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1971 Major League Baseball season

This article is about the 1971 Major League Baseball season only. For information on all of baseball, see 1971 in baseball.

The 1971 Major League Baseball season was the final season for the Senators in Washington, D.C., before the team's relocation to the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb Arlington for the following season, as the Texas Rangers, leaving the nation's capital without a baseball team of its own until 2005.


Awards and honors

Statistical leaders

  American League National League
Type Name Stat Name Stat
AVG Tony Oliva MIN .337 Joe Torre STL .363
HR Bill Melton CHW 33 Willie Stargell PIT 48
RBI Harmon Killebrew MIN 119 Joe Torre STL 137
Wins Mickey Lolich DET 25 Ferguson Jenkins CHC 24
ERA Vida Blue OAK 1.82 Tom Seaver NYM 1.76
SO Mickey Lolich DET 308 Tom Seaver NYM 289
SV Ken Sanders MIL 31 Dave Giusti PIT 30
SB Amos Otis KCR 52 Lou Brock STL 64

Regular Season Recap

Three of the four division races were anticlimactic; the only race was in the N.L. West between old rivals Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants. The Giants led by 8.5 games on September 1 but the Dodgers chipped away. In mid September, the Dodgers won 8 in a row, including 5 over the Giants to narrow the gap to one game. But they could get no closer; ultimately both teams won on the final day of the season and the Giants won the division by 1 game.

Major league baseball final standings

American League
Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
East Division
Baltimore Orioles 101 57 .639
Detroit Tigers 91 71 .562 12
Boston Red Sox 85 77 .525 18
New York Yankees 82 80 .506 21
Washington Senators 63 96 .396 38.5
Cleveland Indians 60 102 .370 43
West Division
Oakland Athletics 101 60 .627
Kansas City Royals 85 76 .528 16
Chicago White Sox 79 83 .488 22.5
California Angels 76 86 .469 25.5
Minnesota Twins 74 86 .463 26.5
Milwaukee Brewers 69 92 .429 32
National League
Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
East Division
Pittsburgh Pirates 97 65 .599
St. Louis Cardinals 90 72 .556 7
Chicago Cubs 83 79 .512 14
New York Mets 83 79 .512 14
Montreal Expos 71 90 .441 25.5
Philadelphia Phillies 67 95 .414 30
West Division
San Francisco Giants 90 72 .556
Los Angeles Dodgers 89 73 .549 1
Atlanta Braves 82 80 .506 8
Cincinnati Reds 79 83 .488 11
Houston Astros 79 83 .488 11
San Diego Padres 61 100 .379 28.5



  • February 9 – Former Negro Leagues pitcher Satchel Paige is nominated for the Hall of Fame. On June 10, the Hall's new Veterans Committee will formally select Paige for induction.
  • April 27 – Hank Aaron becomes the third player in Major League history to hit his 600th home run.
  • June 23 – In a singular performance, pitcher Rick Wise of the Philadelphia Phillies no-hits the Reds, 4–0, and bangs two home runs in the game. Wise joins Earl Wilson and Wes Ferrell as the only pitchers to pitch a no-hitter and hit a home run in the same game. It is the second no-hitter against Cincinnati this month, both in Riverfront Stadium.


  • July 7 – Commissioner Kuhn announces that players from the Negro Leagues elected to the Hall of Fame will be given full membership in the museum. It had been previously announced that they would be honored in a separate wing.
  • August 28 – Phillies pitcher Rick Wise hits two home runs, including a grand slam off Don McMahon, in the second game of a doubleheader, duplicating his feat in his June no-hitter. Wise beats the Giants 7–3.
  • September 30 – The Washington Senators' lead 7–5 in their last home game, but forfeit the game to the New York Yankees, when, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, fans storm the field. The Senators moved to Dallas, Texas, and became the Texas Rangers for the 1972 season, leaving the Nation's Capital without an MLB team until 2005.
  • November 2 – The Orioles' Pat Dobson pitches a no-hitter against the Yomiuri Giants, winning 2–0. It is the first no-hitter in Japanese-American baseball exhibition history. The Orioles compile a record of 12–2–4 on the tour.


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