The 1975 American League Championship Series pitted the Boston Red Sox against the three-time defending world champion Oakland A's for the right to advance to the 1975 World Series.
During the regular season, the Red Sox posted a 95–65 record and won the AL East division title, while the A's went 98–64 to win the AL West.
The Red Sox came up with experienced players such as Carl Yastrzemski, Carlton Fisk and Dwight Evans, and two sensational rookies—Fred Lynn and Jim Rice. Lynn took most of the headlines by playing a flawless center field, hitting .331 with 21 home runs and 105 RBIs, and becoming the first major league player to win the MVP and Rookie of the Year awards in the same season. Rice, although suffering a broken wrist in late September, finished with a .309 average, 22 homers and 102 RBIs.
Meanwhile, the A's seemed ripe to be overthrown without Catfish Hunter in the starting rotation and with generally lackluster offensive support during the regular season. To supplement the familiar faces of Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando, Joe Rudi, Bert Campaneris and Gene Tenace on the roster, Oakland included Claudell Washington, who blossomed into a dangerous hitter, and Billy Williams, who came over from the National League.
Boston won the series, 3–0.
Saturday, October 4, 1975, at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts
Boston Red Sox starter Luis Tiant allowed just one run on three hits to defeat the Oakland A's, 7–1, in the ALCS opener. Tiant struck out eight and walked three in a complete game effort, retiring the side in order in three innings. Juan Beníquez went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, Fred Lynn ended 1-for-4 with two RBIs, and Carlton Fisk 1-for-4 with two runs scored for the Red Sox. Oakland starter Ken Holtzman took the loss by yielding five hits and four runs (two unearned) with four strikeouts and a walk in 6 1⁄3 innings of work.
Sunday, October 5, 1975, at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts
Carl Yastrzemski hit a two-run home run to lead the Boston Red Sox past the Oakland A's, 6–3, in the second ALCS game. Boston starter Reggie Cleveland was solid through five innings, allowing three runs on five hits with two strikeouts and one walk. Rico Petrocelli also homered, Carlton Fisk went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, and Fred Lynn hit 2-for-4 with one RBI for the Red Sox. Oakland starter Vida Blue lasted three innings and gave up just three runs on six hits. The win went to Roger Moret, who tossed one scoreless inning of relief. Dick Drago worked the final three innings to close out the contest. The loss went to Rollie Fingers, who allowed three runs on five hits over four innings. Reggie Jackson hit a two-run home run and Sal Bando went 4-for-4 with two doubles and a run for the A's.
Tuesday, October 7, 1975, at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California
After winning three consecutive championships, the Oakland A's dynasty came to an end as they were swept by the Boston Red Sox, 5–3, in the third game of the ALCS. Boston starter Rick Wise allowed three runs (two unearned) on six hits in 7 1⁄3 innings of work. Both Denny Doyle and Carlton Fisk collected two hits with one run and an RBI and Rick Burleson went 2-for-4 with one run scored to lead the Red Sox. Ken Holtzman started for Oakland and was tagged for four runs on seven hits in just 4 2⁄3 innings to take the loss. Dick Drago earned the save for pitching 1 2⁄3 innings of shutout ball for Boston while Carl Yastrzemski made two great defensive plays at left field and collected two hits. Sal Bando went 2-for-4 with two RBIs while Reggie Jackson hit 2-for-4 with one RBI for the A's.
This game, and Game 3 of the 1975 National League Championship Series, were the first league championship series games ever played at night. Both were regionally televised by NBC.
1975 ALCS (3–0): Boston Red Sox over Oakland A's