1976 october

1stPitching 1.1 innings of relief in a 4-3 Twins victory over Kansas City, Bill Campbell wins his 17thgame to tie John Hiller’s ML mark of most wins in relief in a season. He also matches Hiller’s accomplishment of leading his team in wins as a reliever; they are the only two this century to do so (as noted by Lyle Spatz).

2nd  Cesar Geronimo’s 9th inning double with one out is the only hit off Phil Niekro as the Braves shut out the Reds, 3–0.

3rd  In a 5–3 Royals loss to the Twins Jim Hughes, George Brett edges Royals teammate Hal McRae for the AL batting title, .333 to .332, when his blooper drops in front of Twins OF Steve Brye and bounds over his head for an inside-the-park HR. McRae, who then grounds out, believes the misplay is deliberate, and initially charges the Twins with racism. Brett ends the day at 3-for-4, McRae had 2-for-4 as did Rod Carew, who ends the day at .331. Brett is also tops in plate appearances, and the last time an AL batting champ led in that category was George Sisler in 1920.

The Cubs Bill Madlock wrests the NL crown from the Reds Ken Griffey by going 4-for-4 in an 8-2 win over the Expos. The hits raise Madlock from .333 to .339, one point ahead of the idle Griffey, who initially sits, then belatedly joins the Reds 11–1 win over the Braves and goes 0-for-2, dipping his average to .336.

Hank Aaron singles in his last ML at bat and drives in his 2,297th run as the 6th–place Brewers lose to the Tigers, 5–2.

Steve Carlton wins his 20thas the Phillies edge the Mets, 2-1.  For the Phils, it is their 101stwin.

Jim Rooker and Jerry Reuss each pitch one-hit, 1–0 shut outs as the Pirates sweep a season-ending doubleheader from the Cardinals.

7th  Judge Roy Hofheinz sells the Astros to General Electric and Ford Motor Credit Companies.

9th  Pete Rose has 3 hits and George Foster homers as the Reds top the Phillies 6–3 in the first game of the NL Championship Series.  Don Gullett, after a shaky first inning, retires 21 of the last 22 batters before leaving in the 8th. The Phils score 2 runs on Rawly Eastwick in the 9th. Steve Carlton takes the loss.

The Yankees beat the Royals 4–1 in the ALCS opener. George Brett’s 2 first-inning errors allow 2 unearned runs, and that is all Catfish Hunter needs as he goes the distance.

Pirates P Bob Moose dies in an auto accident en route to a party celebrating his 29th birthday.

10th  Kansas City evens the ALCS with a 7–3 win over New York behind Paul Splittorff’s 52⁄3innings of scoreless relief.

The Reds win their second NL game, 6–2, as Pedro Borbon saves it with 4 innings of scoreless relief. Pete Rose and Ken Griffey have 2 hits each. The Reds score 4 in the 6th off loser Jim Lonborg and reliever Gene Garber.

11th  In the last of the 8th, leading the Hanshin Tigers 4–1 with 2 out and a full count, Sadaharu Oh socks his 715th HR to pass Babe Ruth’s mark. The on deck batter is Davey Johnson, who was on deck when Aaron socked his 715th. Oh will finish the season with 716 HRs and takes aim at Hank Aaron’s record.

12th  The Reds score 7 times in the final 3 innings to secure a 7–6 win and complete a sweep of the LCS.  Jim Kaat holds the Reds scoreless for 6 innings, leaving with 2 on and no runs in. Johnny Bench and George Foster hit successive HRs in the 9th off Ron Reed to start the rally.

In the AL game, Chris Chambliss contributes a HR and 3 RBI to the Yankees come-from-behind 5–3 victory.  The Royals score 3 in the 1st off Dock Ellis, but the former Pirate faces just 22 batters in the next 7 innings.

13th  The Royals even the Series again with a 7–4 win, despite 2 Graig Nettles HRs. Freddie Patek is the big hitter with 3 RBI.

14th  In the final LCS game, the Yankees take the early lead only to see the Royals even it up on Brett’s 3-run homer in the 8th. Chambliss then connects on a dramatic 9th-inning HR off relief ace Mark Littell to win the game 7–6 and the pennant for the Yankees. By the time Chambliss reaches 2B, he is surrounded by screaming fans who escort him around the bases. After he reaches the dugout he returns with a police escort to make sure he touches 3B and home.

16th  Don Gullett and Pedro Borbon combine on a 5-hitter, as the Reds win game 1 of the WS 5–1 over the Yankees. Three hits by Perez, the first WS designated hitter, and a Joe Morgan homer supply the offense.

17th  On a cold Sunday night, the Reds gang up on Catfish Hunter for 3 runs, but the Yankees battle back to tie it up. With 2 outs in the 9th inning, Yanks SS Fred Stanley throws Griffey’s easy grounder into the dugout. A walk and a Tony Perez single follow and the Yanks lose the second WS game 4–3.  Yankee SS Jim Mason hits a 7th inning HR off Pat Zachry. It will be Mason’s only Series at bat, and his is a singular accomplishment.

19th  At Yankee Stadium, DH Dan Driessen contributes 2 singles and a HR to Cincinnati’s 3rd straight WS triumph. The final score is 6–2.

20th  Rain cancels game 4 of the WS.

21st  The Reds take a 3–0 lead against Ed Figueroa, but the Yankees close it to 3–2. A 4-run splurge in the 9th, topped by Johnny Bench’s 2nd HR of the game, ices the Reds 7–2 win, completing a 4-game sweep of the Yankees. WS MVP Johnny Bench has 2 HRs and 5 RBI, and demolishes the Yankees with .533 hitting. Opposing C Thurman Munson had 6 straight singles to tie a WS mark. The 1976 Reds become the first team ever to go through an entire LCS and WS without a defeat.

22nd  The Seattle Mariners sign veteran Diego Segui, who also played for the Seattle Pilots.  He will be the only player to appear for both teams.