1972 Leaders & Numbers

Billy Williams nabbed his only batting crown thanks in part to Wrigley Field, where he hit .371. Williams never won a home run or RBI title thanks to Johnny Bench, who barely edged out Williams two years earlier—and again in 1972. Dick Allen got pretty much everything he wanted with the White Sox: A league-high $250k salary, a yes-man in manager Chuck Tanner, and the only MVP of his career. In dealing away Joe Morgan and John Mayberry before the 1972 season, the Astros didn’t realize what kind of talent they had until it was gone. Houston’s hurt was greatly healed with Cesar Cedeno’s sizzling debut. Whether or not by intention, Carlos May wore his birthday (May 17) on the back of his uniform. Nate Colbert’s 111 RBIs made up one-quarter of San Diego’s team total. After 70 years, the Red Sox finally had an all-star-caliber catcher in of Carlton Fisk. The 1972 Phillies were a tale of two teams: 27-10 with the phenomenal Steve Carlton, 32-87 without. The Giants and Mets, reigning masters of the brainless trade, outdid themselves by giving away, respectively, Gaylord Perry and Nolan Ryan. Ryan especially found bliss in the AL with its high strike zone; batters hit just .171 off him. For the sixth straight year, Ferguson Jenkins won at least 20 games. Pitching often on three days’ rest and sometimes just two, ironman Wilbur Wood became Joe McGinnity reincarnate. Steve Blass won a career-best 19 games one year before becoming inflicted with “Blass Disease,” a complete inability to find the strike zone.

The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1972
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Billy Williams Chicago 150 .333 574 95 191 34 6 37 122 42 20 6 3 1 14
2. Cesar Cedeno Houston 139 .320 559 103 179 39 8 22 82 51 5 5 55 21 11
3. Joe Morgan Cincinnati 149 .292 552 122 161 23 4 16 73 114 1 6 58 17 5
4. Johnny Bench Cincinnati 147 .270 538 87 145 22 2 40 125 77 23 2 6 6 18
5. Jim Wynn Houston 145 .273 542 117 148 29 3 24 90 97 6 2 17 7 8
6. Willie Stargell Pittsburgh 138 .293 495 75 145 28 2 33 112 50 15 2 1 1 7
7. Bobby Bonds San Francisco 153 .259 626 118 162 29 5 26 80 56 4 5 44 6 13
8. Nate Colbert San Diego 151 .250 563 87 141 27 2 38 111 56 14 2 15 6 12
9. Pete Rose Cincinnati 154 .307 645 107 198 31 11 6 57 69 4 7 10 3 7
10. Hank Aaron Atlanta 129 .265 449 75 119 10 0 34 77 77 15 1 4 0 17
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1972
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Dick Allen Chicago 148 .308 506 90 156 28 5 37 113 83 16 1 19 8 13
2. Bobby Murcer New York 153 .292 585 102 171 30 7 33 96 56 7 2 11 9 6
3. John Mayberry Kansas City 149 .298 503 65 150 24 3 25 100 65 13 3 0 2 12
4. Carlos May Chicago 148 .308 523 83 161 26 3 12 68 65 14 9 23 14 10
5. Carlton Fisk Boston 131 .293 457 74 134 28 9 22 61 46 6 4 5 2 11
6. Joe Rudi Oakland 147 .305 593 94 181 32 9 19 75 31 6 2 3 4 15
7. Reggie Smith Boston 131 .270 467 75 126 25 4 21 74 56 12 4 15 4 8
8. Mike Epstein Oakland 138 .270 455 63 123 18 2 26 70 59 9 11 0 1 7
9. Lou Piniella Kansas City 151 .312 574 65 179 33 4 11 72 25 9 8 7 2 25
10. Roy White New York 155 .270 556 76 150 29 0 10 54 89 10 5 23 8 11
The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1972
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV BS G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Steve Carlton Philadelphia 1.97 27 10 .730 0 0 41 41 346.1 362 76 79 8 8 1 2 22 12 23
2. Don Sutton Los Angeles 2.08 19 9 .679 0 0 33 33 272.2 267 63 62 1 9 4 1 15 4 18
3. Bob Gibson St. Louis 2.46 19 11 .633 0 0 34 34 278 306 76 77 11 10 3 2 14 9 20
4. Steve Blass Pittsburgh 2.49 19 8 .704 0 0 33 32 249.2 313 69 76 8 6 4 1 5 8 32
5. Claude Osteen Los Angeles 2.64 20 11 .645 0 0 33 33 252 330 74 65 4 5 4 0 4 13 22
6. Gary Nolan Cincinnati 1.99 15 5 .750 0 0 25 25 176 218 39 25 5 5 1 0 4 4 14
7. Dock Ellis Pittsburgh 2.70 15 7 .682 0 0 25 25 163.1 201 49 29 4 2 3 0 10 1 20
8. Tom Seaver New York 2.92 21 12 .636 0 0 35 35 262 329 85 75 2 8 5 0 10 15 12
9. Jon Matlack New York 2.32 15 10 .600 0 0 34 32 244 306 63 57 14 7 2 1 10 7 13
10. Ferguson Jenkins Chicago 3.20 20 12 .625 0 0 36 36 289.1 405 103 55 7 3 7 1 14 8 17
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1972
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV BS G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Gaylord Perry Cleveland 1.92 24 16 .600 1 0 41 40 342.2 365 73 66 16 11 12 0 5 8 27
2. Catfish Hunter Oakland 2.04 21 7 .750 0 0 38 37 295.1 313 67 64 6 3 3 0 18 3 8
3. Wilbur Wood Chicago 2.51 24 17 .585 0 0 49 49 376.2 475 105 69 5 10 7 0 20 18 33
4. Steve Kline New York 2.40 16 9 .640 0 0 32 32 236.1 273 63 38 6 1 10 0 2 8 26
5. Jim Palmer Baltimore 2.07 21 10 .677 0 0 36 36 274.1 311 63 69 1 4 1 1 14 3 16
6. Luis Tiant Boston 1.91 15 6 .714 3 4 43 19 179 172 38 60 5 0 0 0 4 7 7
7. Pat Dobson Baltimore 2.65 16 18 .471 0 0 38 36 268.1 295 79 62 7 6 4 0 13 8 30
8. Roger Nelson Kansas City 2.08 11 6 .647 2 0 34 19 173.1 191 40 30 1 4 1 0 14 5 11
9. Mickey Lolich Detroit 2.50 22 14 .611 0 0 41 41 327.1 425 91 69 5 6 11 0 8 8 19
10. Nolan Ryan California 2.28 19 16 .543 0 0 39 39 284 239 72 153 4 18 10 0 40 9 17

Brown type indicates league leader.
Notes: Walks (BB) do not include intentional walks (IB). For pitchers, caught stealing (CS) also includes pickoffs.
How does This Great Game determine the best hitters and pitchers? Find out here.


Forward to 1973 Leaders & Numbers


Back to 1971 Leaders & Numbers


share this page with a friendShare this page with a friend.

Have a comment, question or request? Contact us at This Great Game.

© 2016 This Great Game.

1972 Awards


NL MVP
Johnny Bench, Cincinnati

AL MVP
Dick Allen, Chicago


NL Cy Young Award
Steve Carlton, Philadelphia

AL Cy Young Award
Gaylord Perry, Cleveland


NL Rookie of the Year
Jon Matlack, New York

AL Rookie of the Year
Carlton Fisk, Boston


NL Gold Glove Awards
P Bob Gibson, St. Louis
C Johnny Bench, Cincinnati
1B Wes Parker, Los Angeles
2B Felix Millan, New York
3B Doug Rader, Houston
SS Larry Bowa, Philadelphia
OF Cesar Cedeno, Houston
OF Roberto Clemente, Pittsburgh
OF Willie Davis, Los Angeles


AL Gold Glove Awards
P Jim Kaat, Minnesota
C Carlton Fisk, Boston
1B George Scott, Milwaukee
2B Doug Griffin, Boston
3B Brooks Robinson, Baltimore
SS Ed Brinkman, Detroit
OF Paul Blair, Baltimore
OF Ken Berry, California
OF Bobby Murcer, New York