This week’s post is worth arguing about New York’s sports history – “among the best”, but they haven’t been debated. Today’s edition: The best comeback in the history of New York sports.
The summer of 1976 rarely seemed to take away one of the most dramatic comebacks in baseball history for the Yankees.
Faced with a World Series win the previous year, they found themselves in fourth place and 14 games ahead of the Red Sox, who finished first in the East on 19 July.
They were still out of the 86s on August 20th, but deficits were able to make up for the deficit in just four games until it was time for the Yankees to head to Fenway Park for a four-game series starting in September.
What followed was what became known as the Boston Massacre, with the combined score of 42-99 giving the Yankees four straight wins that tied a tie with the Red Sox at the top of their division.
The Yankees eventually went ahead by 36 games, but gave up the last of that lead on the last day of the regular season, which forced a game playoff.
At some point though the rest of Dent believed the Yankees would not be at the top.
“It was a classic game at the end of a great year,” Dent said on the phone. “It’s hard to explain how we got it off.”
Dant gave a big push in the winner-take-all competition, a three-run homer to lead the Yankees in the seventh inning. And he’s not surprised that the season still resonates with fans – and is considered by the Post’s sports department to be the best comeback in New York sports history.
“Not at all,” Dent said. “You had everything: drama, our most bitter rival and it’s not just a game or a series. It has reason to stand the test of time. “
After all, it resulted in two nicknames: Boston Massacre and Bucky [bleeping] Dent and a memorable sports quote with Bill Martin’s line: “One is a born liar, the other is guilty” when talking about Reggie Jackson and George Steinbrenner
Following on their first title since 1962, years before that, the Yankees have lost four of their first five games to start that season. They are 29-1 May 29-1. It was able to rise, but then on July 1. It has dropped to 47-42 in nine games under 50,000 to date.
The season went from frustrating to bizarre, with Thurman Monson taking the right field and Jackson reducing his playing time.
In the middle of the July winning streak, Jackson was fired for ignoring a sign from the dugout – then Martin resigned under pressure a day after the infamous remarks about Jackson and Steinbrenner.
Bob Lemon replaced Martin, and according to Dent, that was part of the change.
“It has relaxed the team,” Dent said. “Bob calmed everyone down and just said, ‘Play.’ You can feel the tension.”
The team also suffered injuries from Dent, Catfish Hunter, Mickey River and Willie Randolph, all of whom spent time on the disabled list.
Despite Lemon’s influence, the Yankees opened the September 6 সেপ্ট6 Games behind Boston, the same deficit they suffered on August 1st.
“When we boys got well, we had catfish with us [Ron] Guide, who knew we would win every five days, “said Dent. “Once we started winning three of three and three of four, we thought we were going to keep rolling. Our mentality is that we need to pick one game a week. “
They had seven games left against Boston, which Dent said the Yankees knew would “make or break our season.”
Then comes the four-game series at Fenway in early September.
“That’s our chance,” Dent said.
They made the most of it.
“You can’t play well without hitting on time, great pitching and defense,” Jackson said. “And the players were there, starting with Thurman [Lou] Pinela, from [Graig] Netlets, Dent and Randolph and [Chris] Chambliss. … Of course, we had Ron Guidry, the best callus of baseball and it made a difference – and [Goose] Gauze and [Sparky] Lyle. ”
Boston director Don Zimmer recalled the infamous series in 2003 that season.
“I ask you a question, it was a four-game genocide, wasn’t it?” Zimmer said. “How many doubles and home runs have there been? It was a base hit after a base hit. As a director, all you could do was bring someone else [pitcher] And try and bring another. Nothing worked. When they say genocide, someone used the right word
Jackson, in 2003, also remembered the aftermath of the series.
“I remember sitting next to Lou Pineiella at the clubhouse after the fourth game and I asked him, ‘What are we going to do now?'” Jackson said. “He was smoking a cigarette, turned to me and said, ‘We keep winning.'”
In fact, the victory that started before the genocide was extended to the Bronx this time by 13-2, including the first two games of the Yankees’ next series against the Red Sox. They went 36 games ahead, but the Red Sox never went and caught the Yankees on the final day of the season, leading to a one-game playoff.
After the Yankees lost a coin toss, the game was played in Boston, but it did not shake Dent’s confidence.
“We were locked out just then,” Dent said. “When that team was the focus, it was hard for us to beat. We had a lot of tough guys like that before. We always feel like we can win [the division]Even when the last day did not work for us. ’
Boston took a 2-0 lead in seventh place when Dent hit his three-run homer. The Yankees went ahead 5-2 before the Yankees conceded two runs in the eighth inning and the Yankees continued to fight for the win, then began to beat the Royals in the LCS. In the World Series, the Yankees made another comeback, winning four in a row after a draw with the Dodgers in the first two matches to win their second straight title.
“It’s better to do what we’ve done in the situation,” Dent said. “In both ’77 and ’78, what was happening off the field didn’t affect what we did on the field. It’s a team of boys that won’t lose. “
– George A. King III Additional Report