1961 Milwaukee Braves season

1961 Milwaukee Braves
Major League affiliations
Record 83–71 (.539)
League place 4th
Other information
Owner(s) Louis R. Perini
General manager(s) John McHale
Manager(s) Chuck Dressen 71–58 (.550)
Birdie Tebbetts 12–13 (.480)
Local television none
Local radio WEMP
(Earl Gillespie, Blaine Walsh)
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The 1961 Milwaukee Braves season was the ninth in Milwaukee and the 91st overall season of the franchise.

The fourth-place Braves finished the season with a 83–71 (.539) record, ten games behind the National League champion Cincinnati Reds.[1][2] The home attendance at County Stadium was 1,101,411,[2] fifth in the eight-team National League.[3] It was the Braves' lowest attendance to date in Milwaukee, and was the last season over one million.


Regular season

On April 28, Warren Spahn threw a no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants.

On June 8, against the Cincinnati Reds, four consecutive Braves batters hit home runs off pitchers Jim Maloney (two) and Marshall Bridges (two more) in the seventh inning. The batters who accomplished this feat were Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron, Joe Adcock, and Frank Thomas. Oddly, both Adcock and Thomas were former players for the Reds.

Season standings

National League W L Pct. GB Home Road
Cincinnati Reds 9361 0.604 47–30 46–31
Los Angeles Dodgers 8965 0.578 4 45–32 44–33
San Francisco Giants 8569 0.552 8 45–32 40–37
Milwaukee Braves 8371 0.539 10 45–32 38–39
St. Louis Cardinals 8074 0.519 13 48–29 32–45
Pittsburgh Pirates 7579 0.487 18 38–39 37–40
Chicago Cubs 6490 0.416 29 40–37 24–53
Philadelphia Phillies 47107 0.305 46 22–55 25–52

Record vs. opponents

1961 National League Records

Chicago 12–107–159–13–113–911–115–177–15–1
Cincinnati 10–1212–1015–719–311–1112–1014–8
Los Angeles 15–710–1212–1017–513–910–1212–10
Milwaukee 13–9–17–1510–1216–612–1011–1114–8
Philadelphia 9–133–195–176–167–158–14–19–13
Pittsburgh 11–1111–119–1310–1215–710–129–13
San Francisco 17–510–1212–1011–1114–8–112–109–13
St. Louis 15–7–18–1410–128–1413–913–913–9

Notable transactions

Managerial turnover

Chuck Dressen, 66, was fired on September 2, less than a month shy of finishing his second year as the Braves' manager.[12][13] The club was in third place at 71–58 (.550), seven games behind the league-leading Cincinnati Reds, when the change was announced after a Saturday home win over the Dodgers.[14][15] The Braves were 159–124 (.562) under Dressen's command.

His successor was executive vice president Birdie Tebbetts, 48, a former Cincinnati manager, who came down from the Milwaukee front office to take the reins; the Braves went 12–13 (.480) under him to finish the season. Tebbetts was signed through the 1963 season but he would spend only 1962 as the Braves' skipper before leaving to become manager of the Cleveland Indians in 1963. Tebbetts retained two of Dressen's coaches, Andy Pafko and Whit Wyatt, while George Myatt departed for the American League Detroit Tigers.[16]


1961 Milwaukee Braves
Pitchers Catchers



Other batters



Player stats


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
1BJoe Adcock152562160.28535108
3BEddie Mathews152572175.3063291
LFFrank Thomas124423120.2842567
CFHank Aaron155603197.32734120
RFLee Maye110373101.2711441

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
Sammy White216314.22205
Bob Boyd364110.24403
Mel Roach13366.16716
Wes Covington9214.19000
Billy Martin660.00000


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
Lew Burdette40272.118114.0092
Warren Spahn38262.221133.02115
Bob Buhl32188.19104.1177
Bob Hendley1997573.9044

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
Tony Cloninger1984725.2551

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
Moe Drabowsky160224.625
Ron Piché122213.4716
Johnny Antonelli91007.598
Ken MacKenzie50105.145
George Brunet50005.400
Chi-Chi Olivo300018.001

Awards and honors

League leaders

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Louisville Colonels American Association Ben Geraghty
AAA Vancouver Mounties Pacific Coast League Billy Hitchcock
AA Austin Senators Texas League Bill Adair
B Cedar Rapids Braves Illinois–Indiana–Iowa League Jimmy Brown
B Yakima Bears Northwest League Buddy Hicks
C Eau Claire Braves Northern League Jim Fanning
C Boise Braves Pioneer League Gordon Maltzberger
D Palatka Azaleas Florida State League Mike Fandozzi
D Quad Cities Braves Midwest League Alex Monchak
D Wellsville Braves New York–Penn League Bill Steinecke
D Newton-Conover Twins Western Carolinas League Joe Abernethy



  1. "The Major Leagues". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. (final standings). October 2, 1961. p. 22.
  2. 1 2 Thisted, Red (October 2, 1961). "Braves split, finish 4th". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 2, part 2.
  3. "Attendance down 5.6% in majors". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. October 3, 1961. p. 5, part 2.
  4. Red Schoendienst page at Baseball Reference
  5. Stan Lopata page at Baseball Reference
  6. 1 2 Billy Martin page at Baseball Reference
  7. Joe Azcue page at Baseball-Reference
  8. 1 2 Morrie Martin page at Baseball Reference
  9. Clay Carroll page at Baseball-Reference
  10. Braves trade Mel Roach for Frank Thomas
  11. Wes Covington page at Baseball Reference
  12. Chapman, Lou (September 3, 1961). "Fire Dressen, hire Birdie". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1, part 1.
  13. Kuehele, Oliver E. (September 3, 1961). "Dressen fired by Braves; Tebbetts is new manager". Milwaukee Journal. p. 1, part 1.
  14. Walfoort, Cleon (September 3, 1961). "Dressen is shocked by his dismissal, 'So many vice presidents,' he says". Milwaukee Journal. p. 1, part 2.
  15. Anheuser, Ernie (September 3, 1961). "Bring on the new...Tebbetts...farewell to the old...Dressen". Milwaukee Sentinel. (photos). p. 1, part 2.
  16. "Charlie Dressen fired by Braves, Tebbetts named as successor". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. September 4, 1961. p. 14.
  17. Great Baseball Feats, Facts and Figures, 2008 Edition, p.99, David Nemec and Scott Flatow, A Signet Book, Penguin Group, New York, ISBN 978-0-451-22363-0


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