We’re going to watch beginning at 4 p.m. PT on YouTube:
This was the Dodgers’ first pennant since Sandy Koufax retired in 1966, and was the culmination of the rise of the franchise after four straight second-place finishes.
1974 was the first full season for The Infield of Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell, and Ron Cey, and the lineup included 24-year-old Bill Buckner in left field and 25-year-old Steve Yeager behind the plate.
The catalysts though for this 102-win juggernaut were two players acquired by trades the previous December. Jimmy Wynn was nabbed from Houston and showed a tremendous combination of power (32 home runs) and patience (108 walks). Reliever Mike Marshall was acquired from the Expos, and pitched almost literally every day for Los Angeles. He set records that still stand, with 106 games and 208⅓ innings in relief, and won the National League Cy Young Award.
Andy Messersmith finished second and Don Sutton was fourth in Cy Young voting, and those two started the first two games against the A’s, in that order.
Oakland was in the middle of a dynasty in 1974, winning their fourth straight division, and were looking for a third straight championship after World Series wins in 1972 and 1973.