Thursday, January 12, 2017

1977...Millionaires, managers, expansion and a massacre


              1977 was the second season played after the implementation of re-entry free agency. The 1975 ruling that players were allowed to not sign a contract for their upcoming season (long term contracts were a rarity) opened the door for players to try their hand at the free market, to attempt to be paid ‘fair market value’ for their services. Which, in this case, meant their talent and worth at playing the game of baseball.
              Players who did not sign a contract, but continued to play for their team, had their contract automatically renewed for that season, but at the team’s option in regards to salary considerations. Well, to a degree. Teams could cut a player’s salary for the season, but by no more than twenty percent.
              Some teams, aware of the possibility of not being able to afford their star players had to weigh whether or not they should gamble on making a pennant run with the status quo, or trade their players who had ‘played out their option’ to a team willing to take the bigger gamble, and trade back some other, possibly younger, maybe even cheaper talent to acquire these stars.
              This process began in 1976, mainly by Oakland A’s owner Charlie Finley, who traded superstar Reggie Jackson to the Baltimore Orioles after a very contentious hold-out/contract negotiation. Reggie, pitcher Ken Holtzman and minor leaguer Bill VanBommel went to Baltimore in exchange for Mike Torrez, Don Baylor and Paul Mitchell. Holtzman, still unhappy with the contract negotiations with Baltimore, so he was subsequently traded to the Yankees in June of that year, as part of a ten player deal.
              Reggie became a ‘rental’ player, staying in Baltimore for just that one season, and netting the A’s approximately $200,000 in salary savings in 1976. The Orioles managed a second place finish, and lost Reggie to the Yankees that following off-season.
              Following the earlier theme, in mid-1976, Charlie Finley tried to sell three other upcoming free agents. He had agreed to sell Joe Rudi and Rollie Fingers to the Boston Red Sox for $1,000,000 each, and pitcher Vida Blue to the Yankees for $1,500,000. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn stopped the sale, citing the ‘best interest of baseball’ as his reasoning, and that the sales would ‘disrupt the competitive balance’ of the league. Finley would sue Major League Baseball, and Kuhn, and would lose.
              That being said, the financial picture of baseball was beginning to change dramatically. Never more-so
 than in 1977. The average major league salary jumped an incredible 44.8% from 1976. The two teams with the highest player salaries were the Phillies and the Yankees. Both topped the $3 million dollar mark.
              The twenty-four re-entry draft free agents hit the somewhat open market prior to the 1977 season, and would pave the way for the second wave of eighty-nine players would hit the market at the conclusion of the season. This would lead to several higher paid, bigger name players being traded, both before and during the season. The most notable of these trades was the trade between the Cubs and the Giants, where disgruntled batting champion Bill Madlock was sent to San Francisco for disgruntled All-Star Bobby Murcer. Both men wanted to renegotiate their contracts to take advantage of the loosened purse strings that the owners were now using, and neither team would budge. According to reports, both players were offered the same contracts by both teams.



              Many other players were upset at their contract situations, and some felt that players of lesser talent were being paid much more than their worth, while established players were being ‘short-changed’ by the free-wheeling attitude of the owners. Some veterans’ concerns were heard and addressed by their teams, while others deteriorated into toxic acrimonious conditions between owners and players.
              Dave Kingman of the Mets was a prime example of this. Kingman, who was known for his prodigious home-runs and high strikeout rates was one of the team’s remaining stars. He asked for the security of a long term contract, reported to be a five year deal worth $3 million. Kingman agreed to a lesser, $2 million deal, while the Mets never went beyond $1.2 million over a six year term. Kingman made known his intentions to play out his option, and become a free agent at the end of the year, at which point, the Mets renewed his 1977 contract, instituting the maximum cut in pay allowed, which dropped his salary to the $70,000 range.
              Kingman demanded a trade, and the Mets obliged, sending him to San Diego on June 15th, in exchange for pitcher Paul Siebert and infielder (and future Mets manager) Bobby Valentine.
              The Padres, also unable to reach an agreement with Kingman, later sold him to the California Angels, who then sold him to the New York Yankees. Kingman became the first player to play in four different divisions in the same year, and the fist to hit a home run for four different teams in a season.





              Speaking of June 15th...it is a date that Mets fans of a certain age know and remember all too well...The Franchise was traded.

              George Thomas Seaver was regarded as one of the top pitchers of his era. His three Cy Young Awards, numerous strikeout and ERA championships as well as his reputation as one of the most intelligent competitors all cemented his reputation.
              Many things led to the June 15th trade deadline deal, or as we Mets fans call it, “The Midnight Massacre”. The massacre involved the Dave Kingman trade, mentioned above, and a lesser deal sending shortstop Mike Phillips to the Cardinals for Joel Youngblood. But the one that tore our hearts out was the trade that sent Tom “Terrific” Seaver to the Reds in exchange for four players: infielder Doug Flynn, outfielder Steve Henderson, outfielder Dan Norman and pitcher Pat Zachry.
              Seaver, already one of the highest paid pitchers in the game. His contract issue was not one of impending free agency. In fact, he had signed a three year deal prior to the 1976 season, which paid him a base salary of $225,000 per year, plus incentives. Initial reports coming out of one of the New York newspapers said that Seaver wished to renegotiate the last two years of his contract, which Seaver claims was not the case. Seaver said that he wished to add an additional three year extension onto the existing contract.
              Mets General manager, M. Donald Grant, who had been placed in charge of the negotiations by the family of their late owner, Joan Payson, refused to budge, and essentially stonewalled Seaver. Things came to a head in early June when Seaver asked to be traded. Following several meetings, including some with Mrs. Payson’s daughter, Mrs. Lorinda de Roulet, who now had a controlling interest in the club, there was an agreement reached on June 14th that would satisfy Seaver and put the issue to rest. Mrs.de Roulet would have to ‘run it by the board’, but didn’t foresee any issues in approving the new deal.
              That next morning, an article written by Hall of Fame baseball writer Dick Young appeared in the New York Daily News. The article said, “Nolan Ryan (of the California Angels” is getting more money than Tom Seaver and that galls Tom because Nancy Seaver and Ruth Ryan are very friendly and Tom Seaver has long treated Ryan like a little brother”
              Seaver was incensed, and took the article as an attack on his family, at which point Seaver stated that all deals were off the table, and he demanded to be traded. Seaver continues to this day to point to that article as the reason for his demanding a trade, saying that Young had been his harshest critic, and that Young had been on the Mets management side since they hired his son-in-law.
              Young, who was regarded as the most influential baseball writer of his time, was quoted in the Los Angeles Times, saying, “What it comes down to is Seaver wanted more money. Everything else is extraneous...If he says he told them it was all off because of my mentioning his wife and Ruth Ryan--all because of that one sentence--well, I find that pretty hard to believe...”
              Grant, in an interview with the Village Vice later that summer said that Seaver never expressed unhappiness with his salary until after the first re-entry draft.
              “I have a simple way of explaining it. In duplicate-bridge tournaments, it boils down to how many tricks you will make in a hand.Seaver played his hand at four spades and just made the bid. But another player played five spades and just beat him out by a little bit and won the big prize, and he said “Oh, my God, can I replay my hand?” It’s as simple as that.”
              Seaver, who joined the “Big Red Machine” in Montreal, won his first start for the Reds, a 6-0 shutout, wound up winning twenty-one games on the season, fourteen of those for Cincinnati. Reds president Bob Howsam informed Seaver that the team didn’t plan to renegotiate the terms of his contract, news which Seaver took ‘without complaint’.



              In other intriguing news, there were two instances of managers for a day. The first happened in Arlington, where a beleaguered Frank Lucchesi was relieved of duty on June 21, after leading the team to a mediocre 31-31 record. During Spring Training, Lucchesi was assaulted by Rangers second baseman Lenny Randle, and punched three times, fracturing his eye socket. Randle was fined, suspended and traded to the Mets, but Lucchesi’ misfortunes followed until his dismissal.

             The Rangers hired former White Sox skipper Eddie Stanky, who had been serving as the coach for the University of South Alabama. Joining the Rangers in Chicago, he piloted the team to a 10-8 victory over the White Sox, but couldn’t sleep after the game, and called his wife at six a.m. to tell her he was coming home. He resigned his position, and was replaced by Ranger coach Connie Ryan, who himself was replaced ten days later by former Orioles coach Billy Hunter.
              The Rangers responded very well to Hunter, and played at a .640 clip, going 57-32 along the way to a surprising second place finish behind the Kansas City Royals.
             




               The four managers in a season hadn’t been done since the 1898 Washington Senators of the National League.


              Renegade Atlanta Braves owner Ted Turner assigned manager Dave Bristol a ten day scouting trip through the Braves’ minor league system. (In reality, Bristol just went to his home in Andrews, NC) Turner then signed himself to a coaching contract, and then named himself the team manager. He managed the Braves in Pittsburgh on May 11th. The team was entrenched in a fifteen game losing streak, and Turner was frustrated, so he decided that he would ‘lead his troops’. The losing streak then made it to sixteen games.


              National League President Chub Feeney notified Turner the next morning to let him know that he was in violation of the rule stating that no player or coach of a team can hold a financial interest in a club by which he is employed, except with the written consent of the Commissioner.
              It was the fifth instance of an owner taking the field to manage their team, but the first since 1929, before the rule was added.
              Turner was also fined and suspended by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn for tampering. Kuhn also docked the Braves their first round draft choice in the June draft. Turner made comments publicly about his intention to sign outfielder Gary Matthews of the Giants, when Matthews became a Free Agent. Turner told Giants owner Bob Lurie that no matter what Lurie offered Matthews, Turner would offer better. Kuhn considered this to be an unfair statement, causing an unfair balance between the Giants negotiating capabilities, as well as any other team that may wish to pursue Matthews’ services. Turner contested the fine and sued Kuhn and Major League Baseball. Kuhn also docked the Braves their first round draft choice in the June draft.
              The decision was a split, with the suspension and fine upheld, but the draft pick was re-instated. (They drafted left-handed pitcher Tim Cole, who never made it to the major leagues.
              The Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals organizations were also fined for tampering,but they paid their fines without rebuttal.

              Expansion happened in 1977, and the American League welcomed Seattle back into the fold, and added the Toronto. Both teams did well, attendance wise, and they both drafted players with an eye towards youth and continued growth. Raiding players made available to them by each of the American League teams, Ruppert Jones became the first draft choice of the Mariners, while Bob Bailor was the same for the Blue Jays.
              In a bit of historical curiosity, the first shutout thrown in Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium, was pitched by Canadian citizen (and Hall of Famer) Ferguson Jenkins. For the first time since 1961, the leagues would be uneven, with fourteen in the American League to the twelve in the National League. That imbalance would remain until 1993, when the Rockies and Marlins entered the National League.



              On to various other tidbits from the season at hand...

              Alvis Woods of the Blue Jays, a rookie drafted from the Twins organization in the expansion draft, homered in his first at-bat, on the first pitch, in the Blue Jays first game. It’s the only time that has ever happened where a player homered in his first at-bat in a team’s inaugural game. First-baseman Doug Ault of the Jays hit two homers in that first game as well, the first time an expansion player hit two homes in their team’s inaugural game.



              Richie Zisk of the visiting White Sox became the first American Leaguer to homer on Canadian soil in the game.

              The Blue Jays had a deal in place to trade veteran pitcher Bill Singer to the Yankees for left-handed starter Ron Guidry, but the deal fell through because someone in Toronto realized that Singer was on the cover of all of the team’s media guides. Singer went 2-8 with the Jays, while Guidry went 16-7 with the Yankees.

              Willie McCovey, who returned to the Giants, became the first player to hit two homers in an inning twice in his career. He originally accomplished the feat in 1973.

              For the first time since the advent of the All-Star Game in 1933, both Chicago teams were in first place at the break. Prior to 1933, the only other time that happened was in 1906.

              Manny Sanguillen, catcher for the Oakland A’s who was involved in a trade from the Pirates for manager Chuck Tanner, broke up a no-hitter on two consecutive days. He first victimized Mike Torrez of the Yankees, and then Jim Palmer of the Orioles.


              In Texas, third-baseman Toby Harrah (one of baseball’s rare palindromic names) and second baseman Bump Wills hit back-to-back inside-the-park homers, which had never been done, before or since. meanwhile, shortstop Bert “Campy” Campaneris, a re-entry free agent who left the A’s to join the Rangers, led the majors with forty sacrifice hits. He was the first player in over fifty years to get than many sacrifices. (Joe Sewell of the Indians got 41 in 1929) No one has gotten that many since.




              In Pittsburgh, outfielder Dave Parker became the second batting champion to amass more than one hundred strikeouts.


              In Detroit, speedster Ron LeFlore became the second Tiger to reach 200 hits and 100 strikeouts. The only prior instance of that happening in the American League was Hank Greenburg, also of the Tigers, in 1937. But Jim Rice of the Red Sox also did it. (Dave Parker also reached that dubious milestone in 1977)



              In Los Angeles, Tommy John of the Dodgers, soon after the surgery that made him a household name, became a twenty game winner for the first time in his fourteen year career. At the time, that set the record for the longest career before winning twenty for a starting pitcher. That record has since been tied by Jamie Moyer, and eclipsed by Mike Mussina.

              Hall of Fame manager Tommy LaSorda began his managerial career, replacing the legendary Walter Alston at the helm. LaSorda becomes one of a select few manager to lead their team to the World Series in their first season as skipper.

              Third-baseman Ron “The Penguin” Cey set the National League record (since broken) for the lowest batting average(.241) in a season in which they drove in 100 runs.


              In New York, third-baseman Joe Torre of the Mets is hired as a player-manager, replacing Joe Frazier (not that one) at the helm. Torre played in just a few games while managing, but remains the third most recent player-manager. Don Kessinger of the White Sox and Pete Rose of the Reds were the last two.

              Torre would go on to have great success as a manager, and as a general manager, and would be voted into the Hall of Fame as a manager. But one remembers that he was a very good player throughout the sixties and early seventies. He holds the dubious record of hitting into four double plays in one game, a record that I’m sure he doesn’t like to be reminded of.
              Left-handed pitcher Jerry Koosman struggled through a rough season, losing twenty games. He remains the last pitcher to have won twenty games, and then lose twenty the following season.

              Also in New York, left-handed relief specialist Albert “Sparky” Lyle becomes the first relief pitcher to win a Cy Young Award. He became the third Yankee pitcher to win the award, an their way to their first World Series Championship in fifteen years.

              Free-agent signee off-handedly mentioned that if he were to play in New York, somebody would name a candy bar after him. They did. the Reggie Bar, a small, disk shaped concoction of nougat and peanuts covered in chocolate appeared that spring, and as a promotional giveaway, they were handed out to all fans attending a Yankee game one evening. As Sparky Lyle noted in his book, “The Bronx Zoo”, it didn’t take long for the Yankee faithful to realize that these disc shaped candy bars could travel great distances when chucked from the upper deck of the stadium. Hundreds of the candy bars, orange wrappers, with Reggie Jackson on the front, were sent sailing onto the field.               Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the game was delayed for about twenty minutes while the ground crew cleared the field.


              In Chicago, infielder Jack Broahmer of the White Sox hit for the cycle, becoming just the second Sox player to accomplish that feat in their seventy-six year history. The other Sox player to hit for the cycle was Hall of Fame catcher Ray Schalk in 1922.

(and how about those snazzy threads)

              In Anaheim, the California Angels had the dubious distinction of being no-hit twice during the season. first by Bert Blyleven of the Rangers, and then by Dennis Eckersley of the Indians. Both would later be Hall of Fame inductees. Royals pitcher Jim Colborn also pitched a no-hitter, this one against the Rangers. Umpire Bill Deegan was behind the plate for Colborn’s and Eckersley’s gems.

              In San Diego, rookie outfielder Gene Richards of the Padres became the first rookie to get six hits in a game. While not his debut, it is still the first and only time a player has done that during his rookie season.

              In Cincinnati, outfielder George Foster won the league’s Most Valuable Player Award, hitting fifty-two homers in the process. It was the first time a National Leaguer has topped the fifty homer plateau since Willie Mays did it in 1965. His fifty-two homers remains the Reds single-season record.

              The Montreal Expos christened Olympic Stadium with a bunch of young stars. Future hall of Famer Andre Dawson would win the Rookie of the Year Award, becoming the second Expo to do so. Gary Carter, Warren Cromartie, Steve Rogers and Larry Parrish would be the core that made the Expos serious pennant contenders, even though they never had a post-season run to speak of. They did make the playoffs during the split-season of 1981, where they won the second half division title. The won the Divisional Series against the Phillies, but lost to the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series. They had the best record in baseball in 1994 at the time of the strike, but the season was cancelled, and the Expos never got to that post season.

              St. Louis Cardinal great Lou Brock stole his 898th base, breaking Ty Cobb’s all-time record.

              The Kansas City Royals and the Philadelphia Phillies both won more than one hundred games, but neither team made it to the World Series. This is the first time that two 100 win teams missed the Series in the same year.
              As a point of interest, the last time that two 100 win teams faced each other in the Series was in 1970.

              In Minnesota, Twins reliever Tom Johnson became the last pitcher to garner fifteen wins and fifteen saves in the same season.

              But the eyes of the baseball world were on second baseman Rodney Cline Carew. Carew, one of the purest left handed hitters of his generation, flirted with .400 all season, finishing with a .388 average. It was the second highest season average since Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941. (Williams also hit .388 in 1957). Carew became just the second player to bat over .380 with fifteen triples and fifteen stolen bases. George Sisler, in 1922, was the other. Carew also finished with 239 hits, the most hits in the American league since Heinie Manushe in 1928. (I just love opportunities to mention Heinie Manush.) And he won the American League’s Most Valuable Player Award.

              In the minor leagues, Aurelio Lopez earned thirty saves with nineteen relief wins for the Mexico City Reds of the Mexican league. Slugger Hector Espino of the Tampico Alijadores hit fourteen homers, bringing his career minor league total to 435 in his career. (Sorry Crash Davis). Vic Davalillo of the Aguascalientes Rieleros led the Mexican League in hitting, with a .384 average. the Dodger would sign Davalillo to use in the late season, where he hit .313 in twenty-four games for them
              The Modesto A’s did not set a record for stolen bases, surprisingly. The Tom Trebelhorn led California League affiliate of the Oakland A’s did steal 357 bases during 140 games, an average of two and a half per game. Outfield prospect Darrell Woodward, who would hit .282 on the year, stole 90 bases for the A”S. he finished second on the team in steals. Youngster Rickey Henderson would hit .345, placing third in the league (behind Rudy Law and Kelly Snider, both of Lodi) and he would steal 95 bases.
               
              And in Japan, Tokyo Giants legend Sadaharu Oh hit his 756th home run, which eclipsed Henry Aaron’s record for home runs in a professional league. He would finish his career with 868.
              The 1977 playoffs featured the Dodgers playing the Phillies, and the Yankees against the Royals. The Yankees and Dodgers would beet in the Series for the first time since 1963, and the Yankees fared better this go around, winning over the Dodgers in six games.
              Game Six featured one of the most memorable feats in World Series history. Yankees right-fielder Reggie Jackson homered three times in the Yankees 8-4 victory in the clincher in the Bronx. Not only did he homer three times, they were in consecutive at bats. And off of three different pitchers. And on three consecutive pitches.

              Now, let’s look at the stats, beginning with the Power rankings.
               
TEAM
FINISH
Royals
1st in AL WEST
Phillies
1st in AL EAST
Yankees
1st in AL EAST, World Series Champs
Dodgers
1st in NL WEST, NL Champs
Red Sox
3rd in AL EAST


              So now, on to the performances at hand. We will look at the American League pitching first. The pitching across the league gic\ves a 4.42% advantage to the National League, mainly due to the addition of the two expansion teams, which ‘watered down both the pitching and hitting numbers. If we remove the expansion teams performances, the two leagues were close to equal, with the American League pitching having a slight 0.32% advantage over the National League hurlers.
              First, the overall numbers, the top performers were:

PITCHER
TEAM
W-L
ERA
SAVES
AWARD VOTES
Frank Tanana
Angels
15-9
2.54
0
9th Cy Young
Ron Guidry
Yankees
16-7
2.82
1
7th Cy Young, 18th MVP
Dennis Leonard
Royals
20-12
3.04
1
4th Cy Young
Jim Palmer
Orioles
20-11
2.91
0
2nd Cy Young, 19th MVP
Bert Blyleven
Rangers
14-12
2.72
0
no votes
Nolan Ryan
Angels
19-16
2.77
0
3rd Cy Young, 24th MVP
Dave Rozema
Tigers
15-7
3.09
0
8th Cy Young, 4th Rookie of the Year
Don Gullett
Yankees
14-4
3.58
0
no votes
Dock Ellis
Rangers
12-12
3.63
1
no votes
Sparky Lyle
Yankees
13-5
2.17
26
1st Cy Young, 6th MVP


              Then looking at how they performed against their team averages:
Dave Rozema
above




Frank Tanana
above




Enrique Romo
Mariners
8-10
2.83
16
no votes
Nolan Ryan
above




Dave Goltz
Twins
20-11
3.36
0
6th in Cy Young
Dave Lemanczyk
Blue Jays
13-16
4.25
0
no votes
Dennis Eckersley
Indians
14-13
3.53
0
no votes
Jim Palmer
above




Pete Vukovich
Blue Jays
7-7
3.47
8
no votes
Jerry Garvin
Blue Jays
10-18
4.19
0
 


              Which, when all values are factored in, brings our top ten pitching performers to:
Frank Tanana
Dave Rozema
Nolan Ryan
Ron Guidry
Jim Palmer
Bert Blyleven
Dennis Leonard
Don Gullett
Dave Goltz
Dock Ellis

              So now, over to the National League, our top overall leaders are:

PITCHER
TEAM
W-L
ERA
SAVES
AWARD VOTES
John Candelaria
Pirates
20-5
2.34
0
5th Cy Young, 18th MVP
Tom Seaver
Mets/Reds
21-6
2.58
0
T3rd Cy Young, T25th MVP
Steve Carlton
Phillies
23-10
2.64
0
1st Cy Young, 5th MVP
Tommy John
Dodgers
20-7
2.78
0
2nd Cy Young, 12th MVP
Bruce Sutter
Cubs
7-3
1.34
31
6th Cy Young, 7th MVP
Rick Reuschel
Cubs
20-10
2.79
1
T3rd Cy Young, T21st MVP
Rich Gossage
Pirates
11-9
1.62
26
no votes
J. R. Richard
Astros
18-12
2.97
0
no votes
Bob Forsch
Cardinals
20-7
3.48
0
no votes
Burt Hooton
Dodgers
12-7
2.62
1
no votes

               
              Then against their teams, we get:

Tom Seaver
above




Bruce Sutter
above




Rick Reuschel
above




John Candelaria
above




Phil Niekro
Braves
16-20
4.03
0
no votes
Steve Carlton
above




Steve Rogers
Expos
17-16
3.1
0
no votes
Bob Forsch
above




J. R. Richard
above




Rollie Fingers
Padres
8-9
2.99
35
14th MVP


              And that brings our top performers to this:
Tom Seaver
John Candelaria
Steve Carlton
Bruce Sutter
Tommy John
Rick Reuschel
Rich Gossage
J. R. Richard
Bob Forsch
Steve Rogers



              Now we’ll look at the offense. where the American League trended 2.37% better than the National League, but again, removing the expansion team numbers, that number would increase to a 5.27% advantage. Four our table below, I have added the Runs Produced per Game state, just for comparison’s sake.
              Our top American League hitters by raw numbers are:

PLAYER
TEAM
HR
RBI
AVG
SB
RP/G
AWARD VOTES
Rod Carew
Twins
14
100
.388
23
1.38
1st MVP
Carlton Fisk
Red Sox
26
102
.315
7
1.20
T8th MVP
Larry Hisle
Twins
28
119
.302
21
1.32
12th MVP
George Brett
Royals
22
88
.312
14
1.23
13th MVP
Thurman Munson
Yankees
18
100
.308
5
1.12
7th MVP
Reggie Jackson
Yankees
32
110
.286
17
1.17
T8th MVP
Jim Rice
Red Sox
39
114
.320
5
1.12
4th MVP
Lyman Bostock
Twins
14
90
.336
16
1.18
T27th MVP
Carl Yastrzemski
Red Sox
28
102
.296
11
1.15
17th MVP
Al Cowens
Royal
23
112
.312
16
1.15
2nd in MVP


              Ten, against their teams, we get:

Mitchell Page
A’s
21
75
.307
42
0.96
2nd Rookie of the Year
Bobby Bonds
Angels
37
115
.264
41
1.15
16th in MVP
Ken Singleton
Orioles
24
99
.328
0
1.09
3rd in MVP
Leroy Stanton
Mariners
27
90
.275
0
0.89
no votes
Carlton Fisk
above
           
Don Money
Brewers
25
83
.279
8
0.95
no votes
Rod carew
above






Dan Meyer
Mariners
22
90
.273
11
0.90
no votes
Ron Fairly
Blue Jays
19
64
.279
0
0.80
no votes
otto Velez
Blue Jays
16
62
.256
4
0.80
no votes

              That brings our rankings for the top ten offensive performances to this:
Rod Carew
Carlton Fisk
Larry Hisle
George Brett
Bobby Bonds
Thurman Munson
Ken Singleton
Riggie Jackson
Jim Rice              
Mitchell Page

              And then for the National League, note that while Steve Henderson didn’t play the full season with the Mets, he did have ample opportunities, and while he wouldn’t qualify for a batting title, his other numbers merit his being a part of this list. The top overall offensive rankings were:

PLAYER
TEAM
HR
RBI
AVG
SB
RP/G
AWARD VOTES
George Foster
Reds
52
149
.320
6
1.40
1st MVP
Greg Luzinski
Phillies
39
130
.309
3
1.28
2nd MVP
Ted Simmons
Cardinals
21
95
.318
2
1.04
9th MVP
Mike Schmidt
Phillies
38
101
.274
15
1.15
10th MVP
Johnny Bench
Reds
31
109
.275
2
1.02
T21st MVP
Reggie Smith
Dodgers
32
87
.301
7
1.07
4th MVP
Steve Henderson
Mets
12
65
.297
6
1.21
2nd Rookie of the Year
Dave Parker
Pirates
21
88
.338
17
1.09
3rd MVP
Joe Morgan
Reds
22
78
.288
49
1.10
no votes
Bill Robinson
Pirates
26
104
.304
12
1.11
11th in MVP


              And then against their team’s average performances, we have:

Steve Henderson
above
           
George Foster
above






Gary Carter
Expos
31
84
.284
5
0.90
no votes
Jeff Burroughs
Braves
41
114
.271
4
1.06
T16th MVP
Ted Simmons
above






Bob Watson
Astros
22
110
.289
5
1.09
no votes
John Stearns
Mets
12
55
.251
9
0.68
no votes
Tony Perez
Expos
19
91
.283
4
0.93
no votes
Reggie Smith
above






Dave Parker
above
           

              So our National League top hitting performers were:
George Foster
Steve Henderson
Greg Luzinski
Ted Simmons
Reggie Smith
Johnny Bench
Mike Schmidt
Gary Carter
Dave Parker
Jeff Burroughs



              So now, if I were to vote my top five players in each league, for player of the year, the American League top five would be the same as the offensive performances above, namely:


Rod Carew
Carlton Fisk
Larry Hisle
George Brett
Bobby Bonds

              And my pitcher of the year would be :
               
Frank Tanana

              While in the National League, my player of the year vote would be:


George Foster

Tom Seaver (Pitcher of the Year)
Steve Henderson
Greg Luzinski

Steve Carlton



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