In 1963 things started to look up for the formerly slumping Cubs as they finally finished a season with a record over .500. It was their first time with a winning record since 1946. The team appeared to be on their way to better days (which sadly wouldn’t prove to be the case for 1964) and a 27-year-old closer was about to have one heck of a year.
Standing: 7th in the National League
Manager: Bob Kennedy
The College of Coaches era came to an end in Chicago in 1963, with a single manager taking the helm for the whole year, though he was still called “head coach.” Clearly the change of pace helped the team, as Kennedy was able to bring the Cubs their first winning record in 15 years. Ron Santo was the team’s best hitter of the year, making it to the All-Star team reserve with a .297/.339/.481 line. Ernie Banks had his first “down” season since 1954 (ultimately his worst full season by the numbers in his career) and only managed 98 hits.
Our featured player for this season, Lindy McDaniel, came to the team courtesy of a 1962 offseason move that shipped Don Cardwell. George Altman, and Moe Thacker to the St. Louis Cardinals.