YEAR IN REVIEW : 1970 National League

Off the field...

After large numbers of North Vietnamese troops entered Cambodia in 1969. Premier Lon Nol assumed control of the government, while Prince Sihanouk was in Peking, and pledged to force the removal of the occupying military. Initially, the invaders agreed to withdraw, but then announced their support for Sihanouk, who had promised to fight the new government. President Nixon announced that U.S. troops would join with South Vietnamese troops to invade the border areas of Cambodia and eliminate all Communist sanctuaries.

Four students were killed at Kent State University after Ohio National Guardsmen clashed with anti-war protesters. The students were engaged in a rally condemning President Nixon's approval for a massive incursion into Cambodia. While appearing on television on April 30th, Nixon announced that the invasion was for a limited period, and was to save American lives, and claimed that American forces would not advance more than twenty-one miles into the country.

Monday Night Football debuted on ABC, with Howard Cosell, Keith Jackson, and Don Meredith all giving play-by-play. The on-camera camaraderie in the booth as well as the groundbreaking approach to covering the game resulted in the development of several multi-camera and play-by-play technologies that are still being used today. As a result, Monday Night Football has become the most successful and longest-running primetime sports series in television history.

In the American League...

Baltimore's Frank Robinson hit two successive grand slams during a 12-2 Orioles triumph over the Washington Senators becoming just the seventh major leaguer to ever accomplish the feat. The back-to-back historic blasts were the only grand slams Robinson ever hit as a "Blackbird".

The Kansas City Royals set an unwanted Major League mark on August 3rd after falling 10-8 to the Baltimore Orioles for the twenty-third time in two seasons.

Tommy Harper of the Milwaukee Brewers matched thirty stolen bases with his thirtieth home run of the year to become the fifth major leaguer to go 30-30 in the same season. Incidentally, the stats added up as the resulting 4-2 win over the Anaheim Angels marked the Brewers "60th" of the year.

In the National League...

On July 8th, San Francisco Giant Jim Ray Hart tied a modern Major League record with six runs batted in during one inning with all coming in the fifth. The "bay area brawler" slammed a three run home run and three run triple and eventually hit for the cycle en route to a 13-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

The New York Mets' Tom Seaver set a Major League record after striking out nineteen Padres, including the last ten in succession, during an April 22nd, 2-1 victory over San Diego. The feat topped every pitcher ever to take the mound in the 20th Century and no one had ever struck out ten in a row to date.

Atlanta Braves icon "Hammerin'" Hank Aaron collected his three-thousandth hit with an infield single as well as his five-hundred seventieth home run off of Wayne Granger during a 7-6, 15-inning loss to the Cincinnati Reds on May 17th.

Around the League...

St. Louis Cardinals' Golden Glove outfielder Curt Flood filed a civil lawsuit against Major League Baseball in an effort to challenge their contract reserve clause. Flood refused to report to the Philadelphia Phillies after being traded and contended that the rule violated federal antitrust laws. Flood eventually lost his $4.1 million suit later in the year after Federal Judge Irving Ben Cooper upheld the legality of the clause. However, Cooper did recommend changes in the reserve system, to be achieved through negotiation between both players and owners.

"X-5" baseballs, a new experimental brand claiming to travel faster and farther than traditional balls was field tested during all Major League Spring Training games in both Arizona and Florida. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn ordered a halt to their use after a three week trial period, which had ended with inconclusive results.

All-Star Game voting was finally returned to the fans as punch-card ballots debuted in major league ballparks across the nation. It was the first time since 1958 that the exhibition's squads were not entirely selected by managers, coaches and players.

Both players and management agreed to end their labor dispute on June 8th by settling on a new standard contract. Among the compromises that benefited the players was a raise in the minimum league salary from $10,000 to $12,000 per season.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"It took me 17 years to get 3,000 hits in baseball and I did it in one afternoon on the golf course." - Hank Aaron (after hitting #3,000 on May 17, 1970)

1970 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

San Francisco
137
Atlanta
.366
Los Angeles
47
Hits
Cincinnati
205
Chicago
Cincinnati
45
Atlanta
.456
Cincinnati
148
Chicago
137
San Francisco
.612
Cincinnati
57
Chicago
373
Los Angeles
16

1970 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Chicago
24
New York
2.82
San Diego
76
New York
Cincinnati
35
San Francisco
5
New York
283
St. Louis
.767
St. Louis
23
San Francisco

1970 National League

Team Standings

Pittsburgh Pirates 89 73 .549 0
Chicago Cubs 84 78 .519 5
New York Mets 83 79 .512 6
St. Louis Cardinals 76 86 .469 13
Philadelphia Phillies 73 88 .453 15½
Montreal Expos 73 89 .451 16
Cincinnati Reds 102 60 .630 0
Los Angeles Dodgers 87 74 .540 14½
San Francisco Giants 86 76 .531 16
Houston Astros 79 83 .488 23
Atlanta Braves 76 86 .469 26
San Diego Padres 63 99 .389 39
National League Team Standings

1970 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

San Francisco
729
Pittsburgh
.270
San Francisco
257
Pittsburgh
1,522
Cincinnati
191
San Francisco
.353
San Francisco
831
Cincinnati
.436
Los Angeles
138
Pittsburgh
70

1970 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Chicago
59
New York
3.45
Fewest Hits Allowed
New York
1,260
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
St. Louis
102
Fewest Walks Allowed
Chicago
475
Cincinnati
60
Los Angeles
17
New York
1,064
Seasonal Events: All-Star Game | All-Star Game | World Series
Navigation: Year in Review Menu | Previous Season | Next Season
Miscellaneous: A.L. Leaderboard
Retirements | Rookies List
Average Salary: $29,303.00
Minimum Salary: $12,000.00
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baseball almanac fast facts

Three legends. Two "clubs:" May 12, 1970, Ernie Banks became the first shortstop to join the 500 Home Runs Club ; five days later, on May 17, 1970, Hank Aaron became the first player to join the 3,000 Hits Club who already had at least 500 career home runs ; and on July 18, 1970, Willie Mays joined the 3,000 Hits Club and joined Aaron as the second player in both "clubs."

On July 8, 1970, Jim Ray Hart hit for the cycle to become the 13th Giants player with a cycle . However, did you know that on this same date he also drove in six runs during the same inning - a feat not accomplished since 1911?

On May 12, 2001, A.J. Burnett of the Florida Marlins no-hit the San Diego Padres, yet walked nine batters setting a new National League record. The record he broke belonged to Dock Ellis of the Pittsburgh Pirates who walked eight in his no-hitter tossed on June 12, 1970 versus (yet again) the San Diego Padres.

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