BASEBALL—National League: The Western Division race staggered down to the final day of the season, with SAN FRANCISCO beating San Diego 5-1 on Juan Marichal's five-hitter to finish one game ahead of Los Angeles, which defeated Houston 2-1. Willie Stargell of Pittsburgh, the Eastern Division winner, topped the league in home runs (48), edging Atlanta's Henry Aaron by one. St. Louis, the runner-up to the Pirates, had two players who dominated the rest of the offensive statistics: Joe Torre led in batting (.363) and RBIs (137) and Lou Brock in runs (126) and stolen bases (64). New York's Tom Seaver (20-10) had the lowest ERA (1.76) and the most strikeouts (289), breaking his year-old NL record for a righthander, while Ferguson Jenkins of Chicago won the most games (24-13). Other 20-game winners were Steve Carlton of St. Louis (20-9) and Al Downing of Los Angeles (20-9).
East: Pitt 97-65, St. L 90-72, NY 83-79, Chi 83-79, Mont 71-90, Phil 67-95
West: SF 90-72, LA 89-73, Atl 82-80, Cin 79-83, Hous 79-83, SD 61-100
American League: BALTIMORE, the Eastern Division leader, won its last 11 games to finish with 101 victories, the same number as Oakland, the Western Division winner. Chicago's Bill Melton hit three home runs in his last two games to win the home-run title (33) by one over Norm Cash of Detroit and Reggie Jackson of Oakland. Minnesota's Tony Oliva led in batting (.337), Harmon Killebrew of Minnesota in RBIs (119), Baltimore's Don Buford in runs (99) and Amos Otis of Kansas City in stolen bases (52). Vida Blue of Oakland (24-8) had the lowest ERA (1.82), while Detroit's Mickey Lolich had the most victories (25-14) and strikeouts (308). Lolich also pitched 376 innings, the most in the AL in 59 years. Other 20-game winners were Wilbur Wood (22-13) of Chicago, Andy Messersmith (20-13) of California, Joe Coleman (20-9) of Detroit, Catfish Hunter (21-11) of Oakland and Baltimore's Dave McNally (21-5), Pat Dobson (20-8), Jim Palmer (20-9) and Mike Cuellar (20-9).
East: Balt 101-57, Det 91-71, Bost 85-77, NY 82-80, Wash 63-96, Clev 60-102
West: Oak 101-60, KC 85-76, Chi 79-83, Cal 76-86, Minn 74-86, Mil 69-92
BOATING—BOB MOSBACHER of Houston won the World Soling Class title off Oyster Bay, N.Y. with a low-point total of 34 to finish .7 ahead of Chicago's Bruce Goldsmith. Four-time Olympic gold medalist Paul Elvstr√∂m of Denmark finished third in the 53-yacht fleet with 44 points.
FOOTBALL—American Conference: PITTSBURGH won its second game in a row, defeating San Diego 21-17 (page 26). George Nock's two touchdown runs, the last with only 1:55 to go gave NEW YORK a 14-10 upset win over Miami. It was the first victory for the Jets, who had trailed 10-0 in the first five minutes of the game. BALTIMORE easily beat New England 23-3 as Earl Morrall completed 13 of 17 passes and Jim O'Brien kicked three field goals (41, 42 and 50 yards). Ex-Oiler Charley Durkee booted a 37-yard field goal with five seconds remaining to lift New Orleans to a 13-13 tie with Houston, and KANSAS CITY won its second straight game, defeating winless Denver 16-3 on Jan Stenerud's three field goals.
National Conference: Charley Harraway's 57-yard touchdown scamper and Bill Kilmer's 50-yard TD pass to Roy Jefferson led undefeated WASHINGTON to a 20-16 upset win over Dallas. It marked the first time in 28 seasons that the Redskins won their first three games, and was only the second loss—the first was in the Super Bowl—for the Cowboys in their last 17 games. SAN FRANCISCO bombed Philadelphia 31-3 on John Brodie's three touchdown passes, while the MINNESOTA defense smothered Dennis Shaw seven times for losses of 59 yards and held Buffalo to 56 yards rushing and eight net yards passing as the V kings shut out the winless Bills 19-0. Cincinnati lost its second game in a row, 20-17 to GREEN BAY, and its starting quarterback, Virgil Carter, the AC's leading passer, when he suffered a shoulder separation early in the game. Rookie John Brockington led the Packers to their second straight win with 120 yards rushing in 19 carries. DETROIT edged Atlanta 41-38 in a wild, back-and-forth game in which the Lions' Mike Weger returned a fumble 52 yards for a TD and Ron Jessie ran a kickoff 97 yards for another The NEW YORK Giants scored three touchdowns, including rookie Rocky Thompson's 93-yard kickoff return, in the first half for a 21-3 lead and held on to defeat St. Louis 21-20. This gave the Cardinals a New York split for the week since they beat the Jets 17-10 in the Monday night game. Chicago lost its first game and LOS ANGELES Coach Tommy Prothro gained his first pro win when the Rams defeated the Bears 17-3.
HARNESS RACING—STRIKE OUT ($5.20) driven by Buddy Gilmour, won the $81,216 Roosevelt Futurity by three-quarters of a length over Berry Hanover at New York's Roosevelt Raceway.
Albatross set a world record for the mile with a 1:54.5 heat, then equaled the time in the second heat to win the $52,865 Tattersalls Pace at the Lexington (Ky.) Trots.
Four-year-old STEADY STAR, with Joe O'Brien driving, set a world time-trial pacing record with a 1:52 mile. Two days earlier ENTREPRENEUR, driven by Howard Beissinger, paced the fastest competitive mile ever by a two-year-old—1:56[4/5]. Both records were set at the Lexington (Ky.) Trots.
HORSE RACING—Paul Mellon's MILL REEF became the first American-bred horse to win the $421,000 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in Paris (page 81).
West Coast Scout ($18.20) was awarded the $113,000 Woodward Stakes at New York's Belmont when Cougar II, who finished first by five lengths was disqualified for cutting off favored Tinajero in the stretch. In the revised standings Tinajero was placed second and Cougar II dropped to third.
MOTOR SPORTS—FRAN√áOIS CEVERT of France won the U.S. Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, N.Y. (page 73).
TENNIS—MRS. BILLIE JEAN KING became the first woman athlete to win $100,000 in a year when she beat Rosemary Casals 7-5, 6-1 in the finals of the Thunderbird tournament in Phoenix. The victory in the last tournament of the 21-event pro circuit boosted Mrs. King's earnings to $100,725.
TRACK & FIELD—A BRITISH team clipped .2 off the women's 800-meter relay world record with a 1:33.6 in Paris.
WEIGHT LIFTING—The U.S.S.R. dominated the world championship in Lima, Peru with winners in six of the nine weight classes and 51 points. Poland was second with two winners and 24 points, Bulgaria third with 23 points. The only other gold medal went to Japan. The U.S. finished sixth in the six-nation tournament with 13 points. KEN PATERA second in the superheavyweight division, was the only American to place.
MILEPOSTS—RETIRED: JIM BUNNING, 39, the only pitcher in modern baseball history to win 100 games and strike out 1,000 batters in both major leagues. Bunning, whose 16-year record was 224-184, played with Detroit (1956-63) in the American League and Philadelphia (1964-67, 1970-71), Pittsburgh (1968-69) and Los Angeles (1969) in the National, compiling 2,855 strikeouts, second on the alltime list to Walter Johnson. He threw a no-hitter for Detroit in 1958 and a perfect game for Philadelphia in 1964.
RETIRED: FRANK CROSETTI, 61, a major-leaguer as a player and coach since 1932. After hitting .245 in 17 seasons as a New York Yankee shortstop, Crosetti coached at third base for the Yankees for 21 years before moving on to the Minnesota Twins. Overall, Crosetti played or coached on 23 World Series teams, collecting some $150,000.