1977 New York Yankees season

The 1977 New York Yankees season was the 75th season for the Yankees. The team won the World Series, which was the 21st title 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. The Yankees also hosted the 1977 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. To date, this is the most recent time the All-Star Game host team has won the World Series the same year.

1977 New York Yankees
1977 American League East Division Champion
1977 American League Champion
1977 World Series Champion
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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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.

Season standings

AL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
New York Yankees 10062 0.617 55–26 45–36
Baltimore Orioles 9764 0.602 54–27 43–37
Boston Red Sox 9764 0.602 51–29 46–35
Detroit Tigers 7488 0.457 26 39–42 35–46
Cleveland Indians 7190 0.441 28½ 37–44 34–46
Milwaukee Brewers 6795 0.414 33 37–44 30–51
Toronto Blue Jays 54107 0.335 45½ 25–55 29–52

Record vs. opponents


Sources:
Team BAL BOS CAL CWS CLE DET KC MIL MIN NYY OAK SEA TEX TOR
Baltimore 6–85–65–511–412–34–711–46–48–78–27–34–610–5
Boston 8–67–33–78–79–65–59–64–68–78–310–16–412–3
California 6–53–78–76–44–66–95–57–84–75–109–65–106–4
Chicago 5–57–37–86–44–68–76–510–53–710–510–56–98–3
Cleveland 4–117–84–64–68–73–711–42–93–127–37–32–99–5
Detroit 3–126–96–46–47–83–810–55–56–95–55–62–810–5
Kansas City 7–45–59–67–87–38–38–210–55–59–611–48–78–2
Milwaukee 4–116–95–55–64–115–102–83–88–75–57–35–58–7
Minnesota 4–66–48–75–109–25–55–108–32–88–67–88–79–1
New York 7–87–87–47–312–39–65–57–88–29–26–47–39–6
Oakland 2–83–810–55–103–75–56–95–56–82–97–82–137–3
Seattle 3–71–106–95–103–76–54–113–78–74–68–79–64–6
Texas 6–44–610–59–69–28–27–85–57–83–713–26–97–4
Toronto 5–103–124–63–85–95–102–87–81–96–93–76–44–7

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

1977 New York Yankees
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Other batters

Manager

Coaches

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]

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

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
CThurman Munson149595183.30818100
1BChris Chambliss157600172.2871790
2BWillie Randolph147551151.274540
3BGraig Nettles158589150.25537107
SSBucky Dent158477118.247849
LFRoy White143519139.2681452
CFMickey Rivers138565184.3261269
RFReggie Jackson146525150.28632110
DHCarlos May6518141.227216

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 Piniella103339112.3301245
Paul Blair8316443.262425
Cliff Johnson5614242.2961231
Jimmy Wynn307711.14313
Fran Healy286715.22407
George Zeber256521.323310
Fred Stanley484612.26117
Dell Alston224013.32514
Dave Kingman8246.25047
Mickey Klutts5154.26714
Elrod Hendricks10113.27315
Gene Locklear153.60002
Dave Bergman541.25001
Marty Perez142.50000

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 Figueroa32239.116113.57104
Mike Torrez31217.014123.8290
Ron Guidry31210.21672.82176
Don Gullett22158.11443.58116
Catfish Hunter22143.1994.7152
Dock Ellis319.2111.835

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 Holtzman1871.2235.7814
Gil Patterson1033.1125.4029

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 Lyle72137.0135262.1768
Dick Tidrow49151.011453.1683
Ken Clay2155.22314.3720
Stan Thomas36.11007.111
Larry McCall26.00107.500

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 222 000 010 790
New York 002 000 000 290
W: Paul Splittorff (1–0)  L: Don Gullett (0–1)  
HRs: KCHal McRae (1), John Mayberry (1), Al Cowens (1) NYYThurman 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 001 001 000 231
New York 000 023 01- 6100
W: Ron Guidry (1–0)  L: Andy Hassler (0–1)  
HRs: KC – none; NYYCliff 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 000 010 001 241
Kansas City 011 012 01- 6121
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 121 100 001 6130
Kansas City 002 200 000 482
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 001 000 013 5100
Kansas City 201 000 000 3101
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
1Dodgers – 3, Yankees – 4 (12 inns)October 11Yankee Stadium56,6683:24
2Dodgers – 6, Yankees – 1October 12Yankee Stadium56,6912:27
3Yankees – 5, Dodgers – 3October 14Dodger Stadium55,9922:31
4Yankees – 4, Dodgers – 2October 15Dodger Stadium55,9952:07
5Yankees – 4, Dodgers – 10October 16Dodger Stadium55,9952:29
6Dodgers – 4, Yankees – 8October 18Yankee Stadium56,4072:18

Awards and honors

All-Stars

All-Star Game

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Syracuse Chiefs International League Pete Ward
AA West Haven Yankees Eastern League Mike Ferraro
A Fort Lauderdale Yankees Florida State League Ed Napoleon
A-Short Season Oneonta Yankees New York–Penn League Art Mazmanian

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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