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Game Thread: 1972 World Series, Game 2

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Catfish Hunter draws the start for Oakland
Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Welcome to our first Retro Game Thread! With no 2020 games to cover, we’re instead turning our attention back in time to the three-time champion 1970s Oakland A’s. Click here to see the full schedule of games we’re following for the next couple weeks.

First up is the 1972 World Series. The A’s won this series in seven games, but we’re only hitting two of them right now: Game 2 tonight, and Game 4 tomorrow night.

Here’s how to watch:

  • What: 1972 World Series, Game 2
  • When: 8:00 p.m., PT
  • Where: NBC Sports California
  • Who: Oakland A’s at Cincinnati Reds
  • Why: Coronavirus?

Since we’re starting mid-series, here’s some quick background. Oakland defeated the Tigers in the ALCS, but in the process they lost star slugger Reggie Jackson to a torn hamstring on a stolen base attempt; he will miss the entire World Series. They’re also without lefty reliever Darold Knowles, who posted a sparkling 1.37 ERA during the regular season but broke his thumb and is out for the entire postseason.

Furthermore, Oakland had to wrap up their ALCS victory without leadoff man Bert Campaneris. In ALCS Game 2 he was hit by a pitch by Lerrin LaGrow, and he responded by throwing his bat at the hurler. Campy was suspended for the rest of that series, but is allowed to play in the World Series.

The A’s got off to a good start in Game 1 of this World Series, earning a 3-2 victory. All three runs were driven in by catcher Gene Tenace, who homered in the 2nd inning and then again in the 5th. Those two dingers, plus two singles by Campy, were Oakland’s only four hits of the game, but they were enough. On the other side of the ball, Ken Holtzman pitched five innings for the win, Rollie Fingers followed him for four outs, and then starter Vida Blue came out of the bullpen to record the final seven outs and earn the save.

That brings us up to speed. The A’s lead the series 1-0, and now we’re on to Game 2. Here are the starting lineups, beginning with the visiting A’s:

A’s lineup

  1. Bert Campaneris, SS
  2. Matty Alou, RF
  3. Joe Rudi, LF
  4. Mike Epstein, 1B
  5. Sal Bando, 3B
  6. George Hendrick, CF
  7. Gene Tenace, C
  8. Dick Green, 2B
  9. Catfish Hunter, P

Reds lineup

  1. Pete Rose, LF
  2. Joe Morgan, 2B
  3. Bobby Tolan, CF
  4. Johnny Bench, C
  5. Tony Perez, 1B
  6. Dennis Menke, 3B
  7. Cesar Geronimo, RF
  8. Darrel Chaney, SS
  9. Ross Grimsley, P

Play ball!