The dawn of a new conservative majority, the intensifying of the environmental and feminist movements, violent antiwar protests and a scandal that forced the president of the United States to resign from office. Yes, the 1970s were a memorable time in America. Numerous classic moments in the World Series made the decade especially memorable for baseball fans.
Game One, 1970 World Series
The Cincinnati Reds and Baltimore Orioles were tied 3-3 and two runners were on base in the bottom of the sixth inning when Cincinnati’s pinch-hitter Ty Cline chopped a ball in front of the plate. Baltimore’s catcher Elrod Hendricks grabbed the ball and lurched towards Cincinnati’s Bernie Carbo, who was attempting to score. Hendricks, who had the ball in his throwing hand, tagged Carbo with his glove. Nevertheless, plate umpire Ken Burkhart called Carbo out. The Orioles won the game 4-3 and won the Series (the first to be played on an artificial surface) in five games.
Game Two, 1973 World Series
Lasting four hours and 13 minutes, Game Two was the longest in Series history. After the Oakland Athletics scored two runs in the ninth to force extra innings, the New York Mets scored four runs in the top of the 12th and won 10-7. Those runs were the result of a pair of errors by Oakland second baseman Mike Andrews. Oakland owner Charley Finley tried to remove Andrews from the lineup before Game Three by falsely claiming he was injured, but Commissioner Bowie Kuhn ordered Andrews reinstated. Nevertheless, the Athletics won the Series in seven games. They would repeat their success the following 2 years and become only the second team to win three consecutive World Series.
Game Three, 1975 World Series
The Reds and the Boston Red Sox had split the first two games and both teams were looking to grab the momentum. Cincinnati pinch hitter Ed Armbrister attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the 10th. While running to first base, Armbrister got tangled up with Boston catcher Carlton Fisk, who threw the ball into center field, leaving runners on second and third. Plate umpire Larry Barnett dismissed Fisk’s claims of interference and let the play – known thereafter as “the Armbrister Incident” – stand. Joe Morgan’s single drove in the winning run for Cincinnati.
Game Six, 1975 World Series
The Red Sox had lost Game Five and were trailing the Reds 6-3 in the bottom of the seventh when Boston’s Bernie Carbo stepped in and hit a three-run homer. The score was still 6-6 when Carlton Fisk came to the plate in the bottom of the 12th. Pat Darcy, Cincinnati’s eighth pitcher of the game, threw Fisk a ball, and then a sinker down and in.
Fisk later said of that moment: “I wasn’t swinging for a home run. I never swing for a home run. But we were always taught to swing hard in case you hit it. And that’s what I did on that swing.”
Fisk hit a long drive down the left-field line and then waved his arms in a frantic attempt to keep the ball fair. It stayed fair, and the Red Sox won the game 7-6. The television audience saw Fisk’s reaction thanks to NBC cameraman Lou Gerard’s decision to keep his camera on the batter. Harry Coyle, NBC’s director at the game, said it “may have been the greatest shot in televised sports.” The euphoria was short-lived, however, as the Reds rebounded to win Game Seven and the Series.
Game Six, 1977 World Series
The New York Yankees were trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 when New York’s Reggie Jackson stepped to the plate in the fourth inning. In front of the Yankee Stadium fans, Jackson hit a two-run homer off Burt Hooton, whose knuckle-curve had stymied the Yankees in Game Two. Jackson hit another two-run homer – off Elias Sosa this time – in the fifth. Finally, Jackson hit a solo home run off Charlie Hough in the eighth. The Yankees clinched the Series with their 8-4 Game Six win.
In addition to a new nickname – “Mr. October” – Jackson earned himself a place in the record books. His three Game Six home runs tied him with Babe Ruth for the most hit in a Series game, and they were the most ever hit consecutively. In addition, he hit the most home runs (five) as well as the most consecutive homers in more than one Series game. His 25 total bases and 10 run scored were also records, and he tied two records in Game Six with 12 bases and four runs scored.