1968 St. Louis Cardinals season

1968 St. Louis Cardinals
National League Champions
Major League affiliations
Location
Results
Record 97–65 (.599)
League place 1st
Other information
Owner(s) August "Gussie" Busch
General manager(s) Bing Devine
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 Pct. GB Home Road
St. Louis Cardinals 9765 0.599 47–34 50–31
San Francisco Giants 8874 0.543 9 42–39 46–35
Chicago Cubs 8478 0.519 13 47–34 37–44
Cincinnati Reds 8379 0.512 14 40–41 43–38
Atlanta Braves 8181 0.500 16 41–40 40–41
Pittsburgh Pirates 8082 0.494 17 40–41 40–41
Los Angeles Dodgers 7686 0.469 21 41–40 35–46
Philadelphia Phillies 7686 0.469 21 38–43 38–43
New York Mets 7389 0.451 24 32–49 41–40
Houston Astros 7290 0.444 25 42–39 30–51

Record vs. opponents

1968 National League Records

Sources:
Team ATL CHC CIN HOU LAD NYM PHI PIT SF STL
Atlanta 8–1010–811–79–912–6–111–76–129–95–13
Chicago 10–87–1110–812–68–109–910–89–9–19–9
Cincinnati 8–1011–79–99–910–811–710–8–18–107–11
Houston 7–118–109–911–710–89–95–138–105–13
Los Angeles 9–96–129–97–117–1110–810–89–99–9
New York 6–12–110–88–108–1011–78–109–97–116–12
Philadelphia 7–119–97–119–98–1010–89–99–98–10
Pittsburgh 12–68–108–10–113–58–109–99–97–116–12
San Francisco 9–99–9–110–810–89–911–79–911–710–8
St. Louis 13–59–911–713–59–912–610–812–68–10

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
CTim McCarver128434110.253548
1BOrlando Cepeda157600149.2481673
2BJulián Javier139519135.260452
SSDal Maxvill119459116.253124
3BMike Shannon156576153.2661579
LFLou Brock159660184.279651
CFCurt Flood150618186.301560
RFRoger Maris10031079.255545

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
Bobby Tolan9227864.230517
Johnny Edwards8423055.239329
Dick Schofield6912728.22018
Phil Gagliano5310524.229013
Ron Davis337914.17705
Dick Simpson265613.23238
Ed Spiezio29518.15702

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
Bob Gibson34304.22291.12268
Nelson Briles33243.119112.81141
Steve Carlton34231.113112.99162
Ray Washburn31215.11482.26124
Larry Jaster31153.29133.5170

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
Dick Hughes2563.2223.5349
Mel Nelson1852.2212.9116
Mike Torrez519212.846
Pete Mikkelsen516001.138

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
Joe Hoerner4782171.4742
Ron Willis482343.3939
Wayne Granger344242.2527
Hal Gilson130224.5719

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
1Cardinals – 4, Tigers – 0October 2Busch Memorial Stadium54,6922:29
2Tigers – 8, Cardinals – 1October 3Busch Memorial Stadium54,6922:41
3Cardinals – 7, Tigers – 3October 5Tiger Stadium53,6343:17
4Cardinals – 10, Tigers – 1October 6Tiger Stadium53,6342:34
5Tigers – 5, Cardinals – 3October 7Tiger Stadium53,6342:43
6Tigers – 13, Cardinals – 1October 9Busch Memorial Stadium54,6922:26
7Tigers – 4, Cardinals – 1October 10Busch Memorial Stadium54,6922:07

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

Level Team League Manager
AAA Tulsa Oilers Pacific Coast League Warren Spahn
AA Arkansas Travelers Texas League Vern Rapp
A Modesto Reds California League Joe Cunningham
A St. Petersburg Cardinals Florida State League Ron Plaza
A Cedar Rapids Cardinals Midwest League Jack Krol
A-Short Season Lewiston Broncos Northwest League Roy Majtyka
Rookie GCL Cardinals Gulf Coast League George Kissell and Ray Hathaway

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Tulsa[7]

References

  1. Luis Meléndez page at Baseball Reference
  2. Jimy Williams page at Baseball Reference
  3. 1 2 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, North Carolina: Baseball America, 1997 and 2007
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