1st During a 5–3 win over the Tigers, the A’s 1B Gene Tenace goes through the entire game without a fielding chance—only the 4th time this century that has occurred in that position. In the same game, Detroit’s Reggie Sanders homers in his first ML AB. His zero on putouts will be matched by Len Matuszek in 1984 and Franklin Stubbs in 1990.
The Cardinals Lou Brock steals 4 bases in an 8–1 win over the Giants, giving him 98 steals for the year. Bob Gibson has 3 hits and scores twice as he runs his record to 8-12.
The Major League Scouting Bureau is instituted as a way to cut costs by centralizing scouting. Membership is not mandatory until 1984, and only 17 of 24 teams initially agree to the $118,000 fee for joining. All AL clubs except the White Sox and Toronto join: in the NL, the Cubs, Montreal, Pirates, Braves, Houston and the Reds join. Brewers GM Jim Wilson is put in charge.
With Carlton Fisk out through the end of the season, the Red Sox purchase C Tim McCarver from the Cardinals. McCarver will play just 11 games this year and 12 next spring in Boston before being reunited with Steve Carlton in Philadelphia.
2nd Boston pitchers Luis Tiant and Bill Lee each allow just one run in a Labor Day doubleheader, yet both lose games to Baltimore. Ross Grimsley and Mike Cuellar toss twin 1–0 shutouts.
A controversial call against the Reds helps the Astros win 4–3. Johnny Bench’s single in the 7th scores one run and the 2nd base runner Joe Morgan is called out, negating the tying run, though replays seem to show him safe. The Cincinnati City Council will pass a resolution stating their shock and dismay at the “atrocious call.”
The Pirates pick up a game on the idle Cardinals, now in second by 2.5 games, as they sweep a pair from the Phillies, winning 7-4 and 11-1. Jerry Reuss beats Steve Carlton in the opener, as Willie Stargell has 4 hits, including a pair of homers. Bob Robertson has a homer and 3 RBIs. In game 2, Bruce Kison allows 3 hits in 8 innings and Richie Zisk hits a grand slam.
3rd Count that. The Giants John Montefusco makes his ML debut, homers in his first official time at bat, off Charlie Hough, and pitches 9 innings of relief to earn a 9–5 victory over the Dodgers. Gary Matthews belts a grand slam for the Giants.
4th Don Wilson has a no-hitter through 8 innings, but is lifted for a PH by Houston manager Preston Gomez. Reliever Mike Cosgrove gives up a leadoff single to Tony Perez, and the Astros lose to the Reds 2–1. Jack Billingham, who has a sac bunt in the 2-run 5th, is the winner. Gomez made the same mistake in San Diego on July 21, 1970. The Reds score both runs in the 5th inning on 2 walks, a sac bunt and a 2-base throwing error by Roger Metzger. For Perez it is the second time he has had the lone hit for the Reds in a game started by Wilson.
The Orioles top the Red Sox, 6–0, for their 3rd straight shutout over Boston and are now 2 games behind the Red Sox and Yankees in the AL East race. The Sox manage just 8 hits in the 3 games. With the victory today the Orioles match a record set by the 1913 Washington Senators: shutting out a 1st-place team in a three-game series. It won’t happen again until 2010.
California’s Andy Hassler hands out 10 walks but still beats Oakland, 5-2. It is the third time this year a California pitcher has been this generous with bases on balls.
5th Milwaukee hands Boston its 7th straight loss as rookie Gorman Thomas hits a 2-run shot in the 9th inning. It was Thomas’ first game of the year for Milwaukee after hitting 51 homers for Sacramento (PCL) this year, combining with Bill McNulty (55 homers) to set a minor league record for homers by teammates. Billy Champion (10–3) picks up the win for the 5th-place Brewers.
6th Baltimore sweeps a doubleheader from Cleveland 2–0 and 1–0. Dave McNally and Mike Cuellar notch the 4th and 5th consecutive shutouts for the Orioles, who set an AL record. The losing pitcher in game 2 is Jim Kern, making his ML debut.
7th During a 3–1 win over the Chicago White Sox, California’s Nolan Ryan has a fastball clocked at 100.8 miles per hour—the fastest pitch so far recorded.
In a game with the Tigers, Graig Nettles loses a single when it is discovered he is using a corked bat. The Yankees win, 1–0, on Nettles’s earlier HR.
Playing on a badly sprained ankle, Joe Morgan belts a 2-run homer off Mike Marshall to give the Reds a 7–5 win over the Dodgers. Before his homer, Morgan had missed a pitch and fallen down, prompting Sparky Anderson to try and remove him. The Reds win today after trailing 5–0.
The Orioles win their 10th straight, but their consecutive scoreless innings streak is snapped when Charlie Spikes hits a 2-run homer in the 9th off Ross Grimsley. The streak ends at 54 innings. The O’s win, 3-2, over Cleveland.
8thAndy Hassler of the A’s allows just one hit but loses to Jim Kaat and the White Sox, 1–0. Light-hitting Lee Richard hits a leadoff double in the 3rd and scores on an error.
Two pitchers each take their 20th loss of the season. Steve Rogers allows 3 runs in 7 innings as the Expos lose to the Pirates, 8-2. Dave Parker hits a grand slam in the 8th to put the game away for Jim Rooker. Randy Jones loses his 20th as Houston edges the Padres, 3-2. Larry Howard hits a solo homer in the 7th to break a 2-2 tie and give the win to Tom Griffin (13-8).
At Wrigley, the Phillies do their scoring in the 3rd and 8th innings to beat the Cubs, 11-10. Chicago makes it close with a grand slam by Jerry Morales in the 9th.
At Shea, the Tigers douse the Yankees, 11-3, as Bill Freehan leads the way with a 4 hits, including a grand slam, and 7 RBI. The loss, coupled with a Boston win, leaves the Yankees and Red Sox tied for 1st place in the AL East.
At Kansas City, Phil Roof goes deep for a grand slam to lead the Twins to an 8-4 win over the Royals.
9thAt Fenway, the Yankees beat the Red Sox, 6–3, for their first win in Boston since July 31 of last year. The Yankees have won 2 of 24 games at Fenway since 1972. The win puts New York in first place.
In Milwaukee, Darrell Porter hits a pinch grand slam in the 9th as the Brewers tie the Orioles, 5-5, but Baltimore pushes across the winner in the 11th to take it, 6-5. It is Porter’s second slam of the season.
Vida Blue and Catfish Hunter both toss shutouts as the A’s beat Kansas City, 3-0 and 7-0. It is the third time this week that a team has been shut out in a doubleheader.
10th The Cardinals lose to the Phillies 8–2, but Lou Brock breaks Maury Wills’ ML record by stealing his 104th and 105th bases of the season. It also gives him 740 career SBs, breaking Max Carey’s NL record of 738.
Former batting champion Alex Johnson, purchased by the Yankees from the Texas Rangers yesterday, arrives in Boston during the Red Sox–Yankee game. With the score tied 1–1 in the 12th, Johnson socks a pinch-HR to win it for New York 2–1.
Cubs pinch hitters Carmen Fanzone and Jim Tyrone each clout homers against the Pirates, but the Bucs win 12–4.
11th The Mets lose a marathon night game after 7 hours 4 minutes, and 25 innings, the longest game to a decision in ML history. 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 1B. St. Louis wins, 4–3. The Mets go to the plate 103 times, the only time the century mark has been reached in a ML game; the Cards are not far behind with 99 plate appearances. All told, a record 175 official at-bats are recorded, with a since tied ML record 45 runners stranded. The previous record of 44 runners stranded was set by the Cubs and Reds on August 9, 1942. Only a thousand fans are on hand when the game finally ends at 3:13 a.m.
The Phils top the Pirates, 5–3, to cut Pittsburgh’s NL East lead to 2 1/2 games. A line drive by Willie Montanez fractures the hand of Pirate P Dock Ellis, who will miss the rest of the season. Ellis is 12–9.
Dick Allen calls in sick, despite not having seen a doctor, and the White Sox lose their third straight game. A tearful Allen, who last played on the 8th, will announce his retirement on the 14th. He will still lead the AL in homers this year with 32. Allen will change his mind about retirement and the Sox will trade him to the Braves in December.
12th With three scoreless innings Detroit P John Hiller picks up his 17th win in relief, an AL record, as he beats Milwaukee, 9–7, on Tom Veryzer’s 10th-inning 2-run homer. Hiller will lose his next 4 decisions, but his 17 wins will lead the Tigers in victories. He is the first reliever to lead his team in wins: Bill Campbell will match it in two years (as noted by Lyle Spatz).
The Reds sweep a pair from the Braves and the 2 teams combine for a ML record 3 grand slams. Cesar Geronimo hits one in the 2nd inning of game 1, as does the Braves Darrell Evans, who gets thumbed in his next at bat for disputing a third strike call. The Braves hang on for a 9–6 win, then take game 2 by a 6–2 score. Johnny Bench hits the 3rd grand slam of the day in game 2 and drives in all 6 runs. Bench will finish the year with 129 RBIs to top the NL, and his 315 total bases will lead the league. He is the only catcher in ML history to lead a league in TB [Bench caught 137 games; 3B in 36 games; 1B in 5].
13th The Phillies set an NL record by using 27 players during a 17-inning 7–3 loss to the Cardinals. The Cards had set the record 2 days earlier. Reggie Smith walks 5 times, 2 intentionally, and gets hit once. He is the second Cardinal this year to walk 5 times. Phillies reliever Gene Garber hands out 2 intentional walks on his way to a ML record 24 IBB.
With 16 games remaining, the enigmatic Dick Allen of the White Sox announces he is quitting the team. His 32 HRs, the last of which was hit August 16th, will still be enough to lead the AL.
Buzz Capra tosses a shutout and the Braves wallop Randy Jones and the Padres, 9-0. Mike Lum has a grand slam and drives in 5 runs.
In Los Angeles, the Reds win, 6–3 over the Dodgers as Jack Billingham wins his 19th.
14th Graig Nettles homers for the Yankees in the first inning, and brother Jim Nettles homers for the Tigers in the 2nd. This is the 2nd time that the 2 brothers have homered in the same game for different teams, having done it on June 11, 1972, when Graig was on Cleveland and Jim was with Minnesota. Graig’s team wins 10–7.
In LA, the Reds defeat the Dodgers, 4–2, to pull to within 1 1/2 games of the NL West lead. That’s as close as they come as they lose 6 of their next 8 games.
15th Cleveland’s Gaylord Perry works hard for his 20th win, beating Baltimore’s Ross Grimsley, 1–0. Perry will go 21–13 and is the last Indian pitcher this century to win 20.
At Dodgers Stadium, Jimmy Wynn belts a grand slam and Steve Garvey adds a homer as the Dodgers clip the faltering Pirates, 7-1.
Gorman Thomas reaches Luis Tiant for a grand slam in the 1st inning as the Brewers do all their scoring in the first three frames to beat the Red Sox, 9-5.
16th At Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers beat the Astros, 7-2, as Andy Messersmith wins his 18th. Mike Marshall provides 2 shutout innings of relief and hits a single. He ends up at 3B and then is cut down as LF Bob Watson nabs him for an unassisted DP after he catches Jim Wynn’s line drive. It is the third unassisted DP by an outfielder this year (RF Dave Parker; CF Bill North).
17th St. Louis beats Pittsburgh 2–1 in 13 innings. It is the 6th straight win for the Cardinals and the 6th straight loss for the Pirates, turning the Bucs’ 3 1⁄2 game lead in the NL East to a 21⁄2game margin for the Cards.
18th Rick Reuschel is lifted after 3 scoreless inning and Steve Stone takes the 5-2 Cubs win over the Phillies. Jim Lonborg is the losing pitcher as Gene Garber and Erskine Thomason combine for 4 scoreless innings. Thomason’s 8-pitch one inning of work is his only ML appearance.
19th The Pirates move a half game behind the Cardinals in the NL East, clipping the Birds, 8-6. Each team collects 15 hits. The Pirates score 5 runs in the 7th, 3 on Richie Hebner’s home run, to win.
20th The Cards beat the Cubs, 5-2, to stay ahead of the rampaging Pirates, winners over the Mets. Rick Monday hits a leadoff HR for the Cubs, off Bob Forsch, but it is all downhill after that. Ted Simmons has a double and 3-run HR off Bill Bonham to give him his 20th loss of the year.
Nolan Ryan allows just 3 hits but absorbs his 20th loss of the season as the Twins beat the Angels, 3-2. Ryan walks 7. Joe Decker (16-12) is the winner.
The Yankees move into a tie with Baltimore in the AL East with a sweep of the Indians. The Yanks take the opener, 5-4, when Bobby Murcer’s 3rd hit, a triple, scores the winning run in the bottom of the 9th. Gaylord Perry takes his 20th loss. Larry Gura (5-0) wins the nightcap, 3–0, on 6 hits.
21st In St. Louis, the Cubs jump on the Cardinals, scoring 5 runs in the 6th and again in the 9th to win 19-4, their biggest scoring output of the year. Steve Swisher has a grand slam and Jose Cardenal homers for Chicago.
22ndDetroit beats the Brewers, 6–5, pinning the 20th defeat of the year on Clyde Wright.
23rd The Pirates move to within a half game of 1st place by defeating St. Louis, 1–0, in 10 innings. Jim Rooker is the winner over Lynn McGlothlin.
24th Al Kaline doubles off Dave McNally for his 3,000th career hit, as the Tigers beat the Orioles 5–4.
Clarence Jones of the Kintetsu Buffaloes hits his 38th HR to become the first American to win a Japanese HR title, topping the Pacific League in roundtrippers. Sadaharu Oh will lead the Central League with 49 homers. Jones will lead the league again with 36 HRs in 1976.
Gene Tenace hits his second grand slam of the campaign, off Joe Decker, to back Vida Blue’s 16th win as the A’s beat the Twins, 5-1.
25th Pittsburgh regains 1st place by edging the Cardinals 13–12 in 11 innings at Busch Stadium. Pittsburgh scored 4 times in the 9th to take a 12–9 lead, but St. Louis scored 3 times to tie it.
In Los Angeles, Dr. Frank Jobe performs the first elbow ligament transplant on 30-year-old pitcher Tommy John. The surgical procedure, which uses a palmaris longus tendon in either forearm or a tendon from the ankle or hamstring, will become known as Tommy John surgery. The pitcher quipped later, “When they operated I told them to put in a Koufax fastball. They did, but it was Mrs. Koufax’s.”
26th George Brett has 4 hits and 2 RBI and Hal McRae adds a grand slam as the Royals beat the Angels, 10-1.
At Shea, the Pirates score early and hang on to beat the Mets, 11-6, and move into a tie for first place with the idle St. Louis Cardinals. Willie Stargell has a 3-run homer and drives in 4 runs, while Al Oliver has 5 hits, including two homers, and 5 RBI. He scores 4 times.
27th Baltimore breaks a scoreless tie with the Brewers in the 17th inning to pull out a 1–0 win. Grant Jackson wins the decision over Jim Colborn.
Six days after tossing a complete-game victory over the Dodgers, Dan Spillner does it again as the Padres win, 3-2. They are the only two wins for San Diego over Los Angeles this year as the Dodgers win 16 out of 18. They had won 16 straight over the Pads until Spillner beat them on September 21.
28th In his last start of the year,Nolan Ryan pitches his 3rd career no-hitter, victimizing the Twins 4–0. In the process, the Angels hurler strikes out 15 batters for the 6th time this season. Ryan also walks 8 to run his season total to 202 base on balls, joining Bob Feller in 1938 as the only pitcher to walk more than 200 in a season. Ryan will top 200 in 1977.
Astro Don Wilson 2-hits the Braves. 5–0. It would be Wilson’s last ML game, followed barely 3 months later by his suicide.
The Pirates move a game ahead of 2nd place St. Louis by beating the Mets, 7–3. Richie Zisk and Richie Hebner sock HRs.
The Yankees sweep a pair from the Indians, winning 9-3 and 9-7. Ron Bloomberg hits a pair of 2-run homers off Gaylord Perry in the opener, then adds another 2-run homer in game 2. John Ellis connects for a grand slam for the Tribe. The sweep leaves the Yankees a half game behind the Orioles, winners today.
29th Lou Brock steals his 118th, and final, base of the season in the Cardinals 7–3 win over the Cubs.
Mets’ rookie P Bob Apodaca beats Pittsburgh 7–2 to drop the Bucs back into a 1st place tie with the Cardinals.
In Montreal, Ken Singleton hits a 1st-inning grand slam to lead the Expos to a 6-3 victory over the Phillies.
Four walks in the bottom of the 9th give the Orioles a 4-3 win over the Brewers.
The Yankees stay a half game behind the O’s as New York wallops the Indians, 10-0, in Cleveland. Rudy May strikes out 13 in the shutout.
30th At Parc Jarry, Ted Simmons hits his 20th homer of the year, a 3-run shot in the 1st inning off Steve Rogers, as the Cardinals top the Expos, 5-1. Ken Forsch allows 3 hits in the win, as the Birds stay tied with the Pirates for first place in the NL East.