A Red Sox slideshow of historic team collapses

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 15: Mike Leake
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 15: Mike Leake /
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NEW ORLEANS – MAY 19: 2008 Former Chicago White Sox shortstop and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Luis Aparicio takes time to sign baseballs for fans in the Fox Cable Networks’ booth at the The Cable Show in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on May 19, 2008 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Fox Cable Network) /

1972 and Luis trips up

The 1972 Red Sox was a forgettable team. There were plenty of holes in this squad with defense being a very notable one as the Red Sox managed a -43 in Total Zone. An 11th ranked defense. The hitting wasn’t much better as the Bostonians finished sixth in hitting, but the pitching staff did some decent work by being fourth in the AL.

The Red Sox record for the season was 85-70 and some quick calculations show that the usual 162 game slate was not present.  Baseball had a strike in 1972 and baseball decided to go with an unbalanced schedule. This proved costly for Boston.

More from Red Sox History

The last five weeks saw Boston either fall behind by a game or nudge ahead by a game.  The Red Sox and Tigers were locked in a battle for the division title and eventually, it came down to a series in Detroit at the end of the season.

The Red Sox arrived for a three game set with a ½ game lead only to lose the first game and fall behind by ½ game. The next day the Red Sox could make a final game of the series a winner takes all. Boston behind Luis Tiant lost and the Sunday game became meaningless. The Tigers played one more game than Boston.

A negative footnote is Luis Aparicio – one of the all-time great baserunners – tripping over third base and contributing to a loss. Another Fellowship entry.