1970 in baseball
The following are the baseball events of the year 1970 throughout the world.
Awards and honors
Major league baseball final standings
American League final standings
National League final standings
- April 1 – The Milwaukee Brewers organization, headed by Bud Selig, purchases the Seattle Pilots franchise for $10,800,000. Although negotiations were conducted over a period of months, it was not until March 13 when a federal bankruptcy referee declared the Pilots bankrupt. Brewers tickets go on sale the next day. Team equipment is shipped to Milwaukee County Stadium, where the Pilots insignia is ripped off of the uniforms, since there is no time for new uniforms to be made.
- April 7
- Major league baseball returns to Wisconsin after a 4-year absence as the Brewers play their first game in Milwaukee, losing to the California Angels 12–0 before a crowd of 37,237.
- Pitcher Dave McNally strikes out 13 in nine innings as the Baltimore Orioles rip the Indians, 8-2, in Opening Day at Cleveland Stadium. The attack is led by Paul Blair, who drives in a pair of runs and scores three times. McNally holds the Indians to two runs on four hits and three walks to get the win. Rookie Roy Foster belts a two-run home run for the only offense for Cleveland.
- In Minnesota, left-fielder Brant Alyea leads the Twins over the Chicago White Sox, 12-0. His 4-for-4 day includes two homers and seven RBI, the latter setting a major league Opening Day record.
- April 11 – At Comiskey Park, Danny Walton hits the first two home runs in Milwaukee Brewers history, both two-run shots coming against White Sox starter Billy Wynne. The Brewers win for the first time, 8-4.
- April 22 – The New York Mets' Tom Seaver strikes out 19 San Diego Padres, including the last 10 in succession, in winning 2-1 for the Mets. Mike Corkins takes the loss. In this century, no one had ever struck out 10 in a row, a major league record. Counting the 10 whiffs, the Pads have struck out 29 times in two games, a National League record that will be topped in 1998 when the Houston Astros miss 31 times in two days. Jerry Grote adds one foul fly catch to his 19 putouts via K's.
- May 10 – Hoyt Wilhelm makes his 1,000th pitching appearance; the first pitcher in history to do so.
- May 12 – At Chicago's Wrigley Field, Ernie Banks becomes the 8th member of the 500 home run club, connecting off Atlanta Braves pitcher Pat Jarvis during a 4-3 11-inning Chicago Cubs win over the Braves. It his 1,600th career RBI. Ex-Cub Frank Secory is umpiring this game; he was one of the umpires in the 1953 game in which Banks hit his first home run. Billy Williams' homer in the 9th ties the game and Ron Santo's RBI single in the 11th wins it. Atlanta's Rico Carty meanwhile, has three singles and has hit in 30 consecutive games.
- May 17 – In the second game of a double header, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves gets his 3000th career hit, and is the founding member of the 3000-500 Club.
- June 5 – Bert Blyleven makes his major league debut, and gives up a lead-off home run to Washington's Lee Maye. Blyleven holds on for a 2-1 win, the first win of the 287 that will propel his career into the Hall of Fame.
- June 12 – In the first game of a doubleheader at San Diego Stadium, Dock Ellis of the Pittsburgh Pirates no-hits the San Diego Padres 2-0. Years later, Ellis would claim that he was under the influence of LSD the entire game.
- June 17 – At Candlestick Park, Ernie Banks and Willie Mays become the first members of the 500 home run club to each hit a home run in the same game. In the eighth inning of the Chicago Cubs' game against the San Francisco Giants, Banks hits his 504th career home run, a three-run shot off Giant reliever Mike Davison. Mays then hits his 615th career home run off the Cubs' Ken Holtzman in the bottom half of the same inning. The Cubs defeat the Giants, 6-1.
- June 21 – The Detroit Tigers' César Gutiérrez gets seven hits in seven at bats in 12 innings against the Cleveland Indians, setting an American League mark and tying a major league record for most hits in one game.
- June 24 – The Cincinnati Reds defeat the San Francisco Giants, 5-4 in the final game that the Reds will play at Crosley Field.
- June 26 – Frank Robinson of the Baltimore Orioles hits grand slams in consecutive innings, the fourth and fifth, in a 12-2 victory over the Washington Senators at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium. The same runners are on base both times: Dave McNally on third, Don Buford on second and Paul Blair on first.
- June 28 – The Pittsburgh Pirates defeat the Chicago Cubs in both games of a doubleheader, 3-2 and 4-1, in the last two games played at Forbes Field.
- June 30 – Riverfront Stadium opens with the Cincinnati Reds losing to the Atlanta Braves, 8-2.
- July 2
- July 3 – Clyde Wright of the California Angels has a doubly memorable day. In a ceremony before the Angels' game against the Oakland Athletics at Anaheim Stadium, the former star pitcher at Carson-Newman College (with whom he won an NAIA Baseball World Series title in 1965) is inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame. He then no-hits the Athletics 4-0, the first no-hitter in the stadium's history.
- July 14 – At Riverfront Stadium, the National League wins its eighth straight All-Star Game, a thrilling 12-inning 5–4 victory. Pete Rose crashes into Cleveland Indians catcher Ray Fosse to score the controversial winning run on Jim Hickman's single. Fosse, who never had the ball, hurts his right shoulder and is taken to the hospital. The game is scoreless until the 6th inning, with the NL limited to three hits in the first eight innings. In the 9th, the NL tees off on Catfish Hunter, driving in three runs to tie. Dick Dietz hits a leadoff home run in the inning. Claude Osteen pitches the 10th for the win, and Carl Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox captures the MVP trophy for the American League.
- July 16 – Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium was opened to the public, but the Cincinnati Reds spoiled the party as they beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 before a crowd of 48,846. The first hit at Three Rivers Stadium was a single by Pittsburgh's Richie Hebner. The first home run at Three Rivers Stadium was hit by Cincinnati's Tony Pérez.
- July 18 – Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants records his 3000th career hit.
- July 20 – At Dodger Stadium, Bill Singer of the Los Angeles Dodgers no-hits the Philadelphia Phillies 5-0. Singer's catcher, Jeff Torborg, had caught Sandy Koufax's perfect game in 1965, and will later catch the first of Nolan Ryan's seven no-hitters, in 1973.
- July 26 – Johnny Bench of the Cincinnati Reds hit three straight homers off Steve Carlton of the St. Louis Cardinals. On the same day, Orlando Cepeda of the Atlanta Braves connected for three consecutive homers in an 8-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
- August 1 – At Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, Willie Stargell of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits three doubles and two home runs in the Pirates' 20-10 win over the Atlanta Braves. He becomes the third player in modern-day Major League history to collect five extra-base hits in one game, Lou Boudreau and Joe Adcock having done so in 1946 and 1954 respectively. Amazingly, this game was nationally broadcast, and the trivia question early in the game was to name the two players who had gotten five extra-base hits in a game. Bob Robertson also collects five hits for the Pirates, including a home run; not until Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones in 2010 will two Pirates collect five hits each in the same game.
- August 11 – Philadelphia's Jim Bunning beats the Houston Astros 6-5 to become the first pitcher to win 100 games in both leagues since Cy Young.
- September 3 – Billy Williams of the Chicago Cubs asks to be kept out of the lineup, snapping his National League record of 1,117 consecutive games played. His record was broken in 1983 by Steve Garvey.
- September 16 – Minnesota Twins pitcher Bert Blyleven strikes out the first six California Angels batters of the game, and ties a major league record. Blyleven will finish the game with ten strikeouts, but take the 5-1 loss.
- September 21 – At Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum, Vida Blue of the Oakland Athletics no-hits the Minnesota Twins 6-0, the only baserunner coming on Harmon Killebrew's second-inning walk. The no-hitter caps a season that witnesses four no-hitters, all pitched in California-based Major League stadiums; Candlestick Park is the only one of the five not to have a no-hitter pitched in it. It is also the second time in three seasons an Athletic pitcher has no-hit the Twins, who were on the losing end of Catfish Hunter's perfect game in 1968.
- October 1 – Vic Davalillo of the St. Louis Cardinals against the Pittsburgh Pirates breaks the National League single-season pinch hitting record and ties the Major League record with his 24th pinch hit of the year. Also, the Phillies defeated the Montreal Expos 2-1 in 10 innings in the final game at Shibe Park (Connie Mack Stadium). The occasion was marred by people literally dismantling the stadium while the game was still in progress. A special post-game ceremony — including a helicopter delivery to Veterans Stadium of home plate — was cancelled.
- October 15 – For the third time in the 1970 World Series, the Baltimore Orioles overcome a 3–0 deficit to bury the Cincinnati Reds 9–3, and win the World Championship four games to one. Frank Robinson and Merv Rettenmund each homer and drive in two runs. Third baseman Brooks Robinson, the "human vacuum cleaner", easily wins the Series MVP award.
- November 25 – New York Yankees catcher Thurman Munson receives 23 of 24 first-place votes and is named American League Rookie of the Year. Munson batted .302 with six home runs and 53 RBI during the regular season. Cleveland Indians outfielder Roy Foster (.268, 23, 60) is also named on a first place ballot.
- November 27 – Pitcher Carl Morton, who posted an 18-11 record with 154 strikeouts and a 3.60 ERA for the last-place Montréal Expos, receives the National League Rookie of the Year Award. Morton beats out Cincinnati Reds outfielder Bernie Carbo, who hit .310 with 21 home runs and 63 RBI.
- December 1 – The Boston Red Sox trade second baseman Mike Andrews and shortstop Luis Alvarado to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for future Hall of Fame shortstop Luis Aparicio.
- January 4 – Brad Springer, 65, pitcher who played from 1925 to 1926 for the St. Louis Browns and the Cincinnati Reds.
- January 7 – Jumbo Elliott, 69, pitcher for the St. Louis Browns, Brooklyn Robins, Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Braves between 1923 and 1934, who led the National League with 19 wins in 1931.
- January 9 – Ray Collins, 82, pitcher for the Boston Red Sox from 1909 to 1915, who later coached at University of Vermont.
- January 10 – Harvey Freeman, 78, pitcher for the 1921 Philadelphia Athletics.
- January 12 – Doc Bass, 72, utility man who played for the 1918 Boston Braves.
- January 12 – Andy Bruckmiller, 88, pitcher for the 1908 Detroit Tigers.
- January 14 – Johnny Murphy, 61, general manager of the New York Mets, formerly a relief pitcher for the New York Yankees who held the career saves record from 1946 to 1962.
- January 15 – Bill Leard, 84, second baseman for the 1917 Brooklyn Robins.
- January 17 – Alex Mustaikis, 60, pitcher for the 1940 Boston Red Sox.
- January 18 – Jack Richardson, 77, pitcher who played from 1915 to 1916 with the Philadelphia Athletics.
- January 21 – Casper Asbjornson, 60, catcher who played from 1928 to 1932 for the Boston Red Sox and Cincinnati Reds.
- January 21 – Harry Shriver, 73, pitcher for the 1921-22 Brooklyn Robins.
- January 23 – Bill Conroy, 71, infielder for the 1923 Washington Senators.
- January 24 – Hal McKain, 63, pitcher who played for the Cleveland Indians Chicago White Sox in parts of five seasons spanning 1927–1932.
- January 25 – Harvey Grubb, 79, third baseman for the 1912 Cleveland Naps.
- January 26 – Jim Haislip, 78, pitcher for the 1913 Philadelphia Phillies.
- January 28 – Orie Arntzen, 60, pitcher for the 1943 Philadelphia Athletics.
- January 29 – Miguel Fuentes, Puerto Rican pitcher for the Seattle Pilots during the 1969 season, who was murdered in a bar fight at the age of 23.
- February 5 – Rudy York, 56, Hall of Fame first baseman and seven-time All-Star who had six 100-RBI seasons for the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox, while hitting a record 18 homers in one month as a rookie, and two grand slams in a 1946 game.
- February 6 – Dick Mauney
- February 8 – John Churry
- February 13 – Paul Edmondson
- February 16 – Dick Conger
- February 21 – Tom Carey, 63, infielder for the St. Louis Browns and Boston Red Sox between 1935 and 1946, later a coach with the Red Sox.
- February 21 – Joe Shaute, 70, pitcher who won 99 games from 1922 to 1934 for the Cleveland Indians, Brooklyn Robins/Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds.
- February 26 – Bill Bankston
- April 2 – Dave Hoskins
- April 2 – Carl Ray
- April 7 – Ollie Voigt
- April 8 – Lee Handley, 57, an infielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates during eight seasons, who also played with the Cincinnati Reds and the Philadelphia Phillies.
- April 11 – Joe Heving, 69, a pitcher for the Giants, White Sox, Indians, Red Sox and Braves between 1930 and 1945, who led American League pitchers with 63 appearances in 1944, despite being the only grandfather playing in the majors.
- April 11 – Sailor Stroud, 84, pitcher who posted a 5-7 record with a 3.25 ERA and three shutouts for the Detroit Tigers (1915) and New York Giants (1916).
- April 12 – Dick Brown
- April 12 – Red Shannon, 73, backup infielder who played from 1917 to 1921 with the Braves, Athletics, Red Sox, Senators and Cubs.
- April 14 – Ed Crowley
- April 14 – John Donaldson, 78, star pitcher in the Negro Leagues, mainly with the All Nations team and Kansas City Monarchs.
- April 15 – Ripper Collins, 66, All-Star first baseman who led NL in homers in 1934, then batted .367 in World Series.
- April 16 – Mal Eason, 91, pitcher for the Chicago Orphans, Boston Beaneaters, Detroit Tigers and Brooklyn Superbas in the early 20th century.
- April 17 – Dick Brown, 35, part-time catcher who hit 62 home runs with 223 RBI in 636 games for the Indians, White Sox, Tigers and Orioles.
- April 18 – Tony York, 57, infielder for the 1944 Chicago Cubs, and one of many major leaguers who only played during World War II.
- April 20 – Jake Mooty
- April 25 – Gene Steinbrenner
- April 26 – Yats Wuestling, 66, backup shortstop who played from 1929 to 1930 for the Tigers and Yankees.
- April 30 – Chick Gagnon
- April 30 – Dan Jessee
- May 2 – Art Delaney
- May 9 – Ducky Yount
- May 10 – Rufus Meadows
- May 13 – Urbane Pickering, 70, backup infielder who hit .257 with 11 home runs and 92 RBI for the Boston Red Sox in the 1921 and 1922 seasons.
- May 13 – Johnny Stuart
- May 15 – Ed Gerner
- May 16 – Dutch Ruether, 76, pitcher who won opener of 1919 World Series for the Cincinnati Reds, later a scout for the New York Giants.
- May 19 – Ray Schalk, 77, Hall of Fame catcher for the Chicago White Sox who was noted for his defensive brilliance, setting records for career games, putouts and double plays at the position.
- May 21 – Jack Farmer
- May 21 – Les Fusselman
- May 24 – Bill Lamar, 73, outfielder for the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Brooklyn Robins and Philadelphia Athletics (1917–1927), who collected a .310 average including a .356 in 1925.
- May 31 – Zip Zabel, 79, Chicago Cubs pitcher who set a major league record for the most innings pitched in relief ( 18 1⁄3) during the 1915 season.
- May 30 – Howie Gregory
- June 1 – George Watkins, 69, outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Giants, Philadelphia Phillies and Brooklyn Dodgers in the early 1930s, who owns the major league season-record for a rookie with a .373 batting average (1930).
- June 3 – Jakie May, 74, relief pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs in 14 seasons spanning 1917–1932, who posted a 72-95 record with a 3.88 ERA and 19 saves in 1562 innings of work.
- June 14 – Webbo Clarke, 42, Panamanian pitcher who played for the 1955 Washington Senators.
- June 23 – Ross Reynolds, 82, pitcher who posted a 5-4 record and a 2.62 ERA for the 1914–1915 Detroit Tigers.
- July 1 – Herb Hall, 77, pitcher for the 1918 Detroit Tigers.
- July 7 – Harry Wolter, 85, outfielder and pitcher who played for the Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, New York Highlanders/Yankees and Chicago Cubs.
- July 8 – Jimmy Grant, 51, third baseman who played from 1942 through 1944 for the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians.
- July 15 – Emilio Palmero, 75, Cuban pitcher who spent over 17 years in baseball, including stints with the New York Giants, St. Louis Browns, Washington Senators and Boston Braves during five seasons spanning 1915–1928.
- July 16 – Peahead Walker, 71, who had a distinguished minor league career as player and manager, and later became a prolific football coach with several collegiate squads as well as the CFL's Montreal Alouettes.
- July 24 – Harvey Green, 55, pitcher who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1935 season.
- July 25 – Herb Hunter, 74, utility IF/OF for the New York Giants, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals between 1916 and 1921.
- July 27 – Whitey Platt, 29, backup outfielder for the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Browns in five seasons between 1942 and 1949, who was a member of the 1938 United States national team in the inaugural Amateur World Series played in England, and also served with the US Navy in the Pacific Theatre of World War II.
- July 29 – Charley Moore, 85, infielder for the 1912 Chicago Cubs.
- August 2 – Mike Cvengros, 69, pitcher who played with the New York Giants, Chicago White Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs in a span of six seasons from 1922 to 1929.
- August 11 – Paul Gillespie, 49, fine defensive catcher for the Cubs in the early 1940s, who hit home runs both in his first and last major league at-bats.
- August 15 – Ray Bates, 80, third baseman for the Cleveland Naps (1913) and Philadelphia Athletics (1917).
- August 16 – Kurt Krieger, 43, pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1949–1951, who is recognised as the first Austrian-born player to appear in a Major League game.
- August 23 – Doc Gautreau, 69, second baseman who played from 1925 to 1o 1928 for the Philadelphia Athletics and the Boston Braves.
- August 23 – Red Smith, 78, backup catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1917 and 1918 seasons.
- August 25 – Leo Moon, 81, pitcher for the 1932 Cleveland Indians.
- August 26 – Eddie Rommel, 72, pitcher who won 171 games for the Philadelphia Athletics, and later worked 22 years as an American League umpire.
- August 31 – Heinie Odom, 69, third baseman for the 1925 New York Yankees.
- October 2 – George Mohart
- October 5 – Reuben Ewing
- October 9 – Cy Fried
- October 10 – Lefty Leifield, 87, pitcher who averaged 17 wins for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1906 to 1911, including a career-high 20 wins in 1907.
- October 13 – Fred Mitchell, 92, Hall of Fame manager who won the 1918 National League pennant with the Chicago Cubs, and also was coach at Harvard University for 30 years.
- October 22 – Cal Dorsett
- October 22 – Billy Sianis, 70[?], Chicago Tavern owner who took his pet goat to Game 4 of the 1945 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and Detroit Tigers, who was later ejected from Wrigley Field, thus putting an alleged curse in Cubs history.
- October 23 – Sherry Robertson, 51, Canadian outfielder/infielder from 1940-52 for the Washington Senators and Philadelphia Athletics, who later became a MLB executive.
- October 24 – Andy Oyler
- October 26 – Willie Underhill
- October 28 – Wedo Martini
- October 30 – Jimmy Welsh
- October 31 – Johnny Lucas, 67, outfielder for the Boston Red Sox from 1931 to 1932.
- November 2 – Bobby LaMotte
- November 3 – Red Kellett
- November 5 – Dave Robertson, 89, outfielder from 1912-22 for the New York Giants, Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates, who led twice the National League in home runs (1916–1917).
- November 5 – Charlie Root, 71, pitcher who won a club-record 201 games for the Chicago Cubs, best known as the pitcher that surrendered Babe Ruth's supposed "called shot" in the 1932 World Series.
- November 5 – Freddy Spurgeon
- November 7 – Johnny Hudson
- November 7 – Paul McCullough
- November 8 – Ed Murray
- November 9 – Howard Maple
- November 24 – Spencer Adams
- November 24 – Ivy Andrews, 63, pitcher for three American League teams from 1931–1938 and a member of the New York Yankees 1932 World Champions, who later became the first pitching coach for the Double-A Birmingham Barons.
- November 28 – Orlie Weaver
- December 5 – Joe Wyatt
- December 10 – Marshall Renfroe
- December 10 – Johnny Mostil, 74, center fielder for the Chicago White Sox whose promising career was derailed by a 1927 suicide attempt.
- December 12 – Doug Taitt, 68, right fielder for the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies from 1938 to 1932, who later became a successfully hitter and manager in the Minor Leagues.
- December 13 – George Baumgardner
- December 13 – Chick Gandil, 83, first baseman and the reported ringleader among the eight players who threw the 1919 World Series.
- December 14 – Herman Hill
- December 14 – Walt Tragesser
- December 16 – Jim Winford, 61, pitcher who played from 1932 to 1938 for the St. Louis Cardinals and Brooklyn Dodgers.
- December 17 – Jim Park
- December 19 – Charlie Wilson
- December 19 – Nap Rucker
- December 21 – Chubby Dean
- December 25 – Red Juelich
- December 26 – Jack Stansbury
- December 28 – Doc Ozmer