1962 in baseball
The following are the baseball events of the year 1962 throughout the world.
The 1962 season is perhaps most notable for the dismal 40–120 record of the New York Mets, the third-worst winning percentage and the record for most games lost since 1900.
Major League Baseball
Awards and honors
MLB statistical leaders
Major league baseball final standings
American League final standings
National League final standings
- January 23 – In their first year of eligibility, Bob Feller and Jackie Robinson are selected for the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
- January 28 – Edd Roush and Bill McKechnie are added to the Hall of Fame by the Special Veterans Committee.
- April 10 – In the first regular-season game ever at Dodger Stadium, the Cincinnati Reds spoil the Los Angeles Dodgers' opening-day party by beating them 6–3. That same day, in the very first Major League Baseball game played in the state of Texas, the Houston Colt .45s play their first game in franchise history, defeating the Chicago Cubs 11-2.
- April 11 – The New York Mets play the first official game in franchise history, an 11–4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. Gil Hodges and Charlie Neal provide bright spots for the Mets, hitting the first two home runs in the new franchise's history.
- April 12 – In his Major League debut, Pete Richert of the Los Angeles Dodgers ties Karl Spooner's record by striking out the first six Major League batters he faces. He enters the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Dodger Stadium with two out in the second inning and strikes out Vada Pinson for the final out. He then records a four-strikeout third inning; the victims are Frank Robinson, Gordy Coleman (who reaches first on a Johnny Roseboro passed ball), Wally Post and Johnny Edwards. To date, Richert is the only pitcher to strike out four batters in one inning in his Major League debut. His record-tying sixth strikeout is of Tommy Harper leading off the fourth inning. The Dodgers defeat the Reds 11–7 with Richert gaining the victory, having struck out seven batters, walking none, and allowing no hits in 3 1⁄3 innings.
- April 13 – National League baseball officially returns to New York City, as the New York Mets play the first home game in franchise history, a 4–3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates at the Polo Grounds.
- April 18 – Ernie Banks hits his 300th career home run, helping the Chicago Cubs beat the Houston Colt .45s 3–2.
- April 23 – The New York Mets earn their first victory in franchise history, 9–1 over the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh.
- May 5 – Bo Belinsky of the Los Angeles Angels no-hits the Baltimore Orioles 2–0 at Dodger Stadium. The no-hitter is the first in both franchise and stadium history.
- May 12 – New York Mets relief pitcher Craig Anderson wins both ends of a doubleheader against the Milwaukee Braves. Success will soon turn to failure, because Anderson will lose his next 16 decisions on the season and 19 decisions overall. In fact, he will never win another game in the major leagues.
- May 29 – Ernie Banks hits three home runs, but his Chicago Cubs still fall to the Milwaukee Braves 11–9 at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
- June 10 – Los Angeles Angels catcher Earl Averill, Jr. tied a Major League record by reaching base in 17 consecutive at-bats, a streak he started on June 3, tying the mark set by Piggy Ward in the 1893 season.
- June 18 – At the Polo Grounds, Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves hits a home run over the center field wall. The shot, a grand slam, comes off Jay Hook in the Braves' 7-1 victory over the New York Mets and is the second in back-to-back days, and the third overall, to clear that wall. The day before, Lou Brock of the Chicago Cubs had hit one over the center field wall, off the Mets' Al Jackson in the first game of a doubleheader. Joe Adcock had been the only other player to hit a home run over the Polo Grounds' center field wall, doing so for the Braves against the New York Giants on April 29, 1953.
- June 26 – At Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox pitcher Earl Wilson no-hits the Los Angeles Angels 2–0 and helps his own cause by homering in the same game. He becomes the third pitcher, after Wes Ferrell in 1931 and Jim Tobin in 1944, to hit a home run supporting his own no-hitter. Rick Wise will join them in 1971, homering twice in his no-hitter.
- June 27 – In Pittsburgh, the Mets' Richie Ashburn singles in the fourth inning against Bob Friend. It is Ashburn's 2,500th career hit, and he is the 39th player in history to reach that level. the Pirates win the game, 6-5, in 10 innings.
- June 30 – At Dodger Stadium, Sandy Koufax of the Los Angeles Dodgers no-hits the New York Mets 5–0. He begins the game by striking out the first three batters (Richie Ashburn, Rod Kanehl and Félix Mantilla) on nine pitches. The no-hitter is the first by a Dodger since the franchise's move from Brooklyn after the 1957 season, as well as the only one to feature a nine-pitch, three strikeout half-inning to date. Koufax will go on to pitch no-hitters in each of the next three seasons, including a perfect game in 1965; his record of four career no-hitters will be broken by Nolan Ryan in 1981.
- July 9 – At a meeting held in conjunction with the All-Star Game, the major league players request a reduced schedule for the 1963 season. They also vote unanimously to continue playing two All-Star Games each year.
- July 10 – At newly opened D.C. Stadium, John F. Kennedy becomes the only U.S. president ever to throw the ceremonial first pitch at an All-Star Game, as the National League beats the American League, 3–1, in the first All-Star Game of 1962. Highlights include Maury Wills scoring two of the NL's three runs, Roberto Clemente rapping three hits, and Willie Mays making an amazing game-ending catch. Wills receives the first All-Star MVP honors.
- July 11 – For the first time since 1938, when Lloyd and Paul Waner pulled the trick, brothers Hank and Tommie Aaron hit home runs in the same inning. Both were hit in the last of the ninth, and Hank's grand slam provides the winning margin in an 8–6 Braves win over the Cardinals.
- July 14 – Unfortunately for Ralph Branca, it is 11 years too late and it doesn't count anyway. In the New York Mets' first Old-Timers' Game, reliever Ralph Branca faces Bobby Thomson, the man who hit the historic 1951 home run against him to give the Giants the 1951 pennant. This time Branca gets Thomson out on a fly ball to center field. In the real game itself, the Dodgers smash the Mets, 17-0.
- July 18 – The Minnesota Twins become the first major league club in the 20th century to hit two grand slams in one inning when Bob Allison and Harmon Killebrew connect in a team-record 11-run first inning against the Cleveland Indians. Pitchers Barry Latman and Jim Perry serve the grand gophers in the Twins' 14–3 drubbing of the Tribe.
- July 20 – The Cardinals' Minnie Miñoso returns to action for the first time since May 11, when he fractured his skull and broke his right wrist running into an outfield wall. On August 19, he is hit by a pitch by the Mets' Craig Anderson in the 6th and suffers a broken bone in his left forearm.
- July 22 – The Chicago White Sox Floyd Robinson is 6 for 6 – all singles – in a 7-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox.
- July 26 – Warren Spahn of the Milwaukee Braves sets the National League record for home runs by a pitcher, when he hits his 31st off New York's Craig Anderson. Spahn also deals the Mets their 11th straight loss in a 6–1 Milwaukee victory.
- July 30 – Home runs by Leon Wagner, Pete Runnels, and Rocky Colavito power the American League past the National League 9–4 in the second All-Star Game of 1962. Wagner is selected MVP.
- August 1 – Bill Monbouquette of the Boston Red Sox no-hits the Chicago White Sox 1–0 at Comiskey Park, the Red Sox' second no-hitter of the season. Al Smith, who walked in the second inning, is the only baserunner Monbouquette allows. Monbouquette's catcher, Jim Pagliaroni, scores the game's lone run, on a Lou Clinton single in the eighth inning.
- August 26 – At Metropolitan Stadium, Jack Kralick of the Minnesota Twins no-hits the Kansas City Athletics, 1–0. The no-hitter is the first in the franchise's Minnesota history; they had moved from Washington, D.C. after the 1960 season. Kralick retires the first 25 batters before a walk to the 26th hitter spoils his bid for a perfect game.
- September 10 – Mickey Mantle hits his 400th career home run, helping the New York Yankees beat the Detroit Tigers 3–1.
- September 16 – Willie Stargell makes his major league debut as a pinch hitter going 0-1 in the Pirates 6-4 win over the Giants.
- October 3 – Eleven years to the day since the New York Giants beat the Brooklyn Dodgers for the National League pennant on Bobby Thomson's Shot Heard Round the World home run, the San Francisco Giants score four runs in the ninth to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, 6–4, in the third game of a playoff to determine the 1962 NL pennant.
- October 16 – The New York Yankees defeat the San Francisco Giants, 1–0, in the seventh game of the World Series to win their second straight World Championship and 20th overall. The Giants, down to their last out, threaten with Matty Alou on third and Willie Mays on second, but Yankees second baseman Bobby Richardson snags a screaming line drive by Willie McCovey to preserve the win. New York pitcher Ralph Terry is named Series MVP.
- November 23 – Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Maury Wills, whose 104 stolen bases broke a major league season-record set by Ty Cobb, wins the National League Most Valuable Player Award. In a controversial vote, Wills beats out teammate Tommy Davis, who led the league with a .346 batting average and 153 RBI.
- November 29:
- After 61 years, the American Association (AAA) folds, with some of the franchises being absorbed by the International League and the Pacific Coast League. The PCL adds the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; Denver, Colorado and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma clubs and drops the Vancouver, BC club. The International League adds the Indianapolis, Indiana and Little Rock, Arkansas clubs. As a result, both leagues became ten-club leagues.
- MLB officials and player representatives agree to return to a single All-Star Game in 1963. The players' pension fund will receive 95 percent of the one game's proceeds (rather than 60 percent of the two games).
- December 1 – A complete classification overhaul in Minor League Baseball is made. The Eastern and South Atlantic leagues are promoted from Class A to Class AA. Meanwhile, Classes B, C and D are abolished, with those leagues being promoted to Class A. The Class B leagues were the Carolina and Northwest leagues; the Class-C leagues were the California, Mexican Center, Northern, and Pioneer leagues. The Class D leagues were the Florida State, Georgia-Florida, Midwest, New York-Pennsylvania and Western Carolinas leagues. The Appalachian League moves from Class D to Rookie League classification.
- January 5 – Frank Snyder, 68, catcher for the Cardinals and Giants, including the 1921–22 World Series champions
- January 7 – Dutch Lerchen, 72, shortstop for the 1910 Boston Red Sox
- January 10 – Fred Bratschi, 69, outfielder for the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox between 1921 and 1927
- January 14 – Les Mann, 68, outfielder for five NL teams who in the 1914 World Series drove in Game 2's only run in the top of the 9th and scored the winning run in the 12th inning of Game 3 for the "Miracle Braves"
- January 26 – Steve O'Neill, 70, longtime Indians catcher who later managed the Tigers to the 1945 World Series title
- January 27 – Joe Vosmik, 51, All-Star outfielder who hit .307 lifetime, over .300 six times
- February 6 – Ernest Lanigan, 89, statistician, sportswriter and historian who in the 1890s devised the run batted in and other statistics, in 1922 wrote the sport's first comprehensive biographical encyclopedia; later historian at the Hall of Fame for ten years
- February 24 – Max Bishop, 62, second baseman for the Athletics' pennant winners from 1929 to 1931, coach at the Naval Academy since 1938
- March 16 – George Orme, 70, backup outfielder who played for the 1920 Boston Red Sox
- March 17 – Kay Rohrer, 39, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League catcher for the 1945 Rockford Peaches champion team
- March 29 – Otto Miller, 72, catcher for the Dodgers from 1910 to 1922, including two NL champions
- April 5 – Vince Shupe, 40, first baseman for the 1945 Boston Braves, and one of many players who only appeared in the majors during World War II
- April 21 – Bill Norman, 51, outfielder for the White Sox in 1931–32, longtime minor league pilot, and manager of the Tigers from June 1958 through early May 1959
- April 30 – Al Demaree, 77, pitcher who won 80 games for four NL teams, later a noted sports cartoonist
- May 10 – Lefty Willis, 56, pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics from 1925 to 1927
- May 23 – Rip Radcliff, 56, All-Star outfielder who batted .311 for the White Sox, Browns and Tigers, led AL in hits in 1940
- June 7 – George Shively, 69, Negro league baseball left fielder from 1910 to 1924
- June 11 – Nap Kloza, 58, outfielder for the St. Louis Browns in the early 1930s, later a manager for the AAGPBL Rockford Peaches
- June 28 – Mickey Cochrane, 59, Hall of Fame catcher who was MVP in 1928 and 1934, batting .320 lifetime, and managed Tigers to World Series title in 1935
- July 3 – Jimmy Walsh, 56, Irish outfielder for the 1916 Boston Red Sox World Champions, who also hit better than .300 ten times in the International League, winning the league batting title in 1925 and 1926
- July 14 – Howard Craghead, 58, pitched for the Cleveland Indians in the 1931 and 1933 seasons
- July 18 – Carl Holling, 66, pitched for the Detroit Tigers in the 1920s
- July 23 – Ralph Shinners, 66, outfielder for the New York Giants and St. Louis Cardinals from 1922 to 1925, and later a manager in the AAGPBL
- July 29 – Burt Shotton, 77, outfielder for the Browns and Cardinals, later managed Dodgers to two NL pennants
- August 5 – Marilyn Monroe, 36, actress and former wife of Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio
- August 11 – Jake Volz, 84, pitcher for the Boston Americans, Boston Beaneaters and Cincinnati Reds between 1901 and 1908
- September 1 – Hank Garrity, 54, catcher for the 1931 Chicago White Sox
- September 12 – Spot Poles, 74, star outfielder of the Negro Leagues
- October 31 – Larry Goetz, 67, National League umpire
- November 14 – Dick Hoblitzel, 74, first baseman on Red Sox champions of 1915–1916
- November 16 – Hugh High, 75, Outfielder for the Tigers and Yankees; 1913–1918.
- November 27 – Bob Peterson, 78, catcher for the Boston Americans between 1906 and 1907
- November 29 – Red Kress, 55, coach for the Mets, previously an AL shortstop during the 1930s
- December 7 – Bobo Newsom, 55, much-traveled All-Star pitcher who won 211 games with nine different teams, including five stints with the Senators
- December 7 – J. G. Taylor Spink, 74, publisher and editor of The Sporting News since 1914 and a tireless champion of the sport