1978 New York Yankees season

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1978 New York Yankees
1978 AL East Champions
1978 AL Champions
1978 World Series Champions
Major League affiliations
Location
Other information
Owner(s)George Steinbrenner
General manager(s)Cedric Tallis
Manager(s)Billy Martin, Dick Howser, Bob Lemon
Local televisionWPIX (Phil Rizzuto, Frank Messer, Bill White)
Local radioWINS (AM)
(Frank Messer, Phil Rizzuto, Bill White, Fran Healy)
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The 1978 New York Yankees season was the 76th season for the Yankees. The team finished with a record of 100–63, finishing one game ahead of the Boston Red Sox to win their third American League East title. The two teams were tied after 162 games, leading to a one-game playoff, which the Yankees won.

In the ALCS, they defeated the Kansas City Royals in 4 games. In the World Series, they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in 6 games in a rematch of the 1977 World Series. New York was managed by Billy Martin, Dick Howser and Bob Lemon. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium.

The season was tumultuous for the Yankees, as Jackson was suspended in a midseason showdown with Billy Martin, which later resulted in Martin resigning mid-season. For television viewers of the Bronx Bombers, it was the first season to be broadcast nationwide via satellite via WPIX, which that year became a superstation as well partly in response to Ted Turner's WTCG-TV nationwide broadcasts of the Atlanta Braves beginning on Opening Day of 1977. WPIX remained the team's exclusive broadcast partner for the Greater New York television viewers on FTA television and the by now superstation status and satellite broadcasts finally enabled millions all over the country to watch Yankees home and away games live as they happened.

Offseason[edit]

Regular season[edit]

During the season, Ron Guidry became the last pitcher to win at least 25 games in one season for the Yankees in the 20th century.[5] Guidry won the Cy Young Award by unanimous vote. In 273 2/3 innings, he compiled a record of 25–3, with 248 strikeouts, 1.74 ERA, and 9 shutouts.

Relief pitcher Goose Gossage won Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award, leading the American League with 27 saves.

Season summary[edit]

In July, the team was 14 games behind the Boston Red Sox, but rallied in the second half of the season to finish tied for first place. The Yankees were victorious over the Red Sox in the one-game playoff for the AL East title. This game featured Bucky Dent's famous 3-run go-ahead home run in the 7th inning. For decades people have mistakenly thought the Yankees trailed by 14.5 games but it was never more than 14 games. The Yankees were 14 games behind the Red Sox on July 17 and July 19, 1978.

Game log[edit]

AL East tie-breaker game[edit]

October 2, 1978 at Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York Yankees 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 1 0 5 8 0
Boston Red Sox 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 4 11 0
WP: Ron Guidry (25-3)   LP: Mike Torrez (16-13)   Sv: Goose Gossage (27)
Home runs:
NYY: Bucky Dent, Reggie Jackson
BOS: Carl Yastrzemski

Season standings[edit]

AL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
New York Yankees 100 63 0.613 55–26 45–37
Boston Red Sox 99 64 0.607 1 59–23 40–41
Milwaukee Brewers 93 69 0.574 54–27 39–42
Baltimore Orioles 90 71 0.559 9 51–30 39–41
Detroit Tigers 86 76 0.531 13½ 47–34 39–42
Cleveland Indians 69 90 0.434 29 42–36 27–54
Toronto Blue Jays 59 102 0.366 40 37–44 22–58


Record vs. opponents[edit]

1978 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 7–8 4–6 8–1 9–6 7–8 2–8 7–8 5–5 6–9 11–0 9–1 7–4 8–7
Boston 8–7 9–2 7–3 7–8 12–3 4–6 10–5 9–2 7–9 5–5 7–3 3–7 11–4
California 6–4 2–9 8–7 6–4 4–7 9–6 5–5 12–3 5–5 9–6 9–6 5–10 7–3
Chicago 1–8 3–7 7–8 8–2 2–9 8–7 4–7 8–7 1–9 7–8 7–8 11–4 4–6
Cleveland 6–9 8–7 4–6 2–8 5–10 5–6 5–10 5–5 6–9 4–6 8–1 1–9 10–4
Detroit 8–7 3–12 7–4 9–2 10–5 4–6 7–8 4–6 4–11 6–4 8–2 7–3 9–6
Kansas City 8–2 6–4 6–9 7–8 6–5 6–4 6–4 7–8 6–5 10–5 12–3 7–8 5–5
Milwaukee 8–7 5–10 5–5 7–4 10–5 8–7 4–6 4–7 10–5 9–1 5–5 6–4 12–3
Minnesota 5–5 2–9 3–12 7–8 5–5 6–4 8–7 7–4 3–7 9–6 6–9 6–9 6–4
New York 9–6 9–7 5–5 9–1 9–6 11–4 5–6 5–10 7–3 8–2 6–5 6–4 11–4
Oakland 0–11 5–5 6–9 8–7 6–4 4–6 5–10 1–9 6–9 2–8 13–2 6–9 7–4
Seattle 1–9 3–7 6–9 8–7 1–8 2–8 3–12 5–5 9–6 5–6 2–13 3–12 8–2
Texas 4–7 7–3 10–5 4–11 9–1 3–7 8–7 4–6 9–6 4–6 9–6 12–3 4–7
Toronto 7–8 4–11 3–7 6–4 4–10 6–9 5–5 3–12 4–6 4–11 4–7 2–8 7–4


Notable transactions[edit]

Draft picks[edit]

Roster[edit]

1978 New York Yankees
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Other batters

Manager

Coaches

Notable events[edit]

The defending World Series champions got off to a slow start in 1978, prompting owner George Steinbrenner to put pressure on manager Billy Martin. Compounding the issue was the already-tumultuous relationship between Martin and Reggie Jackson, and Steinbrenner was pressuring him as well. On July 17, with the team at 47-42 and in fourth place in the American League East, it came to a head during a home contest with the Kansas City Royals. With the score tied 5-5 in the bottom of the 10th inning and Thurman Munson on first, Martin sent Jackson to the plate with orders to lay down a sacrifice bunt. Jackson tried to bunt the first pitch, but failed. Martin then relayed to third-base coach Dick Howser for Jackson to swing and Howser passed it on, but Jackson ignored Howser and attempted another bunt. Howser called time and talked with Jackson, but to no avail. On his final bunt attempt, Jackson fouled out to the catcher. Martin then removed Jackson from the game and suspended him for five games.

As Jackson's suspension was ending, Martin commented in a later post-game interview that (referring to Jackson and Steinbrenner, respectively) 'one's a born liar, and the other's convicted.' The Steinbrenner reference was alluding to a past incident where the Yankee owner made illegal U.S. presidential campaign contributions. Later, Martin appeared on live television and tearfully announced his resignation as Yankees manager, but most sources believed he was actually fired by Steinbrenner for the "convicted" comment. Howser was acting manager for the next few games until Bob Lemon was named as manager for the rest of the season.

However, on August 5 at Yankee Stadium, during the Old-Timer's Day ceremony, Yankee public address announcer Bob Sheppard introduced Martin to the crowd and announced that Martin would return as manager for the 1980 season.

Nevertheless, under Lemon, the Yankees went on a tear for the rest of the season and won the division after having been 14 games out of first at one point. They would go on to repeat as World Series champions.

On September 30, 1978, Pitcher Ed Figueroa won his 20th game of the season.[11] As of 2018, Figueroa is the only native of Puerto Rico to win 20 games in a season in the major leagues.[12]

Player stats[edit]

= Indicates team leader

Batting[edit]

Starters by position[edit]

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 154 617 183 .297 6 71
1B Chris Chambliss 162 625 171 .274 12 90
2B Willie Randolph 134 499 139 .279 3 42
3B Graig Nettles 159 587 162 .276 27 93
SS Bucky Dent 123 379 92 .243 5 40
LF Lou Piniella 130 472 148 .314 6 69
CF Mickey Rivers 141 559 148 .265 11 48
RF Reggie Jackson 139 511 140 .274 27 97
DH Cliff Johnson 76 174 32 .184 6 19

Other batters[edit]

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
Roy White 103 346 93 .269 8 43
Fred Stanley 81 160 35 .219 1 9
Paul Blair 75 125 22 .176 2 13
Jim Spencer 71 150 34 .227 7 24
Gary Thomasson 54 116 32 .276 3 20
Mike Heath 33 92 21 .228 0 8
Jay Johnstone 36 65 17 .262 1 6
Brian Doyle 39 52 10 .192 0 0
Dámaso García 18 41 8 .195 0 1
George Zeber 3 6 0 .000 0 0
Dell Alston 3 3 0 .000 0 0
Mickey Klutts 1 2 2 1.000 0 0
Dennis Sherrill 2 1 0 .000 0 0
Fran Healy 1 1 0 .000 0 0
Domingo Ramos 1 0 0 --- 0 0

Pitching[edit]

Starting pitchers[edit]

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

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Ron Guidry 35 273.2 25 3 1.74 248
Ed Figueroa 35 253 20 9 2.99 92
Dick Tidrow 31 185 7 11 3.84 73
Jim Beattie 25 128 6 9 3.73 65
Catfish Hunter 21 118 12 6 3.58 56
Don Gullett 8 44.2 4 2 3.63 28
Andy Messersmith 6 22.1 0 3 5.64 16

Other pitchers[edit]

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 Clay 28 75.2 3 4 4.28 32
Paul Lindblad 7 18.1 0 0 4.42 9
Ken Holtzman 5 17.2 1 0 4.08 3
Larry McCall 5 16 1 1 5.63 7
Dave Rajsich 4 13.1 0 0 4.05 9

Relief pitchers[edit]

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

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Goose Gossage 63 10 11 27 2.01 122
Sparky Lyle 59 9 3 9 3.47 33
Rawly Eastwick 8 2 1 0 3.28 13
Bob Kammeyer 7 0 0 0 5.82 11
Ron Davis 4 0 0 0 11.57 0

Postseason[edit]

ALCS[edit]

Game 1[edit]

October 3: Royals Stadium

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 3 0 7 16 0
Kansas City 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 2
W: Jim Beattie (1-0)  L: Dennis Leonard (0-1)  S: Ken Clay (1)
HRs: NYYReggie Jackson (1)

Game 2[edit]

October 4: Royals Stadium

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 4 12 1
Kansas City 1 4 0 0 0 0 3 2 X 10 16 1
W: Larry Gura (1-0)  L: Ed Figueroa (0-1)
HRs: KCRFreddie Patek (1)

Game 3[edit]

October 6: Yankee Stadium

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kansas City 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 2 0 5 10 1
New York 0 1 0 2 0 1 0 2 X 6 10 0
W: Goose Gossage (1-0)  L: Doug Bird (0-1)
HRs: KCRGeorge Brett 3 (3)   NYYReggie Jackson (2) Thurman Munson (1)

Game 4[edit]

October 7: Yankee Stadium

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kansas City 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 7 0
New York 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 X 2 4 0
W: Ron Guidry (1-0)  L: Dennis Leonard (0-2)  S: Goose Gossage (1)
HRs: NYYGraig Nettles (1) Roy White (1)

World Series[edit]

AL New York Yankees (4) vs. NL Los Angeles Dodgers (2)
Game Score Date Location Attendance Time of Game
1 Yankees – 5, Dodgers – 11 October 10 Dodger Stadium 55,997 2:48
2 Yankees – 3, Dodgers – 4 October 11 Dodger Stadium 55,982 2:37
3 Dodgers – 1, Yankees – 5 October 13 Yankee Stadium 56,447 2:27
4 Dodgers – 3, Yankees – 4 (10 inns) October 14 Yankee Stadium 56,445 3:17
5 Dodgers – 2, Yankees – 12 October 15 Yankee Stadium 56,448 2:56
6 Yankees – 7, Dodgers – 2 October 17 Dodger Stadium 55,985 2:34

Awards and honors[edit]

Franchise records[edit]

  • Ron Guidry, Yankees single season record, most strikeouts in a season (248)

All-Stars[edit]

All-Star Game

Other team leaders[edit]

  • Stolen Bases – Willie Randolph, 36
  • Walks – Willie Randolph, 82

Farm system[edit]

Level Team League Manager
AAA Tacoma Yankees Pacific Coast League Mike Ferraro
AA West Haven Yankees Eastern League Stump Merrill
A Fort Lauderdale Yankees Florida State League Doug Holmquist
A-Short Season Oneonta Yankees New York–Penn League Art Mazmanian

LEAGUE CO-CHAMPION: Tacoma[13]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Goose Gossage at Baseball Reference
  2. ^ Jesús Figueroa at Baseball Reference
  3. ^ Sergio Ferrer at Baseball Reference
  4. ^ Stan Thomas at Baseball Reference
  5. ^ Great Baseball Feats, Facts and Figures, 2008 Edition, p. 99, David Nemec and Scott Flatow, A Signet Book, Penguin Group, New York, ISBN 978-0-451-22363-0
  6. ^ Ken Holtzman at Baseball Reference
  7. ^ Bobby Brown at Baseball Reference
  8. ^ Mickey Klutts at Baseball Reference
  9. ^ Rex Hudler at Baseball Reference
  10. ^ Steve Balboni at Baseball Reference
  11. ^ HernÌÁndez, Lou (June 27, 2016). "Chronology of Latin Americans in Baseball, 1871-2015". McFarland – via Google Books.
  12. ^ "Ed Figueroa - Society for American Baseball Research". sabr.org.
  13. ^ 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[edit]