1976 Baseball Game

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  • Big Red Machine: Morgan, Foster power Cincinnati to repeat World Series win
  • The Bird is the Word: Rookie Fidrych leads MLB in ERA, topping 8 20-game winners
  • To the Races: Eight Oakland speedsters steal at least 20, including two pinch-runners
Full Summary


A year ago, Cincinnati needed seven games to whip the Boston Red Sox in the World Series, but this time tolerated no such interference while repeating as champions.

The Reds won an MLB-best 102 regular-season games, then went 7-0 in the post-season, sweeping the 101-Phillies and 97-win Yankees with a rare lineup balance featuring the power of Joe Morgan and George Foster, the speed of Morgan, Ken Griffey Sr., Dave Concepcion and Pete Rose and the all-1 up-the-middle defense of Johnny Bench, Morgan, Concepcion and Cesar Geronimo.

Dominant Cinci was far from the only exciting story in 1976:

  • Rookie Mark “The Bird” Fidrych captivated all with his quirky mound behavior and comminated hitters, going 19-9 with MLB-best 2.34 ERA and 24 complete games.
  • 22-game winners Jim Palmer and Randy Jones won the Cy Young awards, topping the list of eight 20-game winners that included such luminaries as Steve Carlton, Don Sutton, Luis Tiant and J.R. Richard.
  • Nolan Ryan dominated again with an MLB-best 327 strikeouts. California teammate Frank Tanana, who won 19 games, was second with 261 Ks ahead on a leader board with future Hall of Famers Tom Seaver, Bert Blyleven, Dennis Eckersley, Carlton and Catfish Hunter.
  • The Cubs’ Bill Madlock (.339) and Kansas City’s George Brett (.333) won the batting titles. Mike Schmidt (38) and Graig Nettles (32) led their leagues in home runs.
  • Chuck Tanner’s Oakland A’s ran like no team since the Dead Ball era, swiping 341 bags with such master thieves as Bill North (75), Bert Campaneris (54), Don Baylor (52), Claudell Washington (37) and Phil Garner (35). Just as spectacularly, pinch-runners Larry Lintz (31 SB, 4 AB) and Matt Alexander (20 SB, 30 AB) were among the eight A’s with at least 20 steals.

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