1970 World Series

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1970 World Series
Team (Wins)ManagerSeason
Baltimore Orioles (4)Earl Weaver108–54, .667, GA: 15
Cincinnati Reds (1)Sparky Anderson102–60, .630, GA: 14½
Dates:October 10 – 15
MVP:Brooks Robinson (Baltimore)
Television:NBC
TV announcers:Curt Gowdy, Jim McIntyre (Games 1–2) and Chuck Thompson (Games 3–5)
Radio:NBC
Radio announcers:Jim Simpson, Chuck Thompson (Games 1–2) and Jim McIntyre (Games 3–5)
Umpires:Ken Burkhart (NL), Red Flaherty (AL), Tony Venzon (NL), Bob Stewart (AL), Billy Williams (NL), Emmett Ashford (AL)
Hall of Famers:Orioles: Earl Weaver (mgr.), Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson.
Reds: Sparky Anderson (mgr.), Johnny Bench, Tony Pérez.
ALCS:Baltimore Orioles over Minnesota Twins (3–0)
NLCS:Cincinnati Reds over Pittsburgh Pirates (3–0)
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1970 World Series
Team (Wins)ManagerSeason
Baltimore Orioles (4)Earl Weaver108–54, .667, GA: 15
Cincinnati Reds (1)Sparky Anderson102–60, .630, GA: 14½
Dates:October 10 – 15
MVP:Brooks Robinson (Baltimore)
Television:NBC
TV announcers:Curt Gowdy, Jim McIntyre (Games 1–2) and Chuck Thompson (Games 3–5)
Radio:NBC
Radio announcers:Jim Simpson, Chuck Thompson (Games 1–2) and Jim McIntyre (Games 3–5)
Umpires:Ken Burkhart (NL), Red Flaherty (AL), Tony Venzon (NL), Bob Stewart (AL), Billy Williams (NL), Emmett Ashford (AL)
Hall of Famers:Orioles: Earl Weaver (mgr.), Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson.
Reds: Sparky Anderson (mgr.), Johnny Bench, Tony Pérez.
ALCS:Baltimore Orioles over Minnesota Twins (3–0)
NLCS:Cincinnati Reds over Pittsburgh Pirates (3–0)
 < 1969World Series1971 > 
Portal iconBaseball portal

The 1970 World Series matched the American League champion Baltimore Orioles against the National League champion Cincinnati Reds, with the Orioles winning in five games.

In this series Emmett Ashford became the first African American to umpire in the Fall Classic. It also featured the first World Series games to be played on artificial turf, as Games 1 and 2 took place at Cincinnati's first-year Riverfront Stadium.

This was the last World Series in which all games were played in the afternoon. Also this was the third time in a World Series where a team leading 3-0 in the series would fail to complete the sweep by losing game 4 but still win game 5 to win the series. 1910 and 1937 were the others.

Background[edit]

The Baltimore Orioles won the American League East division by 15 games over the New York Yankees then defeated the Minnesota Twins, three games to none, in the American League Championship Series. The Cincinnati Reds won the National League West division by 14 12 games over the Los Angeles Dodgers then defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, three games to none, in the National League Championship Series.

The 1970 squad was the first edition of the Cincinnati Reds "Big Red Machine" as fans and media came to call the team throughout the 70s. Sparky Anderson's first year as a major league manager produced 102 wins for the Reds and the first of four NL pennants. The Reds featured a heavy hitting lineup that included future Hall of Famers in catcher Johnny Bench (45 home runs, 148 RBI and .293 batting average) and third baseman Tony Pérez (40, 129, .317), as well as all-time hits leader Pete Rose (15, 52, .316) in right field, NL stolen base leader Bobby Tolan (16, 80, .316) in center field and power-hitting first baseman Lee May (34, 94, .253). The Reds led the league in batting and finished third in runs scored.[1] Cincinnati pitching, however, would be a weak spot throughout the Series. Two-time 20-game winner Jim Maloney could only make three starts during the regular season and was shelved. Two 1970 All Star game representatives, Jim Merritt (20–12) and rookie Wayne Simpson (14–3), were suffering arm injuries. Merritt, who won 20 games by the end of August, pitched less than four regular season innings after September 4.[2] Merritt started Game 5 against Baltimore, but was unable to get through the second inning. Simpson started 8–1 and had 14 wins by July 26,[2] but was shelved thereafter. He did not pitch in the post season.

In contrast, pitching was a strength for the Baltimore Orioles as manager Earl Weaver had three, healthy 20-game winners.[3] Mike Cuellar (24–8, 3.48 ERA), Dave McNally (24–9, 3.22) and future Hall of Famer Jim Palmer (20–10, 2.71) were all well rested and ready for the Series. Weaver balanced good pitching with the hitting of 1970 AL MVP Boog Powell (35, 114, .297), Merv Rettenmund (18, 58, .322), as well as future Hall of Famers Frank Robinson (25, 78, .306) and Brooks Robinson (18, 94, .276), to win 108 regular season games. Coming in, the Orioles had won 14 straight including the final 11 during the regular season and three straight over Minnesota in the ALCS.

The 1970 World Series appearance by Baltimore was the second of what would be three-straight World Series appearances. The Orioles would play in the '71 WS against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Reds would go on to amass four WS appearances in a seven-year stretch (1970, '72, '75 & '76).

Summary[edit]

AL Baltimore Orioles (4) vs. NL Cincinnati Reds (1)

GameDateScoreLocationTimeAttendance
1October 10Baltimore Orioles – 4, Cincinnati Reds – 3Riverfront Stadium2:2451,531[4]
2October 11Baltimore Orioles – 6, Cincinnati Reds – 5Riverfront Stadium2:2651,531[5] 
3October 13Cincinnati Reds – 3, Baltimore Orioles – 9Memorial Stadium2:0951,773[6] 
4October 14Cincinnati Reds – 6, Baltimore Orioles – 5Memorial Stadium2:2653,007[7] 
5October 15Cincinnati Reds – 3, Baltimore Orioles – 9Memorial Stadium2:3545,341[8]

Matchups[edit]

Game 1[edit]

Saturday, October 10, 1970 at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio

Team123456789RHE
Baltimore000210100472
Cincinnati102000000350
WP: Jim Palmer (1–0)   LP: Gary Nolan (0–1)   Sv: Pete Richert (1)
Home runs:
BAL: Boog Powell (1), Elrod Hendricks (1), Brooks Robinson (1)
CIN: Lee May (1)

The Jackson 5 performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" prior to the game, which almost became an embarrassment when the group realized shortly before their performance that they weren't familiar with the lyrics. The Jackson brothers were able to quickly prepare themselves in transit to the stadium and performed the song adequately.

Prior to the game a reporter asked Brooks Robinson if he thought he would be able to play defense on the artificial grass. Robinson replied, "I'm a Major League third baseman. If you want to go play in a parking lot, I'm supposed to stop the ball."[9]

The Reds got off to a fast start, taking a 3–0 lead off Jim Palmer on a first-inning RBI single by Johnny Bench and a third-inning two-run homer by Lee May. The Orioles' offense answered with a two-run homer by Boog Powell in the fourth off Reds' starter Gary Nolan. Elrod Hendricks tied it with a solo homer in the fifth, and Brooks Robinson hit the game-winning homer in the seventh. Prior to his game-winning blast in the sixth inning, Robinson made a spectacular backhanded grab of a hard grounder hit down the third base line by May and spun to throw him out. It was one of several spectacular plays the Gold Glove third baseman would make in the series.

The game turned in the sixth inning on a controversial call by home-plate umpire Ken Burkhart. The Reds had Bernie Carbo on third and Tommy Helms on first when Ty Cline, batting for Woody Woodward, hit a high chopper in front of the plate. Burkhart positioned himself in front of the plate to call the ball fair or foul as Carbo sped home. O's catcher Hendricks fielded the ball and turned to tag Carbo with Burkhart blocking the way. Hendricks tagged the sliding Carbo with his glove hand while holding the ball in his other hand; all the while, Burkhart was knocked to the ground and had his back turned to the play. When Burkhart turned around, he saw Carbo well out of the baseline away from the plate while Hendricks held the ball. Burkhart signaled Carbo out without asking for help from the other umpires. Carbo and Reds' manager Sparky Anderson vehemently argued the call, but to no avail.

Robinson's home run put the O's ahead for the first time, while Palmer settled into a groove on the mound. Palmer allowed no more hits in the seventh and eighth innings. After he walked Pete Rose with two outs in the ninth, Pete Richert relieved Palmer and got Bobby Tolan to line out to shortstop Mark Belanger to end the game.

Game 2[edit]

Sunday, October 11, 1970 at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio

Team123456789RHE
Baltimore0001500006102
Cincinnati301001000570
WP: Tom Phoebus (1–0)   LP: Milt Wilcox (0–1)   Sv: Dick Hall (1)
Home runs:
BAL: Boog Powell (2)
CIN: Bobby Tolan (1), Johnny Bench (1)

Again, another fast start by the Reds fell by the wayside. The Reds scored three in the first on a two-run double by Lee May, who went to third when Orioles center fielder Paul Blair bobbled the ball. Hal McRae squeeze-bunted May home for the third run. They pushed the lead to 4–0 on a homer by Bobby Tolan in the third.

The Orioles began their comeback innocently enough on a Boog Powell solo homer in the fourth. In the fifth, the floodgates opened. With one out, Reds' starter Jim McGlothlin gave up successive singles to pinch-hitter Chico Salmon and Don Buford. Paul Blair singled home Salmon, chasing McGlothlin and bringing in Milt Wilcox. Wilcox gave up RBI singles to Powell and Brooks Robinson and the crushing blow, a two-run double to Elrod Hendricks.

The Reds would get back one run in the sixth on a Johnny Bench home run, but that was it.

Game 3[edit]

Tuesday, October 13, 1970 at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland

Team123456789RHE
Cincinnati010000200390
Baltimore20101410X9101
WP: Dave McNally (1–0)   LP: Tony Cloninger (0–1)
Home runs:
CIN: None
BAL: Frank Robinson (1), Don Buford (1), Dave McNally (1)

Left-hander Dave McNally had a banner day, pitching a complete game, scattering nine hits, while also connecting for a grand slam in the sixth inning off reliever Wayne Granger to break the game open. (As a sidenote, Granger had entered the game in that inning in relief of Tony Cloninger—the only pitcher, to date, to hit two grand slams in one game.) Cloninger, who battled back from near blindness in 1967,[10] kept battling, but after giving up five runs on three walks and six hits, including HRs to Frank Robinson and Buford, was mercifully pulled in the sixth inning. McNally, not known for his hitting, became the first pitcher to hit a World Series grand slam.

Baltimore third baseman Brooks Robinson added to his highlight reel with a spectacular display of fielding. After Pete Rose and Bobby Tolan led the game off with consecutive hits, Robinson made a sensational, leaping grab of Tony Pérez's hopper, stepped on third and fired to first for a double play. In the second inning, Robinson snagged a slow grounder hit by Tommy Helms and threw out the sprinting second baseman. And in the sixth, Robinson made a diving catch of a line drive by Johnny Bench. The Memorial Stadium fans responded by giving Robinson a standing ovation as he came to bat in the bottom of the sixth. He responded by doubling to left.

Game 4[edit]

Wednesday, October 14, 1970 at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland

Team123456789RHE
Cincinnati011010030683
Baltimore013001000580
WP: Clay Carroll (1–0)   LP: Eddie Watt (0–1)
Home runs:
CIN: Pete Rose (1), Lee May (2)
BAL: Brooks Robinson (2)

The Reds staved off a Series sweep in this game thanks to clutch hitting by Lee May and stellar relief pitching by rookie Don Gullett and veteran Clay Carroll.

With a 2–1 lead in the third, Reds' starter Gary Nolan gave up two-out RBI singles to Frank Robinson and Brooks Robinson. Gullett relieved Nolan and surrendered another RBI single to Elrod Hendricks. The Reds crept back in the fifth on a solo homer by Pete Rose.

Gullett gave up an unearned run in the sixth when Hendricks singled Brooks Robinson to third and Robinson scored when Rose's attempted throw from right field sailed past Tony Pérez at third.

In the eighth, Perez walked and Johnny Bench singled. Lee May then slammed a three-run homer off Orioles' reliever Eddie Watt to put the Reds ahead. Carroll, who had entered in the seventh, made the lead stand up. Gullett and Carroll pitched 6 13 innings, giving up four hits and one unearned run, allowing the Reds to claw back on May's heroics. The Reds' victory snapped Baltimore's 17-game winning streak, which included the last 11 regular season games and a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins in the playoffs.

Game 5[edit]

Thursday, October 15, 1970 at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland

Team123456789RHE
Cincinnati300000000360
Baltimore22201002X9150
WP: Mike Cuellar (1–0)   LP: Jim Merritt (0–1)
Home runs:
CIN: None
BAL: Frank Robinson (2), Merv Rettenmund (1)

Seemingly re-energized from their Game 4 win, the Reds rocked Mike Cuellar for three runs in the first on an RBI single by Johnny Bench and a two-run double by Hal McRae. Meanwhile, the Orioles battered the Reds' 20-game winner Jim Merritt, who had been battling a tired arm and had not pitched in 10 days. Merritt allowed two runs in both the first and second innings before being relieved.

Frank Robinson hit a two-run home run, Merv Rettenmund also had a homer and two RBI, and Davey Johnson had two RBI to pace the Orioles' attack. After the rocky first inning, Cuellar settled down and allowed no runs and two hits in the final eight innings for a complete-game victory.


Brooks Robinson won the World Series Most Valuable Player Award hitting .429, broke the record for total bases with 17, tied the record for most hits in one game with four, and tied teammate Paul Blair for most hits in a five-game Series with nine. Total Baseball described Brooks Robinson's fielding with, "other-worldly defense at third (which) gave Reds right-handed hitters nightmares through the Series." Upon hearing that Robinson won the MVP award and a new car from Toyota, Reds' catcher Johnny Bench said, "If we had known he wanted a car that badly, we'd all have chipped in and bought him one."

The victory was redemption for Baltimore, which lost to the underdog New York Mets in the 1969 World Series.

The game was the last in the majors for Ashford, who became the first black umpire to make it to the top level of baseball when he was hired by the American League in 1966. Ashford reached MLB's then-mandatory retirement age of 55 in late 1969, but was allowed by AL president Joe Cronin to come back for 1970, giving him the opportunity to break the World Series color barrier for umpires. Since the series ended in five games, he did not get to work home plate. Under the rotation system in use at the time, the leagues assigned their senior umpires to work the plate in the early games, with the junior umpires only getting to work the plate if the series was extended. Ashford's AL colleagues on the World Series crew, John "Red" Flaherty and Bob Stewart, each worked World Series prior to Ashford's promotion. A black umpire did not call balls and strikes in a World Series game until 1993, when the NL's Charlie Williams worked the plate in Game 4.

Since MLB combined the umpiring staffs of the two leagues in 2000, the crew chief works the plate in Games 1 and 7 of the LCS and World Series, while the other senior umpires don't call balls and strikes until Games 5 and 6. In the Division Series, the crew chief waits until Game 3 or Game 5 to work the plate.

mlb.com coverage of Game 5

Composite box[edit]

1970 World Series (4–1): Baltimore Orioles (A.L.) over Cincinnati Reds (N.L.)

Team123456789RHE
Baltimore Orioles43638522033505
Cincinnati Reds72401123020353
Total attendance: 253,183   Average attendance: 50,637
Winning player's share: $18,216   Losing player's share: $13,688[11]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Neft, David S.; Cohen, Richard.; Neft, Michael L., eds. (2003). The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball (23rd ed.). New York: St Martin's Griffen. p. 396. 
  2. ^ a b "1970 Cincinnati Reds box scores". Retrieved May 28, 2011. 
  3. ^ Neft, David S.; Cohen, Richard.; Neft, Michael L., eds. (2003). The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball (23rd ed.). New York: St Martin's Griffen. p. 392. 
  4. ^ "1970 World Series Game 1 - Baltimore Orioles vs. Cincinnati Reds". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  5. ^ "1970 World Series Game 2 - Baltimore Orioles vs. Cincinnati Reds". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  6. ^ "1970 World Series Game 3 - Cincinnati Reds vs. Baltimore Orioles". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  7. ^ "1970 World Series Game 4 - Cincinnati Reds vs. Baltimore Orioles". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  8. ^ "1970 World Series Game 5 - Cincinnati Reds vs. Baltimore Orioles". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  9. ^ http://www.baseball-almanac.com/quotes/quobrob.shtml
  10. ^ Comments made by Curt Gowdy during NBC's original broadcast.
  11. ^ "World Series Gate Receipts and Player Shares". Baseball Almanac. Archived from the original on May 2, 2009. Retrieved June 14, 2009. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]