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1968 St. Louis Cardinals season

This article is about the Major League Baseball team. For the National Football League team, see 1968 St. Louis Cardinals (NFL) season.

1968 St. Louis Cardinals
National League Champions
Major League affiliations
Location
  • Busch Memorial Stadium (since 1966)
  • St. Louis, Missouri (since 1882)
  • Results
    Record 97–65 (.599)
    League place 1st
    Other information
    Owner(s) August "Gussie" Busch
    Manager(s) Red Schoendienst
    Local television KSD-TV
    Local radio KMOX
    (Harry Caray, Jack Buck)
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    The 1968 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 87th season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 77th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 97–65 during the season, winning their second consecutive NL pennant, this time by nine games over the San Francisco Giants. They lost in 7 games to the Detroit Tigers in the 1968 World Series. The Cardinals would not return to postseason until 1982.

    Following the season, Major League Baseball announced plans to split both the National and American Leagues into East and West divisions starting with the 1969 season in order to accommodate the inclusion of two new franchises to each league. The Cardinals were assigned to the new National League East division. Originally, the Cardinals were placed in the National League West division. However, the New York Mets, wanting to compensate for the loss of home games against the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, desired three extra games against the Cardinals, the two-time defending NL champions. The Cardinals were thus moved to the National League East division along with the Chicago Cubs, who wished to maintain their long-standing rivalry with the Cardinals. The Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds were correspondingly shifted to the National League West despite both being east of St. Louis and Chicago, a configuration maintained until 1993.

    Offseason

    Regular season

    Pitcher Bob Gibson won both the MVP Award and the Cy Young Award this year, with a 1.12 ERA, 22 wins, and 268 strikeouts. From June 2 to July 30, Gibson allowed only two earned runs in ninety-two innings pitched.[3] For the season, opposing batters only had a batting average of .184, and an on-base percentage of .233 against Gibson. Gibson also won a Gold Glove this year, as did shortstop Dal Maxvill and outfielder Curt Flood.

    Season standings

    National League W L GB Pct.
    St. Louis Cardinals 97 65 -- .599
    San Francisco Giants 88 74 9 .543
    Chicago Cubs 84 78 13 .519
    Cincinnati Reds 83 79 14 .512
    Atlanta Braves 81 81 16 .500
    Pittsburgh Pirates 80 82 17 .494
    Los Angeles Dodgers 76 86 21 .469
    Philadelphia Phillies 76 86 21 .469
    New York Mets 73 89 24 .451
    Houston Astros 72 90 25 .444

    Opening Day lineup

    Notable transactions

    Roster

    1968 St. Louis Cardinals
    Roster
    Pitchers Catchers

    Infielders

    Outfielders

    Other batters

    Manager

    Coaches

    Player stats

    Batting

    Starters by position

    Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

    Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
    2B Javier, JuliánJulián Javier 139 519 135 .260 4 52
    SS Maxvill, DalDal Maxvill 119 459 116 .253 1 24
    LF Brock, LouLou Brock 159 660 184 .279 6 51
    RF Maris, RogerRoger Maris 100 310 79 .255 5 45

    Other batters

    Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

    Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
    Edwards, JohnnyJohnny Edwards 84 230 55 .239 3 29
    Schofield, DickDick Schofield 69 127 28 .220 1 8

    Pitching

    Starting pitchers

    Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

    Player G IP W L ERA SO
    Gibson, BobBob Gibson 34 304.2 22 9 1.12 268
    Briles, NelsonNelson Briles 33 243.1 19 11 2.81 141
    Carlton, SteveSteve Carlton 34 231.1 13 11 2.99 162

    Other pitchers

    Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

    Player G IP W L ERA SO

    Relief pitchers

    Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

    Player G W L SV ERA SO
    Gilson, HalHal Gilson 13 0 2 2 4.57 19

    1968 World Series

    Main article: 1968 World Series

    Although essentially the same team as the previous year, they faced a tougher American League opponent in the Detroit Tigers, who had also won their pennant easily, behind the 31-win season of Denny McLain. Even though both Gibson and McLain were league MVPs that season, another Tigers starter, Mickey Lolich, stole the show, becoming the last pitcher to date to win three complete games in a single Series. Gibson excelled again in this World Series, winning Games 1 and 4. He had 17 strikeouts in Game 1 and totaled 35 strikeouts in the Series, both still World Series records. The Cardinals advanced to a 3–1 series lead, but the Tigers completed an improbable comeback by winning the final three games of the series to claim the championship, 4 games to 3. It was St. Louis' last Series appearance until 1982, and their last Series before MLB adopted its divisional format.

    AL Detroit Tigers (4) vs. NL St. Louis Cardinals (3)
    Game Score Date Location Attendance Time of Game
    1 Cardinals – 4, Tigers – 0 October 2 Busch Memorial Stadium 54,692 2:29
    2 Tigers – 8, Cardinals – 1 October 3 Busch Memorial Stadium 54,692 2:41
    3 Cardinals – 7, Tigers – 3 October 5 Tiger Stadium 53,634 3:17
    4 Cardinals – 10, Tigers – 1 October 6 Tiger Stadium 53,634 2:34
    5 Tigers – 5, Cardinals – 3 October 7 Tiger Stadium 53,634 2:43
    6 Tigers – 13, Cardinals – 1 October 9 Busch Memorial Stadium 54,692 2:26
    7 Tigers – 4, Cardinals – 1 October 10 Busch Memorial Stadium 54,692 2:07

    Awards and honors

    Major League Baseball records

    • Bob Gibson, major league record, lowest ERA in one season for a pitcher with more than 300 innings pitched (1.12) [3]

    League leaders

    Farm system

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    Level Team League Manager

    LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Tulsa[7]

    References

    1. ^ Luis Meléndez page at Baseball Reference
    2. ^ Jimy Williams page at Baseball Reference
    3. ^ a b Baseball’s Top 100: The Game’s Greatest Records, p. 25, Kerry Banks, 2010, Greystone Books, Vancouver, BC, ISBN 978-1-55365-507-7
    4. ^ Bob Forsch page at Baseball Reference
    5. ^ Ramón Hernández page at Baseball Reference
    6. ^ Stolen Bases Single Season National League Leaders by Baseball Almanac
    7. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 2nd and 3rd editions. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 1997 and 2007

    External links