Mains: If baseball was different in the 1970s, how different was it?

From SABR member Rob Mains at Baseball Prospectus on June 29, 2016:

he current laws of physics make transporting BP alum Joe Sheehan to the 1970s an impossibility, sadly. However, given what we know about baseball in 1971, the year Manny Sanguillen drew six unintentional walks in 559 plate appearances, we can change the tense of the Effectively Wild question from subjunctive to past simple. We can evaluate how different baseball was in 1971, and in so doing, both answer Joe’s question and fulfill my personal goal of using the word subjunctive in an article about baseball.

1971: The Big Picture
Richard Nixon was in the White House, war raged in Vietnam (and Cambodia and Laos) 42 people died in the Attica prison riot, All in the Family debuted and The Ed Sullivan Show ended; and the Supreme Court overturned Muhammad Ali’s conviction for draft evasion.

In baseball, Satchel Paige became the first player elected to the Hall of Fame based on his Negro League career, the American League won the All-Star Game in Detroit 6-4 (the AL’s only win between 1962 and 1983), highlighted by a moonshot by Reggie Jackson off a transformer on the roof of Tiger Stadium. Nobody got elected to the Hall of Fame (Yogi Berra and Early Wynn came close), and both the Society for American Baseball Research and Pedro Martinez were born.

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Originally published: June 29, 2016. Last Updated: June 29, 2016.