1978 Major League Baseball season

1978 Major League Baseball season

This article is about the 1978 Major League Baseball season only. For information on all of baseball, see 1978 in baseball.
1978 MLB season
League Major League Baseball
Sport Baseball
Duration April 5, 1978 – October 17, 1978
Regular season
Season MVP AL: Jim Rice (BOS)
NL: Dave Parker (PIT)
AL champions New York Yankees
  AL runners-up Kansas City Royals
NL champions Los Angeles Dodgers
  NL runners-up Philadelphia Phillies
World Series
World Series champions New York Yankees
  Runners-up Los Angeles Dodgers
World Series MVP Bucky Dent (NYY)
MLB seasons

The 1978 Major League Baseball season saw the New York Yankees defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers to win their second consecutive World Series, and 22nd overall, in a rematch of the prior season's Fall Classic. The Yankees overcame clubhouse turmoil, a mid-season managerial change, and a 14-game mid-July deficit in the American League East en route to the championship.

Regular season standings

American League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win % GB
1st New York Yankees* 100 63 .613
2nd Boston Red Sox* 99 64 .607 1
3rd Milwaukee Brewers 93 69 .574 6.5
4th Baltimore Orioles 90 71 .559 9
5th Detroit Tigers 86 76 .531 13.5
6th Cleveland Indians 69 90 .434 29
7th Toronto Blue Jays 59 102 .366 40
1st Kansas City Royals 92 70 .568
t-2nd California Angels 87 75 .537 5
t-2nd Texas Rangers 87 75 .537 5
4th Minnesota Twins 73 89 .451 19
5th Chicago White Sox 71 90 .441 20.5
6th Oakland A's 69 93 .426 23
7th Seattle Mariners 56 104 .350 35
* — The Yankees defeated the Red Sox in a one-game playoff, 5–4, to win the American League East.
National League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win % GB
1st Philadelphia Phillies 90 72 .556
2nd Pittsburgh Pirates 88 73 .547 1.5
3rd Chicago Cubs 79 83 .488 11
4th Montreal Expos 76 86 .469 14
5th St. Louis Cardinals 69 93 .426 21
6th New York Mets 66 96 .407 24
1st Los Angeles Dodgers 95 67 .586
2nd Cincinnati Reds 92 69 .571 2.5
3rd San Francisco Giants 89 73 .549 6
4th San Diego Padres 84 78 .519 11
5th Houston Astros 74 88 .457 21
6th Atlanta Braves 69 93 .426 26



League Championship Series

American League

1978 American League Championship Series
New York Yankees (3) vs. Kansas City Royals (1)
Game Date Score Series
1 October 3 Yankees 7, Royals 1 1–0 Royals Stadium
2 October 4 Royals 10, Yankees 4 1–1 Royals Stadium
3 October 6 Yankees 6, Royals 5 2–1 Yankee Stadium
4 October 7 Yankees 2, Royals 1 3–1 Yankee Stadium

National League

1978 National League Championship Series
Los Angeles Dodgers (3) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (1)
Most Valuable Player: Steve Garvey, 1B, Los Angeles
Game Date Score Series
1 October 4 Dodgers 9, Phillies 5 1–0 Veterans Stadium
2 October 5 Dodgers 4, Phillies 0 2–0 Veterans Stadium
3 October 7 Phillies 9, Dodgers 4 2–1 Dodger Stadium
4 October 8 Dodgers 4, Phillies 3
(10 innings)
3–1 Dodger Stadium

World series

Main article: 1978 World Series
1978 World Series
New York Yankees (4) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (2)
Most Valuable Player: Bucky Dent, SS, New York
Game Date Score Series
Location Attendance Time
1 October 10 Dodgers 11, Yankees 5 0–1 Dodger Stadium 55,997 2:48
2 October 11 Dodgers 4, Yankees 3 0–2 Dodger Stadium 55,982 2:37
3 October 13 Yankees 5, Dodgers 1 1–2 Yankee Stadium 56,447 2:27
4 October 14 Yankees 4, Dodgers 3
(10 innings)
2–2 Yankee Stadium 56,445 3:17
5 October 15 Yankees 12, Dodgers 2 3–2 Yankee Stadium 56,448 2:56
6 October 17 Yankees 7, Dodgers 2 4–2 Dodger Stadium 55,985 2:32

Awards and honors

Major Awards

1978 Award Winners
  American League National League
Award Player Position Team Player Position Team
Most Valuable Player Jim Rice LF BOS Dave Parker RF PIT
Cy Young Award Ron Guidry LHP NYY Gaylord Perry RHP SD
Rookie of the Year Lou Whitaker 2B DET Bob Horner 3B ATL
Relief Man of the Year Goose Gossage RHP NYY Rollie Fingers RHP SD

Gold Glove Awards

1978 Gold Glove Awards
  American League National League
Position Player Team Player Team
P Jim Palmer BAL Phil Niekro ATL
C Jim Sundberg TEX Bob Boone PHI
1B Chris Chambliss NYY Keith Hernandez STL
2B Frank White KC Davey Lopes LA
3B Graig Nettles NYY Mike Schmidt PHI
SS Mark Belanger BAL Larry Bowa PHI
OF Dwight Evans BOS Garry Maddox PHI
OF Fred Lynn BOS Dave Parker PIT
OF Rick Miller CAL Ellis Valentine MON

Statistical leaders

  American League National League
Type Name Stat Name Stat
AVG Rod Carew, MIN .333 Dave Parker, PIT .334
HR Jim Rice, BOS 46 George Foster, CIN 40
RBI Jim Rice, BOS 139 George Foster, CIN 120
SB Ron LeFlore, DET 68 Omar Moreno, PIT 71
Wins Ron Guidry, NYY 25 Gaylord Perry, SD 21
ERA Ron Guidry, NYY 1.74 Craig Swan, NYM 2.34
Ks Nolan Ryan, CAL 260 J.R. Richard, HOU 303
SV Goose Gossage, NYY 27 Rollie Fingers, SD 37

All-Star game

July 11, 1978
San Diego Stadium, San Diego, California
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
American League 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 8 1
National League 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 4 X 7 10 0
Starting pitchers:
AL: Jim Palmer
NL: Vida Blue
WP: Bruce Sutter (1–0)   LP: Goose Gossage (0–1)
Most Valuable Player: Steve Garvey, NL





American League

  • Most Strikeouts in a Game: 18, Ron Guidry, NYY (June 17 vs. California Angels)
  • Most Shutouts in a Season by a Left-Handed Pitcher: 9, Ron Guidry, NYY (tied record set in 1916 by Babe Ruth, BOS)

National League

  • Longest Modern Consecutive Game Hitting Streak: 44, Pete Rose, CIN (June 14 – July 31)
  • Most Strikeouts in a Season by a Right-Handed Pitcher: 303, J.R. Richard, HOU

Career Milestones

3,000 Hits

500 Home Runs

3,000 Strikeouts

Notable events


  • January 25 – The Texas Rangers trade pitcher Gaylord Perry to the San Diego Padres for pitcher Dave Tomlin and cash.


  • April 13 – Reggie Jackson hits a 3-run home run in the first inning of the New York Yankees' home opener. Jackson is showered with "Reggie Bar" candy bars, which had been given out free to fans in attendance. The Yankees defeat the Chicago White Sox, 4–2.
  • April 16 – St. Louis Cardinal Bob Forsch no-hits the Philadelphia Phillies at Busch Stadium, striking out 3 and walking 2 in a 5–0 victory. It is the first of two no-hitters Forsch will throw in his career.
  • April 22 – Cleveland Indians first baseman Andre Thornton hits for the cycle in a 13–4 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
  • May 5 – In front of a home crowd at Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati's Pete Rose records his 3,000 career hit when he singles in the fifth inning off Montreal's Steve Rogers.
  • May 23 – With the Oakland Athletics in first place in the Western Division, manager Bobby Winkles resigns and is replaced by Jack McKeon, the same man he succeeded one year earlier.


  • June 14 – Pete Rose begins a 44-game hitting streak with 2 hits in the Reds' 3–1 win over the Chicago Cubs.
  • June 16 – Cincinnati's Tom Seaver throws a no-hitter against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals. Seaver strikes out 3 and walks 3 in a 4–0 Reds' win.
  • June 17 – Yankees pitcher Ron Guidry strikes out an American League-record (for left handers) 18 batters in a 4–0 shutout of the California Angels. "Louisiana Lightning" moves to 11–0 on the season.
  • June 30 – San Francisco Giants slugger Willie McCovey hits his 500th career home run, a solo shot off Atlanta's Jamie Easterly at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. McCovey is the 12th member of the prestigious 500 home run club and the first new member since Frank Robinson in 1971.
  • July 11 – The National League defeats the American League, 7–3, in the All-Star Game at San Diego Stadium. Steve Garvey earns MVP honors, and Vida Blue, the starting pitcher for the NL, becomes the first pitcher to start in the All-Star Game for both leagues. Blue also started in 1971 and 1975 for the AL.
  • July 13 – Nolan Ryan of the California Angels and Steve Renko of the Boston Red Sox take no-hitters into the ninth inning of their respective games before both lose their no-hit bids. Ryan's Angels defeat the New York Yankees, 6–1, while Renko's Red Sox shut out the Oakland Athletics, 2–0.
  • July 17 – In the latest incident in their tumultuous relationship, Yankees manager Billy Martin suspends Reggie Jackson for five days after accusing Jackson of ignoring signs from the dugout. During the bottom of the 10th inning of a tie game against the Kansas City Royals, Martin gives Jackson the bunt sign. After Jackson fails miserably on his first attempt, Martin takes the sign off, but Jackson bunts again anyway. Jackson pops up to the catcher, Martin pinch hits for Jackson the next inning, and the Yankees go on to lose the game, 5–2. The loss drops the Yankees 14 games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox.
  • July 19 – The Yankees win the first of five straight games without the suspended Reggie Jackson, defeating the Minnesota Twins, 2–0, at Metropolitan Stadium.
  • July 20 – Shortstop Chris Speier of the Montreal Expos hits for the cycle against the Atlanta Braves, going 4–4 with 6 RBI in a 7–3 win at Olympic Stadium.
  • July 24 – In Kansas City, an anguished Billy Martin announces his resignation as Yankees manager. At the time, the defending champion Yankees are 52–42 and 10 games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox in the American League East. Martin's resignation comes one day after he said of right fielder Reggie Jackson and owner George Steinbrenner, "The two of them deserve each other. One's a born liar, and the other's convicted." Bob Lemon is named manager, but third base coach Dick Howser fills in for Martin that evening against the Royals.
  • July 26 – Reds catcher Johnny Bench hits his 300th career home run, a 2-run shot off the Mets' Nino Espinosa at Shea Stadium. The Reds lose, 12–3.
  • July 27 – Minnesota Twins third baseman Mike Cubbage hits for the cycle in a 6–3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at Metropolitan Stadium. Cubbage goes 4–4 with 4 RBI.
  • July 29 – Before an Old Timers Day crowd of 46,711, Yankee Stadium announcer Bob Sheppard reveals that Billy Martin, who resigned as Yankees manager just five days earlier, will return as manager beginning in 1980, with Bob Lemon moving to the front office as GM. As it happens, the Yankees accelerate the timetable and Martin winds up taking over during the 1979 season.


  • August 1 – Pete Rose's 44-game hitting streak comes to an end in Atlanta. Rose goes 0–4 against Braves pitchers Larry McWilliams and Gene Garber, and strikes out in the ninth inning to end the game. Rose's streak is the second-longest in major league history, and he bats .385 (70 of 182) during the stretch.
  • August 20 – Los Angeles Dodgers teammates Steve Garvey and Don Sutton engage in a clubhouse brawl prior to the Dodgers' 5–4 win over the Mets at Shea Stadium. Garvey and Sutton had been feuding for some time, but public comments by Sutton about Garvey's clean-cut image sparked the brawl.
  • August 25 – Major league umpires stage a one-day strike in violation of their union contract. The league is forced to employ amateur umpires until a restraining order compels the striking umpires to return to work.
  • September 5 – The Montreal Expos defeat the Chicago Cubs, 10–9, in a nine-inning game that sees a major league record 45 players participate.
  • September 7 – 10 – The famed "Boston Massacre" occurs at Fenway Park. The first-place Boston Red Sox enter the four-game series against the second-place New York Yankees with a four-game lead in the AL East, down from 14 just seven weeks earlier. The Yankees pummel the Red Sox by scores of 15–3, 13–2, 7–0, and 7–4. The Yankees outscore the Red Sox 42 to 9 during the four-game sweep and find themselves atop the division for the first time all season.
  • September 15 – The Los Angeles Dodgers become the first team in major league history to draw 3 million fans in a season.
  • September 24 – Ron Guidry of the New York Yankees ties an American League record for left-handed pitchers with his ninth shutout of the season, blanking the Cleveland Indians, 4–0. The record was set by Red Sox southpaw Babe Ruth in 1916.
  • September 28 – Houston Astros pitcher J.R. Richard fans Bruce Benedict of the Atlanta Braves for his 303rd strikeout of the season, setting the National League single-season record for strikeouts by a right-handed pitcher.
  • September 30 – The Philadelphia Phillies beat the host Pittsburgh Pirates, their in-state rivals, 10–8, to clinch their third straight National League East title. The Phils overcome a first-inning grand slam from Willie Stargell and winning pitcher Randy Lerch contributes two home runs to his cause. The loss snaps the Pirates 24-game winning streak at Three Rivers Stadium.




External links