1972 American League Championship Series

1972 American League Championship Series

Infobox LCS
alcs = yes

year = 1972
champion = Oakland Athletics (3)
champion_manager = Dick Williams
champion_games = 93-62, .600, GA: 5½
runnerup = Detroit Tigers (2)
runnerup_manager = Billy Martin
runnerup_games = 86-70, .551, GA: ½
date = October 7October 12
television = NBC
announcers = Curt Gowdy and Tony Kubek (Game 1-2)
Jim Simpson and Sandy Koufax (Game 3-5)
umpires = Red Flaherty, Nestor Chylak, Johnny Rice, Don Denkinger, Larry Barnett, Art Frantz
The by|1972 American League Championship Series took place between October 7 and October 12 of by|1972. The Oakland Athletics (93-62 on the season) played the Detroit Tigers (86-70 on the season) for the right to go to the 1972 World Series, with the Athletics coming out on top in the 5-game series, 3-2. Games 1 and 2 took place at the Oakland Coliseum, and 3 through 5 took place at Tiger Stadium. The Athletics would go on to beat the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series in 7 games. The two teams would meet again in the 2006 American League Championship Series.


The Athletics won the first two games of the series at home. One of the Series' most memorable moments came in the 7th inning of Game 2. Bert Campaneris came to bat, having had 3 hits, 2 runs scored, and 2 stolen bases in his first 3 at bats in the game. Lerrin LaGrow's first pitch hit Campaneris in the ankle. Campaneris staggered for a moment, glared at LaGrow and then flung his bat toward the mound. The bat spiraled at LaGrow five feet off the ground, but LaGrow ducked, and the bat narrowly missed LaGrow, landing a few feet behind the mound. A bench-clearing brawl ensued, and Tigers manager Billy Martin had to be restrained by umpires and teammates to prevent him from going after Campaneris. Both LaGrow and Campaneris were suspended for the rest of the ALCS. [http://www.baseballlibrary.com/ballplayers/player.php?name=Lerrin_LaGrow_1948&page=chronology] [http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Lerrin_LaGrow]

After Game 2, the Series moved to Detroit, where the Tigers would fight back, winning the next two. Game 4 was one of the most historic playoff games of all time, going 10 innings, with the Tigers pulling out the victory. After it was 1-1 at the end of 9 innings, the Athletics scored 2 runs in the top of the 10th, and it looked as if the series was over. But amazingly the Tigers scored three in the bottom of the 10th to win it after Jim Northrup singled off Joe Horlen.

Game 5 was set where Blue Moon Odom for the A's would be facing Woodie Fryman of the Tigers. After 2 innings, the game was 1-1. But by the 4th, it was clear runs wouldn't come easy, so when George Hendrick scored on a Gene Tenace RBI single, the Tigers knew they were in trouble. By the 9th inning, Odom and Vida Blue had combined to pitch 7 scoreless innings. With the A's up 2-1, it all came down to the Tigers 9th where they would still face Vida Blue. Norm Cash would single, but that would be it as Tony Taylor would fly to center for the final out. Odom got the win, Blue got the save, and the A's were a World Series team for the first of three straight years.


Oakland Athletics vs. Detroit Tigers

Oakland wins the series, 3-2

Game summaries

Game 1

Saturday, October 7, 1972 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, CaliforniaLinescore
WP=Rollie Fingers (1-0)|LP=Mickey Lolich (0-1)|SV=
RoadHR=Al Kaline (1), Norm Cash (1)|HomeHR=|

Game 1 pitted ace pitchers Catfish Hunter for the A's and Mickey Lolich for the Tigers, and, as expected, both were brilliant. Norm Cash gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the second inning, and the A's tied it in the third on a Joe Rudi sacrifice fly.

The score remained at 1-1 until the 11th, although the Tigers threatened in their half of the ninth. Duke Sims led off with a double off Hunter. Vida Blue came on in relief to pitch to left-handed hitting Norm Cash. Cash laid down a sacrifice bunt, but reached first when second baseman Ted Kubiak, covering first, dropped Sal Bando's throw. Sims reached third. Rollie Fingers then came in to face pinch hitter Gates Brown and got him on a foul pop fly. Jim Northrup then bounced into a 4-6-3 double play to end the threat.

Al Kaline gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead in the 11th with a solo homer off Fingers and looked like a hero at that point. In the bottom of the 11th, Lolich gave up back-to-back singles to Sal Bando and Mike Epstein. Chuck Seelbach relieved Lolich. Gene Tenace attempted a sacrifice bunt, but third baseman Aurelio Rodriguez pounced on it and forced Blue Moon Odom, running for Bando, at third. Gonzalo Marquez pinch hit for Dal Maxvill and grounded a base hit to right, scoring Mike Hegan, running for Epstein, and tying the game. Tenace attempted to advance to third, and Kaline's throw from right field sailed past Rodriguez, allowing Tenace to score and win the game for the A's.

Game 2

Sunday, October 8, 1972 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, CaliforniaLinescore
WP=Blue Moon Odom (1-0)|LP=Woodie Fryman (0-1)|SV=|

Bert Campaneris was a sparkplug from the start. He led off the game for the A's with a single off Woodie Fryman and promptly stole second and third. Joe Rudi then batted him in with a one-out single.

The A's plated four more runs in the fifth when George Hendrick pinch-hit a single and went to second on a Blue Moon Odom sacrifice. Campaneris singled Hendrick to third and Matty Alou singled him in. Chris Zachary relieved Lolich and threw two wild pitches, scoring Campaneris and sending Alou to third. After Rudi walked, Reggie Jackson blasted a two-run double to make it 5-0.

Odom got the win for the A's, who now had a 2-0 lead, but would be without Campaneris for the remainder of the playoffs due to the bat-throwing incident described above.

Game 3

Tuesday, October 10, 1972 at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, MichiganLinescore
WP=Joe Coleman (1-0)|LP=Ken Holtzman (0-1)|SV=
RoadHR=|HomeHR=Bill Freehan (1)|

Joe Coleman put the Tigers back into the series by throwing a complete-game, seven-hit shutout. Coleman was aided by a two-run single in the fourth by Ike Brown and a solo homer by Bill Freehan in the eighth.

Game 4

Wednesday, October 11, 1972 at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, MichiganLinescore
WP=John Hiller (1-0)|LP=Bob Locker (0-1)|SV=
RoadHR=Mike Epstein (1)|HomeHR=Dick McAuliffe (1)|

Game 4 was the most exciting of the series. For eight innings it was a tight pitching duel between Game 1 duelists Catfish Hunter and Mickey Lolich. The only runs across were a Dick McAuliffe solo homer for the Tigers in the third and a Mike Epstein solo homer for the A's in the seventh.

The Tigers threatened in both the eighth and ninth innings. In the eighth, McAuliffe walked and was sacrificed to second by Al Kaline. Mickey Stanley reached on an infield hit, sending McAuliffe to third. Rollie Fingers relieved Hunter and Billy Martin had McAuliffe attempt to steal home, but Fingers gunned him down and struck out Bill Freehan for the final out. In the ninth, with two outs, Tony Taylor doubled and Vida Blue intentionally walked Aurelio Rodriguez. Blue then retired pinch-hitter Willie Horton on a fly to center.

In the 10th, the A's took a two-run lead when Gonzalo Marquez continued his pinch-hitting heroics with a one-out single. Matty Alou doubled home Marquez and went to third on the throw home. Ted Kubiak then hit a bloop single to right that Kaline overran, and Kubiak reached third with Alou scoring for a 3-1 lead. After Joe Rudi was retired for out #2, Reggie Jackson lifted another blooper that fell for a hit, but Kubiak strangely stayed at third and tagged, not realizing there were two outs. Sal Bando made the last out of the inning, and Kubiak's running mistake would come back to haunt the A's.

The Tigers rallied in the bottom of the 10th, starting with singles by McAuliffe and Kaline. A's reliever Joe Horlen wild-pitched the runners to second and third and then walked Gates Brown to load the bases with no outs. Bill Freehan then grounded an apparent double play ball to third, but Sal Bando's throw to second pulled Kubiak off the bag. McAuliffe scored and everybody was safe. Dave Hamilton then relieved Horlen and promptly walked Norm Cash to tie the game, and then gave up a game-ending single to Jim Northrup, scoring Brown with the winning run.

Game 5

Thursday, October 12, 1972 at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, MichiganLinescore
WP=Blue Moon Odom (2-0)|LP=Woodie Fryman (0-2)|SV=Vida Blue (1)|

The Tigers struck in their half of the first off Blue Moon Odom when Dick McAuliffe led off with a single. After a one-out walk to Duke Sims, a passed ball by Gene Tenace put the runners on second and third. McAuliffe scored when Bill Freehan grounded out.

In the second, Reggie Jackson led off for the A's with a walk and stole second. Sal Bando's fly to right sent Jackson to third. After a walk to Mike Epstein, Dick Williams ordered a double steal. Jackson collided with Freehan and scored, but, the bad news was, Jackson tore his left hamstring and would be out for the World Series if Oakland won.

The A's got the winning tally in the fourth when George Hendrick, Jackson's replacement, reached on an error by shortstop McAuliffe. Bando sacrificed Hendrick to second, and Gene Tenace, making amends for his earlier passed ball, singled Hendrick home.

Odom got the win and Vida Blue the save in four innings of relief as the A's, minus Jackson, moved on to the 1972 World Series.

As an odd precursor to what would become an explosive relationship years later, Billy Martin visited the A's locker room and consoled Jackson, expressing regret that he would miss the Series.

Composite Box

1972 ALCS (3-2): Oakland Athletics over Detroit TigersLinescore
Road=Oakland Athletics
Home=Detroit Tigers
H1=1|H2=1|H3=1|H4=2|H5=0|H6=0|H7=0|H8=1|H9=0|H10=3|H11=1|HR=10|HH=32|HE=7Total Attendance: 189,681 Average Attendance: 37,936|


External links

* [http://www.baseball-reference.com/postseason/1972_ALCS.shtml 1972 ALCS at Baseball-Reference]

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