The clincher: Jack Coombs tossed his third complete game of the World Series as the A's topped the Cubs, 7-2, at Chicago's West Side Park on Oct. 23, and took the series, 4-1, for their first title. Coombs' other gems came in Games 2 and 3, on Oct. 18 and 20, respectively. The heroes: Second baseman Eddie Collins hit .429 and third baseman Frank "Home Run" Baker hit .409 for the series. Rightfielder Danny Murphy scored six runs and knocked in nine as the A's outscored the Cubs, 35-15. The season: A's (102-48) were the first AL team to win 100 games.
The clincher: The A's used a four-run fourth and a seven-run seventh to defend their title with a 13-2 victory over the New York Giants in Game 6 on Oct. 26 at Shibe Park. The heroes: After losing Game 1, 2-1, the A's were tied 1-1 when Frank Baker clubbed the first of his two series homers, a two-run shot in the sixth. The A's outscored New York, 25-10, from that point on. The season: The A's were 101-50 and finished 13 games ahead of the Tigers.
The clincher: Eddie Plank held the Giants to two hits as the A's won their third title in 4 years with a 3-1, Game 5 victory over the Giants on Oct. 11 at the Polo Grounds. The heroes: Third baseman Frank Baker (.450) and catcher Wally Schang each knocked in seven runs. Chief Bender had two wins. The season: Baker led the AL with 12 home runs and 117 RBI and Eddie Collins led in runs (125).
The clincher: Mule Haas hit a two-run homer with one out in the bottom of the ninth and Bing Miller doubled home Al Simmons later in the inning as the A's overcame a 2-0 deficit and captured the series in five games with a 3-2 victory over the Cubs on Oct.14 at Shibe Park. The heroes: Rube Walberg put out a third-inning fire and held the Cubs to two hits in five innings to keep the A's within striking distance. Haas, Simmons and Jimmie Foxx each had two home runs in the series. The season: Simmons (157 RBI, 114 runs, 34 HR) and Foxx (118, 123, 33) led the offense as the A's (104-46-1) finished 18 games ahead of the Yankees, who were 22 games over .500.
The clincher: Mickey Cochrane and Bing Miller had RBI doubles in the first inning as the A's breezed to a 7-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 on Oct. 8 at Shibe Park for their second consecutive title. The heroes: Cochrane had five runs and four RBI in the series. George Earnshaw and Lefty Grove each won two games. The season: Foxx (156 RBI, 127 runs, 37 HR) and Simmons (165, 152, 36) somehow bettered their production from the previous season and the A's slumped to 102-52.
The clincher: Howie Dallmar finished with just two points in Game 5, but a basket in the final minute broke an 80-80 tie and lifted the Warriors to an 83-80, Game 5 victory over the visiting Chicago Stags at the Arena on April 22 and the first Basketball Association America title. The heroes: Joe Fulks opened the finals by scoring 29 of his 37 points in the second half of a Game 1 win. The season: The Warriors (35-25) finished 14 games behind the Washington Capitols in the Eastern Division, but the Stags upset Washington in the semifinals.
The clincher: Steve Van Buren scored on a 5-yard run early in the fourth quarter as the Birds beat the Chicago Cardinals, 7-0, in a driving snowstorm at Shibe Park on Dec.19. The heroes: Van Buren finished with 98 yards on 26 carries. Bucko Kilroy recovered a Cardinals fumble late in the third quarter that led to the only points. The season: The Eagles started 0-1-1, but won eight straight and took the East Division at 9-2-1. Van Buren had 10 rushing TDs and Pete Pihos caught 11 TD passes.
The clincher: Pete Pihos caught a 31-yard TD pass from Tommy Thompson and Leo Skladany blocked a punt and took it in for another score as the Eagles topped the Rams, 14-0, on Dec.18 at rain-soaked Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The heroes: Steve Van Buren had 196 yards on 31 carries after 2 inches of rain had fallen. The season: The Eagles finished 11-1 in the East Division (Pittsburgh was second at 6-5-1) and outscoring opponents by 364-134.
The clincher: Joe Graboski scored 29 points and Paul Arizin added 26 as the Warriors eased past the Fort Wayne Pistons, 99-88, in Game5 on April 7 at Convention Hall. The heroes: Ernie Beck came off the bench as the Warriors overcame a 37-22 deficit to win Game 1 of the Finals, 98-94. Arizin had 30 points in a 107-105 victory in Game 4. The season: Rookie guard Tom Gola acclimated quickly with scorers Arizin, Graboski and Neil Johnston as Philadelphia (45-27) finished with the league's best record.
The clincher: Ted Dean scored on a 5-yard run in the fourth quarter to erase a 13-10 deficit and lift the Eagles to a 17-13 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Dec.26 at Franklin Field. The heroes: Dean, whose fumble on the Eagles' second possession led to a Green Bay field goal, set up his TD run with a 58-yard kickoff return. Tommy McDonald caught a 35-yard pass from Norm Van Brocklin for the first score. The season: The Eagles lost their opener to the Cleveland Browns, then won nine straight to take the East Division.
The clincher: Matt Guokas hit back-to-back baskets to spark an early fourth-quarter run and the Sixers held off the Warriors, 125-122, in Game 6 on April 24 at San Francisco's Cow Palace. The heroes: Hal Greer had a 27.7 playoff scoring average. Wilt Chamberlain (29.1 rebound average, 9.0 assists per game) and Chet Walker each averaged 21.7 to help offset the Warriors' hot-shooting Rick Barry (40.8 average in Finals). The season: The Sixers started 15-1, 26-2, 37-3 and 46-4 en route to a then league-record 68-13 mark. They beat hated Boston, 4-1, in the semifinals.
The clincher: Rick MacLeish tipped a shot by Andre Dupont past Gilles Gilbert at 14:48 of the first period and Conn Smythe winner Bernie Parent shut out Boston, 1-0, in Game 6 on May 19 at the Spectrum. The heroes: Bobby Clarke's second goal of Game2 came at 4:20 of overtime to tie the series, 1-1. The season: The Flyers (50-16-12) captured the West Division and Parent (47-13-12) set a record for wins in a season, since broken.
The clincher: Bob Kelly scored 11 seconds into the third period and Bill Clement scored at 17:13 to lead the Flyers, 2-0, over the Sabres in Game 6 on May 27 at the Auditorium in Buffalo. The heroes: Bernie Parent became the first player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy in consecutive seasons. He was 10-5 with a 1.89 GAA and four shutouts in 15 games. The season: The Flyers (51-18-11) captured the Patrick Division of the realigned NHL, outdistancing the Rangers by 25 points.
The clincher: Mike Schmidt's two-run single in the third inning was enough as Steve Carlton and Tug McGraw held Kansas City in a 4-1, Game 6 victory on Oct. 21 at Veterans Stadium. The heroes: In the ninth inning of Game 5, Del Unser had a pinch RBI double to tie the game and scored on Manny Trillo's single. The season: With the Phillies flirting with .500 in mid-August, Schmidt caught fire and the Phils held off the Expos. They survived a gut-wrenching NLCS with the Astros.
The clincher: After trailing the Lakers at halftime in all four games of the Finals, the Sixers used a 33-15 fourth-quarter spurt to overcome an 11-point deficit after three periods and complete the sweep, 115-108, on May 31 at the Forum. The heroes: League MVP Moses Malone (24.5 points, 15.3 rebounds) somehow elevated his game (playoffs: 26.0, 15.8). The season: The Sixers had a 14-game winning streak to get to 34-5 and a 10-gamer that got them to 50-7. They finished nine games ahead of the Celtics in the division. *