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1972 Baseball Season


1972 Baseball Season Headlines

Bob Moose throws a wild pitch in the NLCS, while wild-haired Rollie Fingers saves game seven of the 1972 World Series. Here are some of the headlines of the 1972 baseball season:

Mickey Lolich On Top in 22

Despite losing several starts to the players' strike of 1972, ace lefty Mickey Lolich won 22 games for the Tigers, finishing second in the American League with a 2.50 ERA. Due to an unequal number of games played, the Tigers defeated the Red Sox by 1/2 game.

Tom Seaver: 21 Wins, 249 Ks

A 21-12 record with 249 strikeouts would constitute a career year for most pitchers. For Tom Seaver -- a pitcher who would eventually total 311 games -- it was a standard season. In addition to his 20-plus victories, the Mets star posted 262 innings, 77 walks, and a 2.92 ERA in 1972. Despite his excellent performance, he didn't lead the league in a single category.

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1972 Baseball Season Recap
Rollie Fingers was almost as well known for his
mustache as he was for his pitching.
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Rollie Fingers Preserves the Win

In 1972, his first full season as a reliever, Rollie Fingers won 11 games, saved another 21 contests, and cultivated his bushy handlebar mustache. In the seventh game of the 1972 World Series, he worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam to save a 3-2 victory and the championship trophy for the A's.

Steve Carlton Leads Phils

The 1972 Phillies were victorious in just 59 games, 27 of those triumphs being credited to Steve Carlton. No pitcher before or since has ever won as high a percentage of his team's victories in a single season.

Jon Matlack Is 1972 National League Rookie of the Year

In 1972, lefty Jon Matlack became the second Met to capture Rookie of the Year honors, following Tom Seaver in 1967. The only Met who could better Matlack's record of 15 victories in 1972 was Seaver, who collected 21 triumphs that season. Matlack also tallied a 2.32 ERA and four shutouts.

Willie Stargell Keeps On Swinging

In 1972, Willie Stargell had another stellar season. He totaled 33 homers and 112 RBI. He had a less-than-spectacular National League Championship Series, however, batting a mere .063 as the Pirates dropped a heartbreaking five-game duel with the Reds.

Bob Moose Blows the NLCS

Pirate Bob Moose threw the most infamous pitch in the history of the National League Championship Series. With two out in the bottom of the ninth inning of game five, Moose bounced a pitch past catcher Manny Sanguillen. The wild toss allowed George Foster to score the run that clinched the pennant for the Reds. In two games in the playoffs, Moose retired just two men and recorded a 54.00 ERA.

George Foster Clinches NLCS

While playing a most uncharacteristic role as a pinch runner for Tony Perez, George Foster scored the fourth and deciding run of the 1972 National League Championship Series. Reds manager Sparky Anderson relished his second pennant in his third year as manager of the Cincinnati ballclub.

Rod Carew Wins American League Bat Title

With a swing that looked like the mechanical motion of a spring-wound toy, Panamanian Rod Carew became the first batting champion to win his crown without hitting a single home run in 1972. Along with his .318 average that season, he accumulated 21 doubles, six triples, 51 RBI, and 61 runs scored. His 1972 award was the first of four consecutive American League batting titles for Carew, who totaled seven circuit-topping hitting averages over his 19-year career.

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