The 1971 National League Championship Series was a best-of-five series that pitted the East Division champion Pittsburgh Pirates against the West Division champion San Francisco Giants. The Pirates won the Series three games to one and won the 1971 World Series against the Baltimore Orioles. The Giants did not return to the postseason until 1987.
This was the third National League Championship Series in all. It was the first League Championship Series in either league that was not a sweep for the winning team (Baltimore swept Oakland in the 1971 ALCS).
|1971 National League Championship Series|
|Umpires||Tom Gorman, Shag Crawford, Lee Weyer, Andy Olsen, Dick Stello, Satch Davidson|
|TV announcers||Curt Gowdy and Tony Kubek (Games 1–2)|
Jim Simpson and Sandy Koufax (Games 3–4)
Pittsburgh won the series, 3–1.
|1||October 2||Pittsburgh Pirates – 4, San Francisco Giants – 5||Candlestick Park||2:44||40,977|
|2||October 3||Pittsburgh Pirates – 9, San Francisco Giants – 4||Candlestick Park||3:23||42,562|
|3||October 5||San Francisco Giants – 1, Pittsburgh Pirates – 2||Three Rivers Stadium||2:26||38,222|
|4||October 6||San Francisco Giants – 5, Pittsburgh Pirates – 9||Three Rivers Stadium||3:00||35,487|
|WP: Gaylord Perry (1–0) LP: Steve Blass (0–1)|
SF: Tito Fuentes (1), Willie McCovey (1)
With aces Gaylord Perry and Steve Blass taking the mound for their respective teams, Game 1 looked to be a pitchers duel. But the offenses were effective. The Pirates struck for two in the top of the third when Dave Cash doubled home Jackie Hernández. Cash scored the second run when Richie Hebner grounded to Tito Fuentes at second, but Willie McCovey, who attempted to field the ball and had to scramble back to first because Perry didn't cover the bag, dropped Fuentes' throw. The Giants halved the lead in their half of the third when Chris Speier singled, went to second on a Perry sacrifice, and scored on a Ken Henderson single.
Fuentes and McCovey would redeem themselves in the fifth by each slamming two-run homers off Blass for a 5–2 lead. Al Oliver cut the deficit to 5–4 for the Pirates with two-run single in the seventh, but that was it as Perry went the distance for a complete game win.
|WP: Dock Ellis (1–0) LP: John Cumberland (0–1)|
PIT: Bob Robertson 3 (3), Gene Clines (1)
SF: Willie Mays (1)
In front of an NBC-TV audience, Pirate first baseman Bob Robertson grew into a star in Game 2. Robertson smashed three homers, becoming the first to do so in a playoff game. The Giants struck first in the bottom of the first when Tito Fuentes singled off Dock Ellis and scored on a double by Willie Mays. After the Pirates tied the game in the second off John Cumberland when Robertson hit a leadoff double and scored on Manny Sanguillen's single, the Giants retook the lead in the bottom half when Chris Speier hit a leadoff double and scored on Ken Henderson's single. Robertson's first home run of the game tied the score again in the fourth. Sanguillen's single then knocked Cumberland out of the game. After a stolen base, Jackie Hernandez's RBI single off Jim Barr put the Pirates up 3–2. Gene Clines's home run next inning extended their lead to 4–2. A pivotal play occurred just prior to the Pirates' 4-run seventh, when Mays, batting in the bottom of the sixth with two out and his team trailing, 4–2, saw his bid for a bases-clearing double grabbed by right fielder Roberto Clemente. After a leadoff double and single, Clemente's RBI single off Don Carrithers made it 5–2 Pirates. One out later, Robertsons' three-run home run off Ron Bryant extended their lead to 8–2. Robertson's third home run in the ninth off of Steve Hamilton made it 9–2. A two-run home run from Mays off Bob Miller in the bottom half made it 9–4, but Dave Giusti in relief retired all three batters he faced as the Pirates tied the series heading to Pittsburgh.
|WP: Bob Johnson (1–0) LP: Juan Marichal (0–1) Sv: Dave Giusti (1)|
PIT: Bob Robertson (4), Richie Hebner (1)
The Pirates' Bob Johnson and the Giants' Juan Marichal locked into a tight pitcher's duel for eight innings. Bob Robertson hit a homer, his then-record fourth of the series, in the second, and the Giants tied it in the sixth when Ken Henderson singled and scored when third baseman Richie Hebner threw wildly past Robertson at first after fielding a bunt by Tito Fuentes.
Hebner would atone for the error, however, by slamming a game-winning homer in the eighth off Marichal. Dave Giusti came on in the ninth and saved it for Johnson and the Pirates.
|WP: Bruce Kison (1–0) LP: Gaylord Perry (1–1)|
SF: Chris Speier (1), Willie McCovey (2)
PIT: Richie Hebner (2), Al Oliver (1)
Another anticipated pitching duel between Giants' Gaylord Perry and Pirates' Steve Blass quickly went by the wayside. Blass lasted only two innings, giving up five runs. Willie McCovey's RBI single with two on in the first gave the Giants a 1–0 lead, but they left the bases loaded. In the bottom half, after a leadoff single and double, Roberto Clemente's two-run single put the Pirates up 2–1, but in the second, Chris Speier's leadoff home run tied the game. After two singles and two outs, Willie McCovey's three-run home run put the Giants up 5–2, but the Pirates, however, got Blass off the hook in the bottom of the inning. Richie Hebner tied the game with a three-run home run. The score stayed at 5–5 until the sixth when Dave Cash singled, moved to second on a groundout, and scored on a Roberto Clemente RBI single. Jerry Johnson relieved Perry and after intentionally walking Willie Stargell, Al Oliver's three-run home run made it 9–5 Pirates. Meanwhile, Bruce Kison and Dave Giusti pitched the last seven innings of shutout baseball to close out the series and win the pennant for the first time in 11 years.
|San Francisco Giants||2||5||1||0||4||1||0||0||2||15||31||4|
|Total attendance: 157,248 Average attendance: 39,312|
The 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 90th season for the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise; their 85th in the National League. It involved the Pirates finishing first in the National League East with a record of 97 wins and 65 losses. They defeated the San Francisco Giants three games to one in the National League Championship Series and beat the Baltimore Orioles four games to three in the World Series. The Pirates were managed by Danny Murtaugh, and played their first full season at Three Rivers Stadium, which had opened in July the year before.1971 San Francisco Giants season
The 1971 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 89th year in Major League Baseball, their 14th year in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season, and their 12th at Candlestick Park. The team finished in first place in the National League West with a 90–72 record. The Giants faced the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1971 National League Championship Series, losing three games to one.Al Oliver
Albert Oliver Jr. (born October 14, 1946) is an American former professional baseball outfielder, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1968–1977), Texas Rangers (1978–1981), Montreal Expos (1982–1983), San Francisco Giants (1984), Philadelphia Phillies (1984), Los Angeles Dodgers (1985), and Toronto Blue Jays (1985), over the course of his 18-year MLB career. Nicknamed "Scoop", Oliver batted and threw left-handed.
Although Oliver played all three outfield positions, he was primary a center fielder, who also occasionally filled in at first base. He was signed by the Pirates as an amateur free agent in 1964. From 1970 to 1976 he played on five Pirates division champions, including the team that defeated the Baltimore Orioles in the 1971 World Series.Bob Miller (baseball, born 1939)
Robert Lane Miller (February 18, 1939 – August 6, 1993) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball.
Miller played for three World Series champions—the 1963 Los Angeles Dodgers, 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers and the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates—five league champions and four division winners, as well as for four teams that lost 100 or more games in a season.Miller played for ten teams during his major league career, tying a modern-day record (since 1900) with Dick Littlefield that has since been broken. He played with three teams in each of three seasons: the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs in 1970; the Cubs, San Diego Padres and Pittsburgh Pirates in 1971; and the Padres, Detroit Tigers and New York Mets in 1973.Steve Treder of Hardball Times described Miller as a "whatever-is-needed utility pitcher". Former teammate Roy Hartsfield, who managed the Toronto Blue Jays when Miller was the team's pitching coach, called him "The Christian", a nickname he earned "because he suffers so much", noting that Miller was a part-time reliever with a sore arm, but that "when we came up with some other sore arms on the staff he would come in and suffer a few innings."His 12 consecutive losses at the start of the 1962 season with the Mets stood as a club record until it was broken by Anthony Young in 1993.Bruce Kison
Bruce Eugene Kison (February 18, 1950 – June 2, 2018) was an American professional baseball pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball. He pitched from 1971–85 for three teams, the Pittsburgh Pirates (1971–79), California Angels (1980–84) and Boston Red Sox (1985). Kison won two World Series championships with the Pirates, both over the Baltimore Orioles. He batted and threw right-handed.
During a 15-year career, Kison compiled 115 wins with 88 losses, 1,073 strikeouts, and a 3.66 ERA.Dick Dietz
Richard Allen "Dick" Dietz (September 18, 1941 – June 28, 2005) was an American professional baseball player. He played as a catcher in Major League Baseball for the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Atlanta Braves from 1966 to 1973.Horace Stoneham
Horace Charles Stoneham (/stoh-nəm/) (April 27, 1903 – January 7, 1990) was an American Major League Baseball executive and the owner of the New York and San Francisco Giants from 1936 to 1976.
Inheriting the Giants, one of the flagship franchises of the National League, from his father, Charles, in 1936, he oversaw four pennant-winning teams in his first two decades as owner. Then, in 1958, he moved the Giants from New York City to San Francisco, one of two National League owners to bring Major League Baseball to the lucrative West Coast territory. Although the Giants won only one pennant (1962) and one division title (1971) in their first 15 years after moving to the Bay Area, they were a consistent contender that featured some of the era's biggest stars. But, during the mid-1970s, they declined in on-field success and suffered significant attendance losses, forcing Stoneham to sell the team in 1976.
Stoneham was born in Newark, New Jersey, and educated at the Hun School of Princeton and the Trinity-Pawling School. He briefly attended Fordham University, but soon dropped out to work in a copper mine in California and begin, at his father's insistence, his apprenticeship as a baseball executive and future owner. He worked on the Giants' grounds crew and in their ticket office, then moved into their front office. When, at age 32, he succeeded to the team presidency on his father's death in January 1936, Stoneham became the youngest club owner in National League history.Jerry Johnson (baseball)
Jerry Michael Johnson (born December 3, 1943) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, San Diego Padres, and Toronto Blue Jays.Juan Marichal
Juan Antonio Marichal Sánchez (born October 20, 1937) is a Dominican former professional baseball player. He played as a right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball, most notably for the San Francisco Giants. Marichal was known for his high leg kick, pinpoint control and intimidation tactics, which included aiming pitches directly at the opposing batters' helmets.Marichal also played for the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers for the final two seasons of his career. Although he won more games than any other pitcher during the 1960s, he appeared in only one World Series game and he was often overshadowed by his contemporaries Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson in post-season awards. Marichal was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983.Larry Jansen
Lawrence Joseph Jansen (July 16, 1920 – October 10, 2009) was an American right-handed pitcher and coach in Major League Baseball. A native of Oregon, he played minor league baseball in the early 1940s before starting his Major League career in 1947 with the New York Giants. Jansen played nine seasons in the big leagues, and was twice an All-Star, winning 122 games in all. He later coached in the Major Leagues and minor leagues. Jansen is a member of the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame and the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame.Manny Sanguillén
Manuel De Jesus Sanguillén Magan, better known as Manny Sanguillén or "Sangy" (born March 21, 1944 in Colón, Panama), is a Panamanian former professional baseball player who was a catcher in the Major Leagues. He was named to the All-Star team three times, in 1971, 1972, and 1975. He played primarily for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but also for the Oakland Athletics in 1977. With the Pirates, he won the 1971 World Series and the 1979 World Series, both over the Baltimore Orioles. Sanguillen's lifetime batting average of .296 is the fourth-highest by a catcher since World War II, and tenth-highest for catchers in Major League Baseball history.Nelson Briles
Nelson Kelley Briles (August 5, 1943 – February 13, 2005) was a Major League Baseball pitcher. A hard thrower whose best pitch was a slider, he exhibited excellent control. Briles batted and threw right-handed.Richie Hebner
Richard Joseph Hebner (born November 26, 1947) is an American former Major League Baseball (MLB) third baseman and the current batting coach for the Toronto Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons. Hebner was known for working as a gravedigger at a cemetery run by his father and brother, Dennis, during the offseason.Total bases
In baseball statistics, total bases is the number of bases a player has gained with hits. It is a weighted sum for which the weight value is 1 for a single, 2 for a double, 3 for a triple and 4 for a home run. Only bases attained from hits count toward this total. Reaching base by other means (such as a base on balls) or advancing further after the hit (such as when a subsequent batter gets a hit) does not increase the player's total bases. In box scores and other statistical summaries, total bases is often denoted by the abbreviation TB.The total bases divided by the number of at bats is the player's slugging average.Vic Davalillo
Víctor José Davalillo Romero [da-va-LEE-yo] (born July 31, 1936) is a Venezuelan former professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as an outfielder for the Cleveland Indians (1963–68), California Angels (1968–69), St. Louis Cardinals (1969–70), Pittsburgh Pirates (1971–73), Oakland Athletics (1973–74) and Los Angeles Dodgers (1977–80). Davalillo batted and threw left-handed.Davalillo was a leadoff hitter known for his speedy baserunning and capable defensive ability. Later in his career, he became a valuable utility player and a record-setting pinch hitter. Davalillo also had an exceptional career in the Venezuelan Winter League where he is the all-time leader in total base hits and in career batting average.