Team History : 1951-1979

1963

1963 Record:
99-63, 1st place
Postseason:
Won the World Series over the New York Yankees, 4-0
Manager:
Walter Alston
All-Stars:
Tommy Davis, OF; Don Drysdale, P; Sandy Koufax, P; Maury Wills, SS
Home Attendance:
2,538,602

Season Recap:

One of the Dodgers’ most successful and enjoyable overall seasons culminated in a four-game sweep of the rival New York Yankees at Dodger Stadium. It was the only time in their history that the Dodgers celebrated a World Series Championship on their home field. For the second time in five seasons in Los Angeles, the Dodgers were crowned World Champions. It was also the third title for the Dodgers since 1955. Sandy Koufax won the World Series MVP honors. Erasing painful memories of the lead that got away in 1962 and ended in a lost playoff series for the pennant to the Giants, the Dodgers atoned for that and more in 1963. Great pitching, speed and winning the tight games were the hallmark of the 1963 ballclub. While the Dodgers tried to run away and hide this time in the race, it would not be that easy as the St. Louis Cardinals put on a fierce run, winning 19 of 20 games and closing to within one game of the Dodgers on September 16. The two clubs opened a series in St. Louis on that day and the Dodgers showed great fortitude, winning all three games. On Sept. 18, in a game the Dodgers trailed 5-1 to Bob Gibson, the Dodgers scrambled back in the eighth to score three runs. In the ninth, rookie Dick Nen, who had just arrived in St. Louis from the Dodgers’ Triple-A Spokane farm team playoff game against Oklahoma City hours earlier, belted a home run on top of the pavilion roof to knot the score. The 23-year-old Nen, one of baseball’s few palindromes, had stayed in the game after lining out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning. The Dodgers eventually won in the 13th inning, 6-5, on a ground out by Maury Wills with the bases loaded to complete the Cardinals sweep and leave town four games ahead. Eventually, the Dodgers captured the N.L. Pennant by six games. It would be Nen’s only Dodger hit, but what a memorable one it was. The Dodgers televised all three games from St. Louis on KTTV, the first time in Los Angeles history that games other than in San Francisco were aired. Once again the strength of the Dodgers was pitching which amassed a club-record 24 shutouts and a league-leading 2.85 ERA. Dodger hurlers also continued their string of pacing the N.L. in strikeouts with 1,095. It was the 16th consecutive season that the Dodgers dominated the N.L. in strikeouts, dating back to 1948. In 99 games, the opposition was held to three runs or fewer. Koufax had an incredible season in winning the N.L. MVP Award and the Cy Young Award (the first unanimous choice) with a 25-5 record, 11 shutouts and 1.88 ERA, best in the league. He struck out 306 in 311 innings, the first of the modern N.L. pitchers to cross the 300 strikeout line. On May 11, Koufax pitched his second career no-hitter, an 8-0 blanking of the San Francisco Giants. Drysdale was off his previous year’s pace, but still managed to go 19-17 in 315 innings. Relief pitcher Ron Perranoski had a memorable season, going 16-3 with 21 saves and a 1.67 ERA in 69 appearances. He had the best winning percentage (.842) in the National League. Johnny Podres finished with a 14-12 season, despite shoulder troubles. Tommy Davis won his second consecutive N.L. batting title with a .326 average and had 88 RBI. All-Star Maury Wills also cracked the .300 barrier with a .302 season average, plus 40 stolen bases to his credit. Jim “Junior” Gilliam was a versatile player, playing both second and third base and batting .282. Frank Howard led the Dodgers in home runs with 28, while hitting .273. In the World Series, the Dodgers beat the Yankees handily. In Game 4 on Oct. 6, 1963, Howard became the first Dodger to hit a home run onto the Loge Level. His prodigious homer gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead, but Mickey Mantle’s long blast to left-center tied the game in the seventh. In the last of the seventh, Jim Gilliam hit a grounder to third baseman Clete Boyer, whose throw somehow went through Joe Pepitone and the first baseman’s error permitted Gilliam to scamper over to third base. Moments later, Gilliam came home on Willie Davis’ long sacrifice fly to put the Dodgers ahead, 2-1. That was enough for Sandy Koufax, who fanned eight and won his second game of the Series in four days. Koufax struck out 15 Yankees in Game 1 to establish a World Series record, breaking Carl Erskine’s mark of 14. In Game 2, Podres defeated the Yankees for the third straight time in the World Series (twice previously in 1955). On October 5, Manager Alston said that Drysdale’s two-hit, 1-0 victory over the Yankees was the best pitched game he had ever seen in a World Series. Dodger pitching held the Yankees to four total runs in the Series, the lowest run total since 1905 by the Philadelphia Athletics (three runs in five games). Alston won Major League Manager of the Year honors from The Sporting News for the third time (1955, 1959 and 1963).

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  • 1963 Dodger YearbookClick image for a larger view1963 Dodger YearbookCopyright © Los Angeles Dodgers, Inc.
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Below are the Dodger Front Office department heads and personnel, plus scouts who worked for Walter O'Malley.
Dodger Front Office Staff
1963 — Los Angeles
  • President Walter O’Malley
  • Executive Vice President & General Manager E. J. Bavasi
  • Vice President & Director of Minor League Operations Fresco Thompson
  • Vice President & Director of Stadium Operations Richard B. Walsh
  • Assistant Treasurer & Comptroller Col. E. John Burns
  • Executive Secretary Henry J. Walsh
  • Assistant to the President Joe Ziegler
  • Assistant General Manager Arthur E. Patterson
  • Director of Ticket Sales & Promotions Harold Parrott
  • Director of Scouting Al Campanis
  • Advertising Director Danny Goodman
  • Assistant Director of Minor League Operations William P. Schweppe
  • Dodgertown Camp Supervisor Peter O'Malley
  • Traveling Secretary Lee Scott
  • Director of Transportation Robert J. Schenz
  • Statistician Allan Roth
  • Director of Publicity Tom Seeberg
  • Group Ticket Sales and Knothole Club George (Tuck) Stainback
  • Manager Walter Alston
  • Club Physicians Dr. Robert Kerlan, Dr. Robert Woods
  • Scouts
  • Al Campanis, Director; Dwight (Red) Adams, Cliff Alexander, Hugh Alexander, Romanus (Monty) Basgall, William Brenzel, John S. Carey, Charlie Dressen, Leon Hamilton, Andy High, Tom Lasorda, Kenneth Myers, Harold (Lefty) Phillips, Rudy Rufer, Tim Thompson, Ben Wade, Guy Wellman, Bert Wells.
    Manual Boody, Charles T. (Buzz) Bowers, Bob Carter, Scott Drysdale, Wally Heckel, Sr., Charles (Bob) Hodges, A. G. (Tony) John, John R. Keenan, Steve Lembo, Harry (Ted) McGrew, Don Mohr, Mike Morrow, Richard Murray, Pat Murrow, Jake Pitler, Phil Sahara, L. F. (Lefty) Scheibal, B. E. (Barney) Smith, Joe Thomas