1959 - Inaugural season for OOTP baseball world of 1959 players plus 120 all-time greats from eras before 1959 and after 1980, with 24 teams overall.
Here is the wrap-up of the fantasy OOTP baseball world of 1959 I described above in its inaugural season. Most home runs ever: Ernie Banks, 1959 – 59. Most wins by a pitcher ever (rookie) Dwight Gooden, 1959 - 29. Lowest ERA ever – Gooden again 1959 – 1.99. Most stolen bases ever (rookie) Billy Hamilton 1959- 63.
Highest batting average ever: (rookie) Don Mattingly 1959 - .351.
Rookies of the year 1959 – Joe Dimaggio (Vermont Greens) and Ted Williams (NY Mets). Williams and Dimaggio’s teams met in the World Series and Dimaggio’s team won this time. Dimaggio hit .435 with 2 homers and Ted Williams hit .364 with 2 homers in the six game series won by Vermont. So both had a great Series. Though Mets’ rookie OF Barry Bonds, who hit .286 with 29 homers in the regular season did not, hitting just .222 with 1 home run.
Remember in what you read below that this was an inaugural season as the 1958 season was really just to set the league up (see my notes on the logistical hassles getting solved above), and that ALL non-1959 players – that is players from that era in real life - were in their rookie season.
1959 Baseball Season results and wrap-up
AL East NL East
Vermont Greens 117-37 New York Mets 108-46
New York Yankees 95 -59 Philadelphia Phillies 87-67
Washington Senators 83-71 Milwaukee Braves 70-84
Baltimore Orioles 66-88 Cincinnati Redlegs 69-85
Boston Red Sox 58-96 Memphis Suns 67-87
Cleveland Indians 55-99 Pittsburgh Pirates 66-88
AL West NL West
Seattle Mariners 97-57 Portland Fishermen 91-63
Dallas Green Sox 78-76 Santa Fe Missions 87-67
Kansas City Athletics 77-77 Los Angeles Dodgers 85-69
Chicago White Sox 71-83 St. Louis Cardinals 78-76
Houston Oilmen 67-87 San Francisco Giants 65-89
Detroit Tigers 60-94 Chicago Cubs 51-103
Vermont Greens and New York Mets won the league championship series against Seattle and Portland respectively both by 4-2.
Vermont won the World Series, defeating the Mets 4 games to 2, with Kid Nichols outpitching Cy Young 3-0 in game 6.
There was no stopping Vermont this inaugural year. AL Rookie of the year CF Joe Dimaggio (.332 29 HR) and other newcomers like Tris Speaker, Wade Boggs, catcher Mike Piazza (.320 17 HR), SS Nomar Garciaparra (.297 26 HR), led the attack. But it was Vermont’s pitching, with its rotation of rookies Dwight Gooden (who set a league record with 29 wins), Carl Hubbel and Mordecai Brown that was the core of their success this year.
The Yankees put up a good fight, with a 95-59 record but were never close to the Vermont juggernaut. Yankees rookie 1B Don Mattingly won the batting title with a .351 average and 20 homers, but except for catcher Yogi Berra’s 14 home runs the rest of the team lacked punch. Pitcher Babe Ruth, who surprisingly hit 2 home runs in his first season might make a fine everyday player someday. But for now, his 21-11 record and 2.44 ERA made him a fine rotation partner for rookie Walter Johnson who posted a 26-9 record and a 2.56 ERA.
The NL champion Mets boasted rookie starter Cy Young (who won the award for best pitcher in the league, heretofore to be called “The Cy Young Award”), who combined with the best overall rotation in baseball of rookies Roger Clemens (17-9), Old Hoss Radbourn (19-11), Andy Pettitte (16-7) and Don Newcombe (15-8).
Chicago White Sox veteran OF Vada Pinson won the NL batting title with a .350 and his 33 homers helped him win the MVP award, which the Mets’ Ted Williams, already rookie of the year for the NL also won – an amazing accomplishment in a freshmen season. Williams hit .340 with 38 home runs.
Ernie Banks, shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers set a record with 59 home runs in 1959, and that will be a tough record to beat ! The Phillies Bill Skowron hit 46 to take second place. Portland rookie Eddie Matthews hit 44 and we have not seen the last of him !
The Mets’ Rogers Hornsby, their rookie 2B (combined with Ted Wililams making for quite an offense) and Kansas City’s Tito Francona each hit .350 to come a point short of Mattingly of the Yankees for the MLB batting title, but Hornsby was consoled by a pennant and the NL batting crown.
Billy Hamilton of Portland stole a record 63 bases in his rookie year, and the Yankees’ Kenny Lofton, also a rookie, stole 43, followed by the Mets’ Tim Raines at 36.
Grover Cleveland Alexander of the Dodgers and Seattle’s Ed Walsh each won 22 to finish behind Gooden’s record year, the Yankees’ Walter Johnson and the Mets’ Cy Young who posted 25 wins.
Tim Lincecum of Seattle struck out an astounding record 326 batters in his rookie season, followed by Gooden, Bob Feller a Seattle team-mate of Lincecum’s with 253, Fernando Valenzuela the Cards’ rookie with 231, one more than Walter Johnson of New York.
Also worth mentioning was Portland rookie pitcher Addie Joss who went 20-7 with a 2.87 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP, though he joined the club of those, including Al Spalding of the Phillies and Don Drysdale of the Braves at 1.07 WHP and Larry Jackson of Santa Fe at 1.03 who could only dream of Dwight Gooden’s magnificent 0.97 WHIP on the year.
So 1959 is in the books. The Yankees hope to find a way to catch up with Vermont, but the Greens and Mets look to be dominant for a while to come.