1974 New York Yankees season

The 1974 New York Yankees season was the 72nd season for the team. The team finished second in the American League East with a record of 89–73, two games behind the Baltimore Orioles in Bill Virdon's first season as manager. The Yankees played at Shea Stadium due to the ongoing renovation of Yankee Stadium.

1974 New York Yankees
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s)George Steinbrenner
General manager(s)Gabe Paul
Manager(s)Bill Virdon
Local televisionWPIX
(Phil Rizzuto, Frank Messer, Bill White)
Local radioWMCA
(Frank Messer, Phil Rizzuto, Bill White)
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The off-season became controversial when George Steinbrenner and Gabe Paul sought to hire former Oakland Athletics manager Dick Williams, who had resigned immediately after leading the team to its second straight World Series title. However, because Williams was still under contract to Oakland, A's owner Charlie Finley sought to block the move, the subsequent legal wrangling prevented the Yankees from hiring him. On the first anniversary of the team's ownership change, the Yankees hired former Pittsburgh Pirates manager Bill Virdon to lead the team on the field.

Notable transactions

Regular season

  • August 25, 1974: Nolan Ryan of the California Angels struck out Sandy Alomar Sr. of the Yankees for the 1500th strikeout of his career.[7] Ryan and Alomar had been teammates at the beginning of the season, but Alomar had been sold to the Yankees on July 8.
  • September 7, 1974: The Yankees' Graig Nettles hit a home run against the Detroit Tigers. The next time up, he hit a broken-bat single. Tigers catcher Bill Freehan scrambled for the six superballs that came bouncing out. Nettles was called out on the single, but his solo homer was allowed and that made all the difference as the Yankees won 1–0.[8]

Hall of Fame

Whitey Ford's number 16 was retired by the New York Yankees in 1974.

Mickey Mantle and former teammate Whitey Ford were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame together in 1974, Mantle in his first year of eligibility, Ford in his second. Ford's number 16 was retired as well. Although Ford wore number 19 in his rookie season, following his return from the army in 1953, he wore number 16 for the remainder of his career.

Season standings

AL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
Baltimore Orioles 9171 0.562 46–35 45–36
New York Yankees 8973 0.549 2 47–34 42–39
Boston Red Sox 8478 0.519 7 46–35 38–43
Cleveland Indians 7785 0.475 14 40–41 37–44
Milwaukee Brewers 7686 0.469 15 40–41 36–45
Detroit Tigers 7290 0.444 19 36–45 36–45

Record vs. opponents

Baltimore 10–87–55–712–614–48–48–106–611–76–64–8
Boston 8–104–88–49–911–74–810–86–611–78–45–7
California 5–78–410–8–13–95–78–103–98–103–96–129–9
Chicago 7–54–88–10–18–47–511–78–47–11–14–87–119–7–1
Cleveland 6–129–99–34–89–98–410–86–67–115–74–8
Detroit 4–147–117–55–79–97–59–93–911–75–75–7
Kansas City 4–88–410–87–114–85–711–18–104–88–108–10
Milwaukee 10–88–109–34–88–109–91–116–69–95–77–5
Minnesota 6–66–610–811–7–16–69–310–86–64–85–139–9
New York 7–117–119–38–411–77–118–49–98–47–58–4
Oakland 6–64–812–611–77–57–510–87–513–55–78–10
Texas 8–47–59–97–9–18–47–510–85–79–94–810–8

Notable transactions


1974 New York Yankees
Pitchers Catchers



Other batters

  • 43 Jim Ray Hart


Player stats

Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
CThurman Munson144517135.2611360
1BChris Chambliss11040097.243643
2BSandy Alomar Sr.7627975.269127
3BGraig Nettles155566139.2462275
SSJim Mason152440110.250537
LFLou Piniella140518158.305970
CFElliott Maddox137466141.303345
RFBobby Murcer156606166.2741088
DHRon Blomberg9026482.3111048

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Roy White136473130.275743
Bill Sudakis8925960.232739
Gene Michael8117746.260013
Fernando González5112126.21517
Rick Dempsey4310926.239212
Otto Vélez276714.209210
Mike Hegan185312.22629
Walt Williams43536.11303
Horace Clarke244711.23401
Fred Stanley33387.18403
Alex Johnson10286.21412
Jim Ray Hart10191.05300
Duke Sims5152.13302
Terry Whitfield251.20000
Jim Deidel220.00000
Larry Murray610.00000

Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Pat Dobson39281.019153.07157
Doc Medich38279.219153.60154
Dick Tidrow33190.21193.87100
Rudy May17114.1842.2890
Mel Stottlemyre16113.0673.5840
Larry Gura856.0512.4117
Steve Kline426.0223.466

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Dave Pagan1649.1135.1139
Sam McDowell1348.0164.6933
Dick Woodson828.0125.7912
Fritz Peterson37.2004.705

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Sparky Lyle6693151.6689
Cecil Upshaw361563.0227
Mike Wallace236002.4134
Tippy Martinez100004.2610
Fred Beene60012.7010
Tom Buskey40116.353
Ken Wright30003.182
Rick Sawyer100016.200

Awards and honors

  • Bill Virdon, The Sporting News Manager of the Year Award

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Syracuse Chiefs International League Bobby Cox
AA West Haven Yankees Eastern League Doc Edwards
A Fort Lauderdale Yankees Florida State League Pete Ward
A-Short Season Oneonta Yankees New York–Penn League Mike Ferraro
Rookie Johnson City Yankees Appalachian League Gene Hassell




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