IT WAS FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY.. MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL STANDINGS AS OF JUNE 17, 1968

 

1968 was the last year in which there was an American League and a National League and no divisions. With expansion in 1969 bringing the number of teams to 12 in each league- they would break the leagues down into two divisions an East and a West and a playoff series would determine who went to the World Series. In 1968 the winners of each league went to the World Series. Playoffs probably a good idea because as you can see on June 17th in the AL the Detroit Tigers were beginning to put some space between them and the rest of the league. No pennant race doesn’t help attendance figures.

I was seven years old and this was the first season that I followed the season from start to finish. My Pirates were in 8th place 3 games under .500 but I don’t remember being distressed. It was fun listening to games on the radio and watching the occasional television game- and going to some games here and there.  I don’t know how many games I went to that year but at least half a dozen.

1968 was The Year of the Pitcher- Denny McLain would win 31 games for the Detroit Tigers and in the NL- Bob Gibson would post an ungodly 1.12 ERA. A lot of pitchers were having great years. The next year they lowered the height of the pitchers mound to try and give the hitters more of an edge.

Tm W L W-L% GB RS RA pythW-L%
DET 41 22 .651 252 181 .647
BAL 32 29 .525 8.0 225 193 .570
CLE 33 31 .516 8.5 199 175 .559
BOS 30 29 .508 9.0 209 213 .491
MIN 32 31 .508 9.0 197 185 .529
OAK 31 31 .500 9.5 201 184 .540
NYY 29 33 .468 11.5 200 223 .450
CAL 29 34 .460 12.0 194 244 .397
CHW 27 32 .458 12.0 156 170 .461
WSA 24 36 .400 15.5 197 262 .372

NL Overall

Tm W L W-L% GB RS RA pythW-L%
STL 38 25 .603 230 185 .598
ATL 33 29 .532 4.5 186 205 .456
SFG 34 30 .531 4.5 228 223 .510
LAD 34 31 .523 5.0 174 172 .505
PHI 28 28 .500 6.5 177 181 .490
CHC 30 31 .492 7.0 220 250 .442
NYM 29 31 .483 7.5 180 159 .557
PIT 28 31 .475 8.0 226 198 .560
CIN 29 32 .475 8.0 255 248 .513
HOU 23 38 .377 14.0 174 229 .377
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