|1972 Season News
On May 12th, the Milwaukee Brewers and Minnesota Twins went head-to-head for twenty-one innings before the one A.M. curfew halted play with the score 3-3. Both teams combined to tie the Major League record for intentional walks during an extra-inning game with seven and the Twins went a step further and tied their own club record by stranding twenty-three men on base. The following day play resumed as the Brewers scored in the top of the twenty-second to win 4-3, but the Twins prevailed with a 4-3 victory of their own in the second outing after fifteen innings. At the end of the day, both games tallied nine hours and twenty-three minutes setting an American League record for the most consecutive innings ever played in a two-day span.
California Angels' ace Nolan Ryan sat down sixteen batters for a 3-0 victory and an American League record with eight K's in a row on nine pitches. Carl Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox, managed a one-out single in the first for the team's only hit, but Ryan responded by retiring the last twenty-six consecutive batters. In doing so, the future Hall of Famer became only the third pitcher in Major League history to twice fan the side on nine pitches.
Giants' giant Willie McCovey tied both Gil Hodges and Hank Aaron for the National League grand-slam record with fourteen of his own as San Francisco beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-3.
On September 30th, Roberto Clemente doubled to left-center off of the New York Mets' John Matlack at Three Rivers Stadium for his final at-bat and career hit number three-thousand. The Pittsburgh Pirates went on to win 5-0 and "The Great One" went on the list with Ty Cobb, Stan Musial, Tris Speaker, Honus Wagner, Hank Aaron, Eddie Collins, Napoleon Lajoie, Willie Mays, Paul Waner, and Adrian Anson as the newest member of the "3,000 hit club".
Unfortunately, Clemente was killed in a plane crash while on a humanitarian mission that was taking supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. The DC-7 aircraft he was flying in went down off the coast of Puerto Rico one-mile from San Juan with no survivors. The four time National League batting champion was only thirty-eight years old and had just won a World Series championship in 1971. As a tribute, he was elected on a special consideration to the National Baseball Hall of Fame with a 93% vote becoming the first Latin American to be inducted into Cooperstown.
Eighty-six games were cancelled due to the first general players' strike, which was eventually resolved on April 13th. Concessions came after both the owners and players agreed on a $500,000 increase in pension fund payments. In an effort to prevent paying the players for the work stoppage, the league decided not to make up the missed contests. As a result, some teams only played one-hundred fifty-three total games.
|American League Team Stats|
|Chicago White Sox||87||67||0.565||566||3.68||538||3.49||108||94||0.238||0.307||0.346||3.12||431||936||0.977||136|
|Boston Red Sox||85||70||0.548||640||4.13||620||4.00||124||101||0.248||0.316||0.376||3.47||512||918||0.978||141|
|New York Yankees||79||76||0.510||557||3.59||527||3.40||103||87||0.249||0.314||0.357||3.05||419||625||0.978||179|
|Kansas City Royals||76||78||0.494||580||3.77||545||3.54||78||85||0.255||0.325||0.353||3.24||405||801||0.981||164|
|National League Team Stats|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||85||70||0.548||584||3.77||527||3.40||98||83||0.256||0.318||0.360||2.78||429||856||0.974||145|
|New York Mets||83||73||0.532||528||3.38||578||3.71||105||118||0.225||0.332||0.332||3.26||486||1059||0.98||122|
|St. Louis Cardinals||75||81||0.481||568||3.64||600||3.85||70||87||0.260||0.355||0.355||3.42||531||912||0.976||146|
|San Francisco Giants||69||86||0.445||662||4.27||649||4.19||150||130||0.244||0.384||0.384||3.69||507||771||0.974||121|
|San Diego Padres||58||95||0.379||488||3.19||665||4.35||102||121||0.227||0.332||0.332||3.78||618||960||0.976||146|