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 free-spending 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 Oriolesby 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 16 wins against just 7 losses with a nice 2.82 ERA. The Yankees advanced to the World Series after beating the Kansas City Royals in an exciting 5th and final ALCS game winning it with 3 runs in the top of the 9th on a string of singles and a costly error by George Brett.
The National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers were skippered by first-year manager Tommy Lasorda. This 1977 club featured the first foursome to hit 30 or more homeruns 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 20-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 10 games over the Cincinnati Reds and then eliminated thePhiladelphia Phillies in the NLCS in 4 games.
the Billboard Liberation Front is founded in San Francisco…
The Suicide Club is founded in San Francisco…
“ROCKY” WINS BEST PICTURE OVER “BOUND FOR GLORY,” “ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN,” “TAXI DRIVER” AND “NETWORK”…
by MATT ZOLLER SEITZ
Yes, the original “Rocky” is an endearing, even irresistible melodrama. But for crying out loud, it was up against “Taxi Driver,” “All the President’s Men,” “Network” and the Woody Guthrie biopic “Bound for Glory.” Those first three competitors (in the 1976 best picture race) are landmark American films, and they’re not just aesthetically superior to “Rocky”; they’re engaging, provocative stories with quotable dialogue, imaginative performances, and nary a dull moment. “Bound for Glory” hasn’t retained the same cultural currency as the others, but it’s terrific, too — and it’s as much of a crowd-pleasing underdog-against-the-world story as “Rocky.”
So how did Sylvester Stallone’s breakthrough film take the top prize? The back story of the actor-screenwriter’s “Rocky”-like success was immensely appealing to Oscar voters; it falsely reassured them (and the public) that the film industry wasn’t an incestuous, exclusionary club. But a more persuasive explanation can be found in this anecdote by a friend of mine who attended New York University film school in the early ’70s, when the American New Wave set a generally dark, questioning tone and made unhappy endings common. “I went to see ‘Rocky’ with a classmate, not knowing anything about it except that it was a movie about a boxer and it had just opened,” my friend said, “and when it ended happily — with Rocky not winning the title but going the distance and winning Adrian’s heart, with that freeze frame and the music swelling — we were so stunned by how different it was from the movies we’d gotten used to that when we left the theater, we both felt a bit lightheaded. Like, ‘Did that actually happen’?” “Jaws” had perfected climax euphoria a year earlier; in 1977 “Star Wars” came out, and that was the beginning of the end of the studio art film. The tyranny of the happy ending had begun.