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Johnny Keane of Cardinals Named NL Manager of the Year

Oct. 9, 1963 - Johnny Keane of the St. Louis Cardinals was named today as the National League’s manager of the year in The Associated Press poll. Keane, who never played major league baseball, received 53 of the 71 votes cast by baseball writers. Walter Alston, the manager of the world champion Los Angeles Dodgers, was named on 15 ballots, and Bobby Bragan of the Milwaukee Braves on 3. Preseason forecasts had indicated that the 51-year-old Keane would not have a contender for his second full season as a major league manager. But with only two weeks left in the campaign, the Cards were only one game behind the Dodgers. They had won 19 of 20 games before Los Angeles swept an important series in St. Louis and virtually eliminated the Cards from the pennant race. Keane took over as manager on July 6, 1961, after having worked his way up through the minors. He replaced Solly Hemus. When informed of today’s award, Keane said: “This is really great. The only thing that could have made me happier would have been winning the pennant. Somehow we’re going to have to try to match Los Angeles’ pitching, but you don’t find another Koufax very often. And we’re going to have to find somebody to put in Musial’s place in left field. Charley James has never been given a full shot at left, and he might be the one to fill the gap. We’ve got some kids, too — Doug Clemens, Mike Shannon, and Gary Kolb. We’ll give them a chance.”

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