Year In Review : 1977 National League

O

In a seven hour period during the night of July 19-20, at least twelve inches of rain fell in the mountainous region around Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The emerging flood swept through the area, resulting in the deaths of seventy-seven people and damage in excess of $200 million. Despite the disaster, it paled in comparison to the first major flood that had devastated the area in 1889 killing 2,200 people.

David Berkowitz, also known as the "Son of Sam" terrorized the New York City area for over a year with a series of random shootings. Berkowitz had typically made victims of people in parked cars with a .44-caliber pistol and later explained that he adopted the name "Son of Sam" because of the "demons" in his neighbor Sam Carr's dog that "made him do it." Originally the serial killer pleaded insanity, but was later found competent to stand trial for six murders and seven attempted murders. After being found guilty on all counts, he was sentenced to twenty-five years to life for each of the murders.

The American Agricultural Movement was organized to preserve the family farm system and to seek 100% parity for all agricultural products. The nationwide farmer's strike resulted when their demands were not met by the United States Government by midnight, December 13th, but eventually subsided by March 1978 without the farmers accomplishing their goals.

I n the American League

Baseball's first black manager hired became the first also fired after Frank Robinson was let go by the struggling Cleveland Indians, who were 26-31 and in fourth place in the American League East by June. Jeff Torborg was named as his replacement.

On the Forth of July, the Boston Red Sox set off some "fireworks" of their own as they launched eight home run blasts out of Fenway Park, tying a Major League record and beating the Toronto Blue Jays 9-6. The home run derby ended a nine-game losing streak and featured round-trippers by Fred Lynn, Jim Rice, Carl Yastrezemski, George Scott, Butch Hobson and Bernie Carbo.

On October 18th, Reggie Jackson officially became "Mr. October" after hitting three consecutive homeruns and five RBIs during Game 6 of the World Series. The New York Yankees followed his lead and went on to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers for their first World Championship title since 1962. Jackson finished the Series with five home runs, eight runs batted in and a .450 average.

I n the National League

During an 8-0 victory (in what be his last game in Shea Stadium as a Met until 1983) New York ace Tom Seaver sat down Dan Driessen, of the Cincinnati Reds, for his 2,397th K, passing Sandy Koufax for the twenty-third spot on the all-time strikeout kings list.

Three Atlanta Braves, Gary Matthews, Biff Pocoraba and Pat Rockett pulled off the impossible after they executed a triple steal over the San Diego Padres en-route to a 7-3 victory on September 11th.

Lou Brock stole the nine-hundredth base of his career and the thirty-fifth of the season during the opening game of a September 30th doubleheader between his St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Mets. The "Redbirds" went on to win the game 7-2.

A round the League

Mary Shane became the first female play-by-play announcer in Major League Baseball history after she was signed by the Chicago White Sox to broadcast their games for the 1977 season.

As part of a promotional night to debut the new "Reggie Bar", a candy bar named after Reggie Jackson, fans at Yankee Stadium received free samples. The marketing scheme backfired though as fans threw hundreds of them back onto the field forcing the game to be halted until the ground crew was able to clear them away.

Despite a miserable 54-107 record, the Toronto Blue Jays boasted a home attendance of 1,701,052 during their debut season (by comparison, the Seattle Mariners drew 1,338,511) — the most ever for a Major League expansion team through this season.

Prior to the start of the '77 season, the Toronto Blue Jays had agreed to a trade that would send veteran pitcher Bill Singer to the New York Yankees for the then, little used, left-hander Ron Guidry. All bets were off though after the front office realized that Singer was on the cover of their printed media guide. By the end of the season, Singer had gone 2-8 and retired while Guidry compiled a 16-7 record and an impressive 2.82 ERA.

"When we lose, I can't sleep at night. When we win, I can't sleep at night. But when you win, you wake up feeling better." - New York Mets manager Joe Torre
1977 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

San Diego

125

Batting Average

Pittsburgh

.338

Doubles

Pittsburgh

44

Hits

Pittsburgh

215

Home Runs

Cincinnati

52

On Base Percentage

Los Angeles

.432

RBI

Cincinnati

149

Runs

Cincinnati

124

Slugging Average

Cincinnati

.631

Stolen Bases

Pittsburgh

70

Total Bases

Cincinnati

388

Triples

St. Louis

18

1977 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Atlanta

20

ERA

Pittsburgh

2.34

Games

San Diego

78

Saves

San Diego

35

Shutouts

New York

7

Cincinnati

Strikeouts

Atlanta

262

Winning Percentage

Pittsburgh

.800

Wins

Philadelphia

23

1977 National League

Team Standings

Philadelphia Phillies

101 61 .623 0

Pittsburgh Pirates

96 66 .593 5

St. Louis Cardinals

83 79 .512 18

Chicago Cubs

81 81 .500 20

Montreal Expos

75 87 .463 26

New York Mets

64 98 .395 37

Los Angeles Dodgers

98 64 .605 0

Cincinnati Reds

88 74 .543 10

Houston Astros

81 81 .500 17

San Francisco Giants

75 87 .463 23

San Diego Padres

69 93 .426 29

Atlanta Braves

61 101 .377 37

1977 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

San Diego

602

Batting Average

Philadelphia

.279

Doubles

Montreal

294

Hits

Pittsburgh

1,550

Home Runs

Los Angeles

191

On Base Percentage

Philadelphia

.351

Runs

Philadelphia

847

Slugging Average

Philadelphia

.448

Stolen Bases

Pittsburgh

260

Triples

Houston

60

1977 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Houston

37

ERA

Los Angeles

3.23

Fewest Hits Allowed

New York

1,378

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Houston

110

Fewest Walks Allowed

Los Angeles

438

Saves

Philadelphia

47

Shutouts

Pittsburgh

15

Strikeouts

Chicago

942



In 1892 the Phillies won 11 consecutive games setting a franchise record that lasted until 1977. On August 17, 1977, Philadelphia was blown-out 13-to-0 by the Montreal Expos , but not until they had run off a team record 13 game winning streak.

On August 29, 1977, Lou Brock stole second base off Dave Freisleben during the first inning. During the seventh inning Brock successfully stole another base off Freislenben allowing him to tie and break Ty Cobb's all-time stolen base record during the same game.

Fifty home runs during the same season is almost common in todays day-and-age. However, on September 23, 1977, when George Foster hit his 50th he became only the fifth National League player in history to reach this milestone! The previous four were: Hack Wilson (56 in 1930), Ralph Kiner (51 in 1947 & 54 in 1949), Johnny Mize (51 in 1947), and Willie Mays (51 in 1955 & 52 in 1965).

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