1974 Leaders & Numbers

From messed to best: Mike Schmidt followed up a dismal, brooding .196 rookie effort and became a sudden superstar. For his turn as AL MVP, Jeff Burroughs credited Ted Williams, his former manager, for making him a better hitter. Reggie Jackson, winner of the MVQ—the Most Valuable Quote—said of Oakland teammate Joe Rudi: “He doesn’t belong on this team; he gets along with everybody.” Rod Carew forged company with Ty Cobb by becoming the first American Leaguer since the Georgia Peach to win three straight batting titles. No pitch was unhittable to Ralph Garr, but the free-swinging Brave continued to make most of them look on target with his solid hitting. “Toy Cannon” Jim Wynn, who fired as many blanks as direct hits in Houston, was on the mark in Los Angeles as one of many major leaguers that made the most of their new environs. Others included Ken Henderson, the latest Giant giveaway; his White Sox teammate Jim Kaat, reviving his career after the Twins placed him on waivers a year earlier; Buzz Capra, booted to Atlanta because there was no room for him in the Mets’ rotation; and Ferguson Jenkins, who for now pitched as if the Rangers got the better of a deal that sent Bill Madlock to Chicago. Phil Niekro effectively began to mix his pitches beyond his famed knuckler; the results were anything but mixed. Nolan Ryan won an AL-record 22 games for a last-place team, while throwing the majors’ first verified 100-MPH pitch.

The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1974
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Mike Schmidt Philadelphia 162 .282 568 108 160 28 7 36 116 92 14 4 23 12 4
2. Joe Morgan Cincinnati 149 .293 512 107 150 31 3 22 67 112 8 3 58 12 7
3. Johnny Bench Cincinnati 160 .280 621 108 174 38 2 33 129 65 15 3 5 4 13
4. Jim Wynn Los Angeles 150 .271 535 104 145 17 4 32 108 104 4 0 18 15 7
5. Willie Stargell Pittsburgh 140 .301 508 90 153 37 4 25 96 66 21 6 0 2 8
6. Lou Brock St. Louis 153 .306 635 105 194 25 7 3 48 45 16 2 118 33 8
7. Cesar Cedeno Houston 160 .269 610 95 164 29 5 26 102 58 6 4 57 17 9
8. Steve Garvey Los Angeles 156 .312 642 95 200 32 3 21 111 27 4 3 5 4 8
9. Reggie Smith St. Louis 143 .309 517 79 160 26 9 23 100 61 10 1 4 3 16
10. Ralph Garr Atlanta 143 .353 606 87 214 24 17 11 54 18 10 2 26 16 6
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1974
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Reggie Jackson Oakland 148 .289 506 90 146 25 1 29 93 66 20 4 25 5 8
2. Jeff Burroughs Texas 152 .301 554 84 167 33 2 25 118 79 12 5 2 3 17
3. Carl Yastrzemski Boston 148 .301 515 93 155 25 2 15 79 88 16 3 12 7 12
4. Dick Allen Chicago 128 .301 462 84 139 23 1 32 88 48 9 1 7 1 16
5. Rod Carew Minnesota 153 .364 599 86 218 30 5 3 55 65 9 1 38 16 17
6. Hal McRae Kansas City 148 .310 539 71 167 36 4 15 88 48 6 5 11 8 12
7. Joe Rudi Oakland 158 .293 593 74 174 39 4 22 99 28 6 5 2 3 10
8. Ken Henderson Chicago 162 .292 602 76 176 35 5 20 95 57 9 2 12 7 16
9. Bobby Grich Baltimore 160 .263 582 92 153 29 6 19 82 84 6 20 17 11 15
10. Sal Bando Oakland 146 .243 498 84 121 21 2 22 103 82 4 5 2 3 10
The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1974
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV BS G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Mike Marshall Los Angeles 2.42 15 12 .556 21 12 106 0 208.1 247 56 55 1 5 1 3 4 6 18
2. Andy Messersmith Los Angeles 2.59 20 6 .769 0 0 39 39 292.1 332 96 94 0 6 3 3 13 11 16
3. Jon Matlack New York 2.41 13 15 .464 0 0 34 34 265.1 283 71 65 11 4 5 1 23 11 18
4. Phil Niekro Atlanta 2.38 20 13 .606 1 0 41 39 302.1 363 80 85 3 6 6 4 18 13 22
5. Buzz Capra Atlanta 2.28 16 8 .667 1 0 39 27 217 234 55 78 6 7 3 1 13 7 14
6. Jim Rooker Pittsburgh 2.78 15 11 .577 0 0 33 33 262.2 310 81 77 6 9 4 0 18 16 21
7. Don Sutton Los Angeles 3.23 19 9 .679 0 0 40 40 276 366 99 78 2 4 6 2 16 4 14
8. Tommy John Los Angeles 2.59 13 3 .813 0 0 22 22 153 174 44 42 0 5 1 0 9 11 10
9. Jim Barr San Francisco 2.74 13 9 .591 2 1 44 27 239.2 317 73 37 10 3 2 4 7 4 23
10. Lynn McGlothen St. Louis 2.69 16 12 .571 0 0 31 31 237.1 291 71 75 14 6 2 0 6 7 22
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1974
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV BS G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Catfish Hunter Oakland 2.49 25 12 .676 0 0 41 41 318.1 400 88 44 2 1 4 0 14 19 15
2. Gaylord Perry Cleveland 2.51 21 13 .618 0 0 37 37 322.1 353 90 92 7 2 6 0 12 6 27
3. Ferguson Jenkins Texas 2.82 25 12 .676 0 0 41 41 328.1 427 103 42 3 4 8 2 18 10 17
4. Jim Kaat Chicago 2.92 21 13 .618 0 0 42 39 277.1 364 90 60 3 4 6 0 5 11 26
5. Bert Blyleven Minnesota 2.66 17 17 .500 0 0 37 37 281 334 83 74 3 3 9 0 26 17 22
6. Nolan Ryan California 2.89 22 16 .579 0 1 42 41 332.2 325 107 199 3 9 9 0 28 21 24
7. Jim Perry Cleveland 2.96 17 12 .586 0 0 36 36 252 315 83 54 10 1 5 0 12 12 17
8. Mike Cuellar Baltimore 3.11 22 10 .688 0 0 38 38 269.1 347 93 82 4 2 2 0 18 10 31
9. Luis TIant Boston 2.92 22 13 .629 0 0 38 38 311.1 408 101 79 3 1 4 0 23 7 24
10. Andy Hassler California 2.61 7 11 .389 1 0 23 22 162 180 47 77 2 7 9 1 10 7 28

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.


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1974 Awards


NL MVP
Steve Garvey, Los Angeles

AL MVP
Jeff Burroughs, Texas


NL Cy Young Award
Mike Marshall, Los Angeles

AL Cy Young Award
Catfish Hunter, Oakland


NL Rookie of the Year
Bake McBride, St. Louis

AL Rookie of the Year
Mike Hargrove, Texas


NL Gold Glove Awards
P Andy Messersmith, Los Angeles
C Johnny Bench, Cincinnati
1B Steve Garvey, Los Angeles
2B Joe Morgan, Cincinnati
3B Doug Rader, Houston
SS Dave Concepcion, Cincinnati
OF Cesar Cedeno, Houston
OF Bobby Bonds, San Francisco
OF Cesar Geronimo, Cincinnati


AL Gold Glove Awards
P Jim Kaat, Chicago
C Thurman Minson, New York
1B George Scott, Milwaukee
2B Bobby Grich, Baltimore
3B Brooks Robinson, Baltimore
SS Mark Belanger, Baltimore
OF Paul Blair, Baltimore
OF Amos Otis, Kansas City
OF Joe Rudi, Oakland