The 1975 National League Championship Series was a best-of-five match-up between the East Division champion Pittsburgh Pirates and the West Division champion Cincinnati Reds. The Reds swept the Pirates in three games and went on to win the World Series against the Boston Red Sox.
|1975 National League Championship Series|
|Umpires||John Kibler, Andy Olsen, Frank Pulli, Billy Williams, Tom Gorman, Art Williams|
|TV announcers||Joe Garagiola and Maury Wills (Games 1–2) |
Curt Gowdy and Tony Kubek (Game 3)
Cincinnati won the series, 3–0.
|1||October 4||Pittsburgh Pirates – 3, Cincinnati Reds – 8||Riverfront Stadium||3:00||54,633|
|2||October 5||Pittsburgh Pirates – 1, Cincinnati Reds – 6||Riverfront Stadium||2:51||54,752|
|3||October 7||Cincinnati Reds – 5, Pittsburgh Pirates – 3 (10 innings)||Three Rivers Stadium||2:47||46,355|
|WP: Don Gullett (1–0) LP: Jerry Reuss (0–1)|
CIN: Don Gullett (1)
The Pirates struck first in the second off of Don Gullett when he hit Dave Parker with a pitch with two outs before Richie Hebner's double and Frank Taveras's single scored a run each, but in the bottom half, Gullett's RBI single off of Jerry Reuss with two on cut the Pirates' lead to 2–1. Next inning, after two walks, Tony Perez's RBI single tied the game and two outs later, Ken Griffey's two-run single put the Reds up 4–2. In the fifth, the Reds loaded the bases with no outs off of Larry Demery on a walk and two singles before Griffey's sacrifice fly and Cesar Geronimo's groundout scored a run each. Gullett's home run then made it 8–2. Bob Robertson's two-out RBI single with two on cut the lead to 8–3, but Gullett pitched a complete game to give the Reds a 1–0 series lead.
|WP: Fred Norman (1–0) LP: Jim Rooker (0–1) Sv: Rawly Eastwick (1)|
CIN: Tony Pérez (1)
Tony Pérez's two-run home run in the first off of Jim Rooker gave the Reds a lead they never relinquished. The Pirates cut it to 2–1 in the fourth off of Fred Norman when Willie Stargell hit a leadoff double, moved to third on a wild pitch and after a walk, scored on Richie Hebner's groundout, but in the bottom half, three straight leadoff singles gave the Reds that run back. After a double steal, Norman's sacrifice fly extended their lead to 4–1. In the sixth, Ken Griffey hit a leadoff single off of Kent Tekulve, stole second and third, and scored on Ken Brett's balk. Next inning, Bruce Kison hit Joe Morgan with a pitch to lead off. After stealing second, Morgan scored on Perez's RBI single. Rawly Eastwick pitched three innings of relief as the Reds' 6–1 win gave them a 2–0 series lead.
|WP: Rawly Eastwick (1–0) LP: Ramón Hernández (0–1) Sv: Pedro Borbón (1)|
CIN: Dave Concepción (1), Pete Rose (1)
PIT: Al Oliver (1)
The only drama of the Series came in Game 3 played at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium.
The home team sent left-hander John Candelaria to the hill to try to stem the Red tide and the 21-year-old rookie responded magnificently. He yielded a home run to Dave Concepción in the second inning, but going into the eighth had a 2–1 lead, the result of Al Oliver's two-run homer in the Pirate sixth inning off of Gary Nolan. Candelaria struck out the first two batters in the eighth. That gave him a total of 14 for the game, a new playoff record. Concepción's circuit clout had been the only Reds hit to that point.
But, inexplicably, he lost his control and walked the weak-hitting Merv Rettenmund, a pinch-hitter. Pete Rose then blasted a home run to put the Reds ahead, 3–2. When Joe Morgan followed Rose's homer with a double, Candelaria left the game. The Pirates tied the game in the ninth when relief pitcher Rawly Eastwick walked in the tying run with two out.
But it all served to merely delay the inevitable. The Reds got three hits and two runs off veteran Ramón Hernández, the third Pittsburgh hurler, in the top of the tenth. Ken Griffey hit leadoff single, moved to second on a balk, then to third on a groundout before scoring on Ed Armbrister's sacrifice fly. Pete Rose singled before Morgan's RBI double padded the Reds' lead to 5–3. Pedro Borbon retired the Pirates in order in the bottom of the inning as the Reds clinched their third pennant of the decade.
This game, and Game 3 of the 1975 American League Championship Series, were the first league championship series games ever played at night. Both were regionally televised by NBC.
|Total attendance: 155,740 Average attendance: 51,913|
The 1975 American League Championship Series pitted the Boston Red Sox against the three-time defending world champion Oakland Athletics for the right to advance to the 1975 World Series. The Red Sox swept the series 3-0 to win their first AL pennant since 1967, and simultaneously end the A's run of three consecutive world championships.Art Williams (umpire)
Arthur Williams (February 24, 1934 – February 8, 1979) was a professional baseball umpire who worked in the National League (NL) from 1972 to 1977, and was the first African-American umpire in the NL, wearing number 25 during his career. Williams umpired 806 Major League Baseball (MLB) games in his six-year career. He also umpired in the 1975 National League Championship Series.Bill Robinson (outfielder)
William Henry Robinson, Jr. (June 26, 1943 – July 29, 2007) was an American professional baseball outfielder, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1966 to 1983, for several teams. He also played some first and third base. Robinson batted and threw right-handed.
After his playing days ended, Robinson moved on to a very successful coaching career. He is cited as having been a key mentor in Darryl Strawberry's career, as well as several other young players he coached with the New York Mets.
Overall, Robinson collected three World Series rings, with the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates (as a player), and as first base coach for both the 1986 Mets and 2003 Florida Marlins.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.Don Gullett
Donald Edward Gullett (born January 6, 1951) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees from 1970 to 1978. He also served as pitching coach for the Cincinnati Reds from 1993 to 2005.George Foster (baseball)
George Arthur Foster (born December 1, 1948) is an American former professional baseball outfielder, who played in Major League Baseball from 1969 to 1986. One of the most feared right-handed sluggers of his era, he was a key piece of the Cincinnati Reds' "Big Red Machine" that won consecutive World Series in 1975 and 1976.
Foster led the National League in home runs in 1977 and 1978, and in RBIs in 1976, 1977, and 1978. He won the NL's Most Valuable Player Award in 1977 and a Silver Slugger Award in 1981.List of Major League Baseball pitchers who have hit home runs in the postseason
Relatively few Major League Baseball pitchers have hit home runs in the postseason. Through the 2018 World Series, only 24 home runs have been hit, by 22 different pitchers.Phillies–Pirates rivalry
The Phillies–Pirates rivalry is a Major League Baseball (MLB) rivalry between the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates. Both clubs are members of MLB's National League (NL); the Phillies are members of the NL East division, while the Pirates are members of the NL Central division. The rivalry was considered by some to be one of the best in the NL. The rivalry started when the Pittsburgh Pirates entered NL play in their fifth season of 1887, four years after the Phillies.The Phillies and Pirates had remained together after the NL split into two divisions in 1969. During the period of two-division play (1969–1993), the two NL East division rivals won the two highest numbers of division championships, reigning almost exclusively as NL East champions in the 1970s and again in the early 1990s, the Pirates 9, the Phillies 6; together, the two teams' 15 championships accounted for more than half of the 25 NL East championships during that span.After the Pirates moved to the NL Central in 1994, the teams face each other only in two series each year and the rivalry has diminished. However, many fans, especially older ones, retain their dislike for the other team and regional differences between Eastern and Western Pennsylvania still fuel the rivalry. The rivalry is mirrored in the National Hockey League (NHL)'s so-called "Battle of Pennsylvania".Umpire (baseball)
In baseball, the umpire is the person charged with officiating the game, including beginning and ending the game, enforcing the rules of the game and the grounds, making judgment calls on plays, and handling the disciplinary actions. The term is often shortened to the colloquial form ump. They are also sometimes addressed as blue at lower levels due to the common color of the uniform worn by umpires. In professional baseball, the term blue is seldom used by players or managers, who instead call the umpire by name. Although games were often officiated by a sole umpire in the formative years of the sport, since the turn of the 20th century, officiating has been commonly divided among several umpires, who form the umpiring crew. The position is analogous to that of a referee in many other sports.University of Cincinnati Bearcat Bands
The University of Cincinnati Bearcat Bands (often accompanied by the phrase The UC Band Is Damn Good or TUCBIDG) make up the university's athletic band program and are distinct and separate from the College Conservatory of Music. The Bearcat Bands serve as both an academic class and a student group as an independent department within the Division of Student Life.