- 1972 Detroit Tigers season
MLB yearly infobox
name = Detroit Tigers
season = 1972
misc = 1972 AL East Champions
current league = American League
y1 = 1901
division = Eastern Division
y2 = 1969
ballpark = Tiger Stadium
y4 = 1912
y5 = 1901
George Kell, Ray Lane)
Ernie Harwell, Gene Osborn)|The by|1972 Detroit Tigerswon the American LeagueEastern Division Championship with a record of 86-70 (.551), finishing one half game ahead of the Boston Red Sox. They lost the 1972 American League Championship Seriesto the Oakland A's three games to two.
After having a losing record in 1970, the Tigers were reinvigorated in 1971 and 1972 by their fiery manager,
The 1972 Tigers were an aging team whose best hitters (
Al Kalineand Norm Cash) were both 37 years old. With the late-season acquisition of 38-year-old slugger Frank Howard, the Tigers batters were past their prime and finished the year with an anemic .237 batting average -- seventh in the AL. Light-hitting third baseman Aurelio Rodriguezled the team with 142 hits, and the 37-year-olds Al Kalineand Norm Cashled the way in batting average (Kaline hit .313), RBIs (Cash had 61), and home runs (Cash had 22).
The strength of the 1972 team was pitching. The team's ace
Mickey Lolichwon 22 games, struck out 250 batters (2nd best in the AL), and had a 2.50 ERA. Joe Coleman had 19 wins and 222 strikeouts, and the early August acquisition of Woodie Fryman[http://www.baseball-reference.com/f/frymawo01.shtml] proved to be a key element in a tight pennant race. In the final two months of the season, Fryman had a 10-3 record with a 2.06 ERA ( Adjusted ERA+of 154).
Defense also played an important role in the team's success.
Aurelio Rodriguezled AL third basemen with 150 putouts and 348 assists, and Ed Brinkmanwon the Gold Glove award and led AL shortstops with a .990 fielding percentage (33 points above the league average). Brinkman set a record going 72 games and 331 total chances without an error from late May through early August. Despite a .205 batting average, Brinkman won the "Tiger of the Year" award from the Detroit baseball writers and finished ninth in the American League MVP voting.
The 1972 Tigers outscored their opponents 558 to 514. The pennant race came down to the final series, a matchup between the first place Red Sox and the second place Tigers. The Tigers won two of three games and finished a half game ahead of the Red Sox.
Detroit's attendance total of 1,892,386 was tops among the twelve American League teams and second in the majors behind the New York Mets.
Regular season player stats
"Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In"
Players ranking among top 100 all time at position
The following members of the 1972 Tigers have been ranked among the Top 100 of all time at their position in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract:
Bill Freehan: 12th best catcher of all time
Norm Cash: 20th best first baseman of all time
Dick McAuliffe: 22nd best second baseman of all time
Aurelio Rodriguez: 91st best third baseman of all time
* Willie Horton: 55th best left fielder of all time
Al Kaline: 11th best right fielder of all time
Mickey Lolich: 72nd best pitcher of all time
Award winners and league leaders
* Led AL shortstops in fielding percentage (.990)
* Led MLB in games played (156)
* Gold Glove award for shortstop
* 3rd oldest player in AL (37)
* #3 in AL in sacrifice hits (15)
* #5 in AL in strikeouts per 9 innings pitched (7.14)
* #4 in AL in home runs allowed (23)
* #2 in AL in bases on balls allowed (110)
* Led AL in winning percentage (.769)
* Youngest player in AL (20)
* 4th oldest player in AL (37)
* Led the AL in home runs allowed (29)
* #2 in the AL in strikeouts (250)
* #3 in the AL in wins (22)
* #3 in AL in innings pitched (327-1/3)
* #2 in MLB in games started (41)
* #2 in the AL in complete games (23)
* #2 in MLB in hits allowed (282)
* #2 in AL in strikeout to walk ratio (3.38)
* #3 in MLB in hit batsmen (11)
* #3 in AL in batters faced (1321)
* Led AL third basemen in putouts (150)
* Led AL third basemen in assists (348)
* #4 in AL in game played (153)
* #3 in AL in at bats (601)
* #3 in AL in outs (484)
* #7 in AL in games as pitcher (61)
* #2 in AL in sacrifice flies (8)
1972 All-Star Game
Bill Freehan: catcher (starter)
* Joe Coleman: pitcher
Mickey Lolich: pitcher
Norm Cash: first baseman
* January 12: Tigers owner
John Fetzerannounced plans to build a $126 million domed stadium on the Detroit riverfront. Lawsuits‚ a failed bond issue‚ and the construction of the Pontiac Silverdomeeventually killed the idea.
* February 28: Former Tigers pitching star and television broadcaster
Dizzy Troutdied in Harvey, Illinoisat age 56.
* March 4: The Texas Rangers traded former Tigers ace
Denny McLainto the Oakland A's.
* March 24: Cesar Gutierrez was purchased by the Montreal Expos from the Detroit Tigers. [http://www.baseball-reference.com/g/gutiece01.shtml]
* March 28: Former Tigers shortstop
Donie Bushdied in Indianapolis. Bush was the Tigers starting shortstop from 1909-1921 and is second only to Alan Trammellin games played at shortstop for the Tigers.
* April 5: The Major League Baseball season was delayed due to a players' strike. A total of 86 games were lost to the strike.
* April 15: On Opening Day in Detroit, the Tigers beat the Red Sox, 3-2.
Mickey Lolichgot the win, and Ed Brinkmanhit a two-run home run for the Tigers.
* April 20: The Tigers lost to the Orioles, 1-0, despite a two-hitter by Detroit pitchers,
Tom Timmermannand Chuck Seelbach. Paul Blair hit a solo home run for the game's only score.
* April 25:
Mickey Lolichheld the Rangers to four hits, as the Tigers won, 4-1. Second baseman Tony Taylorhit a two-run triple in the second inning.
* April 28:
Tom Timmermannheld the White Sox to three hits and no runs, as the Tigers won, 12-0. Ed Brinkmanwent 3-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs, and Norm Cashwent 3-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs. Having scored more than eight runs for the first time of the season, the Tigers would not do so again until August 12.
* April 29: The Tigers beat the White Sox, 6-1, as
Mickey Lolichstruck out nine batters for his third win. Mickey Stanley, Bill Freehan, and Willie Horton all hit home runs.
* May 17:
Tom Hallerhit a three-run home run in a 6-1 Detroit victory over Baltimore. Mickey Lolichheld the Orioles to four hits and struck out seven for his seventh win.
* May 21:
Mickey Lolichshut out the Indians, 5-0, and struck out seven for his eighth win. Mickey Stanleyhit a two-run triple to break a scoreless tie in the sixth inning, and Norm Cashadded a home run.
* May 27: Surprise hitting star
Ed Brinkmanhad an RBI single and scored the game's only other run, as Detroit beat the Yankees, 2-1. Joe Coleman got the win to extend his record to 7-2.
* June 15: Future Tiger
Tony Clarkwas born in Newton, Kansas.
* June 16: Joe Coleman struck out ten as the Tigers beat the Angels, 3-0.
Mickey Stanleyand Dick McAuliffeboth hit home runs.
* June 18:
Norm Cashand Jim Northruphit solo home runs to help Mickey Lolichwin his eleventh game. Lolich struck out eight and pitched a complete game shutout, 2-0, over the Angels.
* June 24: The Tigers beat the Orioles, 2-1, in 12 innings. The game was a pitching duel between Joe Coleman and
Mike Cuellar. Coleman struck out eleven and held the Orioles to four hits through eleven innings. Ed Brinkmanhit a sacrifice fly in the 12th inning, and Norm Cashscored the winning run. Future Tiger Doyle Alexandertook the loss for Baltimore.
* June 26: Pitcher
Bill Slaybackmade his major league debut for the Tigers and allowed no hits through seven innings against the Yankees. Johnny Callisonbroke up the no-hitter with a single in the eighth inning, but the Tigers hung on to win, 4-3.
* June 27:
Aurelio Rodriguez‚ Al Kaline‚ and Willie Horton hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in the first-inning. Mickey Lolich, pitching on two days' rest, won his 12th game, 5-2.
* June 29:
Denny McLainwas traded for the second time in three months, as the A's sent him to the Atlanta Braves for Orlando Cepeda.
* July 1: The Tigers beat the Orioles, 2-0, in a pitching duel between
Dave McNallyand Mickey Lolich. Al Kalinewon the game with a home run off McNally.
* July 6: Joe Coleman won his tenth game and shut out the Royals, 7-0.
Ed Brinkmanhit an RBI single and walked with the bases loaded for a second RBI, and Bill Freehanhit a two-run double in the sixth inning.
* July 8: Eighteen months after suffering a heart attack, Detroit reliever,
John Hiller, returned to the mound in a 5-2 loss to the White Sox.
* July 16: Rookie
Bill Slaybackpitched a five-hit shutout as the Tigers beat the Royals, 2-0. Norm Cashand Aurelio Rodriguezboth hit home runs.
* July 20: Detroit rookie
Bill Slaybackstruck out 13 batters and allowed 5 hits in a 5-1 victory over the Rangers.
* July 21:
Mickey Lolichwon his 17th game, a 3-1 victory over the Rangers. Dick McAuliffeand Norm Cashhomered for Detroit.
* July 22: The Tigers beat the Rangers, 6-2, as
Joe Colemanwon his 12th game. At the All-Star break, Lolich had 17 wins, and Coleman had 12.
* July 25:
Mickey Lolichheld the National League to one hit and no runs in the fourth and fifth innings of the All-Star Game. Bill Freehancaught the first five innings and scored in the third inning. When Lolich and Freehan left the game at the end of the fifth inning, the American League was ahead, 1-0.
* July 31: The Tigers beat the Red Sox, 5-2, as
Mickey Lolichwon his 18th game, and Aurelio Rodriguezand Bill Freehanhit home runs. After a tremendous start, Lolich won only one game between July 31 and September 6.
* August 1: The Tigers lost to the Brewers, 9-0, in a six-inning game called due to rain. As rain threatened to end the game before it became official, Detroit manager
Billy Martinemployed stall tactics, and umpire Frank Umont recommended a $1,000 fine for Martin.
* August 2: The Tigers claimed
Woodie Frymanoff waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies. Between August 1 and August 17, the Tigers went 5-12, and three of the team's wins were by Fryman. Excluding Fryman's wins, the Tigers were 2-12 in the first half of August.
* August 4: The Tigers claimed catcher
Duke Simsoff waivers from the Dodgers. Over the last two months of the season, Sims hit .316 with four home runs and 19 RBIs and played in four of five games of the 1972 American League Championship Series.
* August 5: Detroit shortstop
Ed Brinkmancommitted an error ending his major league record streak of 72 games and 331 total chances without an error.
* August 9: The Tigers beat the Yankees, 6-0, behind the shutout pitching of newly acquired starter,
Woodie Fryman. Fryman held the Yankees to six hits in nine innings. Aurelio Rodriguezwent 3-for-5 with 3 RBIs, and Gates Brownwent 2-for-2 with two RBIs.
* August 13: The Tigers beat the Indians, 3-2, behind the second straight strong pitching performance by
Woodie Fryman. With the Tigers in a skid through the first half of August, manager Billy Martinpicked his starting lineup out of a hat in an attempt to halt the Tigers' skid. As a result of Martin's unusual tactic, Norm Cashhit in the leadoff spot, and shortstop Ed Brinkmanhit in the cleanup spot.
* August 17:
Woodie Frymanpitched his third straight complete game victory since joining the Tigers at the beginning of August.
* August 18: The Tigers beat the Angels, 2-0, as
Mickey Lolichwon his 19th game. It was Lolich's only win in the month of August. Nolan Ryanwas the losing pitcher for the Angels.
* August 20: The Tigers beat the Angels, 11-9. After the Angels scored nine runs in the fourth inning, Detroit scored eight runs in the sixth inning.
Aurelio Rodriguezhad a double and a three-run home run in the Tigers' big inning.
* August 27: Joe Coleman pitched an eleven-inning complete game shutout, as the Tigers beat the Twins, 1-0.
Aurelio Rodriguezhit a home run in the 11th inning for the win. This was the third consecutive game in which the Tigers won with 11th-inning home runs. Rodriguez hit one to start the streak, and Willie Horton hit one in the middle game.
* August 31: The Tigers acquired 36-year-old slugger Frank Howard from the Texas Rangers. [http://www.baseball-reference.com/h/howarfr01.shtml] Howard had seven RBIs in 14 games for the Tigers in 1972.
* September 6: In a matchup between the AL's best starting pitchers,
Mickey Lolichgot his 20th win over Jim Palmerand the Orioles, 4-3. Lolich had failed in five prior starts to win his 20th.
* September 8:
Woodie Frymancontinued his hot pitching, holding the Orioles to two hits and one run, while striking out eight batters. The Tigers won, 2-1. Gates Brownhit a first inning home run off Pat Dobson, and Ed Brinkmanadded a run-scoring double in the seventh.
* September 12: The Tigers beat the Orioles, 3-2, as
Woodie Frymanwon his sixth game since joining the team in August.
* September 16: The Tigers beat the Brewers, 2-1, as
Woodie Frymanwon his seventh game. Ed Brinkmanhad the game-winning RBI with a single in the fourth inning.
* September 20:
Woodie Frymanwon his eighth game as the Tigers beat the Indians, 4-1.
* September 21-24: The Tigers and the Red Sox split a four-game series as the two teams battled for the lead in the American League East. In the opener, the Tigers won, 10-3, to move the Tigers into a tie for the lead in the AL East. Joe Coleman struck out 10 and had three RBIs.
* September 27: Trailing 5-1 to the Yankees‚ the Tigers scored three runs in the eighth inning and two more in the ninth to beat the Yankees and keep their pennant hopes alive.
* September 28: The Tigers lost to the Yankees, 3-2.
Roy Whitehit a home run in the 12th inning to win it for New York.
* September 29-October 1: The Tigers swept the Brewers in a three-game series in Detroit, to keep the Tigers in a tight pennant race with the Red Sox. In the first game, the Tigers scored 12 runs, as
Ed Brinkmanhit a three-run home run in the first inning, and Al Kalinewent 4-for-5 with a home run, a double, two runs, and two RBIs. In the third game, John Hillerpitched a complete game five-hitter against for his first win since suffering a heart attack in 1970.
* October 2: The Tigers and Red Sox started a three-game series in Detroit with Boston ahead by a half game. In the first game,
Mickey Lolichstruck out 15 Red Sox batters. Detroit won, 4-1, in front of a crowd of 51,518 at Tiger Stadium. Al Kalineand Aurelio Rodriguezboth hit home runs, and the Tigers moved ahead of the Red Sox by a half game.
* October 3: The Tigers clinched the American League East Championship as they beat the Red Sox, 3-1, in front of another sell-out crowd at Tiger Stadium.
Woodie Frymangot the win, compiling a 10-3 record after joining the Tigers in early August. Boston's only run was unearned on a fielding error by Dick McAuliffe. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Al Kalinehit an RBI single to tie the score, 1-1. Bill "Spaceman" Lee pitched in relief of Luis Tiant, and Al Kalinescored on a fielding error by Carl Yastrzemski. Rookie Chuck Seelbachpitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for the save. The game ended on a fly ball hit by future Tiger Ben Ogliviethat was caught by Al Kalinein right field.
* October 4: In the final game of the regular season, Joe Coleman had a chance to win his 20th game, but the Red Sox beat the Tigers, 4-1.
American League Championship Series
The Tigers lost to the Oakland Athletics in the
1972 American League Championship Series, losing three games to two. The A's were 93-62 in the regular season and went on to beat the Cincinnati Reds in the 1972 World Series.
October 7, 1972at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
The Series moved to Detroit for the final three games. In Game 3, Joe Coleman (19-14) pitched a complete game shutout and set an ALCS record by striking out 14 A's batters. The Tigers won, 3-0, as
Ike Brownhit a single in the 4th inning that drove in Al Kalineand Bill Freehan. Freehan also hit a home run in the 8th inning to complete the scoring. Ken Holtzman(19-11) was the losing pitcher for the A's.
October 11, 1972at Tiger Stadium
"Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts"
* [http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/DET/1972.shtml Detroit Tigers 1972 Regular Season Statistics]
* [http://www.baseball-reference.com/postseason/1972_ALCS.shtml 1972 ALCS Statistics, Box Scores and Play by Play]
* [http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/teams/1972tigers.stm BaseballLibrary.com Game by Game Summary of 1972 Tigers season]
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