1972 Cincinnati Reds season

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1972 Cincinnati Reds
1972 National League Championship
1972 NL West Championship
Major League affiliations
Location
Other information
Owner(s) Francis L. Dale
General manager(s) Bob Howsam
Manager(s) Sparky Anderson
Local television WLWT
(Tom Hedrick, Waite Hoyt)
Local radio WLW
(Al Michaels, Joe Nuxhall)
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The 1972 Cincinnati Reds season consisted of the Reds winning the National League West title with a record of 95-59, 10½ games over the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers. They defeated the previous year's World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1972 National League Championship Series, but lost to the Oakland Athletics in seven games in the 1972 World Series. The Reds were managed by Sparky Anderson.

The theme for the Reds was "Redemption" after a disastrous 1971 season that saw the Reds fall from a World Series participant in 1970 to a sub .500 team a year later. In fact, the March 13, 1972, Sports Illustrated edition featured the Reds on the front cover headlining "Redemption for the Reds." The Reds won 102 games in 1970, but only 79 a year later. A major catalyst for the Reds, Bobby Tolan, ruptured his Achilles' tendon in the winter of 1971, and he missed the entire MLB season. Nearly every Reds regular, including Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Tony Pérez, Bernie Carbo and David Concepcion, had significant decreases in their production from 1970. The lone exception was popular first baseman Lee May, who set career highs in home runs (39) and slugging percentage (.532).

Reds fans, en masse, were shocked and dismayed when, on Nov. 29, 1971, Cincinnati Reds General Manager Bob Howsam traded May, Gold Glove winning second baseman Tommy Helms and key utility man Jimmy Stewart to division rival Houston Astros for second baseman Joe Morgan, third baseman Denis Menke, pitcher Jack Billingham, little used outfielder Cesar Geronimo and minor leaguer Ed Armbrister. The trade turned out to be one of the best trades in Reds history. Morgan would escape the cavernous Houston Astrodome to a more hitter-friendly Riverfront Stadium home park. Surrounded by more talent in Cincinnati, Morgan would become one of the more productive power-speed players in the entire decade on his way to eventual induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Morgan and Geronimo would also go on to each win multiple Gold Glove awards, as Geronimo manned right field until 1974 when he would take over in center field. Billingham would go on to win 12 games in 1972 and 50 total in his first three years with the Reds. Billingham's best moments came in the 1972 World Series when he threw 13 2/3 innings allowing no earned runs in collecting a win, a save, and a no decision in Game 7.

With Rose, Morgan and a healthy Tolan at the top of the lineup, a rejuvenated Bench was the recipient as the Reds' cleanup hitter. Rebounding from the 1971 disaster when Bench only drove in 61 runs, he slammed 40 home runs and had a major league-best 125 RBI. Bench also walked a career-high 100 times on his way to NL MVP honors.

Cincinnati got off to a slow start, winning only eight of their first 21 games before winning nine straight. The Reds were still only 20-18 when they went into Houston to play the retooled Astros for a four-game series, May 29-June 1, at the Astrodome, a notorious pitchers park. But the Reds scored 39 runs in the series and won all four games. The Reds went into the July 23 All-Star break with a 6 1/2 game lead over the Astros and an 8-game lead over the Dodgers. Neither team seriously threatened the Reds in the second half.

Reds ace Gary Nolan won 13 of his 15 decisions by July 13, only 79 games into the season. But Nolan suffered a series of neck and shoulder ailments that forced him out of the All Star game and limited him to a total of 25 starts. He spent much of the second-half on the disabled list resting and then rehabbing. He won two games after the All-Star break. Nolan still finished second in the National League in ERA (1.99) to Philadelphia's Steve Carlton (1.97). Morgan (122 runs scored, 16 home runs, 73 RBI, 58 stolen bases, .292 average) finished fourth in MVP voting, while Rose (107 runs, 198 hits, 11 triples, .307 avg.) and reliever Clay Carroll (37 saves, 2.25 ERA) were 12th and 13th, respectively, in the MVP voting conducted by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

The Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, three games to two, in an exciting National League Championship Series, the first time in its four-year history the NLCS had gone five games. The World Series against the Oakland A's was equally as epic, with the Reds falling 3-2 in Game 7, the sixth game of the series decided by a single run.

Offseason[edit]

Season standings[edit]

NL West W L Pct. GB Home Road
Cincinnati Reds 95 59 0.617 42–34 53–25
Houston Astros 84 69 0.549 10½ 41–36 43–33
Los Angeles Dodgers 85 70 0.548 10½ 41–34 44–36
Atlanta Braves 70 84 0.455 25 36–41 34–43
San Francisco Giants 69 86 0.445 26½ 34–43 35–43
San Diego Padres 58 95 0.379 36½ 26–54 32–41


Record vs. opponents[edit]

1972 National League Records

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]
Team ATL CHC CIN HOU LAD MON NYM PHI PIT SD SF STL
Atlanta 5–7–1 9–9 7–7 7–8 4–8 7–5 6–6 6–6 6–11 7–11 6–6
Chicago 7–5–1 8–4 3–9 8–4 10–5 10–8 10–7 3–12 9–3 7–5 10–8
Cincinnati 9–9 4–8 11–6 9–5 8–4 8–4 10–2 8–4 8–10 10–5 10–2
Houston 7–7 9–3 6–11 7–11 8–4 6–6 9–3 3–9 12–2 13–5 4–8
Los Angeles 8–7 4–8 5–9 11–7 6–6 7–5 7–5 7–5 13–5 9–9 8–4
Montreal 8–4 5–10 4–8 4–8 6–6 6–12 10–6 6–12 6–6 6–6 9–8
New York 5–7 8–10 4–8 6–6 5–7 12–6 13–5 8–6 7–5 8–4 7–9
Philadelphia 6-6 7–10 2–10 3–9 5–7 6–10 5–13 5–13 6–6 6–6 8–7
Pittsburgh 6–6 12–3 4–8 9–3 5–7 12–6 6–8 13–5 10–2 9–3 10–8
San Diego 11–6 3–9 10–8 2–12 5–13 6–6 5–7 6–6 2–10 4–10 4–8
San Francisco 11–7 5–7 5–10 5–13 9–9 6–6 4–8 6–6 3–9 10–4 5–7
St. Louis 6–6 8–10 2–10 8–4 4–8 8–9 9–7 7–8 8–10 8–4 7–5


Notable transactions[edit]

Roster[edit]

1972 Cincinnati Reds roster
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders Manager

Coaches

Player stats[edit]

Batting[edit]

Starters by position[edit]

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C Bench, JohnnyJohnny Bench 147 538 145 .270 40 125
1B Perez, TonyTony Perez 136 515 146 .283 21 90
2B Morgan, JoeJoe Morgan 149 552 161 .292 16 73
SS Concepción, DaveDave Concepción 119 378 79 .209 2 29
3B Menke, DenisDenis Menke 140 447 104 .233 9 50
LF Rose, PetePete Rose 154 645 198 .307 6 57
CF Tolan, BobbyBobby Tolan 149 604 171 .283 8 82
RF Gerónimo, CésarCésar Gerónimo 120 255 70 .275 4 29

Other batters[edit]

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Chaney, DarrelDarrel Chaney 83 196 48 .250 2 19
Hague, JoeJoe Hague 69 138 34 .246 4 20
Foster, GeorgeGeorge Foster 59 145 29 .200 2 12
Uhlaender, TedTed Uhlaender 73 113 18 .159 0 6
Plummer, BillBill Plummer 38 102 19 .186 2 9
McRae, HalHal McRae 61 97 27 .278 5 26
Javier, JuliánJulián Javier 44 91 19 .209 2 12
Carbo, BernieBernie Carbo 19 21 3 .143 0 0
Ruberto, SonnySonny Ruberto 2 3 0 .000 0 0
Corrales, PatPat Corrales 2 1 0 .000 0 0

Pitching[edit]

Starting pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; GS = Games started; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G GS IP W L ERA SO
Billingham, JackJack Billingham 36 31 217.2 12 12 3.18 137
Grimsley, RossRoss Grimsley 30 28 197.2 14 8 3.05 79
Nolan, GaryGary Nolan 25 25 176 15 5 1.99 90
McGlothlin, JimJim McGlothlin 31 21 145 9 8 3.91 69
Simpson, WayneWayne Simpson 24 22 130.1 8 5 4.14 70

Other pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Gullett, DonDon Gullett 31 134.2 9 10 3.94 96
Merritt, JimJim Merritt 4 8 1 0 4.50 4

Relief pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L ERA SO SV
Carroll, ClayClay Carroll 65 6 4 2.25 51 37
Borbón, PedroPedro Borbón 62 8 3 3.17 48 11
Hall, TomTom Hall 47 10 1 2.61 134 8
Sprague, EdEd Sprague 33 3 3 4.13 25 0
Tomlin, DaveDave Tomlin 3 0 0 0 9.00 2
Gibbon, JoeJoe Gibbon 2 0 0 0 54.00 1

Postseason[edit]

1972 National League Championship Series[edit]

The Reds rallied to defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates in five games to win the National League title. In Game 5, Johnny Bench's ninth-inning home run tied the game before George Foster scored the game-winner on a wild pitch by Pirates' reliever Bob Moose.

Game 1[edit]

October 7: Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cincinnati 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 0
Pittsburgh 3 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 X 5 6 0
W: Steve Blass (1-0)   L: Don Gullett (0-1)   S: Ramón Hernández (1)
HR: CINJoe Morgan (1)  PITAl Oliver (1)
Pitchers: CIN – Gullett, Borbón (7)  PIT – Blass, Hernández (9)
Attendance: 50,476

Game 2[edit]

October 8: Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cincinnati 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 5 8 1
Pittsburgh 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 3 7 1
W: Tom Hall (1-0)   L: Bob Moose (0-1)   S: None
HR: CINJoe Morgan (2)  PIT – none
Pitchers: CIN – Billingham, Hall (5)  PIT – Moose, Johnson (1), Kison (6), Hernández (7), Giusti (9)
Attendance: 50,584

Game 3[edit]

October 9: Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pittsburgh 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 3 7 0
Cincinnati 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 8 1
W: Bruce Kison (1-0)   L: Clay Carroll (0-1)   S: Dave Giusti (1)
HR: PITManny Sanguillén (1)  CIN – none
Pitchers: PIT – Briles, Kison (7), Giusti (8)  CIN – Nolan, Borbón (7), Carroll (7), McGlothlin (9)
Attendance: 52,420

Game 4[edit]

October 10: Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pittsburgh 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 3
Cincinnati 1 0 0 2 0 2 2 0 0 7 11 1
W: Ross Grimsley (1-0)   L: Dock Ellis (0-1)   S: none
HR: PITRoberto Clemente (1)  CIN – none
Pitchers: PIT – Ellis, Johnson (6), Walker (7), Miller (8)  CIN – Grimsley
Attendance: 39,447

Game 5[edit]

October 11: Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pittsburgh 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 8 0
Cincinnati 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 4 7 1
W: Clay Carroll (1-1)   L: Dave Giusti (0-1)   S: none
HR: PIT – none  CINCésar Gerónimo (1), Johnny Bench (1)
Pitchers: PIT – Blass, Hernández (8), Giusti (9), Moose (9)  CIN – Gullett, Borbón (4), Hall (6), Carroll (9)
Attendance: 41,887

1972 World Series[edit]

Main article: 1972 World Series

The Reds were a prohibitive favorite to win the World Series over the Oakland Athletics, who lost top slugger Reggie Jackson to a hamstring injury in the playoffs. But Gene Tenace, who hit just five home runs in the regular season, crushed four against the Reds in a series that saw six of the seven games decided by one run. Oakland dealt the Reds three losses on their home AstroTurf of Riverfront Stadium. Tenace had two hits and two RBI in Game 7 as Oakland scored two in the sixth inning and held on for a 3-2 victory for the A's first World Series title since 1930.

AL Oakland Athletics (4) vs. NL Cincinnati Reds (3)

Game Score Date Location Attendance Time of Game
1 A's – 3, Reds – 2 October 14 Riverfront Stadium 52,918 2:18
2 A's – 2, Reds – 1 October 15 Riverfront Stadium 53,224 2:26
3 Reds – 1, A's – 0 October 18 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 49,410 2:24
4 Reds – 2, A's – 3 October 19 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 49,410 2:06
5 Reds – 5, A's – 4 October 20 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 49,410 2:26
6 A's – 1, Reds – 8 October 21 Riverfront Stadium 52,737 2:21
7 A's – 3, Reds – 2 October 22 Riverfront Stadium 56,040 2:50

Awards and honors[edit]

Farm system[edit]

Level Team League Manager
AAA Indianapolis Indians American Association Vern Rapp
AA Trois-Rivières Aigles Eastern League Jim Snyder
A Tampa Tarpons Florida State League Russ Nixon
Rookie FECL Reds Florida East Coast League Dave Pavlesic
Rookie GCL Reds Gulf Coast League Ron Plaza

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: FECL Reds [6]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Joe Morgan page at Baseball Reference
  2. ^ >Wayne Granger page at Baseball Reference
  3. ^ Jim Qualls page at Baseball Reference
  4. ^ Ron Hassey page at Baseball Reference
  5. ^ http://www.baseball-almanac.com/awards/aw_hut.shtml
  6. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007

References[edit]