1976 in baseball

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The following are the baseball events of the year 1976 throughout the world.  

Champions

Major League Baseball

League Championship Series
ABC
World Series
NBC
           
East New York Yankees 3
West Kansas City Royals 2
AL New York Yankees 0
NL Cincinnati Reds 4
East Philadelphia Phillies 0
West Cincinnati Reds 3

Other champions

Awards and honors

Statistical leaders

American League National League
AVG George Brett KCR .333 Bill Madlock CHC .339
HR Graig Nettles NYY 32 Mike Schmidt PHI 38
RBI Lee May BAL 109 George Foster CIN 121
Wins Jim Palmer BAL 22 Randy Jones SDP 22
ERA Mark Fidrych DET 2.34   John Denny STL 2.52  
Ks Nolan Ryan CAL 327 Tom Seaver NYM 235

Major league baseball final standings

American League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win % GB
East Division
1st New York Yankees   97   62 .610    --
2nd Baltimore Orioles   88   74 .543 10.5
3rd Boston Red Sox   83   79 .512 15.5
4th Cleveland Indians   81   78 .509 16.0
5th Detroit Tigers   74   87 .460 24.0
6th Milwaukee Brewers   66   95 .410 32.0
West Division
1st Kansas City Royals   90   72 .556    --
2nd Oakland Athletics   87   74 .540   2.5
3rd Minnesota Twins   85   77 .525   5.0
4th Texas Rangers   76   86 .469 14.0
4th California Angels   76   86 .469 14.0
6th Chicago White Sox   64   97 .398 25.5
National League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
East Division
1st Philadelphia Phillies 101   61 .623    --
2nd Pittsburgh Pirates   92   70 .568   9.0
3rd New York Mets   86   76 .531 15.0
4th Chicago Cubs   75   87 .463 26.0
5th St. Louis Cardinals   72   90 .444 29.0
6th Montreal Expos   55 107 .340 46.0
West Division
1st Cincinnati Reds 102   60 .630    --
2nd Los Angeles Dodgers   92   70 .568 10.0
3rd Houston Astros   80   82 .494 22.0
4th San Francisco Giants   74   88 .457 28.0
5th San Diego Padres   73   89 .451 29.0
6th Atlanta Braves   70   92 .432 32.0

Events

January–March

  • February 9 - Oscar Charleston is selected for the Hall of Fame by the Special Committee on the Negro Leagues.
  • March 20 - Leo Durocher, hired to manage Japan's Yokohama Taiyō Whales of the Central League, is sick with hepatitis and asks for a five-week delay in reporting. Durocher receives a telegram from the Whales stating: "Since the championship starts in 20 days, it's better if you stay home and take care of yourself for the remainder of the season."
  • March 26 - The American League approves the purchase of the new Toronto franchise by the LaBatt's Brewing Company for $7 million.

April–June

  • June 4 - Tom Seaver and the New York Mets defeat the Dodgers 11-0 in Los Angeles on a three home run performance by Dave Kingman.
  • June 15 - The Houston Astros are “rained out” of their scheduled home game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at the Astrodome. Massive flooding in the Houston area prevents the umpires and all but a few fans from reaching the stadium. Despite both teams having taken pre-game practice, the absence of the umpiring crew forces the game to be called off.
  • June 22 - Randy Jones pitches the San Diego Padres to a 4–2 win over the San Francisco Giants, and ties Christy Mathewson's 63-year-old National League record by going 68 innings without a base on balls. Jones receives a standing ovation from the home crowd after striking out Darrell Evans to end the seventh inning. His streak ends when he walks Marc Hill leading off the 8th.
  • June 25 - The Texas Rangers' Toby Harrah becomes the only shortstop in major league history to go through an entire doubleheader without a fielding chance. At bat, Harrah makes up for the inactivity, collecting six hits including a grand slam in the opener, and another home run in game 2. The Rangers beat the Chicago White Sox in the first game 8–4, but lose the nightcap 14–9.
  • June 28 - With a national television audience looking on, Detroit's Mark Fidrych, known as "the Bird", beats the New York Yankees 5-1 at Tiger Stadium.

Oakland fire sale

  • Before the June 15, 1976 trading deadline, Charlie Finley contacted the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. He had proposed a trade to the Boston Red Sox that would have involved Joe Rudi, Rollie Fingers, Vida Blue, Gene Tenace and Sal Bando for Fred Lynn, Carlton Fisk and prospects.2 In trade talks with the Yankees, Finley proposed Vida Blue for Thurman Munson along with either Roy White or Elliott Maddox. Finley also offered Joe Rudi for Thurman Munson.3
  • On June 14, 1976, Finley was unable to make any trades. He had started contacting other teams about the possibility of selling his player’s contracts. Joe Rudi, Vida Blue, Don Baylor, and Gene Tenace were worth $1 million each, while Sal Bando could be acquired for $500,000. Boston Red Sox General manager Dick O’Connell was in Oakland as the Red Sox would play the Athletics on June 15. Field manager Darrell Johnson had declared that he was interested in Joe Rudi and Rollie Fingers. The Red Sox had agreed to purchase both contracts for one million dollars each.
  • Dick O’Connell had contacted Detroit Tigers General manager Jim Campbell to purchase Vida Blue for one million dollars so that the New York Yankees could not get him.4 Gabe Paul of the New York Yankees advised that he would pay $1.5 million for the opportunity to acquire Vida Blue. Finley offered Blue a three-year extension worth $485,000 per season to make the sale more attractive to the Yankees.5 With the extension, the Yankees agreed to purchase Blue.
  • Finley had then proceeded to contact Bill Veeck of the Chicago White Sox about purchasing Sal Bando. He then contacted the Texas Rangers, as they were interested in acquiring Don Baylor for the one million dollar asking price.6 Three days later, Bowie Kuhn voided the transactions in the "best interests of baseball." Amid the turmoil, the A's still finished second in the A.L. West, 2.5 games behind the Royals.

July–September

  • August 8 - The first game of today's Royals-White Sox double header at Comiskey Park sees the White Sox appear on the field in shorts. The Sox return to long pants for the second game, after stealing five bases and defeating the Royals, 5-2.
  • September 3 - At Shea Stadium, Tom Seaver fans Tommy Hutton of the Phillies in the 7th inning of the Mets 1-0 victory. Hutton is Seaver's 200th strikeout victim of the season - the 9th straight year the Mets' right-handed has reached that mark.
  • September 6 - Dodgers catcher Steve Yeager is seriously injured when the jagged end of a broken bat strikes him in the throat while he is waiting in the on-deck circle.
  • September 10 - California's Nolan Ryan strikes out 18 White Sox hiiters in a 9-inning 3-2 victory at Chicago.
  • September 11 - Orestes "Minnie" Miñoso comes out of his twelve-year retirement. Playing at home for the White Sox, he goes 0-for-3 against Frank Tanana. The next day, he will single, becoming the oldest player to hit safely in a Major League game.
  • September 18 - Player-Manager Frank Robinson of the Cleveland Indians inserts himself into the lineup as a pinch hitter in the eight inning of a game against the Baltimore Orioles. He singles in what will be his final at-bat as a player. His influence as a manager and executive will continue for decades to come.
  • September 21 - In Los Angeles, the Cincinnati Reds clinch the National League West title with a 9-1 pasting of the Dodgers.
  • September 25 - The yankees put an end to a 6-game losing streak with a 10-6 win over the Tigers to wrap up the Al East, the Yankees first visit to the postseason since the 1964 World Series. Doyle Alexander gets the victory.
  • September 26 - In the last big league games at Montreal's Jarry Park, the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Montreal Expos 4-1 in the first game of a doubleheader to clinch the National League East title. Philly takes the nightcap, 2-1. Following the 2nd game, Dick Allen jumps the team in protest of the fact that veteran Tony Taylor is not listed on the post-season roster.
  • September 28 - The Dodgers' Walter Alston, after 23 seasons and 2,040 victories, steps down as manager. Third base coach Tommy Lasorda is promoted to the post.

October–December

  • October 11 - In the last of the eighth inning, leading the Hanshin Tigers 4-1 with two out and a full count, Sadaharu Oh hits his 715th home run to pass Babe Ruth's mark. He finishes the season with 716 HRs and takes aim at Hank Aaron's record.
  • October 14 - In Game 5 of the American League Championship Series, the New York Yankees take a 6-3 lead before Kansas City's George Brett connects for a 3-run home run in the top of the 8th inning . In the bottom of the 9th, New York's Chris Chambliss smashes the first pitch off Kansas City's Mark Littell over the right field fence for a 7-6 win, winning the Yankees their first AL pennant and World Series appearance since 1964.
  • October 21 - In the World Series, the Cincinnati Reds beat the New York Yankees 7-2, completing a four-game sweep. Series MVP Johnny Bench has two home runs and five RBI in the Series, and demolishes the Yankees with .533 hitting. Opposing catcher Thurman Munson had six straight singles to tie a World Series mark. The Reds become the first team since the 1969 playoff expansion to go through an entire postseason without a defeat. It is the last World Series to end in a sweep until 1989.
  • November 2 - San Diego Padres pitcher Randy Jones beats out Jerry Koosman of the New York Mets for the National League Cy Young Award. Jones led the league with 315 innings pitched and posted a 22-14 record for the fifth-place Padres.
  • November 5 - New American League franchises in Seattle and Toronto fill up their rosters by selecting 30 players apiece from unprotected players on other AL rosters. Outfielder Ruppert Jones (Seattle) and infielder Bob Bailor (Toronto) are the first choices.
  • November 24 - Joe Morgan outdistances Cincinnati Reds teammate George Foster to win his second straight National League MVP Award. Morgan finished with a .320 average, 27 home runs, 111 RBI, 113 runs, 60 stolen bases, and led the NL in slugging percentage (.576) and OPS (1.020). Foster finished with 29 home runs and led the league with 121 RBI.

Movies

Births

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Deaths

January–March

  • January 16 - Chick Autry, 91, utility first baseman/outfielder for the Cincinnati Reds and Boston Doves in the late 1900s (decade)
  • February 11 - Johnny Miljus, 80, pitcher for the Pittsburgh Rebels, Brooklyn Robins, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Cleveland Indians between 1915 and 1929
  • February 16 - Eusebio González, 83, Cuban shortstop for the 1918 Boston Red Sox
  • March 11 - Larry Gardner, 89, third baseman for three Red Sox champions who batted .300 five times; longtime coach at University of Vermont
  • March 18 - Paul Maloy, 83, pitcher for the 1913 Boston Red Sox
  • March 23 - Walter Murphy, 65, pitcher for the 1931 Boston Red Sox

April–June

  • April 15 - George Scales, 75, second baseman in the Negro Leagues, also a manager in the Puerto Rican winter league
  • April 26 - Alex Ferguson, 79, pitcher for the Yankees, Red Sox, Senators, Phillies and Robins from 1918 to 1929
  • April 27 - Ed Durham, 72, pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox between 1929 and 1933
  • May 2 - Dan Bankhead, 55, first black pitcher in major league history (Brooklyn Dodgers, 1947, 1950–51); also homered in first major league at-bat
  • May 3 - Ernie Nevers, 73, who excelled in several sports, including American football, basketball and baseball
  • May 30 - Max Carey, 86, Hall of Fame center fielder, mainly with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who led NL in steals ten times, holding league career record of 738 until 1974; set NL records for career games, putouts, chances and double plays in outfield, and batted .458 in 1925 World Series
  • June 11 - Jim Konstanty, 59, All-Star pitcher who became the first reliever to win the MVP award, with the 1950 "Whiz Kid" Phillies
  • June 15 - Jimmy Dykes, 79, All-Star third baseman for the Athletics and White Sox who went on to become the winningest manager in White Sox history; also managed five other teams
  • June 16 - George Dickey, 60, catcher for the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox between 1935 and 1947
  • June 23 - Lon Warneke, 67, 5-time All-Star pitcher had three 20-win seasons for Cubs, led NL in wins and ERA in 1932; later an NL umpire for seven years
  • June 30 - Firpo Marberry, 77, pitcher for the Washington Senators who established single-season and career records for both saves and relief appearances, led majors in saves a record five times; also 94-52 as a starter

July–September

  • July 9 - Tom Yawkey, 73, owner and president of the Boston Red Sox since 1933, and vice president of the American League from 1956 to 1973
  • July 21 - Earle Combs, 77, Hall of Fame center fielder for the New York Yankees who batted .325 lifetime and led the AL in triples three times; batting leadoff, he had eight seasons of 100 runs, and batted .350 over four World Series
  • August 3 - Homer Ezzell, 80, third baseman for the St. Louis Browns and Boston Red Sox between 1923 and 1925
  • August 15 - Jim Henry, 66, pitched from 1936 through 1939 for the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies
  • September 1 - Mike Meola, 70, pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Browns between 1933 and 1936, who posted one of the best seasons ever for a pitcher in minor league history going 20-5 with 2.90 ERA for the PCL Los Angeles Angels in 1934
  • September 10 - Blackie Carter, 73, outfielder for the New York Giants from 1925 to 1926
  • September 25 - Red Faber, 88, Hall of Fame pitcher who played his entire 20-year career with the Chicago White Sox, winning 254 games and leading AL in ERA twice; his four 20-win seasons included a 25-win campaign for the scandal-decimated 1921 team, which finished 62-92
  • September 26 - Rip Russell, 61, first baseman/outfielder, and a competent replacement for the Cubs and Red Sox in the 1940s

October–December

  • October 9 - Bob Moose, 29, pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1967–76, who threw a no-hitter in the 1969 season against the Mets, died in an automobile accident on his birthday date
  • October 20 - Freddie Muller, 65, infielder who played from 1933 to 1934 for the Boston Red Sox
  • November 2 - Regis Leheny, 68, pitcher for the 1932 Boston Red Sox
  • November 2 - Dee Miles, 67, outfielder who played from 1935 to 1943 for the Washington Senators, Philadelphia Athletics and Boston Red Sox
  • November 19 - Frank Kellert, 52, first baseman for the St. Louis Browns, Baltimore Orioles, Brooklyn Dodgers and Chicago Cubs from 1953 to 1956
  • December 1 - George Earnshaw, 76, pitcher who had three 20-win seasons for 1929-30-31 AL champion Athletics; later a scout and coach
  • December 2 - Danny Murtaugh, 59, manager who in four stints with the Pittsburgh Pirates won two World Series (1960, 1971) and three division titles; led NL in steals as rookie in 1941
  • December 7 - Duke Maas, 47, pitcher who won 45 games for the Tigers, Athletics and Yankees
  • December 9 - Wes Ferrell, 68, All-Star pitcher who had six 20-win seasons for the Indians and Red Sox, 193 career wins included a no-hitter; also a career .280 hitter, and caught by brother Rick for five seasons
  • December 10 - Danny Thompson, 29, infielder, mainly with the Minnesota Twins, who played four seasons after being diagnosed with leukemia
  • December 26 - Walt Lynch, 79, catcher for the 1922 Boston Red Sox
  • December 27 - Press Cruthers, 86, Philadelphia Athletics second baseman from 1913 to 1914, who later managed in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League

References

  1. ^ "Giants Moving: Toronto". St. Petersburg Times. 1976-01-09. 
  2. ^ Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.247, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  3. ^ Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.247, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  4. ^ Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.248, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  5. ^ Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.248, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  6. ^ Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.249, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0









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