Next up in my 1960’s “decade’s Leaders” thread is strikeouts by a pitcher, and we have two big guns to speak of, Sandy Koufax and Sam McDowell, who K’d 382 and 325 batters respectively in seasons during the decade, setting the high-water mark between 1960-69:
Of course, Koufax and his 382 strikeouts set the new modern Major League
record in 1965, topping the 349 strikeouts Rube Waddell put up in 1904.
As a matter of fact, until Koufax came along the National League record
for strikeouts in a season was the 267 by Christy Mathewson in 1903! So
that number jumped by nearly 50% thanks to the “Left Arm of God”!
In the American League, McDowell’s 325 strikeouts in 1965 made him the
first pitcher to top 300 K’s in a season since the great Bob Feller did
it 19 years earlier when he fanned 348 batters in 1946.
“Sudden Sam” would also top 300 K’s in 1970, when he struck out 304 batters to lead the league for the fifth time in six years, his last K-crown.
Two power-pitchers in the prime of their careers right here, bringing
back the strikeout game after a few decades of low seasonal leader