The Mustache Gang Battles the Big Red Machine

The 1972 World Series


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About the Book

The 1972 World Series was a terrific clash between two rising Major League franchises, the Oakland A’s and the Cincinnati Reds. Neither had won the pennant in decades. Twice removed from their original home in Philadelphia and unappreciated in Oakland, the A’s quietly played excellent ball, their long hair and mustaches symbols of rebellion. Led by manager Sparky Anderson, the clean-cut Reds—baseball’s most conservative club—were becoming a powerhouse and were the favorites entering the Series.

This book chronicles both the A’s and the Reds’ journeys to the memorable ’72 Fall Classic—where six of seven games were won by a single run—with batter-by-batter coverage of the diamond exploits of Bench, Perez, Rose, Rudi, Odom, Tenace, and others.

About the Author(s)

John G. Robertson is a private tutor and sports historian who lives in Cambridge, Ontario. He is the author of numerous books on baseball, hockey and boxing history.

Carl T. Madden lives in Welland, Ontario and is the author of multiple books on the history of sports.

Bibliographic Details

John G. Robertson and Carl T. Madden
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 266
Bibliographic Info: 28 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8860-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4616-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Authors’ Notes viii
Introduction 1
1. Labor Dispute: Lost Games, Lost Faith 5
2. The Swingin’ A’s: Unshaved, Unloved … but Superb 10
3. The Cincinnati Reds: The NL’s Emerging Powerhouse 23
4. The AL East: 1972’s Only Competitive Divisional Race 33
5. The ALCS: Comebacks, Blown Calls and a Thrown Bat 38
6. The NLCS: High Drama and History Made 54
7. 1972 MLB Esoterica: The Good, Bad, Ugly, and Quirky 74
8. Oakland vs. Cincinnati: The Hairs vs. the Squares 79
9. Game One: Tenace, Anyone? 87
10. Game Two: Rudi to the Rescue 102
11. Game Three: Slipups 122
12. Game Four: The A’s Win in a Pinch 140
13. Game Five: Produce … and a Gamble That Didn’t Produce 156
14. Game Six: The Real Reds Finally Show Up 173
15. Game Seven: 19 Mustaches Win 185
16. Let the Celebrations Begin: Party Time in Oakland 205
17. Under the Knife 208
18. Aftermaths 210
19. Gone Too Soon 225
20. Ranking the Fall Classic: So How Good Was the 1972 World Series? 229
Appendix A. Team Batting and Pitching Statistics, 1972 World Series 231
Appendix B. Studs and Duds: The Best and Worst Performers 234
Chapter Notes 239
Bibliography 251
Index 253