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Opening Day N.L. Pitchers Success In 1965

April 27, 2020

As stated in my post two days back, Sandy Koufax did not start the opener for his eventual World Series winning, Los Angeles Dodgers in 1965.

I also remarked that a good many of the National League opening day starters in ’65, went on to have excellent, even great seasons. I promised and a “look” follows.

Speaking of “follows” or “folla,” as the great actor, Robert Shaw’s character often intoned in the fantastic movie, “The Sting,” Tony Cloninger of Milwaukee (Braves) and Sandy’s teammate and friend Don Drysdale, each an opening day starter, followed Sandy in the National League pitching wins charts for ’65.

Cloninger won 24 games, two less than Sandy, while “Big D” (Drysdale) won 23. Each won on Opening Day as well.

On Opening Day ’65, Bob Veale of the Pittsburgh Pirates outdueled the great pitcher, Juan Marichal (S.F. Giants) as Pittsburgh won the home game (1-0) in 10 innings.

Veale went on to win 17 games and Juan won 22, tying Sammy Ellis of Cincinnati (Reds) for 4th place in N.L. wins,  behind Koufax, Cloninger and Drysdale.

That April 12th night, in the first ever indoor major league baseball game, Chris Short won (2-0) vs Bob Bruce and the newly named Houston Astros. Of course, the team name changed its nickname from the Colt .45s to the Astros, as the team now played at the famed Houston Astrodome.

Short went on to win 18 games in 1965.

In the other game played that full N.L. opening day slate of 1965, the great pitcher, Bob Gibson was ineffective, in an eventual (10-10) tie at Wrigley Field (well before lights were installed there) vs the Cubs.

However, “Gibby” went on to a 20 win season. 




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