1975 in baseball
The following are the baseball events of the year 1975 throughout the world.
Major League Baseball
Awards and honors
Major league baseball final standings
- The proposed sale of the Chicago White Sox presented opportunities for the Oakland Athletics. A group from Seattle was ready to purchase the White Sox and move them to Seattle. As Charlie Finley had business interests in Chicago, he was prepared to move the Athletics to Chicago. Due to his 20-year lease with the city of Oakland (to expire in 1987), Finley was blocked. In the end, White Sox owner Arthur Allyn sold to Bill Veeck, who kept the White Sox in Chicago.
- April 8 – Hall of Fame outfielder Frank Robinson becomes the first African American man to manage a Major League Baseball team, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 1-0 victory over the New York Yankees.
- April 11 – Hank Aaron returns to Milwaukee as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers. A crowd of 48,160 fans watches Aaron drive in a run in the Brewers' 6 – 2 victory over the Cleveland Indians. Aaron starred for the Milwaukee Braves before the franchise moved to Atlanta for the 1966 season.
- May 1 – Hank Aaron goes 4-for-4, driving in two runs in the Milwaukee Brewers' 17–3 win over the Detroit Tigers. This brings his career RBI total to 2,211, breaking Babe Ruth's published record of 2,209. On February 3, 1976, the Records Committee will revise Ruth's total to 2,204, meaning that in actuality, Aaron set the record on April 18.
- May 4:
- At 5:00 AM, the New York Mets' Cleon Jones is arrested for indecent exposure in St. Petersburg, Florida after police find him naked in a van with a white, teenage girl who is holding a stash of narcotics. The charges are later dropped, however, chairman of the New York Mets M. Donald Grant fines Jones $2,000, four times as much as a Met has ever been assessed before, and forces Jones to publicly apologize during a press conference held in New York, with his wife, Angela, by his side.
- The San Francisco Giants beat the Houston Astros 8–6 in the first game of a doubleheader at Candlestick Park. In the second inning, Houston's Bob Watson scores what is calculated as the major leagues' one-millionth run of all time, as Milt May hits John Montefusco's first pitch to drive him home. Meanwhile, Dave Concepción of the Cincinnati Reds hits a home run at about the same moment and races around the bases, but Watson, running from second base, scores first. Cincinnati lose to Atlanta, 3-2. (On April 22, 1876, the opening game of the National League's first-ever season, the Boston Red Caps came out ahead of the Philadelphia Athletics by the score of 6-5. Athletics first baseman Wes Fisler scored the very first run in major league history.)
- May 5 – The Oakland Athletics release pinch runner Herb Washington. Washington, who played in 104 major league games without batting, pitching, or fielding, compiled 31 stolen bases and scored 33 runs. His 1975 trading card (no. 407) is the only Topps card ever issued showing the player's position as 'pinch runner'.
- May 25:
- May 30 – Willie McCovey pinch-hits a grand slam to lift the San Diego Padres over the New York Mets, 6–2. It is McCovey's 3rd career pinch slam, tying the major league record held by Ron Northey and Rich Reese. It is also his 16th lifetime bases-loaded homer, tying the National League record held by Hank Aaron.
- May 31 – César Tovar gets the only hit for Texas, the fifth time in his career he has had his team's lone hit in a game. Yankees newly acquired pitcher Catfish Hunter hurls the one-hit 6–0 victory.
- June 1 – The Angels' Nolan Ryan pitches his fourth career no-hitter, winning 1–0 over the Orioles, to tie the record set by Sandy Koufax. Today's win is his 100th.
- June 6 – Luis Tiant wins his 100th game with the Boston Red Sox, defeating Kansas City 1–0. Boston's other 100+ winners include Cy Young, Mel Parnell, Smoky Joe Wood, Joe Dobson and Lefty Grove. Carl Yastrzemski draws a walk in the game, his 1,452nd, tying him for 10th on the all-time list with Jimmie Foxx.
- June 8 – Against the Detroit Tigers at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum, Ken Holtzman of the Oakland Athletics has a no-hitter broken up with two out in the ninth on a Tom Veryzer double, the only hit he will allow in a 4-0 Athletic victory. Holtzman, having pitched two no-hitters in the National League (as a Chicago Cub in 1969 and 1971), was bidding to join Cy Young and Jim Bunning as the only pitchers to hurl no-hitters in both leagues.
- June 18 – Rookie Fred Lynn drives in 10 runs with three home runs, a triple and a single during a Boston 15–1 drubbing of the Detroit Tigers. Lynn's 16 total bases tie an American League record.
- July 2 – For the second time in less than a month, an American League pitcher has a no-hitter broken up with two out in the ninth after having pitched one in the National League. In the first game of a doubleheader at Milwaukee County Stadium, Boston Red Sox pitcher Rick Wise has the bid foiled by a George Scott two-run home run. Wise gives up another home run to Bobby Darwin one batter later, but holds on to win, 6-3. Like Ken Holtzman, whose bid for a third career no-hitter was foiled with two out in the ninth on June 8, Wise had no-hit the Cincinnati Reds at Riverfront Stadium in 1971. In the same game, Boston's Jim Rice hits a home run that comes within four rows of exiting the stadium. Cecil Fielder will become the only player to hit a home run completely out of the stadium, in 1991.
- July 4 – At Veterans Stadium, Jerry Grote steps in as a pinch hitter against long time battery-mate Tug McGraw, who had been traded to the Philadelphia Phillies during the off-season. With the Mets down 3-2, Grote connected for a game winning two run home run. Without McGraw to go to in the Mets' bullpen, Rick Baldwin stepped in, and earned the save.
- July 15 – At Milwaukee County Stadium, the National League rallies for three runs in the ninth inning to win the All-Star Game over the American League, 6-3. Bill Madlock and the Mets' Jon Matlack share the MVP award. The game also marks the last of Hank Aaron's record-tying (along with Stan Musial and Willie Mays) 24th All-Star appearance; he lines out to Dave Concepción as a pinch hitter in the second inning. This appearance, like his first in 1955, was before a home crowd at Milwaukee County Stadium.
- July 17 – For the second consecutive Chicago White Sox game, Wilbur Wood is the starter, and he tosses his second straight shutout, beating the Detroit Tigers 5–0. The two starts were separated by the All-Star game.
- July 21 – Félix Millán of the New York Mets has four straight singles but is wiped out each time when Joe Torre grounds into four straight double plays, tying a major league record. New York loses 6–2 to the Houston Astros. Torre is the first National Leaguer to do so.
- July 24 – Tom Seaver fans Dan Driessen of the Reds in the second inning for his 2,000th career strikeout. The Reds win, 2-1.
- August 2 – At Shea Stadium, the New York Yankees defeat the Cleveland Indians 5-3 in Billy Martin's debut as Yankee manager. This will be the first of five stints as Yankee manager for Martin, who had played for the Yankees from 1950–1953 and 1955–1957. Martin had replaced the fired Bill Virdon as Yankee skipper the day before. (The Yankees played at Shea Stadium for the 1974 and 1975 seasons while Yankee Stadium was being renovated.)
- August 6 – The 56-53 mets fire manager Yogi Berra and replace him with Roy McMillan.
- August 9 – Davey Lopes steals his 32nd consecutive base for the Dodgers without being caught, in a 2–0 win over the Mets. This breaks the major league record set by Max Carey in 1922. Lou Brock gets his 2500th hit versus the San Diego Padres, a single in the 6th off of Dave Freisleben at Busch Stadium.
- August 21 – Pitching brothers Rick Reuschel and Paul Reuschel combine to hurl the Cubs to a 7–0 victory over the Dodgers — the first time brothers have collaborated on a shutout. Paul takes over when Rick is forced to leave in the 7th inning because of a blister on his finger.
- August 24 – In the second game of a doubleheader at Candlestick Park, Ed Halicki of the San Francisco Giants no-hits the New York Mets 6-0.
- September 1 – Mets ace Tom Seaver shuts out the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-0, and reaches 200 strikeouts for a major league record eighth straight season.
- September 2 – The San Francisco Giants' Johnny LeMaster sets a major league record by hitting an inside-the-park home run in his first at bat, during a 7-3 win over the Dodgers. Brian Downing, two years earlier, was the first major league player to hit his first homer inside-the-park, but not in his first at bat.
- September 3 – On the final pitch of his Hall of Fame career, Cardinals great Bob Gibson gives up a grand slam to Pete LaCock. It will be LaCock's only bases-loaded homer of his career.
- September 16 – Rennie Stennett ties Wilbert Robinson's major league record, set June 10, 1892, by going 7-for-7 in a nine-inning game. He collects two hits each in the first and fifth innings, and scores five of his club's runs in a 22-0 massacre of the Cubs, a major league record for the biggest score in a shutout game in the 20th century. John Candelaria pockets the easy win, while Rick Reuschel is the loser.
- September 18 – Released by the Minnesota Twins in January, Harmon Killebrew returns to Metropolitan Stadium a final time with his new team, the Kansas City Royals. He homers off Eddie Bane in the second inning—the final hit, run and home run of his career.
- September 24 – In a scoreless game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, Tom Seaver of the New York Mets has a no-hitter broken up with two out in the ninth on a Joe Wallis single. This is the third time Seaver has had a no-hit bid broken up in the ninth inning; one of the previous two was a perfect game bid in 1969, also against the Cubs. The Cubs win the game in the 11th inning 1-0, as Rick Monday scores on Bill Madlock's bases-loaded walk.
- September 27 – The Yankees sweep a doubleheader from the Orioles, giving the Red Sox the AL East title.
- September 28 – For the first time in major league history, four pitchers share in a no-hitter, as the Oakland Athletics shut down the California Angels, 5–0, on the final day of the season. Vida Blue, Glenn Abbott, Paul Lindblad and Rollie Fingers are the unique quartet.
- October 21 – Delayed a day by rain, Game Six of the World Series will be among the most memorable. Bernie Carbo of the Red Sox hits a three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game. Boston loads the bases with no outs in the ninth but cannot score until Carlton Fisk leads off the twelfth with his memorable walk-off home run, which deflects off the left field foul pole.
- October 22 – At Fenway Park, the Cincinnati Reds win Game Seven of the World Series over the Boston Red Sox, 4-3. Cincinnati has come from behind in all four of their victories. Pete Rose is named the World Series MVP.
- November 10 – The Kansas City Royals release slugger Harmon Killebrew, ending a 22-year career marked by 573 home runs, good for fifth place on the all-time list.
- November 12 – Tom Seaver of the New York Mets wins his third Cy Young Award, after led the National League pitchers with 22 victories and 243 strikeouts while posting a 2.38 ERA. Seaver had previously won the award in 1969 and 1973.
- November 20 – The San Francisco Giants fire manager Wes Westrum, coaxing Bill Rigney out of retirement to replace him
- November 26 – Boston Red Sox center fielder Fred Lynn becomes the first rookie ever to be named American League MVP. Lynn, who hit .331 with 21 home runs and 105 RBI, also posted league-leading figures in runs (103), doubles (47), and slugging (.566), helping Boston to the American League East title. He also won Rookie of the Year honors.
- December 4 – Ted Turner enters a tentative purchase agreement to buy the Atlanta Braves.
- December 10 – A deal to move the Chicago White Sox to Seattle, and the Oakland Athletics to Chicago's South Side, is nixed when Bill Veeck repurchases the White Sox and keeps them in Chicago. Seattle would eventually be awarded with an expansion franchise, called the Mariners.
- December 11 – The New York Yankees completed one of the better trades in franchise history when they send starting pitcher Doc Medich to the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitchers Ken Brett and Dock Ellis and perennial All-Star second baseman Willie Randolph.
- December 23 – Arbitrator Peter Seitz announces a landmark decision in favor of the Players' Association, making pitchers Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally free agents. Seitz is immediately fired by John Gaherin, chairman of the owners' Player Relations Committee. McNally, who retired on June 8, will not return to the majors, finishing with a 184-119 career record.
- January 5 – Don Wilson, 29, All-Star pitcher who won 104 games for the Houston Astros, including two no-hitters
- January 9 – Curt Fullerton, 76, pitcher for the Boston Red Sox between 1921 and 1933
- February 21 – Steve Filipowicz, 55, outfielder for the MLB New York Giants and Cincinnati Reds between 1944 and 1948, previously a running back with the NFL New York Giants in 1943
- March 10 – Clint Evans, 85, coach at the University of California from 1930 to 1954 who led team to the first College World Series title in 1947
- March 15 – Johnny Gooch, 77, catcher for the 1925 World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates, who also played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Sox, and later became a successful minor league manager
- March 21 – Joe Medwick, 63, Hall of Fame left fielder and 10-time All-Star who was the last NL player to win the triple crown, also winning the MVP in 1937; lifetime .324 hitter had six 100-RBI seasons for the Cardinals
- March 25 – Tommy Holmes, 71, sportswriter who covered the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1924 until the team's move to Los Angeles in 1958
- March 27 – Oscar Fuhr, 81, pitched for the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox between 1921 and 1925
- March 28 – Hy Gunning, 86, first baseman for the 1911 Boston Red Sox
- April 25 – Bruce Edwards, 51, All-Star catcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Chicago Cubs
- May 6 – Les Burke, 72, second baseman for the Detroit Tigers from 1923 to 1926
- May 10 – Harold Kaese, 66, sportswriter for the Boston Transcript and The Boston Globe from 1933 to 1973
- May 22 – Lefty Grove, 75, Hall of Fame pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics and Boston Red Sox who became the second left-hander to win 300 games, leading AL in ERA nine times and in winning percentage five times, both records; won the pitching triple crown twice, also winning MVP in 1931 after 31-4 campaign; also led AL in strikeouts seven straight years
- June 9 – Ownie Carroll, 72, pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Cincinnati Reds and Brooklyn Dodgers between 1925 and 1934, who later coached at Seton Hall University for 25 years
- June 16 – Clint Courtney, 48, catcher for five AL teams who became the first major leaguer at his position to wear eyeglasses
- June 17 – Sid Gordon, 57, All-Star left fielder and third baseman, primarily for the Giants and Braves, who had five 20-HR seasons
- June 28 – Audrey Bleiler, 42, infielder for two All-American Girls Professional Baseball League champion teams
- July 5 – Joe Kiefer, 75, pitcher for the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox in the 1920s
- July 18 – Ted Wingfield, 75, pitcher who played from 1923 to 1927 for the Washington Senators and Boston Red Sox
- July 31 – Max Flack, 85, right fielder for the Cubs and Cardinals who batted .300 three times
- August 12 – Lew Riggs, 65, All-Star third baseman, mainly for the Cincinnati Reds
- August 20 – Daniel Canónico, 59, pitcher who led the Venezuelan team to the 1941 Amateur World Series title, winning five of the team's games including the series-tying and deciding games against Cuba, while placing Venezuela for the very first time among the world baseball elite
- September 10 – Lance Richbourg, 77, right fielder for the Boston Braves who batted .308 lifetime
- September 28 – Moose Solters, 69, left fielder with four AL teams who batted .300 three times, before his eyesight gradually failed after being hit with a ball during a 1941 warmup
- September 29 – Casey Stengel, 85, Hall of Fame manager who won a record ten pennants in twelve seasons leading the Yankees (1949–1960), capturing a record seven titles; also managed Dodgers, Braves and Mets, applying his trademark humor to the Mets in their woeful first season
- October 1 – Larry MacPhail, 85, executive who introduced night games, plane travel and pensions to the major leagues while running the Cincinnati Reds, Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees, winning pennants with the latter two teams
- October 13 – Swede Risberg, 81, shortstop for the 1917-20 White Sox, and the last survivor among the eight players barred from baseball for their involvement in the Black Sox Scandal
- December 1 – Nellie Fox, 47, Hall of Fame second baseman, 12-time All-Star for the Chicago White Sox who formed half of a spectacular middle infield with Luis Aparicio; batted .300 six times, led AL in hits four times, and was 1959 MVP
- December 1 – Dave Koslo, 55, pitcher who won over 90 games for the New York Giants
- December 9 – Jeff Heath, 60, All-Star left fielder, mainly with the Cleveland Indians, who led the AL in triples twice and batted .300 three times; later a broadcaster
- December 12 – Julie Wera, 75, a member of the 1927 World Champions NY Yankees
- December 23 – Jim McGlothlin, 32, All-Star pitcher for the California Angels and Cincinnati Reds