Major League Baseball's 1960 season ran from April 12 through October 13, 1960. It was the final season in which 16 teams competed, as well as the final season in which both the American League and the National League played a 154-game schedule. The AL added a 17th team for 1961: the Washington Senators.
The NL had eight teams due to federal regulations prohibiting sports other than baseball and football in the NFL during this time period. The remaining NL teams were divided into two divisions - East and West - with each division containing four teams. The winners of these tournaments would play in a one-game playoff to determine the league champion. This format was used by the NL until 1969 when it changed its postseason structure to today's current system.
There were 80 games per team in the 1960 season. This number is less than what is currently done (162 games), but more than what is allowed (150 games). Teams were given an extra game on September 30 due to scheduling conflicts. These games are not included in the totals below which show regular season games only.
The Montreal Expos joined the MLB in 1969 and did not play in 1960 due to their own league not being established yet. The Kansas City Athletics also didn't play in 1960 because they relocated to Oakland prior to the start of the season.
This article exclusively covers the 1960 Major League Baseball season. See 1960 in baseball for more information on the whole season. A all-time record number of games were played that year, with a total of 31 days between innings (a major league record).
The Chicago Cubs were the best team in baseball during the first half of the 1960 season, but they fell back to earth after star third baseman Ernie Banks was injured. The injury forced him to miss most of the rest of the season and the Cubs lost many games they should have won. In the second half, the Cubs got back into contention but they could not win enough games to get back into the playoffs.
The Cubs finished in fourth place with a 79-77 record. They were eight games behind the St. Louis Cardinals who beat them in the National League Championship Series 3-2. It was the first time since 1945 that neither of the two teams playing in the World Series had won at least 90 games.
The Cincinnati Reds finished in second place with a 91-71 record. They were six games ahead of the third-place Cubs. This was the first time the Reds had been able to finish in first place since 1952 when they went 102-40.
During the 1960s, Major League Baseball was focused on expanding the game. There were 16 teams in 1960; by 1969, there were 24. Each league was also divided into east and west divisions, and the League Championship Series (LCS) was created in 1969. The outfield was stacked with Hall of Famers, and then... Stats and lists for MLB players, teams, and eras.
The most famous player from this era is undoubtedly Barry Bonds. In 2007, he broke Joe DiMaggio's record for having most hits in a season when he hit 73. That same year, he also tied Willie Mays for third place on the all-time home run list with 74 homers. Although many people believe that Bonds used steroids to get where he is today, nothing has been proven in court. He is still revered by many fans because of his skill at the plate and in the field.
Another famous player from this era is Roger Maris. In 1961, he set the single season homerun record with 61 homers. However, it was later revealed that he had used bats made from old trees, which was illegal at the time. He ended up being suspended for two months and given $10,000 as punishment. After his suspension was over, he did not break the record anymore and now it stands at 63 homers. Many consider him to be the best hitter in baseball history.
Other notable players from this era include Mike Tyson, Pete Rose, and Roberto Clemente.