|Was this the 'Decade of the Pitchers?' Time seems to indicate that, indeed, it was. Every one of the 20 major league teams posted earned run averages of under 3.50 in '67 except the new expansion teams - Kansas City A's 3.68, the New York Mets 3.73 and the Houston Astros 4.03 ERA.
The Chicago White Sox compiled a resounding team ERA of 2.45, the lowest in the majors since 1919, when the Chicago Cubs had a 2.21 ERA and the Cincinnati Reds had a 2.23.
1967 Home Run Leaders:
Carl Yastrzemski, Red Sox 44... Harmon Killebrew, Twins 44... Hank Aaron, Atl Braves 39... Jim Wynn, Astros 37... Frank Howard, Wash. Senators 36... Willie McCovey, SF Giants 31... Ron Santo, Cubs 31... Frank Robinson, Orioles 30... Jim Ray Hart, SF Giants 29... Billy Williams 28...
1967 Earned Run Average Leaders:
Phil Niekro, Atl Braves 1.87 ERA... Joe Horlen, White Sox 2.06 ERA... Gary Peters, White Sox 2.28 ERA... Jim Bunning, Phillies 2.29... Sonny Siebert, Indians 2.38 ERA... Chris Short, Phillies 2.39 ERA... Tommy John, White Sox 2.47 ERA...
* Hank Aaron, Atlanta Braves Outfielder RH - as a fielder, he was a smooth, cruising glider and his fine, accurate throwing arm enabled him to play either left or right fields. With his natural speed and intelligent base running Aaron stole 240 career bases and was nailed stealing just 73 times and was rarely thrown out while running the bases. In his long career, 'Hank the Hammer' batted .305 lifetime, hit 624 doubles, 755 home runs, scored 2,174 runs and had 2,297 RBIs (1954-1976).
In 1967, the 33-year old Hank Aaron continued his annual, consistent hitting, as he led the Atlanta Braves in batting, RBIs, doubles, homers and stolen bases - .307 BA, 109 RBIs, 37Ds, 39Hr and 17 stolen bases. In his first 14 seasons (1954-'67) Aaron had 9 years with over 100 RBIs and 13 years of over 89 RBIs. And, for the last 13 consecutive seasons, he's scored over 100 runs every year - that's a incredible feat. From 1957-'67, he strung together home run totals of 44, 30, 39, 40, 34, 45, 44, 24, 32, 44 and 39 en-route to his major league career-best record of 755 homers. Certainly, Hank Aaron rates as one of the greatest players in baseball history.
* Gaylord Perry, San Francisco Giants Pitcher RH - he had a 12-11 record in his first full major league season in 1964. And, won 21 games while losing just 8, with a fine 2.99 ERA in 1966 as a 28-year old. Armed with a blazing fastball during his first years, the future Hall of Famer lowered his earned run average to 2.61 in 1967, which was the best on the Giants' pitching staff, and his 230 strikeouts was third best in the National League.
* Tony Cloninger, Atlanta Braves Pitcher RH - he broke into the minors with Eau Claire of Wisconsin back in '58 and was brought up to the majors with the Milwaukee Braves in 1961. Cloninger reached stardom in 1964 by going 19-14 and then posting a resounding 24-11 record the following season (1965) which was the second highest amount of wins in the majors - trailing only legend Sandy Koufax 26-8 mark. In '66, he went with the team when They moved to Atlanta and posted a 14-11 W/L mark. In 1967, Cloninger was nagged by an eye injury which sidelined him for most of the campaign, and he ended with a 4-7 record, 5.12 ERA.
* Jose Cardenal, California Angels Outfielder RH - an exciting player, he set an Angels' team record by stealing a base in 11 consecutive games in 1966. Acquired from San Francisco in 1964, the speedy flyhawk was one of the leading defensive outfielders in the AL. In 1966, he batted .276, lined 15 doubles, 16 home runs, scored 67 runs, and stole 24 bases in 154 games. In '67, he was beset by injuries, played just 108 games and hit .236, had 24 extra base hits in 381 at-bats. Born in Matanzas, Cuba, Jose Cardenal is the cousin of major leaguer Bert Campaneris.
Jim Ray Hart, San Francisco Giants 3rd Baseman/OF - a power-packed third baseman, he was one of the NL top stars during the 1960s. In his rookie season of 1964, Jim Ray Hart crashed 31 homers, had 81 RBIs and batted a solid .286. In '67 he whacked 26 doubles, 29 homers, scored 98 runs and drove in 98 runs. A consistent performer, Hart batted .286, .299, .285, .289 in his first four major league seasons... and hit 31, 23, 33 and 29 homers.
* Johnny Callison, Philadelphia Phillies Outfielder - currently fifth on the all-time Phillies' list (as of '67) in triples with 77 and in homers with 157. Callison hit from 1962 thru 1965 - 23, 26, 31 and 32 homers and in these four seasons, led the NL in outfield assists. A dangerous clutch-hitter, he had over 100 RBIs in '64 and '65. His throwing arm was also rated as one of the best in the history of baseball.
* Dalton Jones, Boston Red Sox Third Baseman/2B - the left-handed batting Jones broke into professional ball with Alphine in '61 and in his second minor league season he led the Eastern League with 13 triples while playing for York. The Red Sox signed him to a nice bonus and he was brought up to Boston in 1964 and in his rookie year he lined 16 doubles, 4 triples, 6 homers in 118 games, 374 at-bats. A contact, line-drive hitter, Dalton Jones batted .289 in 89 games in 1967, third best on the team. And, capped off the season by hitting a solid .389 in the 1967 World Series... collecting 7 hits in 18 at-bats.
* Sonny Jackson, Houston Astros Shortstop - one of the fastest runners in the game, he set a Astro batting mark with .292 in his rookie season (1966) and set a team record with 174 hits, for most singles with 160, and for stolen bases with 49. A solid defensive shortstop, after he hit just .237 the following year, he was traded to the Atlanta Braves before the start of 1968. Sonny Jackson career stats: .251 BA, 767 hits in 3,055 at-bats, 936 games, 81Ds, 28Ts, 7Hr, 396 Runs, 162 RBIs , 265Ks, 250 Walks, 126 stolen bases, 51 times caught stealing... Astros 1965-67, Braves 1968-'74.
* Bob Moose, Pittsburgh Pirates Starting Pitcher RH - Scouting reports states: 'a sure-win performer'... has excellent control... throws humming fastball. He was brought up by Pirates in late-'67 and started two games, was 1-0 in 14 2/3 innings, including a complete game victory.
* Bob Robertson, Pittsburgh Pirates Third Baseman/1B - a strong, right-handed power-hitter, he hit 32 home runs with Gastonia in 1965 and 32 again for Asheville in '66 before being called up with Pittsburgh in late-67 - hit 2 homers with 4 RBIs in 9 games. Pirates' management report states: 'he's one of the highest regarded power-hitters in the minor leagues... tab for brilliant future.'
* Joe Niekro, Chicago Cubs Pitcher RH - the 22-year old proved to be a real find last season ('67) after joining the Cubs' staff with just one year of minor league ball under his belt. The rookie posted a solid 10-7 record, 3.34 ERA, completed 7-of-22 starts, including 2 shutouts in 169.7 innings. And, the younger brother of pitcher, Phil, won four off his last five starts. He also was the Cubs' leading hitter of the pitchers, with 11 RBIs. And, of course, after going 14-10 the next year ('68) the Cubs traded him to the expansion team - the San Diego Padres.
* Mike Marshall, Detroit Tigers Relief Pitcher RH - last season (1967) he was one of the best rookie pitchers in the major leagues. He appeared in 39 games, collected 10 saves, had a 1-3 record, struck out 41 batters, walked 20 in 59 innings of work, and posted an outstanding 1.98 ERA... throws a 4+Star fastball.
* Jim Ollom, Minnesota Twins Pitcher - the 6ft, 4inch - 210-pounder rang up a 20-8 record with Denver in '65. He debuted with Minnesota in 1966, appearing in 3 games, had no decision in 10 innings, 3.60 ERA. Noted for a blazing fastball, the left-handed Ollom was 0-1, 5.40 ERA in 1967, his final major league season.
* Frank Coggins, Washington Senators Second Baseman - rates high on scouting reports... he's fast, an excellent infielder and makes great contact at the plate. At Hawaii in '66, Coffins batted .288 with 54 RBIs. Played 19 games with the Senators in '67 and hit a solid .307 with 23 hits in 75 at-bats.
* Dick Nold, Washington Senators Pitcher - a highly promising right-handed, starting pitcher, he started 3 games in 1967, relieved in 4 others and was 0-2 for the year, walked 13, struck out 10 in 20 1/3 innings, with a 4.87 ERA. Nold won 20 games in '64 with Geneva in the minors. 1967 was Nold's only major league season.
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