September 12, 2017
One Entire Season of Baseball From the 1960s (Part 2)
(Note: Last year, I wrote "One Entire Season of Baseball From the 1970s," reviewing the 1971 season. My goal is to repeat the exercise every summer, selecting a different decade. We'll present the 1960s version Monday through Thursday this week, five teams at a time, introducing each team with salient figures from their season. Monday's entry is here.)
The Game Off the Field, 1965: The American League expanded from eight teams to 10 in 1961, adding the Los Angeles Angels and Washington Senators. The National League did the same in 1962, adding the Houston Colt .45s and New York Mets. This necessitated a change in schedule as well, as teams went from playing each opponent in an eight-team league 22 times (154 games in total) to playing each opponent in a 10-team league 18 times (162 games total).
Eleven of the 20 teams drew more than one million fans in 1965, led by the Dodgers (2.6 million), Astros (2.2 million), and Mets (1.8 million). The laggards were the Athletics (528,344; they would move from Kansas City to Oakland in three years), Braves (555,584 in their last season in Milwaukee), and Senators (560,083; they moved to Texas after the 1971 season).