1976 September

1stRed Sox pitcher Fergie Jenkins rips his Achilles tendon covering 1B in the 5th inning against the Rangers. Jenkins (12–11) is through for the year. Murphy relieves and pitches 4.2 innings of hitless ball to earn the 3-0 victory at Fenway.

3rd  The Brewers crush the Tigers and Mark Fidrych, 11–2, as Mike Hegan hits for the cycle and drives in 6 runs.

Rangers catcher Jim Sundberg records 3 assists in the 5th inning of a 4–1 win over the Royals. He becomes only the 7th perpetrator of this feat in ML history.

For the second straight game, the Phillies lose, 1-0, this time to Tom Seaver and the Mets.

The Cardinals swap Mike Easler to the Angels for minor leaguer Ron Farkas.

4th  The Reds Pat Zachary gives up a pair of singles in the 2nd in pitching a 5–1 two-hitter against the Braves.

5thPhillies pitcher Larry Christenson belts two homers and pitches a 3–1 win over the Mets.  Mickey Lolich is the losing pitcher.

6thCalifornia’s Frank Tanana strikes out 15 batters in 10 innings but is not involved in a decision. Oakland wins in the 11th, 2–1.

The Reds take a comfortable 8–0 lead in the 3rd against J.R. Richards (16-14) and the Astros, and then hang on to win, 9–8. Houston scores 3 in the 9th to make it close.  Joe Morgan has his second grand slam of the year and Johnny Bench steals home in Cincy’s big frame.

In the Dodgers 4-1 win over the Padres, Dodger C Steve Yeager is seriously injured when he is struck in the neck by the loose end of a broken bat. Yeager is in the on-deck circle when the end of teammate Bill Russell’s bat comes off when he is hitting. The splintered end of his bat narrowly misses the windpipe of Yeager. The catcher will return to limited action in three weeks.

7thLeo Foster and Mike Phillips hit homers to pace a 16-hit Mets attack at Wrigley Field as New York rolls to an 11-0 win over the Cubs. For Foster, who drives in 5 runs, it is his first homer of the year. For Phillips, it is his 4th homer of the year—all at Wrigley. Jon Matlack scatters 8 hits in the shutout.

8thIn a twinbill, the Expos Joe Kerrigan wins a pair from the Cardinals with two innings of relief work in both games. Montreal wins, 7–5 and 8–7.

9th  George Brett is 5-for-5 to lead the Royals to a 6–5 win over the Angels in 10 innings.

At Texas, Rod Carew hits a pinch grand slam in the 7th, off Hargan for the Twins, as Minnesota wins, 6–0.  It is Carew’s 3rd grand slam of the year, Dave Goltz twirls the shutout.

10th  Nolan Ryan hurls a 3-hit 3–2 victory for California, fanning 18 White Sox batsmen. Bart Johnson is the losing pitcher.

Down by a run, the Yankees score 5 runs in the 8th to beat the Brewers, 6-2.  Oscar Gamble has a grand slam and 5 RBIs for the first-place Yankees.  Catfish Hunter wins his 15th.

11th Chicago’s all-time home run leader (134) Minnie Minoso comes to bat for the White Sox after a 12-year hiatus. He goes hitless in his 3 at bats against Frank Tanana, but his appearance makes him one of a handful of ML players to play in 4 decades. His at bat in 1980 will match him with Nick Altrock as a 5-decade player. California wins, 7–3.

12th  DH Minnie Minoso singles for the White Sox against the Angels Sid Monge. At 53, Minoso is believed the oldest ever to collect a hit in the ML (although he says in his autobiography that he was born in 1925, not 1922 as listed in the record books). But research by historian Bill Carle will reveal that Jim O’Rourke, who hit safely on September 22, 1904 was 54 years and ten-months old. Minnie will make another appearance against Monge on September 30, going 0-for-2. Monge loses today, 2–1, with the victory going to Goose Gossage.

14th  Braves rookie Al Autry goes 5 innings and gets the win in a 4–3 decision over the Astros in the second game of a doubleheader. Willie Montanez’s 3-run homer is the big blow for Atlanta as a crowd of just 970 watches. For Autry, this is his only big league appearance and decision: Earl Huckleberry, of the 1935 A’s, is the last pitcher to bow out with a 1–0 record in one game. Atlanta loses the opener by a 4-3 score.

15th  John Denny has 3 hits and 2 runs and shuts out the Mets, 7-0. Joe Ferguson adds a grand slam and 5 RBI for the Cards. In the second game, John Curtis scatters 6 hits for a 4-1 Birds victory.

17th  At Milwaukee County Stadium, 40,383 fans are on hand to celebrate “Hank Aaron Day.” Among those gathered are commissioner Bowie Kuhn and Jack Ford, representing his father Gerald. Hank goes hitless in 5 at-bats, and the first-place Yankees spoil the night by winning, 5–3, in 11 innings.  Graig Nettles hits a solo homer in the 11th for the game winner, and an insurance run scores on a suicide bunt.  Ed Figueroa tallies his 19th win, and the Yanks pad their lead to 11 games.

The Pirates top the Mets, 4–1, for their 18th win in 22 games.  Doc Medich (7–11) picks up the victory.  Since August 24th, the Bucs have shaved 12 1/2 games off the Phillies lead.

Shades of ’64. In Chicago, the faltering Phils lose to the Cubs, 4–3, when Champ Summers scores with 2 out in the 12th. Philley now leads by just 3 games.

18th  In the first of two, the Indians top the 2nd-place Orioles 5–1. In the nightcap, Cleveland manager Frank Robinson makes his final ML appearance as a player when he pinch-hits in the 8th and singles against the Orioles Rudy May. The O’s holds on to win, 3–2.

Tom Seaver cuts down the Pirates for the 2nd time in 6 days, this time winning 6–2 at Shea. Dave Kingman belts his 35th homer and Ed Kranepool adds another for the Mets.

The Phillies finally win, topping the host Cubs, 4–1, as Jay Johnstone leads with 4 hits. It is the first-place Phillies 6th win in their 24 games.

Joe Keener starts his 10-day ML career by giving up a hit to Jerry Mumphrey, balking him to 2B, then picking him off. But he walks four, throws a wild pitch and gives up 4 runs in the 1st as the Expos lose, 7-4 to the Cards in game 2. The Cards win the opener, 4-1.

19th  Catfish Hunter notches his 200th career victory as the Yankees stop Milwaukee 2–1. Since 1901, only Christy Mathewson and Pete Alexander have hit the 200 mark before their 31st birthday, but arm trouble will limit Catfish to 224 wins. He’ll win 17 this year, after 5 straight 20-win seasons.

20thThe Angels Nolan Ryan outduels the Rangers Bert Blyleven, 1–0.

21stIn LA, the Reds clinch the NL West title with a 9–1 pasting of the Dodgers.

Atlanta’s Phil Niekro shrugs off 4 passed balls by his young catcher Dale Murphy and beats the Astros, 6-2.

22nd  Don Sutton wins his 20th game of the year for the Dodgers, beating the Giants 3–1 on a 6-hitter. Sutton will win 324 in his career, but this is the only year he will be a 20-game winner.

24th  John Wathan scores in the 14th inning on a Hal McRae single and the first-place Royals edge the Rangers, 2-1. Larry Gura (3-0) is the winner with 5 innings of shutout relief.

25th  In Detroit, the Yankees jump off to an 8-0 lead after 2 innings and hang on for a 10-6 win over the Tigers.  Munson and Chambliss homer for New York, while Chuck Scriverner hits a 3-run homer for the Bengals. The Yankees lead the 2nd-place Orioles by 8 games.

26th  In the last big league games at Jarry Stadium, the Phillies beat the Expos, 4–1, in the first game of a doubleheader to clinch the NL East title. Philley takes the nightcap, 2–1. Following the 2nd game, Dick Allen jumps the team in protest of the fact that veteran Tony Taylor is not listed on the post-season roster.

Bill Madlock, Cubs third sacker, is mugged in his room at New York’s Waldorf Astoria. Two men hit him on the head and escape with $50. Madlock will miss tonight’s game with the Mets, a 2-1 mugging as the Mets sweep the three games with the Cubs. Suffering from dizziness, he will also skip the next two games in Pittsburgh.

27th  At Shea, John Milner has 2 homers, including his second grand slam of the year, and drives in 6 runs as the Mets slam the Expos, 10-3, in 8 innings. Rain mercifully stops the game.

28th  Cincy’s Big Red Machine notches its 100th win, a 5–4 victory over the San Diego Padres. Jack Billingham (12–10) is the winner. Randy Jones takes the loss but sets a NL record with 112 errorless chances. The ML record is held Frank Owen of the 1904 White Sox, who did not commit an error in 151 chances (121 assists, 30 PO). Jones finishes the year with 12 DPs, tying the NL record. He also finishes with the NL lead in wins (22), games started (40) and completed (25), IP (315.1) and hits allowed.

29th  John Montefusco walks only Jerry Royster in hurling a no-hitter as the Giants beat the Braves 9–0. Starter Jamie Easterly toils less than two innings to take the loss. Montefusco (16-14), “The Mouth that Roared,” proclaims in the locker room afterwards that, “The Count is back.”

The Dodgers Walter Alston, after 23 years and 2,040 victories, steps down as manager. 3B coach Tommy Lasorda is promoted to the post.

At Montreal, Steve Rogers (7-17) beats Tom Seaver (14-11) as the Expos win over the Mets, 7-2. Wayne Garret has  grand slam against his former team.

Doug Radar belts a 1st-inning grand slam and the Padres roll to a 6-1 win over the Reds.

At Fenway, Graig Nettles has 4 hits, including a pair of homers, one a grand slam, scores 4 and drives in 6 as the Yankees top the Red Sox, 9-6. Catfish Hunter wins his 17th.  Nettles leads the AL in homers with 32, the only AL hitter with over 30 four baggers. Roy White scores a pair of runs and with 104 is the only AL player to top the century mark in the category.

30th  The Chicago White Sox try a different approach against California, using a lineup in numerical order by field position. As noted by historian Greg Beeson, the batting order is: Downing—2: L. Johnson—3: Stein—4: Bell—5: Dent—6: Bannister—7: Lemon—8: Hairston—9. Finishing off the lineup is 53-year-old DH Minnie Minoso. The Angels are unimpressed, winning, 7–3, behind Sid Monge. Facing Monge for the 2nd time this year, Minnie is 0-for-2. Minnie’s next appearance will be on October 4, 1980.