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West Division

East Division

Series Wrapup

Story

After a one-year hiatus, the Pittsburgh Pirates returned to the top of the N.L. East standings in 1974, capturing their fourth division title in five seasons.  The Pirates barely edged out the St. Louis Cardinals for first place, finishing the regular season with a record of 88-74, just 1 ½ games ahead of the runner-up Cardinals.  The Philadelphia Phillies placed third in the division, eight games back, while the Montreal Expos came in fourth, 8 ½ games off the pace.

The tandem of Al Oliver and Willie Stargell led the Pittsburgh offense, which finished third in the league with 751 runs scored.  Oliver batted  .321, drove in 85 runs, scored 96 others, and collected 198 hits.  Stargell hit 25 homers, knocked in 96 runs, scored another 90, and batted .301.

However, the division’s two best players performed for other teams.  The Cardinals’ Lou Brock earned a second-place finish in the N.L. MVP voting by batting .306, scoring 105 runs, collecting 194 hits, and establishing a new single-season stolen base record by swiping 118 bags.  The Sporting News named Brock its Major League Player of the Year.

Meanwhile, Mike Schmidt had his breakout season for the third-place Phillies.  The 24-year-old third baseman batted .282, led the National League with 36 home runs and a .546 slugging average, and also placed among the leaders with 116 runs batted in, 108 runs scored, 106 bases on balls, and a .395 on-base percentage.  Unfortunately for Schmidt and the rest of the Phillies, they also had a pitching staff that finished 10th in the senior circuit with a team ERA of 3.91.

The National League’s strongest team over the course of the regular season turned out to be the Los Angeles Dodgers, who won their first N.L. West title after placing second in the division the previous four years.  Los Angeles posted a major-league best record of 102-60, en route to dethroning the Cincinnati Reds as division champions.  The Reds compiled the second-best record in all of baseball, finishing four games behind the Dodgers with a mark of 98-64.

Cincinnati’s lineup remained as strong as ever, placing a close second in the league with 776 runs scored.  Tony Perez hit 28 home runs and drove in 101 runs.  Pete Rose led the league with 110 runs scored and 45 doubles, while batting .284 and compiling an excellent .388 on-base percentage.  Joe Morgan hit 22 home runs, batted .293, scored 107 runs, stole 58 bases, and led the N.L. with a .430 on-base percentage.  Johnny Bench batted .280, hit 33 homers, scored 108 runs, and led the league with 129 runs batted in and 315 total bases.

Nevertheless, the Dodgers’ exceptional team balance enabled them to edge out Cincinnati for the division title.  Los Angeles finished first in the senior circuit with 798 runs scored, 139 home runs, and a team ERA of 2.97.  The Dodger pitching staff featured three of the National League's top starting pitchers.  Andy Messersmith compiled a record of 20-6, with a 2.59 ERA, 221 strikeouts, and 292 innings pitched.  Don Sutton finished 19-9, with a 3.23 ERA and 276 innings pitched.  Tommy John posted a mark of 13-3 and a 2.59 earned run average.

Los Angeles also had the league’s best reliever in Mike Marshall, who compiled a season of record-setting proportions.  Marshall became the first relief pitcher to win the N.L. Cy Young Award by establishing a new major league record by appearing in 106 of his team’s games.  He finished the season with 15 wins, a league-leading 21 saves, a 2.42 ERA, and 143 strikeouts in an amazing 208 innings of work.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers had a lineup that took a backseat to no one’s.  Leadoff hitter Davey Lopes scored 95 runs and stole 59 bases.  Bill Buckner batted .314 and scored 83 runs.  Ron Cey hit 18 homers, drove in 97 runs, and scored 88 others.  Jim Wynn batted .271, compiled a .387 on-base percentage, knocked in 108 runs, and led the team with 32 home runs and 104 runs scored.  Steve Garvey earned N.L. MVP honors by hitting 21 home runs, knocking in 111 runs, scoring 95 others, batting .312, and collecting 200 hits.

The Dodgers displayed their clear superiority over the Pittsburgh Pirates by defeating the Eastern Division champions in four games in the NLCS.  The Dodgers outscored their overmatched opponents by a combined margin of 20-10, with their lineup compiling a team batting average of .270, as opposed to Pittsburgh’s mark of just .194.

Los Angeles subsequently faced the Oakland Athletics in the World Series.  Although the Fall Classic remained competitive throughout, with four of the five contests ending in identical 3-2 scores, the Dodgers came up short against their American League counterparts, emerging victorious only in Game Two.  Oakland’s Rollie Fingers earned Series MVP honors by winning one game and saving two others.

Other outstanding performers, notable events, and points of interest from around the league follow:

• April 4 - Hank Aaron hit the 714th home run of his career, tying Babe Ruth's lifetime home run record.

• April 8 - Hank Aaron hit home run number 715, finally breaking Babe Ruth's career home run record.

• July 17 - Bob Gibson of the Cardinals struck out Cincinnati’s César Gerónimo to become just the second pitcher in major league history to compile 3,000 strikeouts during his career (Walter Johnson was the first).

• September 10 - Cardinal Lou Brock broke Maury Wills' major league record by stealing his 104th and 105th bases of the season.  The thefts also gave Brock a career total of 740 stolen bases, breaking Max Carey's National League record of 738.

• November 2 - The Atlanta Braves traded Hank Aaron to the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder Dave May and a minor league pitcher.  The deal allowed Aaron to end his career in the same place it started in 1954.

• St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Bake McBride (.309 batting average and 56 RBIs) earned N.L. Rookie of the Year honors.

• Atlanta's Ralph Garr led the National League with a .353 batting average, 214 hits, and 17 triples.

• The National League posted its 11th All-Star Game victory in 12 tries by defeating the American League by a score of 7-2 in the annual Midsummer Classic.

• Pittsburgh's Richie Zisk knocked in 21 runs over a 10-game span.

• Ray Kroc purchased the San Diego Padres.

• Atlanta’s Phil Niekro and LA's Andy Messersmith led the National League in wins with 20.  Niekro also topped the circuit with 18 complete games and 302 innings pitched.

Seasons of the National League

1876 · 1877 · 1878 · 1879 · 1880 · 1881 · 1882 · 1883 · 1884 · 1885 · 1886 · 1887 · 1888 · 1889 · 1890 · 1891 · 1892 · 1893 · 1894 · 1895 · 1896 · 1897 · 1898 · 1899 · 1900 · 1901 · 1902 · 1903 · 1904 · 1905 · 1906 · 1907 · 1908 · 1909 · 1910 · 1911 · 1912 · 1913 · 1914 · 1915 · 1916 · 1917 · 1918 · 1919 · 1920 · 1921 · 1922 · 1923 · 1924 · 1925 · 1926 · 1927 · 1928 · 1929 · 1930 · 1931 · 1932 · 1933 · 1934 · 1935 · 1936 · 1937 · 1938 · 1939 · 1940 · 1941 · 1942 · 1943 · 1944 · 1945 · 1946 · 1947 · 1948 · 1949 · 1950 · 1951 · 1952 · 1953 · 1954 · 1955 · 1956 · 1957 · 1958 · 1959 · 1960 · 1961 · 1962 · 1963 · 1964 · 1965 · 1966 · 1967 · 1968 · 1969 · 1970 · 1971 · 1972 · 1973 · 1974 · 1975 · 1976 · 1977 · 1978 · 1979 · 1980 · 1981 · 1982 · 1983 · 1984 · 1985 · 1986 · 1987 · 1988 · 1989 · 1990 · 1991 · 1992 · 1993 · 1994 · 1995 · 1996 · 1997 · 1998 · 1999 · 2000 · 2001 · 2002 · 2003 · 2004 · 2005 · 2006 · 2007 · 2008 · 2009 · 2010  

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
ATL 2087 5533 661 1375 599 .233 202 37 120 72 44 2011 .376 .304 .709 124 42 109
CHN 2247 5574 669 1397 610 .189 221 42 110 78 73 2032 .302 .257 .566 121 40 80
CIN 2187 5535 776 1437 714 .215 271 35 135 146 49 2183 .363 .288 .690 121 46 68
HOU 2179 5489 653 1441 603 .170 222 41 110 108 65 2075 .284 .240 .576 124 48 83
LAN 2034 5557 798 1511 744 .259 231 34 139 149 75 2227 .365 .334 .724 117 64 86
MON 2163 5343 662 1355 610 .220 201 29 86 124 49 1872 .331 .289 .637 127 56 106
NYN 2042 5468 572 1286 538 .196 183 22 96 43 23 1801 .307 .262 .585 148 45 87
PHI 2122 5494 676 1434 636 .173 233 50 95 115 58 2052 .303 .234 .598 112 44 84
PIT 2082 5702 751 1560 692 .198 238 46 114 55 31 2232 .350 .267 .641 140 53 54
SDN 2300 5415 541 1239 506 .160 196 27 99 85 45 1786 .286 .211 .521 106 35 83
SFN 2084 5482 634 1380 568 .220 228 38 93 107 51 1963 .319 .303 .656 113 24 75
SLN 2242 5620 677 1492 610 .232 216 46 83 172 62 2049 .335 .282 .640 142 55 68

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
ATL 378 88 74 1476 772 488 6131 1343 97 62.810 501 563 46 15 22 33 9
CHN 509 66 96 1467 895 576 6518 1593 122 83.230 700 826 23 5 26 61 20
CIN 419 98 64 1466 875 536 6190 1364 126 58.900 557 631 34 9 27 53 9
HOU 434 81 81 1450 738 601 6225 1396 84 61.450 561 632 36 15 18 52 15
LAN 371 102 60 1464 943 464 6056 1272 112 56.370 485 561 33 13 23 36 9
MON 384 79 82 1432 822 544 6052 1340 99 60.780 571 657 35 6 27 61 12
NYN 374 71 91 1469 908 504 6228 1433 99 59.130 558 646 46 14 14 40 11
PHI 445 80 82 1446 892 682 6264 1394 111 98.410 630 701 46 4 19 63 15
PIT 391 88 74 1467 721 543 6282 1428 93 75.330 572 657 51 5 17 48 12
SDN 514 60 102 1446 855 715 6512 1536 124 91.00.00 741 830 25 6 19 68 12
SFN 454 72 90 1440 756 559 6214 1409 116 70.810 608 723 27 9 25 38 10
SLN 454 86 75 1472 794 616 6279 1399 97 90.980 571 643 37 12 20 40 6

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
ATL 2610 7512 5510 1849 153 .972 17693 107 50 0 31
CHN 2595 7548 5409 1913 226 .971 17594 126 54 0 20
CIN 2652 7436 5524 1770 142 .976 17594 56 41 1.00 6
HOU 2631 7465 5432 1910 123 .975 17408 123 56 1.00 13
LAN 2412 7349 5388 1779 182 .973 17582 76 47 0 19
MON 2534 7367 5234 1953 180 .957 17151 89 64 2.00 13
NYN 2416 7457 5426 1845 186 .951 17646 113 48 0 12
PHI 2544 7408 5389 1845 174 .962 17364 122 52 0 12
PIT 2388 7649 5577 1886 186 .978 17593 85 54 1.00 10
SDN 2588 7428 5432 1796 200 .970 17349 131 65 1.00 3
SFN 2410 7465 5409 1853 203 .942 17268 107 36 0 13
SLN 2534 7548 5568 1808 172 .945 17678 119 57 1.00 17

West

team W L Att Rk SOP
Los Angeles Dodgers 102 60 2632474 1 943
Cincinnati Reds 98 64 2164307 2 875
Atlanta Braves 88 74 981085 3 772
Houston Astros 81 81 1090728 4 738
San Francisco Giants 72 90 519987 5 756
San Diego Padres 60 102 1075399 6 855

Central

East

team W L Att Rk SOP
Pittsburg Pirates 88 74 1110552 1 721
St. Louis Cardinals 86 75 1838413 2 794
Philadelphia Philies 80 82 1808648 3 892
Montreal Expos 79 82 1019134 4 822
New York Mets 71 91 1722209 5 908
Chicago Cubs 66 96 1015378 6 895

Awards

Silver Slugger

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Tagged:
1974 NLCS, 1974 World Series, Al Oliver, Andy Messersmith, Bake McBride, Bill Buckner, Bill Madlock, Bob Gibson, Davey Lopes, Don Sutton, Hank Aaron, Jimmy Wynn, Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, Los Angeles Dodgers, Lou Brock, Mike Marshall, Mike Schmidt, Pete Rose, Phil Niekro, Pittsburgh Pirates, Ralph Garr, Ray Kroc, Richie Zisk, Ron Cey, Steve Garvey, Tom Seaver, Tommy John, Tony Perez, Willie Stargell

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