1977 New York Yankees Season
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1977 New York Yankees Season

1977 New York Yankees
1977 AL East Champions
1977 AL Champions
1977 World Series Champions
Major League affiliations
Location
Other information
Owner(s)George Steinbrenner
General manager(s)Gabe Paul
Manager(s)Billy Martin
Local televisionWPIX
(Phil Rizzuto, Frank Messer, Bill White)
Local radioWMCA
(Frank Messer, Phil Rizzuto, Bill White, Pam Bouche)
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The 1977 New York Yankees season was the 75th season for the Yankees in New York and the 77th season overall for the franchise. The team won the World Series, which was the 21st championship in franchise history and the first under the ownership of George Steinbrenner. New York was managed by Billy Martin, and played at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx. The season was brought to life years later in the book and drama-documentary, The Bronx is Burning.

Offseason

The Yankees signed Reggie Jackson to a five-year contract, totaling $2.96 million, on November 29, 1976. Upon arriving in New York, Jackson asked for uniform number 9, which he had worn in Oakland and Baltimore. However, that number was being worn by third baseman Graig Nettles. So, noting that then-all-time home run leader Hank Aaron had just retired, Jackson asked for and received number 44, Aaron's number.

Notable transactions

Regular season

The team finished in first place in the American League East with a record of 100-62 (.617), 2½ games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles to successfully defend their division title. In the best-of-five League Championship Series (ALCS), they beat the Kansas City Royals in five games. In the World Series, New York defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games.

Game log

Season standings

AL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
New York Yankees 100 62 0.617 -- 55-26 45-36
Baltimore Orioles 97 64 0.602 54-27 43-37
Boston Red Sox 97 64 0.602 51-29 46-35
Detroit Tigers 74 88 0.457 26 39-42 35-46
Cleveland Indians 71 90 0.441 28½ 37-44 34-46
Milwaukee Brewers 67 95 0.414 33 37-44 30-51
Toronto Blue Jays 54 107 0.335 45½ 25-55 29-52

Record vs. opponents

1977 American League Records

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]
Team BAL BOS CAL CWS CLE DET KC MIL MIN NYY OAK SEA TEX TOR
Baltimore -- 6-8 5-6 5-5 11-4 12-3 4-7 11-4 6-4 8-7 8-2 7-3 4-6 10-5
Boston 8-6 -- 7-3 3-7 8-7 9-6 5-5 9-6 4-6 8-7 8-3 10-1 6-4 12-3
California 6-5 3-7 -- 8-7 6-4 4-6 6-9 5-5 7-8 4-7 5-10 9-6 5-10 6-4
Chicago 5-5 7-3 7-8 -- 6-4 4-6 8-7 6-5 10-5 3-7 10-5 10-5 6-9 8-3
Cleveland 4-11 7-8 4-6 4-6 -- 8-7 3-7 11-4 2-9 3-12 7-3 7-3 2-9 9-5
Detroit 3-12 6-9 6-4 6-4 7-8 -- 3-8 10-5 5-5 6-9 5-5 5-6 2-8 10-5
Kansas City 7-4 5-5 9-6 7-8 7-3 8-3 -- 8-2 10-5 5-5 9-6 11-4 8-7 8-2
Milwaukee 4-11 6-9 5-5 5-6 4-11 5-10 2-8 -- 3-8 8-7 5-5 7-3 5-5 8-7
Minnesota 4-6 6-4 8-7 5-10 9-2 5-5 5-10 8-3 -- 2-8 8-6 7-8 8-7 9-1
New York 7-8 7-8 7-4 7-3 12-3 9-6 5-5 7-8 8-2 -- 9-2 6-4 7-3 9-6
Oakland 2-8 3-8 10-5 5-10 3-7 5-5 6-9 5-5 6-8 2-9 -- 7-8 2-13 7-3
Seattle 3-7 1-10 6-9 5-10 3-7 6-5 4-11 3-7 8-7 4-6 8-7 -- 9-6 4-6
Texas 6-4 4-6 10-5 9-6 9-2 8-2 7-8 5-5 7-8 3-7 13-2 6-9 -- 7-4
Toronto 5-10 3-12 4-6 3-8 5-9 5-10 2-8 7-8 1-9 6-9 3-7 6-4 4-7 --


Notable transactions

Draft picks

All-Star game

Yankee Stadium hosted the All-Star Game on July 19, less than a week after the blackout. Four Yankees were in the game: Willie Randolph and Reggie Jackson were in the starting lineup at second base and right field, while relief pitcher Sparky Lyle and third baseman Graig Nettles were part of the roster as reserves. The National League defeated the American League 7-5.

Roster

Characters

Reggie Jackson

Jackson's first season with the Yankees was a difficult one. Although team owner George Steinbrenner and several players, most notably catcher and team captain Thurman Munson and outfielder Lou Piniella, were excited about his arrival, Martin was not. He had managed the Detroit Tigers in 1972 when Jackson's A's beat them in the league playoffs. Jackson was once quoted as saying of Martin, "I hate him, but if I played for him, I'd probably love him."

The relationship between Jackson and his new teammates was strained due to an interview with SPORT magazine writer Robert Ward. During spring training at the Yankees' camp in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Jackson and Ward were having drinks at a nearby bar. Jackson's version of the story is that he noted that the Yankees had won the pennant the year before, but lost the World Series to the Reds, and suggested that they needed one thing more to win it all, and pointed out the various ingredients in his drink. Ward suggested that Jackson might be "the straw that stirs the drink." But when the story appeared in the May 1977 issue of SPORT, Ward quoted Jackson as saying, "This team, it all flows from me. I'm the straw that stirs the drink. Maybe I should say me and Munson, but he can only stir it bad."

Thurman Munson

Thurman Munson was "uncharacteristically happy" about the team getting Jackson in large part because he believed he had received "a verbal agreement from Steinbrenner that, with the exception of Catfish Hunter (who'd signed a five-year, $3.75 million contract with the Yankees before the 1975 season), he [Munson] would always be the highest-paid player on the team." But, Steinbrenner did not follow through and adjust Munson's contract upward. As the baseball book Stars and Strikes: Baseball and America in the Bicentennial Summer of '76 puts it, "But the Yankee captain wouldn't be smiling for long, once he realized that Steinbrenner had no intention of making good on their agreement."[12]

An article in The New York Times in January 1977 reported, "Munson, however, has continued to be disturbed with Steinbrenner because of what he said first was the owner's denial of any verbal agreement and secand [second] was Steinbrenner's misleading him on Jackson's salary."[13]

Billy Martin

Martin feuded publicly with both Yankee owner Steinbrenner and star outfielder Jackson. In one especially infamous incident on Saturday, June 18, in the second game of a three-game sweep by the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, Martin pulled Jackson off the field in mid-inning for failing to hustle on a check-swing pop double by Boston's Jim Rice. Replaced in right field by Paul Blair, Jackson confronted Martin when he returned to the dugout, and Martin had to be restrained by his coaches (Elston Howard and Yogi Berra) from fighting with Jackson during the nationally-televised Game of the Week.[14][15][16]

In popular culture

Jonathan Mahler wrote a bestselling book entitled Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx Is Burning about the turmoil in New York City in 1977, including the Son of Sam, the blackout, and how Yankees season rallied the people of New York. The book was adapted for an ESPN miniseries, The Bronx Is Burning

Player stats

= Indicates team leader

Batting

Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C Thurman Munson 149 595 183 .308 18 100
1B Chris Chambliss 157 600 172 .287 17 90
2B Willie Randolph 147 551 151 .274 5 40
3B Graig Nettles 158 589 150 .255 37 107
SS Bucky Dent 158 477 118 .247 8 49
LF Roy White 143 519 139 .268 14 52
CF Mickey Rivers 138 565 184 .326 12 69
RF Reggie Jackson 146 525 150 .286 32 110
DH Carlos May 65 181 41 .227 2 16

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Lou Piniella 103 339 112 .330 12 45
Paul Blair 83 164 43 .262 4 25
Cliff Johnson 56 142 42 .296 12 31
Jimmy Wynn 30 77 11 .143 1 3
Fran Healy 28 67 15 .224 0 7
George Zeber 25 65 21 .323 3 10
Fred Stanley 48 46 12 .261 1 7
Dell Alston 22 40 13 .325 1 4
Dave Kingman 8 24 6 .250 4 7
Mickey Klutts 5 15 4 .267 1 4
Elrod Hendricks 10 11 3 .273 1 5
Gene Locklear 1 5 3 .600 0 2
Dave Bergman 5 4 1 .250 0 1
Marty Perez 1 4 2 .500 0 0

Pitching

Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Ed Figueroa 32 239.1 16 11 3.57 104
Mike Torrez 31 217 14 12 3.82 90
Ron Guidry 31 210.2 16 7 2.82 176
Don Gullett 22 158.1 14 4 3.58 116
Catfish Hunter 22 143.1 9 9 4.71 52
Dock Ellis 3 19.2 1 1 1.83 5

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Ken Holtzman 18 71.2 2 3 5.78 14
Gil Patterson 10 33.1 1 2 5.40 29

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L SV ERA SO
Sparky Lyle 72 137 13 5 26 2.17 68
Dick Tidrow 49 151 11 4 5 3.16 83
Ken Clay 21 55.2 2 3 1 4.37 20
Stan Thomas 3 6.1 1 0 0 7.11 1
Larry McCall 2 6 0 1 0 7.50 0

ALCS

Game 1

October 5: Yankee Stadium, New York City

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kansas City 2 2 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 7 9 0
New York 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 9 0
W: Paul Splittorff (1-0)  L: Don Gullett (0-1)  
HRs: KC - Hal McRae (1), John Mayberry (1), Al Cowens (1) NYY - Thurman Munson (1)

Game 2

October 6: Yankee Stadium, New York City

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kansas City 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 3 1
New York 0 0 0 0 2 3 0 1 - 6 10 0
W: Ron Guidry (1-0)  L: Andy Hassler (0-1)  
HRs: KC - none; NYY - Cliff Johnson (1)

Game 3

October 7: Royals Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 4 1
Kansas City 0 1 1 0 1 2 0 1 - 6 12 1
W: Dennis Leonard (1-0)  L: Mike Torrez (0-1)  
HRs: NYY - none; KC - none

Game 4

October 8: Royals Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 1 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 6 13 0
Kansas City 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 4 8 2
W: Sparky Lyle (1-0)  L: Larry Gura (0-1)  
HRs: Yanks - none; KC - none

Game 5

October 9: Royals Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 5 10 0
Kansas City 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 10 1
W: Sparky Lyle (2-0)  L: Dennis Leonard (1-1)  
HRs: NYY - none; KC - none

World Series

AL New York Yankees (4) vs. NL Los Angeles Dodgers (2)
Game Score Date Location Attendance Time of Game
1 Dodgers - 3, Yankees - 4 (12 inns) October 11 Yankee Stadium 56,668 3:24
2 Dodgers - 6, Yankees - 1 October 12 Yankee Stadium 56,691 2:27
3 Yankees - 5, Dodgers - 3 October 14 Dodger Stadium 55,992 2:31
4 Yankees - 4, Dodgers - 2 October 15 Dodger Stadium 55,995 2:07
5 Yankees - 4, Dodgers - 10 October 16 Dodger Stadium 55,995 2:29
6 Dodgers - 4, Yankees - 8 October 18 Yankee Stadium 56,407 2:18

Awards and honors

All-Stars

All-Star Game

Farm system

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: West Haven, Oneonta[17]

Notes

  1. ^ Jim Mason at Baseball Reference
  2. ^ Willie McGee at Baseball Reference
  3. ^ Paul Blair at Baseball Reference
  4. ^ Brian Doyle at Baseball Reference
  5. ^ Kerry Dineen at Baseball Reference
  6. ^ Oscar Gamble at Baseball Reference
  7. ^ Dock Ellis at Baseball Reference
  8. ^ Stan Thomas at Baseball Reference
  9. ^ Joe Lefebvre at Baseball Reference
  10. ^ Chuck Hensley at Baseball Reference
  11. ^ Chris Welsh at Baseball Reference
  12. ^ Stars and Strikes: Baseball and America in the Bicentennial Summer of '76, Dan Epstein, St. Martin's Press, 2014, pages 365-66.
  13. ^ Verbal Agreements Cited by Catcher, The New York Times (archives), Murray Chass, Jan. 19, 1977.
  14. ^ "Martin, Jackson clash as Yanks lose, 10-4". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. June 20, 1977. p. D5.
  15. ^ "Martin might be fighting to save his job". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). wire service reports. June 20, 1977. p. 1D.
  16. ^ "Shouting match!". Reading Eagle. (Pennsylvania). Associated Press. June 19, 1977. p. 69.
  17. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 2nd and 3rd editions. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 1997 and 2007

References


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