Year In Review : 1975 American League

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Two assassination attempts were made on the life of U.S. President Gerald Ford, both in September. Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, a twenty-seven year-old disciple of Charles Manson, attempted to shoot the president in Sacramento on September 5, with a .45 caliber hand gun. Fortunately, an alert secret-serviceman wrestled the weapon from her before she could fire a shot. On September 22, Sara Jane Moore, forty-five, a civil rights activist, fired a .38 caliber revolver at Ford, but a bystander diverted the shot at the last second. Both women are currently in prison serving life sentences.

Jimmy Hoffa, the powerful and controversial leader of the Teamsters Union from 1957 to 1971, disappeared from a restaurant parking lot in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Often alleged to have ties to organized crime, Hoffa had been convicted of fraud and jury tampering in 1964 and served four years in prison before his sentence was commuted by President Nixon. At the time of his mysterious abduction, he was trying to regain power in the union. Many felt that he had been killed by the Mafia and in 1983 he was declared legally dead.

On December 29 th , a bomb at New York's LaGuardia Airport exploded killing eleven people and injuring seventy-five. To date, no one has ever been convicted, indicted, or even arrested for suspicion of having taken part in the act.

I n the American League

Fred Lynn, who would finish the season as the American League Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year, knocked in ten runs himself during a 15-1 romping of the Detroit Tigers on June 18 th . The Red Sox's rookie outfielder connected for a two-run home run in the first, a three-run blast in the second, a two-run triple and an infield single tying an American League record with sixteen total bases.

On September 22 nd , a near impossible statistical oddity occurred when both brothers Gaylord Perry of the Texas Rangers and Jim Perry of the Oakland Athletics matched identical career win-loss records of 215-174.

October 21 st witnessed one of the most dramatic homeruns in the history of the World Series. After a four day rain-delay, the Boston Red Sox and Cincinnati Reds resumed play at Fenway Park for an epic twelve-inning nail-biter. Carlton Fisk came up huge with a game-winning homer that deflected off of the left field foul pole (thanks to a little body language) tying the Series at three apiece and forcing a Game 7.

I n the National League

Pittsburgh Pirate second baseman Rennis Stennett became the first modern player to tally seven hits in a single nine-inning game. Stennett collected a triple, two doubles; four singles and scored five times during the 22-0 massacre over the Chicago Cubs while raising his average from .278 to .287. The last player with such a cramped scorecard was Baltimore's Wilbert Robinson in 1892.

Joe Torre of the New York Mets, tied a Major League record by hitting into four consecutive double plays during a 6-2 loss to the Houston Astros. The future Yankees manager was recorded in the company of "Goose" Goslin, who had originated the feat in 1934 and Mike Kreevich who matched him in 1939.

New York Met Tom Seaver became the first pitcher in Major League history to record two-hundred plus strikeouts for eight consecutive years after he fanned the Pittsburgh Pirates Manny Sanguillen for a 3-0 victory and his twentieth win of the season.

A round the League

Charles Finley's experimental position known as "the designated runner" came to an end after the Oakland Athletics owner released the prototype Herb Washington. The world-class sprinter had appeared in one-hundred five games while never batting and scored thirty-three runs plus thirty-one stolen bases in forty-eight attempts.

On April 8 th , baseball's first black player/manager, Frank Robinson, made his debut as the skipper of the Cleveland Indians. Rachel Robinson, the widow of Jackie Robinson, threw out the first ball as the Tribe took on the visiting New York Yankees. Robinson sweetened the moment with a first-inning home run, the 575 th of his career, and his team followed suite on the way to a 5-3 victory.

A pre-game ceremony honoring the United States Army's 200 th birthday "backfires" at Shea Stadium after two 75 mm artillery batteries from Fort Hamilton fire a twenty-one gun salute. After the smoke cleared there was a large hole in the center field fence and broken windows throughout the box seat areas. Following a quick clean up and repairs, the New York Yankees went on to defeat Nolan Ryan and the California Angels 6-4.

Baseball's winningest manager, Casey Stengel died on September 29 th of cancer at the age of eighty-five. Stengel had managed the New York Yankees second dynasty for twelve years while winning ten American League pennants and seven World Series Championships. After leaving the Bronx Bombers, he went on to manage the Mets before being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966.

"A lot of things happened to me that year (1975) . It was new and it happened very fast. I really didn't enjoy everything that was happening for me until later. Personally, I didn't get a chance to enjoy that until years later. As a team, I enjoyed that we were winning and in first almost the entire year. I came from a winning background (USC) with three national titles." - Fred Lynn
1975 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Kansas City

119

Batting Average

Minnesota

.359

Doubles

Boston

47

Hits

Kansas City

195

Home Runs

Oakland

36

Milwaukee

On Base Percentage

Minnesota

.428

RBI

Milwaukee

109

Runs

Boston

103

Slugging Average

Boston

.566

Stolen Bases

California

70

Total Bases

Milwaukee

318

Triples

Kansas City

13

California

1975 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

New York

30

ERA

Baltimore

2.09

Games

Oakland

75

Saves

Chicago

26

Shutouts

Baltimore

10

Strikeouts

California

269

Winning Percentage

Baltimore

.690

Wins

New York

23

Baltimore

1975 American League

Team Standings

Boston Red Sox

95 65 .594 0

Baltimore Orioles

90 69 .566

New York Yankees

83 77 .519 12

Cleveland Indians

79 80 .497 15½

Milwaukee Brewers

68 94 .420 28

Detroit Tigers

57 102 .358 37½

Oakland Athletics

98 64 .605 0

Kansas City Royals

91 71 .562 7

Texas Rangers

79 83 .488 19

Minnesota Twins

76 83 .478 20½

Chicago White Sox

75 86 .466 22½

California Angels

72 89 .447 24½

1975 American League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Texas

613

Batting Average

Boston

.275

Doubles

Boston

284

Hits

Boston

1,500

Home Runs

Cleveland

153

On Base Percentage

Boston

.347

Runs

Boston

796

Slugging Average

Boston

.417

Stolen Bases

California

220

Triples

Kansas City

58

1975 American League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Baltimore

70

New York

ERA

Baltimore

3.17

Fewest Hits Allowed

Oakland

1,267

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Oakland

102

Fewest Walks Allowed

Boston

490

Saves

Oakland

44

Shutouts

Baltimore

19

California

Strikeouts

California

975



Fred Lynn of the Boston Red Sox led the American League during 1975 in doubles, runs scored, and slugging average which enabled him to become the league's first recipient of the Rookie of the Year Award and Most Valuable Player Award !

Opening Day in Cleveland, April 8, 1975, marked the debut of baseball's first black manager , Frank Robinson , who hit a home run during the first inning versus the New York Yankees ensuring his Indians (and managerial record) a 1-0 start!

On June 1, 1975, Nolan Ryan of the California Angels won his 100th Major League game in style - no-hitting the Orioles 1-0 and tying Sandy Koufax for the Major League career no-hitter record!

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