Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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The 1963 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 1963 season.

The Best of 1963

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
1Sandy Koufax22.913.55.5
7.2
1Sandy Koufax22.913.55.5
7.2
2Juan Marichal23.016.34.3
6.0
2Juan Marichal23.016.34.3
6.0
3Gary Peters17.710.64.3
5.5
3Gary Peters17.710.64.3
5.5
4Warren Spahn20.013.84.0
5.5
4Warren Spahn20.013.84.0
5.5
5Jim Maloney18.913.03.7
5.1
5Jim Maloney18.913.03.7
5.1
6Jim Bouton17.712.23.3
4.7
6Dick Ellsworth19.414.63.2
4.7
7Dick Ellsworth19.414.63.2
4.7
7Jim Bouton17.712.23.3
4.7
8Camilo Pascual17.613.23.1
4.4
8Camilo Pascual17.613.23.1
4.4
9Tom Tresh21.314.52.8
4.2
9Tom Tresh21.314.52.8
4.2
10Juan Pizarro15.311.02.8
4.0
10Whitey Ford17.413.62.7
4.1


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
1Juan Marichal21.517.03.2
5.0
1Juan Marichal21.517.03.2
5.0
2Gary Peters16.411.53.1
4.4
2Hank Aaron27.619.02.9
4.8
3Hank Aaron27.619.02.9
4.8
3Gary Peters16.411.53.1
4.4
4Larry Jackson18.915.12.7
4.3
4Sandy Koufax20.416.72.7
4.4
5Sandy Koufax20.416.72.7
4.4
5Larry Jackson18.915.12.7
4.3
6Jimmie Hall20.814.62.5
3.9
6Dick Ellsworth18.615.12.5
4.1
7Dick Ellsworth18.615.12.5
4.1
7Jimmie Hall20.814.62.5
3.9
8Ray Herbert15.211.72.4
3.6
8Willie Mays25.219.62.2
3.9
9Eddie Mathews21.816.42.3
3.8
9Eddie Mathews21.816.42.3
3.8
10Camilo Pascual17.414.62.3
3.7
10Dick Groat23.120.02.1
3.8


The 1963 season represented the start of what is sometimes called the "second Deadball Era". Runs per 27 outs in the major leagues dropped from 4.74 in 1962 to 4.16 in 1963. Run scoring stayed low through 1968, although run scoring was slightly lower in 1963 than in any season until 1967.

One of the fundamental tenets of sabermetrics is that you have to control for context when evaluating player performance. Probably the biggest takeaway from this is that pitchers tend to be over-valued and hitters tend to be under-valued in good pitching environments (and vice versa).

Yet, very surprisingly to me, 9 of the top 10 players in pWins over positional average in the major leagues in 1963 were pitchers. The results are somewhat less extreme in the other three tables, but even in those three cases, at least half of the players on these tables are pitchers.

While several of the pitchers who show up here are well-known pitchers who put together Hall-of-Fame careers - Koufax, Marichal, Spahn - there are a surprising number of "one-hit wonders" who had their best or one of their best seasons in 1963, including Gary Peters, Jim Maloney, Dick Ellsworth, Jim Bouton, and Juan Pizarro. I don't really know what this means, but it definitely seems noteworthy to me. One player who sort of falls between the two - not really a Hall-of-Famer, but he had a more extended prime than the non-HOFers I just named - was Camilo Pascual. I wrote an article about Pascual previously.

Next, I take a closer look at a couple of the non-pitchers who show up prominently on the above tables.

Hank Aaron
If one controls for context, one could make a case for Hank Aaron as having been the best player in major-league baseball in 1963, at least as measured by (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) eWins over replacement level.

As will be shown below, Hank Aaron led the major leages in both batting and baserunning wins over non-pitcher average in 1963. This makes Aaron one of three players to do this since 1944. The 1963 season was Aaron's best, as measured by eWOPA or eWORL, although he had several better seasons in context. Even by eWOPA and eWORL, however, Aaron's 1963 season, while his best, was consistent with virtually every season of Aaron's career from 1955 through 1971 - a rather remarkable 17-year "peak".

Hank Aaron's wonderful career, as measured by Player won-lost records, is shown in the next table.

Hank Aaron
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1954MLN20
122
16.914.60.5360.6
2.0
14.513.90.510-0.21.0
1955MLN21
153
21.418.50.5360.9
2.6
21.717.80.5501.43.1
1956MLN22
153
25.418.50.5792.7
4.5
24.018.70.5621.93.7
1957MLN23
151
25.516.60.6063.8
5.5
23.517.30.5752.44.1
1958MLN24
153
25.217.50.5903.0
4.6
21.817.10.5611.63.1
1959MLN25
154
25.217.50.5902.8
4.5
24.518.10.5752.23.9
1960MLN26
153
24.518.10.5752.5
4.2
24.218.60.5662.23.9
1961MLN27
155
25.718.70.5782.5
4.5
23.719.00.5561.43.4
1962MLN28
156
27.219.70.5802.8
4.6
24.217.20.5842.74.2
1963MLN29
161
26.219.30.5762.1
3.9
27.619.00.5922.94.8
1964MLN30
145
21.318.00.5420.8
2.4
22.317.90.5541.32.9
1965MLN31
150
22.218.10.5511.2
2.8
24.217.70.5782.34.0
1966ATL32
158
25.818.90.5772.4
4.1
25.118.90.5702.13.8
1967ATL33
155
26.219.50.5742.4
4.4
25.819.60.5682.14.1
1968ATL34
160
27.820.10.5802.9
4.8
24.519.10.5621.83.6
1969ATL35
147
24.516.00.6053.1
4.9
24.316.30.5982.94.6
1970ATL36
150
23.116.40.5852.7
4.4
20.415.90.5611.63.2
1971ATL37
139
20.813.60.6042.7
4.1
21.113.20.6153.14.5
1972ATL38
129
16.212.80.5590.7
1.9
16.811.90.5851.42.6
1973ATL39
120
15.213.40.5310.3
1.5
16.912.50.5761.62.9
1974ATL40
112
14.110.70.5701.3
2.2
11.79.80.5440.51.4
1975MIL41
137
9.510.30.480-0.5
0.7
10.110.10.500-0.11.1
1976MIL42
85
6.56.60.498-0.1
0.7
6.35.80.5190.20.9
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
3,298
496.1373.10.57143.4
79.9
479.1365.40.56739.274.7
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
17
2.72.40.533 0.33.42.00.626 0.8
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
3,315
498.8375.50.571
80.2
482.5367.40.567 75.4


Tom Tresh
The one non-pitcher to crack the MLB top 10 in pWins over positional average was Yankees' outfielder Tom Tresh. Tom Tresh had an interesting career. In 1963, Tresh played more center field than anything else. In 1964, 1966, and 1967, his primary position was left field. But in 1962, 1968, and 1969, his primary position was shortstop. Tresh's career, as measured by Player won-lost records, is shown in the next table.

Tom Tresh
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1961NYA22
9
0.30.40.454-0.0
0.0
0.20.30.442-0.00.0
1962NYA23
157
23.219.10.5482.1
3.8
21.519.70.5231.02.6
1963NYA24
145
21.314.50.5962.8
4.2
19.615.80.5531.32.7
1964NYA25
153
21.016.80.5551.3
2.8
18.617.70.512-0.31.2
1965NYA26
156
22.120.40.5200.1
1.8
23.019.70.5380.92.6
1966NYA27
151
19.918.80.5150.0
1.6
21.417.60.5491.42.9
1967NYA28
130
14.917.30.462-2.0
-0.5
15.316.30.485-1.20.2
1968NYA29
152
19.018.80.5030.6
2.2
18.218.10.5010.52.0
30
139
15.214.30.5150.8
2.1
13.814.30.4920.11.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
1,192
156.9140.30.5285.9
18.0
151.6139.40.5213.715.5
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
18
2.51.90.572 0.42.42.20.518 0.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
1,210
159.4142.10.528
18.4
153.9141.60.521 15.7


Tom Tresh's career was very good but very short. The top 10 most similar players to Tresh from age 24 through 31 are shown next.

Most Similar Players to Tom Tresh in Value
Wins over Baseline
Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL Batting Baserunning Fielding
Tom Tresh
1026
133.4120.83.8
14.2
3.10.32.4
Mike Greenwell
1019
135.8123.93.6
13.6
5.00.22.3
Ival Goodman
835
120.2105.53.9
13.6
4.0-0.02.3
Wally Post
1014
129.2116.92.1
12.4
4.70.42.7
Jim Northrup
929
115.6101.33.1
12.4
4.00.21.9
Adam Jones
1070
140.8130.44.3
14.3
3.40.33.5
Vernon Wells
1177
149.9141.44.5
15.4
3.30.43.0
Travis Fryman
1106
127.3127.21.0
11.1
2.30.42.9
Bobby Thomson
1042
132.1122.61.2
11.7
3.70.31.4
Jose Cruz Jr.
1069
125.2121.70.2
10.0
2.40.23.2
Carlos Guillen
1000
118.4109.56.9
15.7
2.20.22.7


That's a pretty good list of players, including one Hall-of-Famer and one player in the Hall of Merit. Unfortunately, that was the entirety of Tresh's career.

1963 Postseason

The 1963 World Series was a mixed blessing for Yankee haters. On the one hand, the Yankees won their 13th American League pennant in 15 seasons. On the other hand, at least they got swept in the World Series, by the Los Angeles Dodgers, by a combined score of 12-4.

The top players in the 1963 World Series, as measured by pWins over replacement level, were Dodgers pitchers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale, who combined to pitch three complete games in which they allowed 3 runs, 15 hits, 4 walks, and 32 strikeouts. Drysdale even drew twice as many walks as a batter (2) as he allowed (1).

1963 World Series: Top Player Performances
pWins pLosses pWORL
Sandy KoufaxLAN1.70.80.6
Don DrysdaleLAN1.10.30.5


Best of 1963 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 1963 in eWOPA by factor were as follows.

Batting
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Hank Aaron18.912.03.2

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Baserunning
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Hank Aaron2.31.20.5
Chuck Hinton1.91.00.4
Lou Brock2.31.40.4

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Pitching
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Sandy Koufax17.113.23.9
Juan Marichal17.513.83.7
Gary Peters13.29.73.5
Bob Friend14.110.93.2
Dick Ellsworth15.112.03.2


Fielding, P
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Larry Jackson1.50.60.9


Fielding, C
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Johnny Edwards2.11.60.6


Fielding, 1B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Tim Harkness2.41.80.6


Fielding, 2B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Bill Mazeroski5.85.00.8


Fielding, 3B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Eddie Mathews4.13.30.8


Fielding, SS
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Ron Hansen5.85.00.9


Fielding, LF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Billy Williams6.75.41.3


Fielding, CF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Willie Davis6.44.51.9


Fielding, RF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Johnny Callison7.96.21.7


Best by Position
Next, we look at 1963 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
Elston Howard13.810.71.5


First Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Orlando Cepeda19.014.21.7


Second Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Jim Gilliam14.812.61.5


Third Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Ron Santo22.818.91.8


Shortstop
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Dick Groat23.220.12.1


Left Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Billy Williams24.018.81.6


Center Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Willie Mays25.119.82.0


Right Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Hank Aaron27.519.22.8


Starting Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Sandy Koufax17.813.52.4


Relief Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Al McBean5.53.70.7
Dick Hall5.33.50.7


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 1963 in context, in terms of pWins and pWOPA.

Top Relief Pitchers of 1963, based on pWORL
Player pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL
Dick Radatz10.26.20.6241.82.8
Lindy McDaniel10.06.20.6171.72.7
Stu Miller9.86.40.6041.52.5
Al McBean9.05.80.6071.62.5
Ron Perranoski10.27.30.5831.22.3


The importance of relief pitching has increased dramatically over the past 50 years. Yet, curiously, as measured by Player won-lost records, the value of the best relief pitchers was very similar in 1963 and 2013. In fact, in terms of pWins, there were 2 players who were primarily relief pitchers and earned at least 10 pWins in 1963. In contrast, there have been 2 players who were primarily relief pitchers and earned at least 10 pWins since 2000.

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
Bob Gibson2.12.00.7


Pinch Hitter
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Charlie James0.80.20.3
Jerry Lynch1.20.80.3
Gordy Coleman0.90.40.3
George Alusik0.80.40.3
Wes Covington0.80.40.3


Pinch Runner
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Al Weis0.30.10.1
Rod Kanehl0.20.10.1
Jimmie Schaffer0.10.00.1
Luis Aparicio0.10.00.1


Noteworthy Players of 1963

Finally, let's take a look at some players who had noteworthy 1963 seasons.

Notable Debuts
The 1963 season saw the major-league debut of two second basemen who would become teammates nine years later in Cincinnati. In their first five seasons together as teammates, they made a combined nine All-Star appearances (all starts, at a combined four positions), won three National League MVP awards, and their team won 4 division titles, 3 pennants, and 2 World Championships.

The careers of Pete Rose and Joe Morgan, as measured by Player won-lost records, are compared in the next table.

Pete Rose Sr. Joe L. Morgan
Season Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL
196315717.820.10.471-0.7
0.8
81.20.50.6970.30.4
196413614.614.90.4950.5
1.7
101.01.50.412-0.2-0.1
196516221.018.00.5381.9
3.5
15720.620.40.5020.52.2
196615619.419.00.5050.7
2.2
12215.913.30.5441.82.9
196714821.318.30.5380.7
2.5
13316.715.20.5240.92.3
196814921.418.90.5300.4
2.1
101.00.70.5930.20.2
196915624.218.30.5692.0
3.8
14718.517.30.5170.82.4
197015922.618.70.5481.3
3.1
14419.417.20.5301.93.5
197116022.119.70.5280.4
2.1
16021.517.90.5452.13.7
197215422.518.30.5511.2
2.9
14924.915.30.6185.26.8
197316024.019.60.5511.3
3.1
15726.116.40.6145.06.8
197416322.219.40.5340.6
2.2
14923.415.60.5994.25.7
197516222.817.60.5652.2
3.8
14623.814.40.6234.86.3
197616221.616.90.5612.0
3.4
14123.013.40.6325.16.5
197716217.616.70.5130.0
1.4
15321.614.30.6024.15.5
197815919.817.00.5381.0
2.4
13216.413.20.5551.93.0
197916316.416.40.501-0.8
0.5
12615.013.60.5240.92.0
198016217.515.60.5280.1
1.4
14117.415.20.5341.42.7
198110711.410.00.5320.3
1.1
9011.69.10.5591.32.2
198216215.516.40.487-1.1
0.1
13417.812.70.5832.63.8
198315112.614.10.472-1.2
-0.2
12316.112.30.5662.03.0
198412110.511.40.480-0.9
0.0
11611.912.30.4920.21.1
198511912.210.60.5360.2
1.1
1986725.55.60.494-0.3
0.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS3,562436.6391.40.52711.8
45.1
2,648364.6281.80.56446.973.1


Last Hurrahs
Finally, 1963 was the final season for two Hall-of-Famers: Stan Musial and Early Wynn. The final table of the article presents Player won-lost records for Stan Musial and Early Wynn for those games for which I have calculated Player won-lost records.

Retrosheet is missing play-by-play data for some games for seasons before 1944. Because of this, I have not calculated Player won-lost records and 166 of the 3,026 games Musial played in his career for 50 of the 796 games which Wynn played.

Stan Musial Early Wynn
Season Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL
1939
 
10.40.60.414-0.1-0.0
1940
 
1941
 
21.20.80.6050.20.4
1942619.16.00.6031.2
1.9
113.44.60.426-0.5-0.1
19438314.49.60.6002.0
3.0
122.93.80.433-0.40.0
194414625.415.60.6194.1
5.7
4311.412.50.476-0.20.9
1945
 
194615622.516.00.5852.2
3.8
257.25.90.5490.91.5
194714919.813.80.5892.1
3.5
5418.717.90.5111.12.6
194815527.918.10.6063.9
5.8
7314.217.10.454-0.80.5
194915725.016.60.6023.6
5.3
3510.410.50.4960.31.1
195014620.515.90.5641.6
3.0
3916.712.80.5672.64.0
195115223.116.10.5902.7
4.3
4118.415.20.5482.23.7
195215422.716.50.5792.5
4.1
4420.117.60.5331.93.6
195315726.018.30.5872.9
4.8
3718.016.30.5251.63.1
195415323.619.30.5501.8
3.6
4020.114.70.5783.45.1
195515320.715.40.5741.9
3.4
3416.714.40.5361.72.9
195615618.717.50.517-0.2
1.3
3820.414.50.5843.65.2
195713417.811.60.6042.4
3.6
4017.120.20.458-0.80.7
195813513.311.00.5470.6
1.6
4014.816.30.475-0.11.2
19591159.09.80.481-0.7
0.1
3720.615.70.5673.24.7
196011612.59.40.5691.0
1.9
3616.515.40.5171.32.7
196112314.413.00.5260.3
1.6
177.45.80.5611.11.6
196213516.914.60.5360.4
1.6
2710.012.90.436-1.00.1
196312411.910.20.5390.4
1.3
202.42.10.5350.20.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS2,860395.1294.30.57336.6
65.1
746289.0267.70.51921.545.9




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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