1964 in a Box


Duke Snider and Willie Mays in 1964, their only year as teammates.

Giants Checking In:

Giants Checking Out:


Record:  90-72, 4th in the National League, 3 games behind St. Louis

Pythagorean Record:  89-73, (656 runs scored, 587 runs allowed) 2nd in the National League

General Manager:  Charles “Chub” Feeney

Manager:  Al Dark (4th season, 366-277, .569, through 1964)

Ballpark:  Candlestick Park    Attendance:  1,504,364 (3rd in the National League)

Full House:  Tuesday, April 14, vs. Milwaukee, 42,894

Friends & Family:  Wednesday, September 30, vs. Houston, 3,331

Park Factors:  Batting – 101, Pitching – 100  (Over 100 favors batters, under 100 favors pitchers)


Days in First Place:  57, last on July 20

Best Month:  April, 8-3, .727

Worst Month:  July, 14-16, .467

Largest Margin of Victory:  beat St. Louis, 14-3, June 20 at Busch Stadium

Largest Margin of Defeat:  lost to Milwaukee, 13-0, August 27 at County Stadium

Longest Winning Streak:  5, June 24 to June 28

Longest Losing Streak:  6, August 16 to August 21

Longest Game:  23 innings, May 31, beat New York, 8-6, at Shea Stadium

Loved to Face:  Los Angeles, 12-6, .667

Hated to Face:  Philadelphia, 8-10, .444


Most Home Runs:  Willie Mays, 47

Highest OBP:  Willie Mays, .383

Highest OPS+:  Willie Mays, 172

Most Stolen Bases:  Willie Mays, 19

Highest Position Player WAR:  Willie Mays, 11.1

Different Batting Orders:  131


Most Innings Pitched:  Juan Marichal, 269

Most Strikeouts by a Pitcher:  Juan Marichal, 206

Best Starter ERA+:  Juan Marichal, 143

Best Reliever ERA+:  Billy Pierce, 162 (Masanori Murakami had an ERA+ of 202 in only 15 innings)

Highest Pitcher WAR:  Juan Marichal, 6.4

Complete Games:  48

Shutouts:  13


Career Best Seasons:  Jim Duffalo, Dick Estelle, Ron Herbel

Career Worst Seasons:  Masanori Murakami, Billy O’Dell, Jose Pagan, John Pregenzer, Duke Snider


All-Stars:  Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal, Willie Mays

Golden Gloves: Willie Mays

Received MVP Votes:  Willie Mays (6th), Juan Marichal (15th), Jim Ray Hart (18th),

Received Rookie-of-the-Year Votes: Jim Ray Hart (2nd)


Rookies:  Dick Estelle, Gil Garrido, Jim Ray Hart, Randy Hundley, Hal Lanier, Masanori Murakami

Say Hello To: Del Crandall, Dick Estelle, Gil Garrido, Randy Hundley, Hal Lanier, Ken MacKenzie, Masanori Murakami, Bob Shaw, Duke Snider

Say Goodbye To:  Jose Cardenal, Del Crandall, Gil Garrido, Don Larsen, Ken MacKenzie, Billy O’Dell, Billy Pierce, John Pregenzer, Duke Snider


Playing Time:

Youngsters (25 or under):  2,016 PAs (32.5%);  601 IP (40.7%)  P Masanori Murakami, 20, is youngest

Prime (26-29):  2,292 PAs (37%);   504 IP (34.1%)

Past-Prime (30-33):  1,433 PAs (23.1%)   205.2 IP (13.9%)

Old Timers (34+):  454 PAs (7.3%)   165.2 IP (11.2%)   OF Duke Snider, 37, is oldest



  • Cha Cha (Orlando Cepeda)
  • Stretch (Willie McCovey)
  • Buck (Willie Mays, by fellow African-American players)
  • Jay (Jesus Alou)
  • Duke (Edwin Snider)
  • Junior (Jose Cardenal)
  • Rebel (Randy Hundley)
  • Manito (Juan Marichal)


Key Transaction:  On August 4, 1964, the Giants signed outfielder Bobby Bonds as an amateur free agent.

Top Prospect:  In retrospect, Bobby Bonds. But making more noise in 1964 were outfielder Ken Henderson, signed just six weeks before Bonds. Henderson would make the 1965 Giants at age 18, and get 83 plate appearances that season. In 1964, future Giant catcher Dick Dietz had an .833 OPS at Tacoma of the PCL.



1964 uniform, courtesy of “Dressed to the Nines,” the uniform database at http://exhibits.baseballhalloffame.org/dressed_to_the_nines/


Minor League Affiliates:


  • Tacoma Giants (PCL)



  • El Paso Sun Kings (TL)
  • Springfield Giants (EL)



  • Decatur Commodores (MIDW)
  • Fresno Giants (CALL)
  • Lexington Giants (WCRS)



  • Magic Valley Cowboys (PION)



Memorable Quotation:  “We have trouble because we have so many Spanish-speaking and Negro players on the team. They are just not able to perform up to the white ball player when it comes to mental alertness.” — Giant manager Alvin Dark, quoted by reporter Stan Isaacs, who had interviewed Dark for Newsday.


What Went Right:  The club was part of a four-team race to the finish in 1964, with Willie Mays leading the league in homers with 47. Jim Ray Hart and Jesus Alou became regulars and impressed. Juan Marichal, despite an injury that cost him six starts, was fabulous.


What Went Wrong:  Injuries to Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal may have cost the Giants the pennant, but what really went wrong was the manager, Alvin Dark. As the quotation above, one of several damning ones in the interview, showed, Dark had compartmentalized his team, whites in one group, non-whites in another. Pride and mental acuity were strictly white commodities. (The players, of course, had recognized this compartmentalization during Dark’s first week as skipper in 1961.) After the interview was published, owner Horace Stoneham, by now no fan of Dark anyway, wanted to fire the manager immediately, and even planned to fly to Cincinnati to do so in person. Chub Feeney talked him out of doing it mid-season, and team captain Willie Mays, in a meeting with the non-white players, convinced them not to quit on Dark. Mays pointed out that what motivated Dark most was money, and in the quest for it, Dark put his bigotry aside. The manager always, Mays said, fielded the best possible lineup, and when Marichal was on the mound, that lineup only had two whites in it. Above all, Mays did not want the press writing about non-white players quitting on their manager. Stoneham fired Dark on the final day of the season.



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