1976 Leaders & Numbers

For the second straight year, Joe Morgan excelled at everything, powering up to set career highs in home runs and RBIs. Rod Carew failed to win a batting title for the only time between 1971 and 1979, but opposing pitchers were hardly comforted. Bill Madlock won his second straight NL batting crown, but how does a .339 hitter score just 68 runs? (Answer: He’s playing for the Cubs.) Wedged in between tumultuous tours of duty in Oakland and New York, Reggie Jackson lived relative peace and tranquility in a brief one-year stay at Baltimore. The ever-consistent, ever-effective Bob Watson continued to be Houston’s Mechanical Man. Randy Jones’ fleeting reign as a top NL pitcher peaked with a Cy Young Award performance. Jim Palmer won his third AL Cy in four years. No 300-game winner won 20 in a season less than Don Sutton, who took down his one and only score in 1976. Jerry Koosman snuck in his only 20-win effort as a Met just as dark times began to loom at Shea Stadium. After three subpar years, Steve Carlton got his Mojo back thanks to a reunion with ex-Cardinal battery mate Tim McCarver. Wayne Garland won 20 games at just the right time; he’d be rewarded by the Indians with a fat contract and become the game’s first celebrated free agent bust. The Yanks’ Ed Figueroa, a year after toiling for the anemic Angels, was happy to pitch for a team that actually scored runs. Mickey Rivers, one of the few to accommodate Figueroa in Anaheim, continued to do so as a fellow new Yankee.

The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1976
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Joe Morgan Cincinnati 141 .320 472 113 151 30 5 27 111 106 8 1 60 9 2
2. Mike Schmidt Philadelphia 160 .262 584 112 153 31 4 38 107 92 8 11 14 9 7
3. George Foster Cincinnati 144 .306 562 86 172 21 9 29 121 48 4 4 17 3 11
4. Ken Griffey Cincinnati 148 .336 562 111 189 28 9 6 74 62 0 1 34 11 3
5. Pete Rose Cincinnati 162 .323 665 130 215 42 6 10 63 79 7 6 9 5 17
6. Cesar Cedeno Houston 150 .297 575 89 171 26 5 18 83 46 9 1 58 15 16
7. Rick Monday Chicago 137 .272 534 107 145 20 5 32 77 52 8 2 5 9 7
8. Bill Madlock Chicago 142 .339 514 68 174 36 1 15 84 41 15 11 15 11 21
9. Bob Watson Houston 157 .313 585 76 183 31 3 16 102 52 10 4 3 3 12
10. Dave Parker Pittsburgh 138 .313 537 82 168 28 10 13 90 24 6 2 19 7 16
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1976
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Rod Carew Minnesota 156 .331 605 97 200 29 12 9 90 53 14 1 49 22 12
2. Hal McRae Kansas City 149 .332 527 75 175 34 5 8 73 57 7 8 22 12 13
3. Mickey Rivers New York 137 .312 590 95 184 31 8 8 67 13 0 3 43 7 3
4. Reggie Jackson Baltimroe 134 .277 498 84 138 27 2 27 91 47 7 4 28 7 17
5. George Brett Kansas City 159 .333 645 94 215 34 14 7 67 45 4 1 21 11 8
6. Roy White New York 156 .286 626 104 179 29 3 14 65 82 1 0 31 13 13
7. Dan Ford Minnesota 145 .267 514 87 137 24 7 20 86 34 2 10 17 6 12
8. Amos Otis Kansas City 153 .279 592 93 165 40 2 18 86 48 7 5 26 7 13
9. Rusty Staub Detroit 161 .299 589 73 176 28 3 15 96 72 11 7 3 1 23
10. Graig Nettles New York 158 .254 583 88 148 29 2 32 93 56 6 4 11 6 8
The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1976
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV BS G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Randy Jones San Diego 2.74 22 14 .611 0 0 40 40 315.1 365 96 41 9 0 4 1 15 3 34
2. Jerry Koosman New York 2.69 21 10 .677 0 1 34 32 247.1 297 74 59 7 3 1 1 6 10 11
3. Tom Seaver New York 2.59 14 11 .560 0 0 35 34 271 300 78 68 9 12 4 0 26 10 18
4. J.R. Richard Houston 2.75 20 15 .571 0 0 39 39 291 303 89 147 4 13 4 2 34 11 26
5. John Denny St. Louis 2.52 11 9 .550 0 0 30 30 207 252 58 71 3 5 8 0 8 9 26
6. Don Sutton Los Angeles 3.06 21 10 .677 0 0 35 34 267.2 356 91 76 6 4 3 1 25 8 13
7. Steve Carlton Philadelphia 3.13 20 7 .741 0 0 35 35 252.2 325 88 68 4 8 1 3 28 7 21
8. Pat Zachry Cincinnati 2.74 14 7 .667 0 0 38 28 204 233 62 79 4 5 2 3 7 13 12
9. Jon Matlack New York 2.95 17 10 .630 0 0 35 35 262 334 86 52 5 13 3 3 22 7 23
10. John Candelaria Pittsburgh 3.15 16 7 .696 1 0 32 31 220 280 77 55 5 0 2 0 6 11 16
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1976
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV BS G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Vida Blue Oakland 2.35 18 13 .581 0 0 37 37 298.1 342 78 60 3 5 1 1 20 15 20
2. Mark Fidrych Detroit 2.34 19 9 .679 0 0 31 29 250.1 278 65 50 3 6 3 0 13 16 25
3. Frank Tanana California 2.43 19 10 .655 0 0 34 34 288.1 325 78 68 5 5 9 0 34 22 11
4. Jim Palmer Baltimore 2.51 22 13 .629 0 0 40 40 315 366 88 79 5 5 8 0 33 15 20
5. Mike Torrez Oakland 2.50 16 12 .571 0 0 39 39 266.1 312 74 85 2 8 6 0 22 14 30
6. Ken Brett New York-Chicago 3.28 10 12 .455 1 0 27 26 200.2 219 74 73 3 4 3 1 11 15 14
7. Paul Hartzell California 2.77 7 4 .636 2 1 37 15 166 205 51 38 5 3 10 0 15 6 25
8. Luis Tiant Boston 3.06 21 12 .636 0 0 38 38 279 411 95 62 2 1 3 0 23 16 21
9. Wayne Garland Baltimore 2.67 20 7 .741 1 1 38 25 232.1 295 69 55 9 5 6 1 27 6 14
10. Ed Figueroa New York 3.02 19 10 .655 0 0 34 34 256.2 322 86 94 0 6 3 0 22 16 16

Brown type indicates league leader.
Notes: Walks (BB) do not include intentional walks (IB). For pitchers, caught stealing (CS) also includes pickoffs.
How does This Great Game determine the best hitters and pitchers? Find out here.


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1976 Awards


NL MVP
Joe Morgan, Cincinnati

AL MVP
Thurman Munson, New York


NL Cy Young Award
Randy Jones, San Diego

AL Cy Young Award
Jim Palmer, Baltimore


NL Rookie of the Year
Butch Metzger, San Diego
Pat Zachry, Cincinnati

AL Rookie of the Year
Mark Fidrych, Detroit


NL Gold Glove Awards
P Jim Kaat, Philadelphia
C Johnny Bench, Cincinnati
1B Steve Garvey, Los Angeles
2B Joe Morgan, Cincinnati
3B Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia
SS Dave Concepcion, Cincinnati
OF Cesar Cedeno, Houston
OF Garry Maddox, Philadelphia
OF Cesar Geronimo, Cincinnati


AL Gold Glove Awards
P Jim Palmer, Baltimore
C Jim Sundberg, Texas
1B George Scott, Milwaukee
2B Bobby Grich, Baltimore
3B Aurelio Rodriguez, Detroit
SS Mark Belanger, Baltimore
OF Dwight Evans, Boston
OF Rick Manning, Cleveland
OF Joe Rudi, Oakland