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1974 in Baseball
The following are the baseball events of the year 1974 throughout the world.
Major League Baseball
* The season was canceled due to a player's strike and the Mexican Pacific League's second place, Yaquis de Obregón, played as a replacement in the Caribbean Series.
Awards and honors
MLB statistical leaders
Major league baseball final standings
American League final standings
National League final standings
- April 3 - The Cleveland Indians trade Pedro Guerrero to the Los Angeles Dodgers for pitcher Bruce Ellingsen The 17-year-old infielder-outfielder will compile a .309 lifetime batting average and will be named to the all-star team five times during his 11 seasons with the team.
- April 4 - Hank Aaron hits the 714th home run of his career, tying Babe Ruth's lifetime home run record.
- April 6 - The New York Yankees defeat the Cleveland Indians 6-1 in their "home opener" at Shea Stadium. The Yankees will share this ballpark with the Mets for the 1974 and 1975 seasons, while Yankee Stadium is being re-furbished.
- April 8 - Hank Aaron hits home run number 715, finally breaking Babe Ruth's lifetime home run record. Two fans run onto the field and congratulate him on the record breaking achievement as Hank moves past second base.
- April 10 - The 1973 National League pennant is raised before the home opener in which The New York Mets defeat The St. Louis Cardinals, 3-2 in front of only 17,154 fans at Shea Stadium. Jerry Grote of the Mets homered in that game.
- April 14 - Graig Nettles of the New York Yankees hits four home runs during a doubleheader split against his former team, the Cleveland Indians. The Yankees win 9-5, then lose 6-9. Nettles will go on to tie a major league record with 11 home runs in the month of April.
- April 17 - The Chicago Cubs new catcher George Mitterwald hit three home runs and drove in eight runs as the Cubs slaughter The Pittsburgh Pirates 16-9. As an added oddity, Burt Hooton went the distance for the Cubs despite giving up 16 hits.
- April 24 - All twenty-one hits by both teams in the Chicago White Sox 7-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers are singles.
- April 26 - The record breaking is not over for Hank Aaron. Today he hits his 15th career grand slam home run, passing Gil Hodges and Willie McCovey for the NL mark. The Braves go on to beat the Cubs, 9-3.
- April 30 - At Fenway Park, Nolan Ryan of the Angels strikes out 19 Red Sox batters in a 4-2 victory. In a frightening moment, he hits second baseman Doug Griffin in the head with a fastball. Griffin will be sidelined for two months.
- May 1 - Dock Ellis of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits three consecutive batters with pitches in the first inning, setting an ML record, and walks another in the frame before being lifted. Pittsburgh loses 5-3 to the Cincinnati Reds.
- May 4 - Boston Red Sox shortstop Rick Burleson ties a major league record by committing three errors in his major league debut.
- May 30 - Sadaharu Oh becomes the first player in Nippon Professional Baseball to hit 600 home runs. Only Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays are ahead of Oh among U.S. players at this time, but he will surpass them all.
- June 4 - The Cleveland Indians attempt an ill-advised ten cent beer promotion for a game against the Texas Rangers at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Cleveland forfeits 9-0 after alcohol-fueled mayhem and violence spreads from the stands onto the field.
- June 5 - Hank Aaron hits his 16th career grand slam homer as the Braves top the Phillies, 7-3, in Philadelphia.
- June 10 - The Philadelphia Phillies Mike Schmidt hits the ball off the speaker at the Houston Astrodome, turning a sure homer into one of the longest singles hit in a 12-0 Phillies victory over the Houston Astros.
- June 11 - Mel Stottlemyre of the New York Yankees makes his 272nd consecutive start, with no relief appearances, to set an American League record.
- June 14- California Angels pitcher Nolan Ryan pitches 13 innings, and strikes out 19 batters, including Red Sox first baseman Cecil Cooper, who alone struck out six straight times. The Angels defeated Boston 4-3 in 15 innings.
- June 19 - George Scott, who walks to lead off the second inning, is the Brewers' only base runner as Steve Busby of the Kansas City Royals hurls a 2-0 no-hitter. Busby is the first major league pitcher to throw no-hitters in his first two seasons.
- June 21 - The Braves fire manager Eddie Mathews, the only man to have played for the Braves in Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta.
- June 24 - Steve Busby of the Kansas City Royals retires the first nine batters he faces to set an American League record with 33 consecutive batsmen retired. The Royals lose, however, 3-1 to the Chicago White Sox.
- July 11 - The San Diego Padres release outfielder Matty Alou. Alou's brother Felipe was released by the Milwaukee Brewers on April 29. Younger brother Jesús keeps the Alou name alive in the majors, playing for the Oakland Athletics.
- July 14 - In a doubleheader with the Brewers, the Rangers' Billy Martin is the first American League manager to be removed by umpires from two games in one day.
- July 17:
- July 19 - Dick Bosman of the Cleveland Indians no-hits the Oakland Athletics 4-0. Bosman has no one but himself to blame for not picking up a rare perfect game. His throwing error in the fourth inning puts the only A's runner (Sal Bando) on base. The two clubs combine to set an American League record with two runners left on base.
- July 23 - The National League triumphs in the All-Star Game at Pittsburgh, winning 7-2 over the American League. Steve Garvey is named the MVP.
- July 25 - Carl Yastrzemski hits his 300th career home run helping the Boston Red Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 12-4.
- August 6 - Johnny Bench hits his 200th career home run helping the Cincinnati Reds beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-3.
- August 12 - Nolan Ryan of the California Angels strikes out 19 in a 4-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox.
- August 20 - Davey Lopes sets a Dodgers record when he totals 15 bases against the Cubs in an 18-8 drubbing at Wrigley Field. Lopes has three home runs, a double and a single in his team's 24-hit attack. The Dodgers totaled 48 bases in the game, a team record.
- August 27 - Hal McRae of the Kansas City Royals ties a Major League record with six extra base hits (five doubles and a home run).
- September 3 - In an amazing performance, SF Giants' John Montefusco makes his major league debut, hits a home run in his first official time at bat off Charlie Hough, and pitches nine innings of relief to earn a 9-5 victory over the Dodgers.
- September 4 - Pitcher Don Wilson has a no-hitter through eight innings, but is pulled from the game by Houston Astros manager Preston Gómez. Reliever Mike Cosgrove gives up a leadoff single to Tony Pérez, and the Astros lose to the Cincinnati Reds, 2-1. Gomez made the same mistake in San Diego on July 21, 1970. Clay Kirby had a no-hitter going for eight innings, but with two outs in the 8th and trailing 1-0, Gomez lifted him for pinch hitter Cito Gaston. Gaston failed to get a hit, and reliever Jack Baldschun gave up two runs in the 9th. The Padres lost 3-0.
- September 7 - During a 3-1 win over the Chicago White Sox, Nolan Ryan of the California Angels has a fastball clocked at 100.8 miles per hour (161.28 kilometres per hours) -- the fastest pitch recorded.
- September 8 - Pat Pieper ends 59-year career as public address announcer for the Chicago Cubs.
- September 10 - Cardinal Lou Brock breaks Maury Wills' major league record by stealing his 104th and 105th bases of the season. It also gives him 740 career stolen bases, breaking Max Carey's National League record of 738.
- September 11 - The St. Louis Cardinals win a marathon night game against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium, after seven hours four minutes, and 25 innings, the longest game to a decision in major league history. The Cardinals, trailing 3-1 with two out in the ninth, tie the score on Ken Reitz' two-run home run off Jerry Koosman, sending the game into extra innings. Two Mets errors lead to the Cardinals' winning run, starting with an errant pickoff throw that allows Bake McBride to scamper all the way around from first. St. Louis wins, 4-3. The Mets go to the plate 103 times, the only time the century mark has been reached in a major league game; the Cards are not far behind with 99 plate appearances. All told, a record 175 official at-bats are recorded, with a major-league record 45 runners stranded. Only a thousand fans are on hand when the game ends at 3:13 a.m.
- September 12 - Tigers pitcher John Hiller picks up his 17th victory in relief, an American League record, as he beats the Brewers, 9-7.
- September 24:
- September 25 - Dodgers pitcher Tommy John undergoes surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow. The surgery, performed by Frank Jobe is now named after the pitcher.
- September 28:
- In his last start of the year, Nolan Ryan of the California Angels pitches his third career no-hitter, victimizing the Minnesota Twins, 4-0. In the process, Ryan strikes out 15 batters for the sixth time this season. He also walks eight to run his season total to 202 bases on balls, joining Bob Feller in 1938 as the only pitcher to walk more than 200 in a season. Ryan will set a personal high issuing 204 walks in 1977.
- Don Wilson of the Houston Astros throws a 5-0, two-hit shutout against the Braves. It would be Wilson's last major league game, followed barely three months later by his accidental death.
- October 3 - Frank Robinson becomes the first black manager in major league history, as the Cleveland Indians name him to replace Ken Aspromonte for the 1975 season.
- October 17 - At the Oakland Coliseum, the Oakland Athletics win the World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Five, clinching a third straight World Championship. Reliever Rollie Fingers is named the Series MVP.
- October 23 - Wally Yonamine, an American of Japanese descent, becomes the only non-Japanese manager to win the Japan Series when his Chunichi Dragons beat the Lotte Orions.
- November 2 - The Atlanta Braves trade Hank Aaron to the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder Dave May and a minor league pitcher. Aaron will finish his major league career in Milwaukee, where he started it in 1954. Meanwhile, Aaron, the home run king of American baseball, and Sadaharu Oh, his Japanese counterpart, square off for a home run contest at Korakuen Stadium. Aaron wins 10-9.
- November 20 - Texas Rangers right fielder Jeff Burroughs, who batted .301 with 25 home runs and a league-leading 118 RBI, wins the American League MVP Award. Oakland teammates Joe Rudi, Sal Bando and Reggie Jackson are the runners-up.
- November 25 - Texas Rangers first baseman Mike Hargrove, who hit .323 with 66 RBI and a .395 OBP, is voted American League Rookie of the Year with 16 of 23 first place votes, with the others going to Bucky Dent (3), George Brett (2), Rick Burleson (1) and Jim Sundberg (1).
- November 27:
- December 2 - The Boston Red Sox trade speedy outfielder Tommy Harper to the California Angels for infielder Bob Heise.
- December 3 - The New York Mets trade ace reliever and Shea Stadium favorite Tug McGraw to the Philadelphia Phillies along with Don Hahn and Dave Schneck. New York receives outfielder Del Unser, pitcher Mac Scarce and catcher John Stearns, whom the Phillies had drafted #2 overall in the 1973 Major League Baseball draft.
- December 26 - The Little League is officially opened to girls as President Gerald Ford signs legislation amending the charter of the organization. Little League had sought changes in their charter after a series of lawsuits challenged its boys-only rule.
- December 31 - After earning his freedom through arbitration over missed insurance payments by the Oakland Athletics, Jim "Catfish" Hunter is signed to a $3.75 million contract which is slightly more than triple the next highest salary in the game.
- January 14 - Lloyd Brown, 73, pitcher who won 46 games for the 1930-32 Senators and also played with the Dodgers, Browns, Red Sox, Indians and Phillies.
- January 18 - Pete Appleton, 69, relief pitcher for seven teams who won 14 games for the 1936 Washington Senators.
- January 20 - George Hockette, 72, pitcher for the Boston Red Sox in the mid-1930s.
- February 13 - Scrip Lee, 75, Negro league baseball pitcher from 1921 to 1934.
- February 20 - Bob Christian, 28, outfielder who played from 1968-70 for the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox.
- March 1 - Larry Doyle, 87, second baseman, primarily for the New York Giants whom he captained, who batted .300 five times and won the NL's 1912 MVP award; led NL in hits twice and stole home 17 times.
- March 14 - Alex Pompez, 83, owner of the Negro Leagues' Cuban Stars and New York Cubans between 1916 and 1950, who later became a scouting director for the New York Giants.
- April 5 - Fred Snodgrass, 86, center fielder for the New York Giants who made a critical drop of an easy fly ball in the tenth inning of the deciding game in the 1912 World Series.
- April 6 - Roy Wood, 81, outfielder/first baseman who played from 1913-15 for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Naps/Indians.
- April 22 - Steve Swetonic, 70, pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the early 1930s, who tied for the National League lead in shutouts in the 1932 season.
- April 23 - Cy Williams, 86, center fielder for the Cubs and Phillies who became the first National League player to hit 200 home runs, leading the league four times.
- May 5 - Tom McNamara, 78, pinch-hitter for the 1922 Pittsburgh Pirates.
- May 5 - Vito Tamulis, 62, left-handed pitcher who posted a 40-28 record with a 3.97 ERA in six seasons for the Yankees, Browns, Dodgers and Phillies.
- May 18 - Dan Topping, 61, co-owner and president of the Yankees from 1945 to 1964, during which time the team won ten World Series and fifteen AL pennants.
- June 30 - Mule Haas, 70, center fielder for the Athletics and White Sox, who hit two home runs in the 1929 World Series.
- July 4 - Del Webb, 75, co-owner and chairman of the Yankees from 1945 to 1964; co-owner Dan Topping had died just weeks earlier.
- July 17 - Dizzy Dean, 64, Hall of Fame pitcher who won MVP award in 1934 with 30-7 campaign, the last 30-win season by an NL pitcher; was MVP runnerup the next two years, but an injury in 1937 All-Star game led to end of career; became a broadcaster known for folksy mangling of the English language.
- August 8 - Howie Pollet, 53, All-Star pitcher who twice won 20 games for the St. Louis Cardinals.
- September 8 - Bert Niehoff, 90, second baseman for four National League clubs from 1913 to 1918, and one of the first managers selected by the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
- September 19 - Zack Taylor, 76, NL catcher for fifteen seasons, later a coach, manager and scout for 35 years.
- September 25 - Cliff Brady, 77, a second baseman for the Boston Red Sox and minor league manager, who also was a member of the Scullin Steel soccer team which won the National Challenge Cup in 1922.
- September 26 - Lefty Stewart, 74, pitcher who won 20 games for the 1930 St. Louis Browns.
- October 13 - Sam Rice, 84, Hall of Fame right fielder for the Washington Senators who batted .322 lifetime and led AL in steals and triples once each, remembered for disputed catch in 1925 World Series; finished career with 2,987 hits, at a time when little attention was paid to career totals.
- October 22 - Pat Pieper, 88, the Chicago Cubs field (public address) announcer from 1916 to 1974, a span of 59 years.
- October 31 - Buddy Myer, 70, All-Star second baseman for the Washington Senators who batted .303 lifetime and won 1935 batting title.
- November 1 - Bullet Joe Bush, 81, pitcher who won 195 games including a no-hitter, had 26 wins for 1922 New York Yankees.
- November 24 - Johnny Weekly, 37, outfielder for the Houston Colt .45s from 1962 to 1964.
- November 25 - Eddie Dent, 86, Starting pitcher for the Brooklyn Superbas from 1909-1912.
- December 18 - Harry Hooper, 87, Hall of Fame right fielder for the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox, who was an outstanding defensive player and solid leadoff hitter, helping the Red Sox to four champion titles, while retiring with the fifth-most walks in history.