1962 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1962 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball the team finished in third place in the National League standings, with a record of 98–64, 3½ games behind the NL Champion San Francisco Giants. The Reds were managed by Fred Hutchinson, and played their home games at Crosley Field.

1962 Cincinnati Reds
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s)Bill DeWitt
General manager(s)Bill DeWitt
Manager(s)Fred Hutchinson
Local televisionWLWT
(Ed Kennedy, Frank McCormick)
Local radioWKRC
(Waite Hoyt, Gene Kelly)
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The Reds entered the season as the defending NL Champions, having won the '61 pennant by 4 games over the second-place Dodgers. The Reds' lineup returned intact, although sophomore Leo Cárdenas was set to replace veteran Eddie Kasko at shortstop, putting the versatile Kasko in a "super-sub" role. That all changed in spring training when slugging third-baseman Gene Freese broke his ankle during an intra-squad game and missed virtually the entire season. The light-hitting Kasko was moved to third base and played well, but the Reds sorely missed the 26 home runs and 87 RBI that Freese had provided the year before. The lack of Freese's big bat severely hurt the Reds' chances to repeat as National League champions.

The Dodgers and Giants dominated the National League most of the year, with the Reds a distant third. Aided by two expansion teams (the Houston Colt .45s and the New York Mets), the top NL teams were winning at a very high rate. By June 6, Giants were 40-16 (.714) and the Dodgers 40-17 (.702). The Reds were playing solid baseball themselves (29-20, .592), but still trailed the Giants by 7½ games and the Dodgers by 7. Cincinnati stayed a relatively distant third for most of the season until a 9-game winning streak Aug. 5-13 drew the Reds to within 6½ games of the Dodgers and to within 4 games of the Giants. By Aug. 25, the Reds had crept to within 3 games of the Dodgers and 3½ games of the Giants, thanks to a 6-game winning streak.

The Reds had made up ground on both the Giants and the Dodgers, who had finally started to fade. Los Angeles lost star pitcher Sandy Koufax to a finger injury on July 17 against the Reds. The lefty missed 58 games and approximately 13 to 14 starts before returning in September. The Giants came to Crosley Field to play a 2-game set with the Reds Sept. 12–13, the last time the Giants and Reds would meet. The Reds won both games to pull to within 3 games of the Giants and Dodgers with 13 games to go. With first place within reach, the Reds went on a crucial 9-game road trip to New York, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, but won just 3 of 9 games, going 1–2 in each city. Meanwhile, the Giants also initially stumbled down the stretch. After leaving Cincinnati, the Giants went to Pittsburgh and promptly got swept in a 4-game series at Forbes Field, which marked 6-straight losses. San Francisco righted the ship and won 7 of its last 11 to tie the Dodgers at 101-61 while the Reds were three games back. In a 3-game "playoff" series where the statistics counted for the regular season, San Francisco beat Los Angeles 2 games to 1 to win the right to face the New York Yankees in the 1962 World Series.

The Reds finished with virtually the same winning percentage (.605) as the one (.604) that was good enough to win the NL pennant in 1961. Reds right fielder Frank Robinson followed up his '61 MVP season with another monster year at the plate, slugging 39 home runs (3rd in the NL), 136 RBI (3rd in the NL), and his .342 batting average was just .004 behind the Dodgers' Tommy Davis in a race for the batting crown. Robinson also led the league with 134 runs scored and a 1.045 OPS, while he was second in the Senior Circuit with 208 hits and 380 total bases. Robinson finished fourth in the NL MVP voting behind Maury Wills, Willie Mays and Davis.

Bob Purkey emerged as the Reds' staff ace with a career year, compiling a 23–5 record while pitching 288.1 innings. Purkey was third in the NL Cy Young Award voting behind the Dodgers' Don Drysdale and San Francisco's Jack Sanford. Purkey also finished eighth in the NL MVP voting.


Regular season

Season standings

National League W L Pct. GB Home Road
San Francisco Giants 10362 0.624 61–21 42–41
Los Angeles Dodgers 10263 0.618 1 54–29 48–34
Cincinnati Reds 9864 0.605 58–23 40–41
Pittsburgh Pirates 9368 0.578 8 51–30 42–38
Milwaukee Braves 8676 0.531 15½ 49–32 37–44
St. Louis Cardinals 8478 0.519 17½ 44–37 40–41
Philadelphia Phillies 8180 0.503 20 46–34 35–46
Houston Colt .45s 6496 0.400 36½ 32–48 32–48
Chicago Cubs 59103 0.364 42½ 32–49 27–54
New York Mets 40120 0.250 60½ 22–58 18–62

Record vs. opponents

Chicago 4–147–114–148–109–910–84–146–127–11
Cincinnati 14–413–59–913–513–58–1013–57–118–10
Houston 11–75–136–127–1113–3–11–175–137–119–9–1
Los Angeles 14–49–912–610–816–214–410–810–117–11
Milwaukee 10–85–1311–78–1012–611–710–87–1112–6
New York 9–95–133–13–12–166–124–142–164–145–13
Philadelphia 8–1010–817–14–147–1114–47–105–139–9
Pittsburgh 14–45–1313–58–108–1016–210–77–1112–6
San Francisco 12–611–711–711–1011–714–413–511–79–9
St. Louis 11–710–89–9–111–76–1213–59–96–129–9

Notable transactions


1962 Cincinnati Reds
Pitchers Catchers



Other batters

  •  7 Jesse Gonder


  • 23 Otis Douglas
  •  4 Reggie Otero
  •  2 Dick Sisler
  •  3 Jim Turner
  • 27 Pete Whisenant

Player stats

Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
CJohnny Edwards133452115.254850
1BGordy Coleman136476132.2772886
2BDon Blasingame141494139.281235
SSLeo Cárdenas153589173.2941060
3BEddie Kasko134533148.278441
LFWally Post10928575.2631762
SSVada Pinson155619181.29223100
SSFrank Robinson162609208.34239136


Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Jerry Lynch11428881.2811257
Marty Keough11123064.278727
Don Zimmer6319248.250216
Hank Foiles1413136.275725
Cookie Rojas978619.22106
Don Pavletich346314.22217
Joe Gaines645212.23117
Gene Freese18426.14301
Rogelio Álvarez14286.21402
Tommy Harper6234.17401
Cliff Cook650.00000
Darrell Johnson240.00000
Jesse Gonder440.00000

Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Bob Purkey37288.12352.81141
Joey Jay39273.021143.76155
Jim O'Toole36251.216133.50170
Jim Maloney22115.1973.51105
Joe Nuxhall1266.0502.4557

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Moe Drabowsky2383.0264.9956
Sammy Ellis828.0226.7527
John Tsitouris421.1100.847

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Jim Brosnan4844133.3451
Johnny Klippstein407644.4767
Bill Henry4042114.5835
Dave Sisler354313.9227
Ted Wills260235.3158
Howie Nunn60005.594
Bob Miller600021.944
Dave Hillman20009.820

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA San Diego Padres Pacific Coast League Don Heffner
A Macon Peaches Sally League Dave Bristol
B Rocky Mount Leafs Carolina League Hersh Freeman and Jack Cassini
D Tampa Tarpons Florida State League Johnny Vander Meer and Hersh Freeman
D Geneva Redlegs New York–Penn League Karl Kuehl

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: San Diego, Macon[5]


  1. Gus Bell page at Baseball Reference
  2. Jesse Gonder page at Baseball Reference
  3. Marty Keough page at Baseball Reference
  4. Don Zimmer page at Baseball Reference
  5. Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007
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