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The 1977 World Series matched the returning American League champion New York Yankees against the Los Angeles Dodgers of the National League, with the Yankees winning the Series in six games. Billy Martin won what would be his only World Series title as a manager after guiding the Yankees to a second straight pennant. This was the first World Series of exactly 6 games since the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Chicago White Sox in the 1959 World Series.
New York YankeesEdit
The New York Yankees returned to the Fall Classic after being swept by the Cincinnati Reds the previous year in an effort to redeem themselves. George Steinbrenner’s reputation as a shrewd businessman was evident during baseball’s first reentry draft signing slugger Reggie Jackson for $3 million (from Baltimore) and pitcher Don Gullett (from Cincinnati) for $2 million. Two other key players were acquired by the Yankees through trades. Shortstop Bucky Dent was picked up from the Chicago White Sox for outfielder Oscar Gamble, pitcher LaMarr Hoyt, and $200,000. And after only one year with the Oakland Athletics, pitcher Mike Torrez was traded for pitcher Dock Ellis, and utilitymen, Marty Perez, and Larry Murray.
After a lackluster first half, the Yankees finished strong winning 38 of their last 51 games edging both the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles by 2 ½ games. In amongst the star-laden lineup was an emerging superstar in the left arm of Ron Guidry. Early in the season Guidry was moved from the bullpen into the starting rotation, finishing with sixteen wins against just seven losses with a nice 2.82 ERA. The Yankees advanced to the World Series after beating the Kansas City Royals in an exciting fifth and final ALCS game winning it with three runs in the top of the ninth on a string of singles and a costly error by George Brett.
Los Angeles DodgersEdit
The National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers were skippered by first-year manager Tommy Lasorda. This 1977 club featured the first foursome to hit thirty or more home runs in one Major League season (Steve Garvey–33, Reggie Smith–32, Ron Cey–30, and Dusty Baker–30). The deep pitching staff which led the National League in ERA, 3.22, were led by twenty-game winner, Tommy John and closer Charlie Hough with 22 saves. The Dodgers won 22 of their first 26 games winning the Western Division easily by ten games over the Cincinnati Reds and then eliminated the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLCS in four games.
|1||Los Angeles Dodgers – 3, New York Yankees – 4 (12 innings)||October 11||Yankee Stadium||56,668|
|2||Los Angeles Dodgers – 6, New York Yankees – 1||October 12||Yankee Stadium||56,691|
|3||New York Yankees – 5, Los Angeles Dodgers – 3||October 14||Dodger Stadium||55,992|
|4||New York Yankees – 4, Los Angeles Dodgers – 2||October 15||Dodger Stadium||55,995|
|5||New York Yankees – 4, Los Angeles Dodgers – 10||October 16||Dodger Stadium||55,955|
|6||Los Angeles Dodgers – 4, New York Yankees – 8||October 18||Yankee Stadium||56,407|
HRs: NYY – Willie Randolph (1)
The Dodgers drew first blood off Don Gullett in the first when Davey Lopes walked and scored on a Bill Russell triple. Ron Cey made it 2–0 on a sacrifice fly. The Yankees answered back on consecutive two-out singles by Thurman Munson, Reggie Jackson, and Chris Chambliss, scoring Munson.
In the top of the sixth, the Dodgers looked to extend their lead. Steve Garvey beat out a bunt and, with one out, attempted to score from first on a hit-and-run single by Glenn Burke. Centerfielder Mickey Rivers threw Garvey out at the plate, although replays clearly showed that Garvey slid safely under Munson's tag. The Yankees tied it in their half of the sixth when Willie Randolph belted a solo homer off Don Sutton.
The Yankees took the lead in the eighth when Munson doubled home Randolph. Later in the inning, the Yankees loaded the bases with one out, but Dodger reliever Elias Sosa struck out Lou Piniella and retired Bucky Dent on a forceout to end the threat.
The Dodgers tied it at 3–3 in the ninth. Dusty Baker led off with a single and was almost picked off first when pinch-hitter Manny Mota failed on a bunt attempt. Mota flied out, but Steve Yeager walked and pinch-hitter Lee Lacy drove Baker home with a single.
In extra innings, the Yankees got their leadoff hitters on in both the tenth and eleventh innings, but couldn't score due to failure to lay down sacrifice bunts. Finally, in the twelfth, Randolph led off and doubled and Munson was walked intentionally. Yankee manager Billy Martin at first wanted Paul Blair, the next hitter, to try to sacrifice again, but after two failed attempts, Martin had Blair hit away and Blair singled home Randolph with the game-winner.
Wednesday, October 12, 1977 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York
HRs: LAD – Ron Cey (1), Steve Yeager (1), Reggie Smith (1), Steve Garvey (1)
With aces Ron Guidry and Mike Torrez having both pitched in Game 5 of the ALCS, Billy Martin was forced to use a sore-shouldered Catfish Hunter in Game 2. The Dodgers hit three homers in the first three innings off Hunter. Ron Cey hit a two-run home run in the first, Steve Yeager a one-run home run in the second, and Reggie Smith a two-run home run in the third. Steve Garvey hit home run in the ninth. Burt Hooton pitched a five-hit complete game. Hooton would make amends for his meltdown in Game 3 of the 1977 NLCS.
HRs: LAD – Dusty Baker (1)
With the Series tied and the next three games at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers had to like their chances. However, the Yanks put a damper on those feelings by striking for three runs in the first off Tommy John. Knowing that John was a control pitcher that liked to keep the ball down, the Yankee hitters' strategy was to go the opposite way. And, in the first, it paid off. Mickey Rivers led off with a double to right and scored on a Thurman Munson double to right. Reggie Jackson singled to left to score Munson and went to second when Dodger left fielder Dusty Baker fumbled the ball bare-handed. Lou Piniella then scored Jackson on an opposite-field RBI single to make it 3–0.
Baker would atone for his first-inning error by connecting for a three-run homer in the third off Yankee starter Mike Torrez. The Yankees came back with single runs in the fourth and fifth on an RBI groundout by Rivers, who would finish the game with three hits (including two doubles), and an RBI single by Chris Chambliss. Torrez settled into a groove after Baker's home run, shutting out the Dodgers for the rest of the way. Torrez would finish with nine strikeouts in the complete-game win.
Saturday, October 15, 1977 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California
HRs: NYY – Reggie Jackson (1) LAD – Davey Lopes (1)
With Don Sutton needing another day of rest, Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda started left-hander Doug Rau to combat the Yankees' left-handed power. Rau was rusty, having only pitched in relief in one game of the 1977 NLCS, and it showed. After a relatively easy first inning, Reggie Jackson greeted Rau with a leadoff double in the second. Lou Piniella singled Jackson home with the first run and was doubled to third by Chris Chambliss. Lasorda then pulled Rau in favor of Rick Rhoden, resulting in a heated argument between the two on the mound. The Yankees would score two more runs in the inning on an RBI groundout by Graig Nettles and an RBI single by Bucky Dent.
The Dodgers pushed across two in the third. Rhoden, a good hitting pitcher, hit a ground-rule double to left and Davey Lopes followed with a two-run homer off Yankee starter Ron Guidry. The Dodgers would get nothing else off Guidry, as he settled down and pitched a four-hit complete game.
The Dodgers almost tied the game in the fourth when Ron Cey sent a drive to deep left that Lou Piniella leaped up and caught, robbing him of a home run. Jackson would end the scoring with an opposite-field solo homer off Rhoden in the sixth.
Sunday, October 16, 1977 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California
HRs: NYY – Thurman Munson (1), Reggie Jackson (2) LAD – Steve Yeager (2), Reggie Smith (2)
Needing a win to stave off the embarrassment of losing the World Series at home, the Dodgers took out their frustrations in Game 5 off Don Gullett. Davey Lopes led off the first with a triple and came home when Bill Russell singled. In the fourth, the Dodgers broke the game open on an RBI single by Dusty Baker and a three-run homer by Steve Yeager. Baker added another RBI single in the fifth, Lee Lacy singled home a run, and Yeager batted in another run with a sacrifice fly. Reggie Smith completed the rout with a two-run homer in the sixth.
The Yankees pushed across two runs each in the seventh and eighth; the two runs in the eighth coming on back-to-back homers by Thurman Munson and Reggie Jackson. Nevertheless, Dodger starting pitcher Don Sutton pitched a complete game for the win.
Jackson's solo shot in the eighth came on the first pitch from Sutton, setting the stage for a memorable finale.
Tuesday, October 18, 1977 at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, New York
HRs: LAD – Reggie Smith (3) NYY – Chris Chambliss (1), Reggie Jackson 3 (5)
56,407 fans filled Yankee Stadium in hopes of seeing the Yankees close out the series.
The Dodgers didn't go down without a fight. Steve Garvey put the Dodgers on the board first with a two-out, two-run triple in the first off Mike Torrez. The Yankees came back and tied it in the second on a Chris Chambliss two-run homer after Reggie Jackson walked on four pitches. Reggie Smith put the Dodgers up 3–2 with his third homer of the Series, a solo shot in the third.
Once again, in the fifth with a man on, Jackson connected on the first pitch off Elias Sosa to make the score 7–3. Jackson set an unequalled World Series and post-season records of home runs in 4 consecutive at-bats. The regular season record is 4 consecutive home runs by more than 25 players. (Nobody has ever hit 5 consecutive major league home runs). Jackson earned the nickname of "Mr. October." Reggie Smith of the joined a handful of players to hit home runs while representing teams in both leagues.
Finally, in the eighth, Jackson strode to the plate, amid the chants of "REG-GIE, REG-GIE, REG-GIE!", and drove the first Charlie Hough knuckleball he saw 475 feet into the stands. The score was now 8–3.
With his Game 5 first-pitch homer and his four-pitch walk in the second inning of Game 6, Jackson would homer on his last four swings of the bat in the Series, each off a different Dodger pitcher. Jackson established the record of 5 home runs in a single World Series, which was tied only by Chase Utley of the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2009 World Series (also a 6-game Series) against the New York Yankees.
The Dodgers pushed across a run in the ninth, but that would hardly matter as unsung hero Torrez would pitch his second complete game win of the Series.
|New York Yankees||4||5||0||5||3||2||2||4||0||0||0||1||26||50||3|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||7||1||8||4||3||2||0||0||3||0||0||0||28||48||1
<tr><td style="text-align:left;" colspan="16">Total attendance: 337,708 Average attendance: 56,285</td></tr> <tr><td style="text-align:left;" colspan="16">Winning player’s share: $27,758 Losing player’s share: $20,899</td></tr>
This was the first World Series televised by the ABC network since 1949, and the first since television of the Series started in 1947 not to be televised, at least in part, by rival network NBC. NBC had been the exclusive television network of the Series from 1950–1976, and had covered that year's Yankees–Royals and Dodgers–Phillies playoff series that year.
It was also the first time that the participating teams' local announcers were not featured during game play on the network telecast, though the Yankees' Bill White and the Dodgers' Ross Porter did pre-game TV features and White handled the post-game celebration in the Yankee cluhouse after they clinched the title. White and Porter would also do portions of the CBS Radio play-by-play for the Series.
1977 World Series in filmEdit
Ladies and Gentlemen…The Bronx is burning
Jackson with four runs batted in, sends a fly ball to center field and deep! That's going to be way back! And that's going to be gone! Reggie Jackson has hit his third home run of the game!
Oh, what a blow! What a way to top it off. Forget about who the Most Valuable Player is in the World Series! How this man has responded to pressure! Oh, what a beam on his face. How can you blame him? He's answered the whole world! After all the furor, after all the hassling, it comes down to this!—Howard Cosell after Reggie Jackson's third home run of Game 6.
One out is all they need. A fly ball—anything—is all they need. That's gonna do it! That's gonna do it! The game is over! The Yankees win their 21st World Series! They traced the season long ball for you. The ups and downs. The way they came from behind to beat the Red Sox and the Birds. The way they came from behind to beat the Royals, and now this.—?
- ↑ 1977 World Series Game 1 - Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Yankees. Retrosheet. Retrieved on 2008-06-08.
- ↑ 1977 World Series Game 2 - Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Yankees. Retrosheet. Retrieved on 2008-06-08.
- ↑ 1977 World Series Game 3 - New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Dodgers. Retrosheet. Retrieved on 2008-06-08.
- ↑ 1977 World Series Game 4 - New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Dodgers. Retrosheet. Retrieved on 2008-06-08.
- ↑ 1977 World Series Game 5 - New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Dodgers. Retrosheet. Retrieved on 2008-06-08.
- ↑ 1977 World Series Game 6 - Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Yankees. Retrosheet. Retrieved on 2008-06-08.
- Neft, David S., and Richard M. Cohen. The World Series. 1st ed. New York: St Martins, 1990. (Neft and Cohen 365–370)
- Reichler, Joseph, ed. (1982). The Baseball Encyclopedia (5th ed.), p. 2203. MacMillian Publishing. ISBN 0-02-579010-2.
- Forman, Sean L.. 1977 World Series. Baseball-Reference.com - Major League Statistics and Information.. Retrieved on 2007-12-09.
- 1977 World Series at Baseball-Reference.com
- 1977 World Series at WorldSeries.com (MLB.com)
- Coverage of Game 6 at MLB.com
- 1977 World Series at Baseball-Almanac.com
- REGGIE REGGIE REGGIE at SI.com
- History of the World Series - 1977 at SportingNews.com
- 1977 World Series box scores and play-by-play at Retrosheet.org
- The 1977 New York Yankees at baseballlibrary.com
- The 1977 Los Angeles Dodgers at baseballlibrary.com
- MLB.com review on 1977 World Series DVD set