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1961 Chicago Cubs season

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Title: 1961 Chicago Cubs season  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Lou Brock, Ron Santo, List of Chicago Cubs managers, List of Chicago Cubs seasons, List of Chicago Cubs Opening Day starting pitchers
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

1961 Chicago Cubs season

The 1961 Chicago Cubs season was a season in American baseball. The team finished seventh in the National League with a record of 64-90, 29 games behind the Cincinnati Reds.


  • January 12, 1961: Billy Cowan was signed as an amateur free agent by the Cubs.[1]

Regular season

The College of Coaches

This season marked the introduction of the so-called "College of Coaches", a system instituted by owner Philip K. Wrigley after input from El Tappe. Under this system, the Cubs would have no single manager, but instead would have a rotating series of eight coaches, with one managing the team while others served as either assistant coaches or minor league field personnel.

Four different men served as manager during 1961: Tappe, who served the most games in the position and had a record of 42-54; Harry Craft, who had a record of 7-9; Vedie Himsl, who had a record of 10-21; and Lou Klein, who was brought on board in midseason and had a record of 5-6. Other coaches in the system during the season were Charlie Grimm -- the team's manager in 1960 -- Bobby Adams, Dick Cole, Ripper Collins, Goldie Holt, Fred Martin and Verlon Walker. The team improved to 64-90, four games better than their 1960 record, although none of the four managers posted a winning record individually. The experiment would be carried over into the 1962 season.

Season standings

National League W L GB Pct.
Cincinnati Reds 93 61 -- .604
Los Angeles Dodgers 89 65 4 .578
San Francisco Giants 85 69 8 .552
Milwaukee Braves 83 71 10 .539
St. Louis Cardinals 80 74 13 .519
Pittsburgh Pirates 75 79 18 .487
Chicago Cubs 64 90 29 .416
Philadelphia Phillies 47 107 46 .305

Notable transactions


1961 Chicago Cubs
Pitchers Catchers



Other batters

Head Coach


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
LF Williams, BillyBilly Williams 146 529 147 .278 25 86

Other batters

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
Taylor, SammySammy Taylor 89 235 56 .238 8 23
Will, BobBob Will 86 113 29 .257 0 8
Thomas, FrankFrank Thomas 15 50 13 .260 2 6
Roach, MelMel Roach 23 39 5 .128 0 1
Murphy, DannyDanny Murphy 4 13 5 .385 2 3
McAnany, JimJim McAnany 11 10 3 .300 0 0


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
Cardwell, DonDon Cardwell 39 259.1 15 14 3.82 156
Ellsworth, DickDick Ellsworth 37 186.2 10 11 3.86 91
Curtis, JackJack Curtis 31 180.1 10 13 4.89 57

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
Anderson, BobBob Anderson 57 152 7 10 4.26 96
Drott, DickDick Drott 35 98 1 4 4.22 48
Brewer, JimJim Brewer 36 86.2 1 7 5.82 57

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
Elston, DonDon Elston 58 6 7 8 5.59 59
Burwell, DickDick Burwell 2 0 0 0 9.00 0

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Houston Buffaloes American Association Grady Hatton, Fred Martin,
Lou Klein and Harry Craft
AA San Antonio Missions Texas League Ripper Collins, Harry Craft,
Bobby Adams and Verlon Walker
B Wenatchee Chiefs Northwest League Verlon Walker, Vedie Himsl,
Dick Cole and Bobby Adams
C St. Cloud Rox Northern League Joe Macko
D Morristown Cubs Appalachian League John Fitzpatrick
D Carlsbad Potashes Sophomore League Lou Klein and Walt Dixon




  • 1961 Chicago Cubs season at Baseball Reference
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