The Houston Colt .45s became the Astros as they moved from Colt Stadium to the new Astrodome (thus becoming the first team to play their home games indoors); the Braves completed their final season in Milwaukee before relocating to Atlanta; and the Los Angeles Angels officially changed their name to California Angels with only 28 games to go in the 1965 season.
But who can forget the National League pennant battle that went down to the wire between arch-rivals San Francisco Giants (95-67) and LA Dodgers (97-65), while the Minnesota Twins (102-60) coasted to their franchise’s first American League flag since 1933 behind Tony Oliva who won his second batting title (.321) in his second year of play.
But it might have been the Giants in the World Series if not for arguably the ugliest moment in MLB history.
Dodgers-Giants games were always intense, and trouble had been brewing early in the last of a critical four-game series on Aug. 22 at Candlestick Park. In the bottom of the third inning while batting, pitching ace Juan Marichal hit Dodgers catcher Johnny Roseboro over the head with his bat when Roseboro whizzed an inside pitch back to Sandy Koufax deliberately clipping the ear of Marichal. Benches emptied and in the ensuing melee, Marichal continued swinging his bat at Roseboro until he was tackled from behind by the home plate umpire. MVP Willie Mays (.317, 52, 112) kept things from getting worse when he stopped the bleeding Roseboro from any further attempt at retaliation and escorted him off the field away from the fighting. As a result of the incident, Marichal was suspended for eight days (10 games because of doubleheaders). He finished the season with 22 wins and a 2.13 ERA.
In the World Series, after dropping the first two contests in Minnesota, LA came back behind the arm of Cy Young Award-winner Koufax (26 wins, 2.04 ERA, and 382 strikeouts). Koufax fanned 29 Twins in three games and won two complete game shutouts, including a crucial seventh game 2-0 over Jim Kaat (18-11, 2.84).
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