Phillies 92   70 .568   1.0
4th San Francisco Giants 90   72 .556   3.0
5th Milwaukee Braves 88   74 .543   5.0
6th Los Angeles Dodgers 80   82 .494 13.0
7th Pittsburgh Pirates 80   82 .494 13.0
8th Chicago Cubs 76   86 .469 17.0
9th Houston Colt .45s 66   96 .407 27.0
10th New York Mets 53   109 .327 40.0

MLB statistical leaders

  American League National League
Type Name Stat Name Stat
AVG Tony Oliva MIN .323 Roberto Clemente PIT .339
HR Harmon Killebrew MIN 49 Willie Mays SFG 47
RBI Brooks Robinson BAL 118 Ken Boyer STL 119
Wins Dean Chance LAA
Gary Peters CHW
20 Larry Jackson CHC 24
ERA Dean Chance LAA 1.65 Sandy Koufax LAD 1.74
SO Al Downing NYY 217 Bob Veale PIT 250
SV Dick Radatz BOS 29 Hal Woodeshick HOU 23
SB Luis Aparicio BAL 57 Maury Wills LAD 53


American League

Team Manager Comments
Baltimore Orioles Hank Bauer
Boston Red Sox Johnny Pesky Replaced during the season by Billy Herman
Chicago White Sox Al Lopez
Cleveland Indians Birdie Tebbetts Replaced during the season by George Strickland
Detroit Tigers Chuck Dressen
Kansas City Athletics Ed Lopat Replaced during the season by Mel McGaha
Los Angeles Angels Bill Rigney
Minnesota Twins Sam Mele
New York Yankees Yogi Berra Won the American League pennant
Washington Senators Gil Hodges

National League

Team Manager Comments
Chicago Cubs College of Coaches
Cincinnati Reds Fred Hutchinson Replaced during the season by Dick Sisler
Houston Colt .45's Harry Craft Replaced during the season by Lum Harris
Los Angeles Dodgers Walter Alston
Milwaukee Braves Bobby Bragan
New York Mets Casey Stengel
Philadelphia Phillies Gene Mauch
Pittsburgh Pirates Danny Murtaugh
San Francisco Giants Alvin Dark
St. Louis Cardinals Johnny Keane Won the World Series



  • April 8 – Houston Colt .45s relief pitcher Jim Umbricht dies of cancer at the age of 33. The franchise would retire his number in 1965, by which time it is known as the Astros.


  • August 12 – Mickey Mantle hits a home run from both sides of the plate in a 7–3 Yankees win over the Chicago White Sox. It is the tenth time in his career that he has done so and a major league record for switch-hit homers in a game.
  • August 20 – At Comiskey Park, the Chicago White Sox complete a four-game sweep of the New York Yankees with a 5–0 shutout. As the Yankees' team bus heads to O'Hare International Airport after the game, infielder Phil Linz takes out a harmonica and plays a plaintive version of "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Manager Yogi Berra tells Linz to put the harmonica away. When asked what Berra had said, Mickey Mantle tells Linz to "play it louder." Linz does so, prompting an unusually angry Berra to storm to the back to the bus and slap the harmonica out of Linz' hands; the instrument strikes Joe Pepitone's knee. The "Harmonica Incident" convinces the Yankee front office that Berra has lost control of the team and cannot command respect from his players. As a result, the decision is made to fire Berra at the end of the season.


  • September 27 – Johnny Callison hits three home runs, but the Phillies lose to the Milwaukee Braves 14–8. The Phils suffer the seventh loss in their 10-game losing streak, while the Reds sweep the New York Mets (4–1 and 3–1). These results knock Philadelphia out of first place, with the Reds replacing them atop the NL standings. The Phillies would never return to first place in 1964.
  • September 29 – The Pittsburgh Pirates blank the Reds 2–0 at Crosley Field (despite the Reds getting 11 hits off Bob Friend) to end the Reds' nine-game winning streak. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Cardinals defeat the Phillies 4–2 at Busch Stadium, the seventh win in the Cardinals' eight-game winning streak and the ninth loss in the Phillies' 10-game losing streak. The win, Ray Sadecki's 20th of the season, puts the Cardinals into a tie for first place with the Reds; St. Louis had been 11 games out of first on August 23.
  • October 3 – As a result of the now-concluded Phillies' 10-game losing streak, this day begins with four teams still having a mathematical shot at the NL pennant. One of them, the San Francisco Giants, is eliminated with a 10–7 loss to the Chicago Cubs. At the end of the day's play, the Reds and the Cardinals are tied for first place, with the Phillies a game back. In recent days, the NL has had to scramble to schedule various possible playoffs.
  • October 4 – The Phillies defeat the Reds, 10–0, in the last regular-season game for both teams unless there is a playoff; that result clinches (for the Cardinals) a tie for the NL pennant. At the end of that game, both teams are ½ game back of the Cardinals, and await the result of the Cardinals-Mets game. Then, the Cardinals, never in first place until the last week of the season, clinch their first pennant since 1946 with an 11–5 win over the Mets, who had just beaten the Cardinals twice in the two preceding days. The win by the Cardinals averts a three-way tie for the NL pennant, with the Phillies and the Reds both finishing one game back in a second-place tie.
  • October 16 – The day after the final game of the World Series, the managerial posts of both pennant winning teams are vacant. In the morning, Johnny Keane, manager of the victorious St. Louis Cardinals, resigns, much to the surprise of owner Gussie Busch. Hours later, New York Yankee general manager Ralph Houk fires Yogi Berra as his manager, citing Berra's lack of control over team and his inability to command respect from his players. Less than a week later, Houk replaces Berra with Keane; meanwhile, Berra reunites with Casey Stengel as a coach with the New York Mets.
  • November 24 – St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Ken Boyer, who hit .295 with 24 home runs and 119 RBI, is named National League Most Valuable Player with 243 points. The Phillies' Johnny Callison (187) and Boyer's Cardinal teammate Bill White are the runners-up.
  • December 1 – The Houston Colt .45s officially change their nickname to Astros. The change coincides with the team's impending move from Colt Stadium to the Harris County Domed Stadium, also known as the Astrodome. A change in name for the three-year-old franchise is necessitated due to a dispute with the Colt firearm company; the Astros name is chosen due to Houston being the home of NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center (later the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center).
  • December 4:
    • The Minnesota Twins acquire extremely versatile utility César Tovar from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for pitcher Gerry Arrigo. Tovar will play eight seasons in Minnesota.
    • MLB owners decide to use a free agent draft beginning in January 1965. The inverse order of the previous year's standings will be used to select players every four months.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Kansas City Athletics vs Baltimore Orioles September 12, 1964 Box Score". Retrieved May 14, 2012. 

External links