1975 National League Championship Series

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. It was the seventh NLCS in all. 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
Team (Wins) Manager Season
Cincinnati Reds (3) Sparky Anderson 108–54, .667, GA: 20
Pittsburgh Pirates (0) Danny Murtaugh 92–69, .571, GA: 6½
DatesOctober 4–7
UmpiresJohn Kibler
Andy Olsen
Frank Pulli
Billy Williams
Tom Gorman (crew chief)
Art Williams
WLWT (Reds' broadcast)
KDKA-TV (Pirates' broadcast)
TV announcersNBC: Joe Garagiola and Maury Wills (in Cincinnati)
Curt Gowdy and Tony Kubek (in Pittsburgh)
WLWT: Ken Coleman and Woody Woodward
KDKA-TV: Bob Prince and Nellie King


Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati won the series, 3–0.

1October 4Pittsburgh Pirates – 3, Cincinnati Reds – 8Riverfront Stadium3:0054,633[1] 
2October 5Pittsburgh Pirates – 1, Cincinnati Reds – 6Riverfront Stadium2:5154,752[2] 
3October 7Cincinnati Reds – 5, Pittsburgh Pirates – 3 (10 innings)Three Rivers Stadium2:4746,355[3]

Game summaries

Game 1

Saturday, October 4, 1975 4:00 pm (ET) at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio
WP: Don Gullett (1–0)   LP: Jerry Reuss (0–1)
Home runs:
PIT: None
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.

Game 2

Sunday, October 5, 1975 4:00 pm (ET) at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio
WP: Fred Norman (1–0)   LP: Jim Rooker (0–1)   Sv: Rawly Eastwick (1)
Home runs:
PIT: None
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.

Game 3

Tuesday, October 7, 1975 8:00 pm (ET) at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
WP: Rawly Eastwick (1–0)   LP: Ramón Hernández (0–1)   Sv: Pedro Borbón (1)
Home runs:
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.[4] Both were regionally televised by NBC.

Composite box

1975 NLCS (3–0): Cincinnati Reds over Pittsburgh Pirates

Cincinnati Reds223241120219291
Pittsburgh Pirates02010200207202
Total attendance: 155,740   Average attendance: 51,913


  1. "1975 NLCS Game 1 – Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  2. "1975 NLCS Game 2 – Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  3. "1975 NLCS Game 3 – Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  4. "Baseball plans night playoffs". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. August 16, 1975. p. 2B.
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