1975 Boston Red Sox season

The 1975 Boston Red Sox season was the 75th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished first in the American League East with a record of 95 wins and 65 losses. Following a sweep of the Oakland Athletics in the ALCS, the Red Sox lost the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds in seven games.

1975 Boston Red Sox
1975 American League Champion
1975 American League East Division Champion
Fred Lynn named American League MVP
Major League affiliations
Record95–65 (.594)
Divisional place1st
Other information
Owner(s)Tom Yawkey
PresidentTom Yawkey
General manager(s)Dick O'Connell
Manager(s)Darrell Johnson
Local televisionWSBK-TV, Ch. 38
(Dick Stockton, Ken Harrelson)
Local radioWHDH-AM 850
(Ned Martin, Jim Woods)
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Long expectations

The 1975 baseball season should have dawned for Red Sox fans with bright hopes. The team had made a legitimate run for the pennant the previous year, and this time the team had Carlton Fisk and Rick Wise for full seasons. Rick Burleson had surprised everyone by playing outstanding shortstop and hitting higher in the majors than he ever had in the minors. In addition, the Sox had two rookies who gave every indication they would be phenoms, Fred Lynn and Jim Rice. But the memory of the collapse of 1974 still hung heavy over New England fans.

At first most of the preseason talk had to do with the decision by Tony Conigliaro to try one more comeback and with the salary hassle concerning Luis Tiant, who felt he deserved more than $70,000 he was earning and wouldn't show up at Winter Haven, Florida, causing team owner Tom Yawkey to meet with "El Tiante", agree on a raise (to $90,000) and get the Sox pitching ace back in camp.

Still, it didn't take too long before the stories and pictures coming out of Florida about the two phenoms got Sox fans thinking. The betting lines in Las Vegas had Boston as a long shot, although not the 100–1 shot they were in 1967. The odds against them went up, however, after Fisk, returning from the serious knee injury of 1974, was hit in the right arm and broke it. Even the positive talk about young Mr. Lynn couldn't drive away the gloom over Fisk's injury. Catching is absolutely vital to a successful team, and Fisk was going to be sidelined for at least a couple of months.

Youngsters and comebacks

The word out of Florida on Lynn was very positive. The young man who had gone to the USC as a football linebacker, but gave up football for baseball, seemed to be doing it all. Not only did he hit and run and field, he was a good-looking, charming young man. He was a hit with Boston and New England fans and hit with power, and with the way big Jim Rice was clobbering the baseball, Boston appeared to have a power punch that could only get better when Fisk got back into the lineup.

Rick Wise, back after a year of shoulder trouble and then a broken finger, looked ready to boost a pitching staff, which already had Luis Tiant, Bill Lee, Reggie Cleveland, and the stringbean flame-thrower Roger Moret. The bullpen also looked strong, with Dick Drago as the closer and hard-thrower Dick Pole and veteran Diego Seguí.

Additionally, the word on Tony Conigliaro was encouraging, and that boosted spirits back home. Carl Yastrzemski was at first base, and after three short trials in previous years Cecil Cooper was going to make this team and probably be the designated hitter.

Notable transactions

Regular season

Record by month[3]
MonthRecordCumulativeAL EastRef.
April79795th (tie)3[4]

The Red Sox played only 160 games, as two games against the Yankees were rained out in the final week of the season, and not rescheduled once Boston clinched the AL East title.[10][11]

Denny Doyle
Rico Petrocelli

Season standings

AL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
Boston Red Sox 9565 0.594 47–34 48–31
Baltimore Orioles 9069 0.566 44–33 46–36
New York Yankees 8377 0.519 12 43–35 40–42
Cleveland Indians 7980 0.497 15½ 41–39 38–41
Milwaukee Brewers 6894 0.420 28 36–45 32–49
Detroit Tigers 57102 0.358 37½ 31–49 26–53

Record vs. opponents

Baltimore 9–96–67–410–812–47–514–46–68–104–87–5
Boston 9–96–68–47–1113–57–510–810–211–56–68–4
California 6–66–69–93–96–54–147–58–107–57–119–9
Chicago 4–74–89–97–55–79–98–49–96–69–95–13
Cleveland 8–1011–79–35–712–66–69–93–69–92–105–7
Detroit 4–125–135–67–56–126–67–114–86–126–61–11
Kansas City 5–75–714–49–96–66–67–511–77–511–714–4
Milwaukee 4–148–105–74–89–911–75–72–109–95–76–6
Minnesota 6–62–1010–89–96–38–47–1110–24–86–128–10
New York 10–85–115–76–69–912–65–79–98–46–68–4
Oakland 8–46–611–79–910–26–611–77–512–66–612–6
Texas 5–74–89–913–57–511–14–146–610–84–86–12

Notable transactions

  • June 3: Dave Schmidt was selected by the Red Sox in the 2nd round of the 1975 Major League Baseball Draft[12]
  • June 14: The Red Sox traded a player to be named later and cash to the California Angels for Denny Doyle. The Red Sox completed the deal by sending Chuck Ross (minors) to the Angels on March 5, 1976.[13]

Opening Day lineup

Bob Montgomery
20Juan BeníquezLF
19Fred LynnCF
  8Carl Yastrzemski    1B
25Tony ConigliaroDH
  6Rico Petrocelli3B
24Dwight EvansRF
10Bob MontgomeryC
  7Rick BurlesonSS
  2Doug Griffin2B
23Luis TiantP


Boston's Opening Day opponent was the Milwaukee Brewers, then a member of the AL East; the game was notable for being the first game that Hank Aaron played in the American League, having previously played from 1954 through 1974 in the National League.[15]


1975 Boston Red Sox
  • 46 Steve Barr
  • 43 Jim Burton
  • 26 Reggie Cleveland
  • 41 Dick Drago
  • 21 Rick Kreuger
  • 37 Bill Lee
  • 29 Roger Moret
  • 45 Dick Pole
  • 28 Diego Seguí
  • 23 Luis Tiant
  • 38 Jim Willoughby
  • 40 Rick Wise



Other batters



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
CCarlton Fisk7926387.3311052
1BCarl Yastrzemski149543146.2691460
2BDoug Griffin10028769.240129
SSRick Burleson158580146.252662
3BRico Petrocelli11540296.239759
LFJim Rice144564174.30922102
CFFred Lynn145528175.33121105
RFDwight Evans128412113.2741356
DHCecil Cooper10630595.3111444

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
Bernie Carbo10731982.2571550
Denny Doyle8931096.310436
Juan Beníquez7825474.291217
Bob Montgomery6219544.226226
Tim Blackwell5913226.19706
Bob Heise6312627.214021
Rick Miller7710821.194015
Tony Conigliaro21577.12329
Tim McCarver12218.38103
Dick McAuliffe7152.13301
Deron Johnson3106.60013
Steve Dillard152.40000
Andy Merchant142.50000
Butch Hobson241.25000
Kim Andrew221.50000
Buddy Hunter110.00000

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
Bill Lee41260.01793.9578
Luis Tiant35260.018144.02142
Rick Wise35255.119123.95141

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
Reggie Cleveland31170.01394.4378
Roger Moret36145.01433.6080
Dick Pole1889.2464.4242
Steve Barr37.0012.572

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
Dick Drago4022153.8443
Diego Segui332564.8245
Jim Burton291212.8939
Jim Willoughby245283.5429
Rick Kreuger20004.501


After a great season, The Red Sox continued their magical season by sweeping the Oakland Athletics in three games in the American League Championship Series to advance to their first World Series since 1967.

In the historic World Series that followed, it came down to Carl Yastrzemski with the Red Sox trailing, 4–3, with two outs in the ninth inning of Game 7. Yaz's drive fell into the hands of Reds outfielder César Gerónimo, and Boston's magical season fell one game short. Boston would not return to the World Series until 1986.


Game 1

October 4 at Fenway Park

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Oakland 000 000 010 134
Boston 200 000 50X 783
W: Luis Tiant (1–0)   L: Ken Holtzman (0–1)   
HR: None

Game 2

October 5 at Fenway Park

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Oakland 200 100 000 3100
Boston 000 301 11X 6120
W: Roger Moret (1–0)   L: Rollie Fingers (0–1)   S: Dick Drago (1)
HR: OAK: Reggie Jackson (1) BOS: Carl Yastrzemski (1), Rico Petrocelli (1)

Game 3

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston 000 130 010 5111
Oakland 000 001 020 361
W: Rick Wise (1–0)   L: Ken Holtzman (0–2)   S: Dick Drago (2)
HR: None

World Series

The Red Sox scored first in six of the seven World Series games, only to see the Reds come back and win four of those games, spoiling Boston's chances at their first championship since 1918. In Game 7, the Red Sox entered the sixth inning with a 3–0 lead, but the Reds rallied back to win the game, 4–3, and the series.

NL Cincinnati Reds (4) vs. AL Boston Red Sox (3)
Game Score Date Location Attendance Time of Game
1Reds – 0, Red Sox – 6October 11Fenway Park35,2052:27
2Reds – 3, Red Sox – 2October 12Fenway Park35,2052:38
3Red Sox – 5, Reds – 6 (10 inns)October 14Riverfront Stadium55,3923:03
4Red Sox – 5, Reds – 4October 15Riverfront Stadium55,6672:52
5Red Sox – 2, Reds – 6October 16Riverfront Stadium56,3932:23
6Reds – 6, Red Sox – 7 (12 inns)October 21Fenway Park35,2054:01
7Reds – 4, Red Sox – 3October 22Fenway Park35,2052:52

Awards and honors

All-Star Game

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Pawtucket Red Sox International League Joe Morgan
AA Bristol Red Sox Eastern League Dick McAuliffe and Bill Slack
A Winston-Salem Red Sox Carolina League John Kennedy
A Winter Haven Red Sox Florida State League Rac Slider
A-Short Season Elmira Red Sox New York–Penn League Dick Berardino



  1. Juan Marichal page at Baseball Reference
  2. Danny Cater page at Baseball Reference
  3. "The 1975 Boston Red Sox". Retrosheet. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  4. "Events of Wednesday, April 30, 1975".
  5. "Events of Saturday, May 31, 1975".
  6. "Events of Monday, June 30, 1975".
  7. "Events of Thursday, July 31, 1975".
  8. "Events of Sunday, August 31, 1975".
  9. "Events of Sunday, September 28, 1975".
  10. Keane, Clif (September 24, 1975). "Rain doing Red Sox a favor". The Boston Globe. p. 51. Retrieved October 10, 2020 via newspapers.com.
  11. "Games remaining for Red Sox, Orioles". The Boston Globe. September 26, 1975. p. 27. Retrieved October 10, 2020 via newspapers.com.
  12. Dave Schmidt page at Baseball Reference
  13. Denny Doyle page at Baseball Reference
  14. "Boston Red Sox 5, Milwaukee Brewers 2". Retrosheet. April 8, 1975. Retrieved October 11, 2020.
  15. Wolf, Gregory H. "April 8, 1975: Luis Tiant spoils Hank Aaron's Brewers debut". SABR. Retrieved October 11, 2020.
  16. Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007
  17. Boston Red Sox Official Yearbook. 1975. p. 25. Retrieved March 14, 2021 via Wayback Machine.
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