1972 World Series

Oakland Athletics (4) vs Cincinnati Reds (3)

One of baseball's original dynasties, the Athletics returned to the World Series after an unwanted forty-one year sabbatical. By now the franchise (like several others) had settled into sunny California and boasted a "homegrown" line-up of standout players that included Reggie Jackson (who was christened Mr. October because of his play in future Fall Classics) as well as a dominant pitching rotation that featured Jim "Catfish" Hunter (twenty-one wins), John "Blue Moon" Odom and a talented left-hander named Ken Holtzman (nineteen wins). The A's had traveled a not-so-long and winding road to the top of the American League after moving to the west coast in 1968. The change of scenery did wonders for the ball club as they managed their first winning record since their Philadelphia days of 1952. The following year they finished second in the American League West (thanks in part to Jackson's forty-seven home runs) and eventually won one-hundred one games and their division in 1971.

Their National League opponents, the Reds, were no strangers to postseason play either. After losing the first Series of the decade, Cincinnati evolved into a powerhouse that would grow to become "The Big Red Machine". Things looked in the National League's favor even before the first pitch was thrown due to the absence of Jackson who had gone down with an injury in the final game of the American League playoffs.

Game 1 showcased the hidden talents of an unlikely hero named Gene Tenace who had hit a total of five home runs during the regular season. The harmless utility infielder stepped in for the injured Jackson and hammered two surprise homers in his first two at-bats (a Series record) for all of Oakland's runs.

The result was a shocking 3-2 opener that erased any doubts about the A's depth. Joe Rudi followed suite in Game 2 and contributed on both sides of the plate. After hammering a bases-empty home run in the third, the outfielder came up big again with a spectacular game-clinching catch in the ninth. After entering the inning with a 2-0 lead, Oakland stumbled and allowed the Reds to reach base. Denis Menke knocked a long ball to the left-field fence, but Rudi made a wild, backhanded catch to prevent the tie. After getting last-out relief by Rollie Fingers (following an RBI to Hal McRae), Catfish Hunter emerged as the 2-1 victor.

Cincinnati's rotation made their presence known as Jack Billingham and Clay Carroll combined to shut out Oakland, 1-0 in Game 3. However, the scales would tip back in the Athletics favor the following day with a last-minute comeback in the bottom of the ninth. After entering their final opportunity down 2-1, the A's Gonzalo Marquez, Tenace, pinch-hitter Don Mincher and Angel Mangual all laced consecutive singles for the 3-2 victory.

Game 5 spotlighted Pete Rose, who led-off the outing with a home run and then broke through the 4-4 tie in the ninth with a timely single. Menke also put one out of the park in their must-win 5-4 victory that kept the Reds from elimination. Still riding on the momentum of their crucial comeback, Cincinnati took command in Game 6 and ended the one run decision streak that had been the signature for the Series. After Bobby Tolan and Cesar Geronimo ignited a five run, seventh, the Reds went on to flatten the A's with an 8-1 triumph.

A few days later, Oakland returned to the hostile ground of Riverfront Stadium for Game 7 and used every tool in the bag to shut down "the machine" (including a rotation that shifted between Hunter, Holtzman and Fingers in relief of Odom).

In the end, it was strength in numbers as the A's captured a 3-2 win and their first Series championship title since 1930.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"It's hard to explain how those things happen (hitting four home runs during the 1972 World Series). I was in kind of a zone mentally, and every pitch I saw from the Cincinnati pitching staff looked down the middle to me." - Gene Tenace

1972 World Series

1972 World Series Program

1972 World Series Official Program
Cincinnati Reds Version

1972 World Series Program

1972 World Series Official Program
Oakland Athletics Version

1971 | Oakland Athletics (4) vs Cincinnati Reds (3) | 1973

Game 1
Date / Box Score
Location
Riverfront Stadium
Attendance
52,918
Game 2
Date / Box Score
Location
Riverfront Stadium
1 st Pitch
From
To
Attendance
53,224
Game 3
Date / Box Score
1 st Pitch
From
To
Ronald Reagan (Governor of California, 1967-75)
Undetermined
Location
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
Attendance
49,410
Game 4
Date / Box Score
1 st Pitch
From
To
Location
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
Attendance
49,410
National Anthem
The 5th Dimension (R&B Group)
Game 5
Date / Box Score
Location
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
1 st Pitch
From
To
Attendance
49,410
National Anthem
The Oakland Symphony (no vocalist)
Game 6
Date / Box Score
Location
Riverfront Stadium
1 st Pitch
From
To
Undetermined
Attendance
52,737
Game 7
Date / Box Score
Location
Riverfront Stadium
Attendance
56,040
1972 World Series Fast Facts

1972 World Series
Game 1

Line Score / Box Score

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Oakland 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 4 0
Cincinnati 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 7 0
Ken Holtzman (W)
Rollie Fingers (6 th )
Vida Blue (S, 7 th )
Gary Nolan (L)
Pedro Borbon (7 th )
Clay Carroll (8 th )
Gene Tenace (2 nd )
Gene Tenace (5 th )
None
-

1972 World Series
Game 2

Line Score / Box Score

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Oakland 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 9 2
Cincinnati 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 6 0
Catfish Hunter (W)
Rollie Fingers (S, 9 th )
-
Ross Grimsley (L)
Pedro Borbon (6 th )
Tom Hall (8 th )
Joe Rudi (3 rd ) None

1972 World Series
Game 3

Line Score / Box Score

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cincinnati 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 4 2
Oakland 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 2
Jack Billingham (W)
Clay Carroll (S, 9 th )
-
Blue Moon Odom (L)
Vida Blue (8 th )
Rollie Fingers (8 th )
None None

1972 World Series
Game 4

Line Score / Box Score

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cincinnati 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 7 1
Oakland 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 3 10 1
Don Gullett
Pedro Borbon (4 th )
Clay Carroll (L, 9 th )
Ken Holtzman
Vida Blue (8 th )
Rollie Fingers (W, 9 th )
None Gene Tenace (5 th )

1972 World Series
Game 5

Line Score / Box Score

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cincinnati 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 5 8 0
Oakland 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 7 2
Jim McGlothlin
Pedro Borbon (4 th )
Tom Hall (5 th )
Clay Carroll (7 th )
Ross Grimsley (W, 8 th )
Jack Billingham (S, 9 th )
Catfish Hunter
Rollie Fingers (L, 5 th )
Dave Hamilton (9 th )
-
-
-
Pete Rose (1 st )
Denis Menke (4 th )
Gene Tenace (2 nd )
-

1972 World Series
Game 6

Line Score / Box Score

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Oakland 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 7 1
Cincinnati 0 0 0 1 1 1 5 0 x 8 10 0
Vida Blue (L)
Bob Locker (6 th )
Dave Hamilton (7 th )
Joe Horlen (7 th )
Gary Nolan
Ross Grimsley (W, 5 th )
Pedro Borbon (6 th )
Tom Hall (7 th )
None Johnny Bench (4 th )

1972 World Series
Game 7

Line Score / Box Score

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Oakland 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 3 6 1
Cincinnati 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 2 4 2
Blue Moon Odom
Catfish Hunter (W, 5 th )
Ken Holtzman (8 th )
Rollie Fingers (8 th )
-
Jack Billingham
Pedro Borbon (L, 6 th )
Clay Carroll (6 th )
Ross Grimsley (7 th )
Tom Hall (8 th )
None None

1972 World Series

Oakland Athletics

Composite Hitting Statistics

of
3b
p
ss
c-1
1b
p
2b
p
1b-5
of
p
p
p
2b
pr
p
of-2
ph
ph
p-2
of
c-6,1b-1
7
7
4
7
3
6
6
7
2
6
5
3
1
3
4
6
1
4
5
3
4
7
7
24
26
1
28
5
16
1
18
0
5
15
5
0
5
3
0
0
10
5
1
4
25
23
1
7
0
5
1
0
0
6
0
1
2
0
0
1
1
0
0
3
3
1
0
6
8
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
4
0
2
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
3
0
0
0
0
2
0
1
0
0
0
1
5
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
1
1
1
0
1
9
.042
.269
.000
.179
.200
.000
.000
.333
.000
.200
.133
.000
.000
.200
.333
.000
.000
.300
.600
1.000
.000
.240
.348
3
2
2
1
1
5
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
2
0
5
1
4
3
3
0
4
0
2
2
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
3
5
4
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Totals
220
46
4
0
5
16
16
.209
21
37
1

1972 World Series

Cincinnati Reds

Composite Hitting Statistics

c
p
p
p
ss-3
ss-5
of-1
of
p
p
of-1
p
ph
p
of-2
3b
2b
p
1b
of
of
ph
7
3
6
5
4
6
2
7
4
1
3
4
4
1
5
7
7
2
7
7
7
4
23
5
0
0
7
13
0
19
2
2
3
2
2
1
9
24
24
3
23
28
26
4
6
0
0
0
0
4
0
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
4
2
3
0
10
6
7
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
2
0
2
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
4
0
0
0
0
2
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
4
0
3
3
2
0
1
0
0
0
0
2
0
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
2
1
0
2
2
6
0
.261
.000
.000
.000
.000
.308
.000
.158
.000
.000
.000
.000
.000
.000
.444
.083
.125
.000
.435
.214
.269
.250
5
0
0
0
2
2
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
6
0
4
4
1
0
5
4
0
0
2
2
0
4
2
0
0
1
0
0
1
6
3
3
4
4
4
1
2
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
0
1
5
0
Totals
220
46
8
1
3
21
21
.209
27
46
12

1972 World Series

Oakland Athletics

Composite Pitching Statistics

0
1
0
1
0
2
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
4
6
2
3
1
3
1
2
1
0
0
2
0
2
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
8.2
10.1
1.1
12.2
1.1
16.0
0.1
11.1
4.15
1.74
27.00
2.13
6.75
2.81
0.00
1.59
8
4
3
11
2
12
1
5
5
11
1
4
1
11
0
13
4
2
4
3
1
5
0
2
5
4
1
3
2
6
0
6
Totals
4
3
22
7
0
3
0
62.0
3.05
46
46
21
27

1972 World Series

Cincinnati Reds

Composite Pitching Statistics

1
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
0
0
0
1
3
6
5
4
1
4
1
2
2
0
0
1
1
0
1
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
13.2
7.0
5.2
7.0
7.0
8.1
3.0
10.2
0.00
3.86
1.59
2.57
1.29
0.00
12.00
3.38
6
7
6
7
5
6
2
7
11
4
3
2
4
7
3
3
0
3
1
2
1
0
4
4
4
2
4
3
2
2
2
2
Totals
3
4
26
7
0
3
0
62.1
2.17
46
37
15
21
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

During Game 1 , utility infielder Gene Tenace — who hit five home runs during the entire 1972 season — became the first player ever to homer in each of his first two World Series at-bats. He continued going deep hitting four long balls during the 1972 World Series and for that he earned the World Series Most Valuable Player Award .

Did you know that the last title won by the Athletics organization occurred when they were playing in Philadelphia and in the 1930 World Series ? Did you know that this was the first title ever for the city of Oakland, California in any sport?

The Oakland Athletics won despite two huge key injuries: Reggie Jackson , who missed the Series with a pulled hamstring; and Darold Knowles , who broke his thumb during a game played on September 27, 1972 — less than three weeks before the Series opener.

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