Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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The 1962 Season as seen through the Prism of Player Won-Lost Records



Next in my continuing series of looking at individual seasons through the prism of Player won-lost records is the 1962 season. The 1962 season saw the National League join the American League in expanding to ten teams and a 162-game schedule. In fact, not only did the National League go to a 162-game schedule in 1962, but the top two teams in the National League - San Francisco and Los Angeles - played 165 games apiece, after ending the first 162 games with identical 101-61 records.

The Best of 1962

I calculate Player won-lost records two ways: pWins, which tie to team wins and eWins, which control for context and the ability of one's teammates. For players with more pWins than eWins, their Player wins contributed to more team wins than one might expect; for players with more eWins than pWins, just the opposite is true: their Player wins translated into fewer team wins than expected. Or more briefly: a player with more pWins than eWins was better in context, a player with more eWins than pWins was worse in context.

The top 10 players in pWins above Positional Average and Replacement Level were as follows.

pWins over Positional Average
Top 10 Players
          pWins over Replacement Level
Top 10 Players
Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL           Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL
1Willie Mays29.618.35.0
6.8
1Willie Mays29.618.35.0
6.8
2Bob Purkey19.813.04.1
5.6
2Bob Purkey19.813.04.1
5.6
3Mickey Mantle20.311.73.8
5.0
3Maury Wills25.018.93.7
5.3
4Camilo Pascual19.714.13.7
5.2
4Camilo Pascual19.714.13.7
5.2
5Maury Wills25.018.93.7
5.3
5H. Tommy Davis27.519.03.3
5.1
6Ray Herbert17.712.23.5
4.8
6Mickey Mantle20.311.73.8
5.0
7H. Tommy Davis27.519.03.3
5.1
7Ray Herbert17.712.23.5
4.8
8Whitey Ford17.012.13.2
4.5
8Frank Robinson26.718.23.0
4.7
9Don Drysdale19.615.23.1
4.6
9Hank Aaron27.219.72.8
4.6
10Frank Robinson26.718.23.0
4.7
10Don Drysdale19.615.23.1
4.6


The top 10 players in eWins above Positional Average and Replacement Level were as follows.

eWins over Positional Average
Top 10 Players
          eWins over Replacement Level
Top 10 Players
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL           Player eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
1Mickey Mantle18.311.03.1
4.3
1Don Drysdale21.618.42.6
4.4
2Camilo Pascual18.013.92.9
4.3
2Camilo Pascual18.013.92.9
4.3
3Hank Aaron24.217.22.7
4.2
3Mickey Mantle18.311.03.1
4.3
4Don Drysdale21.618.42.6
4.4
4Hank Aaron24.217.22.7
4.2
5Dick Donovan17.113.72.5
3.9
5Willie Mays24.818.72.5
4.2
6Warren Spahn17.814.32.5
3.9
6Frank Robinson25.418.32.3
4.0
7Willie Mays24.818.72.5
4.2
7Warren Spahn17.814.32.5
3.9
8Ray Herbert15.912.62.4
3.7
8Dick Donovan17.113.72.5
3.9
9Frank Robinson25.418.32.3
4.0
9Jim Kaat18.515.82.2
3.7
10Bob Gibson16.012.82.3
3.6
10Ray Herbert15.912.62.4
3.7


Let's take a look at a few of the more interesting players on the above lists.

Willie Mays
The 1962 NL MVP vote was extremely close, coming down to 1 first-place vote and seven overall points. The winner was Dodgers' shortstop Maury Wills who had a fine season, punctuated by an eye-popping major-league record 104 stolen bases.

Based on Player won-lost records, the most valuable player in the National League was almost certainly MVP runner-up Willie Mays. Willie Mays's 1962 season was one of the finest seasons, as measured by Player won-lost record, of any season for which I have calculated Player won-lost records in both raw pWins as well as pWins over replacement level (pWORL). The top 10 seasons in these two stats since 1951 (Willie Mays's rookie season) are shown in the next two tables.

Top 10 Single-Season pWin Totals, since 1951
Player Season pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL
Willie Mays196229.618.35.06.8
Barry Bonds200127.915.15.57.4
Hank Aaron196827.820.12.94.8
Minnie Minoso195427.618.23.95.8
H. Tommy Davis196227.519.03.35.1
Roger Maris196127.215.54.56.5
Carl Yastrzemski196727.217.83.55.5
Hank Aaron196227.219.72.84.6
George Foster197727.219.43.15.0
Kevin Mitchell198927.117.83.75.3

Top 10 Single-Season pWORL Totals, since 1951
Player Season pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL
Sandy Koufax196525.514.96.38.2
Steve Carlton197225.715.26.28.0
Dwight Gooden198521.411.06.17.6
Barry Bonds200127.915.15.57.4
Sandy Koufax196322.913.55.57.2
Mickey Mantle195725.212.85.57.1
Joe L. Morgan197224.915.35.26.8
Juan Marichal196623.114.45.26.8
Willie Mays196229.618.35.06.8
Joe L. Morgan197326.116.45.06.8


Bob Purkey
From 1956 - 1966, only one Cy Young award was given out each year for the entire major leagues. In 1962, this award was won by Don Drysdale. As the tables above show, Drysdale had an excellent season in 1962. Based on pWins, however, the best pitcher in the major leagues in 1962 was Cincinnati Reds ace Bob Purkey.

The next table shows Bob Purkey's 1962 season both in and out of context.

Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
37
19.813.00.6034.1
5.6
18.616.90.5231.63.2


Controlling for context, Purkey's 1962 season was pretty good. But in terms of how Purkey's performance translated into Reds' victories, it was outstanding - as indicated, for example, by Bob Purkey's traditional won-lost record in 1962 of 23-5. There are two different types of context associated with pWins: inter-game, which measures the relative importance of situations within a game, and intra-game, which ties how player wins translate into team wins. Bob Purkey's performance benefited from both types of context.

As an example of the improvement in Bob Purkey's inter-game performance, in low-leverage situations Purkey allowed an OPS of .686; in medium-leverage, Purkey allowed an OPS of .621; in high-leverage situations, Purkey allowed an OPS of .600. With two outs and runners in scoring position, batters batted .167/.241/.245 against Purkey. With the bases loaded, Purkey allowed one hit (a single) in 14 plate appearances.

At the game level, Purkey's runs allowed translated into more wins than expected based on how he tied them to the runs scored by the Reds. For example, the Reds went 6-3 in one-run games started by Purkey, including 1-0, 2-1, and 2-1 wins in which Purkey pitched a combined 28 innings and allowed 2 runs. At the other end of the spectrum, the Reds went 5-4 in games in which Purkey allowed 5 or more runs as (by dumb luck or otherwise) these tended to occur disproportionately in games in which the Reds scored plenty of runs themselves.

The next table shows Purkey's career Player won-lost records, excluding 1962.

Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
350
110.5114.80.4901.6
12.0
109.2112.80.4921.812.1


Purkey's "ability" to play better in the clutch did not persist across the rest of his career. But in 1962, it translated into real wins for the Reds.

Mickey Mantle
The winner of the 1962 American League MVP was Mickey Mantle. On the one hand, this is no surprise: Mickey Mantle was one of the greatest players in major-league history and, as seen above, Mickey Mantle led American League players in all four of the above tables: pWOPA, pWORL, eWOPA, and eWORL. On the other hand, Mickey Mantle was the best player in the American League more often than not during his career and yet, somewhat surprisingly to me, 1962 was only the third (and last) season in Mantle's career when he was voted MVP.

The next table compares Mickey Mantle to the AL MVP winner for the prime of Mantle's career: 1952 - 1964.

Mickey Mantle AL MVP Winner
Season pWins pLoss pWOPA pWORL pWins pLoss pWOPA pWORL
195222.115.13.2
4.7
19.412.84.05.4
195320.013.12.9
4.3
26.717.14.05.9
195424.015.03.6
5.3
19.012.53.34.7
195524.614.14.5
6.1
18.312.93.04.3
195625.115.44.1
5.8
25.115.44.15.8
195725.212.85.5
7.1
25.212.85.57.1
195823.116.12.8
4.2
25.219.02.23.9
195920.514.82.3
3.7
21.715.53.44.9
196023.513.54.2
5.7
22.713.93.85.3
196126.015.44.6
6.5
27.215.54.56.5
196220.311.73.8
5.0
20.311.73.85.0
19639.25.21.8
2.4
16.411.72.43.5
196421.313.83.2
4.6
24.017.52.84.5
---------------------------------------------
Total284.8175.946.6
65.6
291.2188.346.966.6


Mickey Mantle could have easily won three times as many MVP awards as he actually did and arguably deserved every one of them.

1962 Postseason

The 1962 World Series was a 7-game thriller between the New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants. The hero of the World Series, as measured by Player won-lost records, was Yankee pitcher Ralph Terry, who won 2 of his 3 starts including a complete-game 4-hit shutout in Game 7, which the Yankees won 1-0. The final out of the final game was immortalized in a Peanuts strip.

1962 World Series: Top Player Performances
pWins pLosses pWORL
Ralph TerryNYA1.91.10.6
Jack S. SanfordSFN1.81.50.4
Bill StaffordNYA0.80.30.4


Best of 1962 by Factor and Position

Next, let's look at the top players in (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) eWins over Positional Average in various aspects of the game.
Best by Factor: Batting, Baserunning, Pitching, Fielding
There are four basic factors for which players earn Player won-lost records: Batting, Baserunning, Pitching, and Fielding. The top players in 1962 in eWOPA by factor were as follows.

Batting
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Mickey Mantle13.36.53.2
Frank Robinson17.610.93.0

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Baserunning
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Maury Wills4.01.61.1

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Maury Wills's 1962 season was the 2nd-best baserunning season, as measured by Player won-lost records, for seasons over which I have calculated Player won-lost records.

Wills's basestealing numbers in 1962 were eye-popping: a then-record 104 stolen bases against only 13 caught stealing (an 88.9% success rate!). Player won-lost records are divided into nine components for calculation purposes. Stolen bases are Component 1. Maury Wills's 1962 season was the best Component 1 baserunning season of all time, measured by net baserunning wins. But he was also above average in the other components of baserunning.

Pitching
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Hank Aguirre12.08.73.3
Billy O'Dell15.612.63.0
Don Drysdale17.514.72.8
Warren Spahn14.311.72.7
Camilo Pascual14.211.72.5
Ray Herbert12.710.42.4
Turk Farrell13.311.02.3
Whitey Ford14.011.72.3


Fielding, P
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Jim Kaat1.10.50.5


In 1962, Jim Kaat won his first Gold Glove. According to Player won-lost records, he deserved this one. According to Player won-lost records, this was also by far Jim Kaat's best fielding season. Nevertheless, Jim Kaat proceeded to win 15 more Gold Gloves between 1963 and 1977.

Fielding, C
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Johnny Edwards1.91.30.6


Fielding, 1B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Donn Clendenon1.00.60.3
Norm Siebern2.72.40.3
Roy Sievers2.11.80.3
Joe Cunningham2.11.80.3


Fielding, 2B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Julian Javier4.94.30.6


Fielding, 3B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Brooks Robinson4.73.61.2


Fielding, SS
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Zoilo Versalles6.65.70.9


Fielding, LF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Rocky Colavito7.66.21.4


Fielding, CF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Willie Davis7.14.92.3


Fielding, RF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Willie Kirkland5.54.01.6


Best by Position
Next, we look at 1962 Major-League leaders in eWOPA by position. The figures shown here only include Player decisions earned while playing this particular position, and include no contextual adjustments (expected or actual).



Catcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Tom Haller8.66.21.2
Johnny Romano13.611.41.2


First Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Norm Siebern20.214.81.7


Second Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Jerry Lumpe19.818.21.4


Third Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Eddie Mathews18.514.32.0


Shortstop
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Maury Wills23.521.11.8


Left Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Rocky Colavito24.418.91.7


Center Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Mickey Mantle14.58.82.5


Right Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Frank Robinson23.917.22.2


Starting Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Don Drysdale18.114.91.9
Billy O'Dell15.812.81.7
Warren Spahn14.912.01.7


Relief Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Dick Radatz7.35.50.6
Bud Daley4.12.70.6


For relief pitchers, context-neutral records may not be the best measure of how good they are, as context can matter a great deal, depending on how a pitcher is used. Here are the top relief pitchers of 1962 in context, in terms of pWins and pWOPA.

Top Relief Pitchers of 1962, based on pWORL
Player pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL
Dick Radatz9.07.00.5630.91.9
Roy Face7.96.00.5690.81.7
Terry Fox5.02.60.6561.21.6
Ron Perranoski6.95.20.5700.71.5
Jack Baldschun7.26.00.5470.51.3


Finally, here are the best at three oft-forgotten positions that can nevertheless matter: pitcher offense, pinch hitting, and pinch running.

Pitcher Offense
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Camilo Pascual1.92.10.5


Pinch Hitter
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Vic Wertz1.60.90.4


Pinch Runner
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Rod Kanehl0.40.10.2


Noteworthy Players of 1962

Finally, let's take a look at some players who had noteworthy 1962 seasons.

Notable Debuts
Two players made their major-league debut in 1962 who would go on to be elected to the Baseball Hall-of-Fame: Willie Stargell and Gaylord Perry. Both Stargell and Perry hold an unfortunate place in my early baseball fanhood: when I was 9 years old, Perry started (and pitched 9 shutout innings in) the first major-league baseball game I ever attended live; when I was 11 years old, Willie Stargell was the captain, face, and co-NL MVP for the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates who overcame a 3-1 deficit to beat my favorite team in the World Series.

Setting aside my personal grudges (which I've outgrown anyway), both Perry and Stargell were well-deserving Hall-of-Famers. Their careers, as measured by Player won-lost records, are shown in the next table.

Willie Stargell Gaylord Perry
Season Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL
1962100.61.00.393-0.2
-0.2
132.32.50.476-0.00.2
19631089.210.40.472-0.9
-0.1
323.15.10.381-1.0-0.5
196411712.412.20.504-0.4
0.6
4612.610.80.5381.22.5
196514418.516.20.5340.4
1.8
4911.713.10.472-0.30.9
196614020.713.90.5982.8
4.2
3618.113.10.5813.14.5
196713316.715.10.524-0.0
1.4
4218.718.40.5050.82.5
196812716.615.80.512-0.4
0.9
3916.215.00.5191.32.5
196914519.415.80.5501.1
2.6
4021.719.40.5282.13.9
197013618.116.00.5310.2
1.7
4123.020.30.5312.34.1
197114123.014.30.6173.6
5.1
3817.216.40.5111.22.7
197213820.412.90.6132.6
4.0
4125.219.00.5714.16.1
197314825.217.50.5902.9
4.7
4120.619.00.5201.12.9
197414021.615.80.5772.2
3.6
3718.115.30.5411.73.1
197512415.811.10.5861.5
2.5
3717.416.20.5180.82.4
197611711.510.20.5290.0
0.9
3214.110.40.5772.03.1
1977635.84.10.5870.6
1.0
3415.312.80.5431.42.8
197812013.99.80.5881.6
2.5
3716.512.20.5762.73.9
197912614.510.50.5801.4
2.4
3214.012.60.5251.22.3
1980676.45.30.5450.3
0.7
3411.311.90.486-0.20.8
1981381.51.70.471-0.1
0.1
248.78.60.5030.51.3
1982742.32.60.474-0.1
0.2
3211.012.10.476-0.30.7
1983
 
309.612.80.430-1.4-0.4
1984
 
1985
 
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS2,356294.2232.20.55919.0
40.7
787326.4297.00.52424.252.4


Last Hurrahs
Finally, 1962 was the final season for two Hall-of-Famers: Richie Ashburn and Red Schoendienst. Their career records, as measured by Player won-lost records, are shown in the next table.

Richie Ashburn Red Schoendienst
Season Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL
1945
 
13718.616.90.5230.41.8
1946
 
14217.215.60.5240.92.3
1947
 
15117.617.70.4990.52.0
194811717.215.80.5210.2
1.5
11911.912.40.489-0.20.8
194915420.421.20.490-1.0
0.8
15119.017.90.5150.52.1
195015120.017.70.5310.7
2.2
15317.119.10.472-0.80.6
195115422.220.40.5210.5
2.2
13516.816.40.5060.31.6
195215420.719.60.5140.2
1.8
15220.917.10.5492.03.6
195315622.119.80.5280.5
2.2
14619.615.90.5522.13.6
195415321.218.30.5370.6
2.3
14818.017.80.5030.31.8
195514017.917.30.509-0.3
1.1
14516.617.00.4950.21.6
195615419.820.90.486-1.3
0.4
13212.614.40.467-0.50.6
195715621.220.50.508-0.3
1.4
15019.917.60.5311.53.1
195815220.819.90.511-0.3
1.3
10611.012.10.477-0.20.7
195915316.822.10.432-3.2
-1.6
50.00.10.099-0.1-0.1
196015017.819.50.477-1.6
-0.1
676.15.80.5100.30.8
19611097.910.00.444-1.3
-0.4
723.23.90.447-0.20.1
196213512.114.00.464-1.4
-0.3
983.64.40.450-0.30.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS2,188278.0276.80.501-8.0
14.7
2,209249.8242.20.5086.827.2


Neither Ashburn's nor Schoendienst's career records look all that impressive for Hall-of-Famers.

Schoendienst's Hall-of-Fame case was enhanced by a 14-year maangerial career that included back-to-back pennant winners.

Richie Ashburn's career does not look as good in Player won-lost records at least in part because of how I calculate positional averages. Specifically, I calculate positional averages empirically based on the specific players who played a specific position in a specific season. Richie Ashburn played center field in a league in which Willie Mays and Duke Snider play the same position. In addition, Hall-of-Famers Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Stan Musial, and Roberto Clemente all played at least some center field in the National League during Ashburn's prime. Meanwhile, over in the American League, Mickey Mantle and Larry Doby were putting together Hall-of-Fame careers in CF as well.

From 1950 - 1958, in his prime, Richie Ashburn amassed a pWinPct of 0.516 against a positional average of 0.515, good for 0.2 pWOPA and 14.9 pWORL (I tie replacement level to positional average). Had Richie Ashburn played, say, 50 years later, from 2000 - 2008, the positional average for center fielders was only 0.504. Replacing Ashburn's positional average with that number would have boosted his record for those nine seasons to 4.5 pWOPA and 19.2 pWORL.



All articles are written so that they pull data directly from the most recent version of the Player won-lost database. Hence, any numbers cited within these articles should automatically incorporate the most recent update to Player won-lost records. In some cases, however, the accompanying text may have been written based on previous versions of Player won-lost records. I apologize if this results in non-sensical text in any cases.

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