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lordstanley

1972 Tigers-A's ALCS, Game 5

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I was only 5 in 1972 and a year away from attending my first game at Tiger Stadium, so I have no recollection of this best-of-five series. But my interest in it was piqued again recently by a couple of things:

a) with all the talk of the Stanley Cup Final being the first Game 7 of a championship final hosted by a Detroit pro sports team since the '50s, it got me thinking of other big games in Detroit in my lifetime. A one-game winner-takes-all for the AL pennant is pretty huge, even though it seems we rarely hear much about this series apart from the Campaneris bat incident against Lerrin Lagrow; and

b) this YouTube clip with audio (presumably from the A's radio broadcast) of the final couple of batters of the Tigers' bottom of the 9th of Game 5, trailing 2-1 versus Vida Blue but with Norm Cash reaching 1st base with 1 down. The Tigers had scored 3 in the bottom of the 10th inning the day before to force a Game 5, so another 9th inning comeback must have seemed quite possible.

YouTube - wild last out of 1972 ALCS Oakland at Detroit

Was anyone here at this game? Or remember watching this game on TV? Or have listened to an old Harwell broadcast of it? My main question is whether you recall the Tiger Stadium fans being as unruly that day as the A's broadcasters were describing them. Of course we know about the Ducky Medwick disturbance and the bleachers being rowdy in the '70s and closed for awhile in the '80s, but the broadcast makes it sound like the place was a zoo that day with 2 out in the 9th. People throwing garbage and bottles and toilet paper and somebody's shoe onto the field, a fan running onto the field and sliding into 2nd base, cops chasing people with billy clubs, the CF fence being torn down before the final out, firecrackers and smoke bombs being set off, a firebomb into the A's bullpen, a cop being hit with something. True?

"50,000 Tiger fans came here ready to explode today and they brought live fireworks with them"

"What a riot on the field now, but the riot is not by the Tiger fans, it's by the Oakland A's players mobbing Vida Blue who has pitched the greatest game of his life"

Edited by lordstanley

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I vaguely remember everyone complaining about Campy throwing his bat at LaGrow...and I seem to remember going to an important game against Boston that year with my grandma.

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I was only 5 in 1972 and a year away from attending my first game at Tiger Stadium, so I have no recollection of this best-of-five series. But my interest in it was piqued again recently by a couple of things:

a) with all the talk of the Stanley Cup Final being the first Game 7 of a championship final hosted by a Detroit pro sports team since the '50s, it got me thinking of other big games in Detroit in my lifetime. A one-game winner-takes-all for the AL pennant is pretty huge, even though it seems we rarely hear much about this series apart from the Campaneris bat incident against Lerrin Lagrow; and

b) this YouTube clip with audio (presumably from the A's radio broadcast) of the final couple of batters of the Tigers' bottom of the 9th of Game 5, trailing 2-1 versus Vida Blue but with Norm Cash reaching 1st base with 1 down. The Tigers had scored 3 in the bottom of the 10th inning the day before to force a Game 5, so another 9th inning comeback must have seemed quite possible.

YouTube - wild last out of 1972 ALCS Oakland at Detroit

Was anyone here at this game? Or remember watching this game on TV? Or have listened to an old Harwell broadcast of it? My main question is whether you recall the Tiger Stadium fans being as unruly that day as the A's broadcasters were describing them. Of course we know about the Ducky Medwick disturbance and the bleachers being rowdy in the '70s and closed for awhile in the '80s, but the broadcast makes it sound like the place was a zoo that day with 2 out in the 9th. People throwing garbage and bottles and toilet paper and somebody's shoe onto the field, a fan running onto the field and sliding into 2nd base, cops chasing people with billy clubs, the CF fence being torn down before the final out, firecrackers and smoke bombs being set off, a firebomb into the A's bullpen, a cop being hit with something. True?

"50,000 Tiger fans came here ready to explode today and they brought live fireworks with them"

"What a riot on the field now, but the riot is not by the Tiger fans, it's by the Oakland A's players mobbing Vida Blue who has pitched the greatest game of his life"

I think I have both radio broadcasts of that game - for Oakland and Detroit. I know I have the Oakland one because I've had that for a long time and I enjoy listening to the 1972 games with the BoSox that I have and the 3 games I have of that ALCS. Game #4 is a great great game to listen to as a Tigers fan.

I bet it's been 3 years since I listened to that game. Usually I pop out one of the wins. But I think there were firecrackers going off and you could kind of sense a little craziness just hearing the crowd in the background. I have tons of games at Tigers Stadium on tape and it's not at all uncommon to hear that a firecracker went off or a smoke bomb. In fact, you hear about that stuff in a lot of games during that era. My guess what they said was probably right to a degree.

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I vaguely remember everyone complaining about Campy throwing his bat at LaGrow...and I seem to remember going to an important game against Boston that year with my grandma.

He did do that. I think it was early in the series. I don't think I have a tape of the game this happened in.

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I remember that game and that whole series very well. Most people thought Campy should have immediately been suspended but the suspension didn't start until the first few games of the '73 season.

As a kid, one of the biggest games I went to was when the Tigers beat Boston in the 2nd to last game of the year. My future brother in law took me. He was a fireman in Detroit and got us pretty good seats. It was great seeing Al Kaline, Mr. Tiger, catch the final out to clinch the division. Fans stormed the field and ripped out the grass. On the walk back to the car, a kid about my age at the time (12) had a big chunk of the grass. He turned to me and asked me if I wanted a piece of "Genuine Tiger Turf"

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Oh come on now. The fans were running onto the field, throwing smoke bombs, firecrackers, shoes, and other random garbage at the Oakland outfielders while they were trying to make a play? I highly doubt that. I'm sure maybe some stuff might've been thrown onto the field, maybe a firecracker, but if it was anything near as bad as that announcer made it out to be, the umpires would've definitely stopped the game and the Tigers would've forfeited.

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I vaguely remember everyone complaining about Campy throwing his bat at LaGrow.

According to Curt Smith's Voices of the Game, Tony Kubek defended Campy on the NBC telecast, which led to the chairman of Chrysler (which sponsored the games, and was clearly mindful of its employee and customer base in Michigan) to try and pressure the network to drop Kubek from the rest of the series. They didn't, of course.

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Oh come on now. The fans were running onto the field, throwing smoke bombs, firecrackers, shoes, and other random garbage at the Oakland outfielders while they were trying to make a play? I highly doubt that. I'm sure maybe some stuff might've been thrown onto the field, maybe a firecracker, but if it was anything near as bad as that announcer made it out to be, the umpires would've definitely stopped the game and the Tigers would've forfeited.

I think you'd be surprised what seemingly happened in games during earlier eras and it was just considered "part of the game atmosphere." The occasional firecracker or smoke bomb was something you could expect for any given game. I'm not saying every game, but it certainly isn't a shock when you hear that something like this happened during a broadcast. I hear it happening fairly frequently on the limited tapes I own from past eras.

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Wow, it sounds like it was quite a mess at the end. I hope MLB Network or somebody decides to show the TV telecast one day, I'd love to watch it. It must have been a great series. By all accounts, he A's had a much better team, but the Tigers had a lot of good veterans who knew how to win.

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By all accounts, he A's had a much better team, but the Tigers had a lot of good veterans who knew how to win.
...and the Tigers had a scrappy manager who knew how to get every ounce of talent out of every one of his players!! I doubt any other manager besides Billy Martin could have got that team to the playoffs.

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...and the Tigers had a scrappy manager who knew how to get every ounce of talent out of every one of his players!! I doubt any other manager besides Billy Martin could have got that team to the playoffs.

I can believe you 100% on that! Watching what he did with the A's and Yankees in my early fanhood (1980s), it was genius.

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Game 2 is the only game of the 1972 ALCS that has been on tape trading sites; and it is missing the bat throwing part of the game. It is poor quality; but it does show Fred Scherman zip 2 or 3 fastballs at Reggie Jackson's noggin - Martin was retaliating against Creepy Campy.

Game 3 or 4 would be awesome to see again:

Joe Coleman K'd 14 A's in Game 3 & Detroit won Game 4 with 3 in the 10th inning to tie the series at 2-2.

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With Ernie's passing, various clips from various sources of calls by Ernie have come online in the past couple of weeks. While not from the ALCS, here's Ernie's call a week earlier of the Tigers clinching the AL East for 1972:

Interesting that future Tiger Ben Oglivie made the final out, flying out to Kaline in right.

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With Ernie's passing, various clips from various sources of calls by Ernie have come online in the past couple of weeks. While not from the ALCS, here's Ernie's call a week earlier of the Tigers clinching the AL East for 1972:

Interesting that future Tiger Ben Oglivie made the final out, flying out to Kaline in right.

With a little work, people can purchase the entire WJR broadcast of game 4, and I think I have game 5 as well, legally. There is at least one site that has MLB permission to sell radio broadcasts and it's not tough to find. He used to sell them, then sold his collection to MLB and then MLB sold it right back to him a few years ago probably realizing it wasn't worth the hassle. Most of the tapes they have from the baseball's best collection came from this distributor. It's where I've purchased 80% of my games.

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I believe this is the sales outlet you referenced, Dave:

Baseball Game page #1 (baseballtapes)

I have that 1934 Tigers game on a CD I purchased, a few years back.

It is, but I didn't know if I should link it. But now that you have, I'll confirm it. It's a lot of fun listening to all those Boston-Detroit games at the end of the season and then the ALCS games that are available. All of the Boston games are the Boston announcers though.

A lot of the Yankee games are the Yankee announcers. Actually, I've gotten to enjoy Phil Rizzuto and whoever he's working with during that given year.

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I believe this is the sales outlet you referenced, Dave:

Baseball Game page #1 (baseballtapes)

I have that 1934 Tigers game on a CD I purchased, a few years back.

I have that one as well from the 34 season and the game 7 of the 34 World Series. I know a guy who has all seven of the 45 World Series games on CD; I only have game 7. He says Games 1-6 are a recreation. Anyone heard about this? I wonder who announced those games and how they sound.

The 45 Series was intersting as I just listend to game 7 last month. The Cubs went with Borrowy who had pitched in game 5 and 6. I can't imaginie anyone manager starting someone on one day rest these days. Of course it didn't work either!

Edited by kschwi

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I saw that game on TV. I was 12. It was like that, just as Monte Moore described it. I remember thinking that I wished A's fans were that wild. The Tigers scared the sh*t out of me those last two games.

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I remember it as I was 18 and watching the game on TV. The game was on National TV (NBC) and also locally on the Tiger Network with George Kell and Larry Osterman. The fans in the lower centerfield bleachers were climbing the screen at the 440 mark in straight away center. Yes, some idiot tossed a smoke bomb and they just let it fizzle out in deep center field. There was mayhem possibly elsewhere, but the cameras did not pan the entire park. As for the fan on the field, that is true too and I don't remember if he put up a tussle when being apprehended.

Kell was excited and everyone was just hoping for Tony Taylor with 2 outs to either tie or win the game. He hit a long drive to center and for a moment, Kell got all excited, but it was caught and the A's ran off the field quickly. It was a great series and game 4 is a classic in which I can't find a broadcast or video highlights of anywhere. The Tigers were down 3-1 and were three outs away of being eliminated and they scored three runs. It was one of the most exciting games and the memory of that game has just seemed to have vanished for some reason. The Tigers almost won this series against the mighty A's and it was their last hurrah as it was a veteran team and many were in the twilight of their careers, evident in 1973.

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At one point during last night's game Dickerson and Price got to talking about this series, and Dan mentioned "a certain 8th grader" who got to skip school to watch Game 4 at Tiger Stadium.

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