1977 Leaders & Numbers

If the hitters are salivating, it must be expansion; the dilution of talent via two new teams again benefited the offense. Once a mere supporting cast member of Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine, George Foster exploded into the role of the game’s top gun. Jim Rice was right on Foster’s tail to succeed him. Rod Carew finished the closest to .400 since Ted Williams after hitting above the mark well into July. Greg Luzinski hit .300 with power for the third straight year and looked, for now, to have better odds for taking up future Hall of Fame space over Phillie teammate Mike Schmidt. All-hit, no-glove Hal McRae gave thanks to the Lords every night for continuing to allow the DH. Lyman Bostock’s second full season showed a ballplayer earmarked for superstardom; a shotgun blast later, we’ll never know. Mitchell “The Rage” Page provided a rare burst of excitement for Charles Finley’s A’s in the free-agency era. Tom Seaver fled New York just in time for the Mets’ collapse, but came to Cincinnati too late to experience another Red postseason. To paraphrase Carly Simon: Nobody continued to do it better than Jim Palmer. Never to be confused for a workhorse, John Candelaria certainly made the most out of his innings. Even, schmeven: Tired of four .500 finishes in his first five years, Dave Goltz finally tilted the won-loss scale firmly in his favor. Steve Austin he wasn’t, but Tommy John’s remarkable comeback from groundbreaking elbow surgery made some wonder if he was bionic. Nolan Ryan became so tough to hit in 1977, he allowed more walks than hits. Sparky Lyle became the first reliever to win the AL Cy Young Award.

The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1977
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. George Foster Cincinnati 158 .320 615 124 197 31 2 52 149 51 10 5 6 4 17
2. Greg Luzinski Philadelphia 149 .309 554 99 171 35 3 39 130 66 14 3 3 2 11
3. Mike Schmidt Philadelphia 154 .274 544 114 149 27 11 38 101 100 4 9 15 8 10
4. Reggie Smith Los Angeles 148 .307 488 104 150 27 4 32 87 93 11 3 7 5 5
5. Joe Morgan Cincinnati 153 .288 521 113 150 21 6 22 78 115 2 2 49 10 5
6. Dave Parker Pittsburgh 159 .338 637 107 215 44 8 21 88 45 13 7 17 19 7
7. Johnny Bench Cincinnati 142 .275 494 67 136 34 2 31 109 50 8 1 2 4 10
8. Steve Garvey Los Angeles 162 .297 646 91 192 25 3 33 115 28 10 1 9 6 15
9. Bill Robinson Pittsburgh 137 .304 507 74 154 32 1 26 104 22 3 2 12 6 8
10. Jeff Burroughs Atlanta 154 .271 579 91 157 19 1 41 114 84 2 0 4 1 8
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1977
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Rod Carew Minnesota 155 .388 616 128 239 38 16 14 100 54 15 3 23 13 6
2. Jim Rice Boston 160 .320 644 104 206 29 15 39 114 43 10 8 5 4 21
3. Reggie Jackson New York 146 .286 525 93 150 39 2 32 110 70 4 3 17 3 3
4. Larry Hisle Minnesota 141 .302 546 95 165 36 3 28 119 51 5 6 21 10 11
5. Carlton Fisk Boston 152 .315 536 106 169 26 3 26 102 72 3 9 7 6 9
6. Bobby Bonds California 158 .264 592 103 156 23 9 37 115 69 5 2 41 18 9
7. Hal McRae Kansas City 162 .298 641 104 191 54 11 21 92 54 5 13 18 14 12
8. Mitchell Page Oakland 145 .307 501 85 154 28 8 21 75 72 6 6 42 5 7
9. Lyman Bostock Minnesota 153 .336 593 104 199 36 12 14 90 46 5 6 16 7 16
10. Ken Singleton Baltimore 152 .328 536 90 176 24 0 24 99 94 13 2 0 1 15
The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1977
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV BS G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Tom Seaver New York-Cincinnati 2.58 21 6 .778 0 0 33 33 261.1 307 75 60 6 7 0 1 22 7 12
2. Rick Reuschel Chicago 2.79 20 10 .667 1 0 39 37 252 316 78 63 11 9 5 1 15 19 21
3. Tommy John Los Angeles 2.78 20 7 .741 0 0 31 31 220.1 303 68 47 3 6 3 0 8 10 32
4. John Candelaria Pittsburgh 2.34 20 5 .800 0 0 33 33 230.2 323 60 48 2 1 2 2 5 12 13
5. Steve Carlton Philadelphia 2.64 23 10 .697 0 0 36 36 283 368 83 84 5 3 4 7 29 16 19
6. Burt Hooton Los Angeles 2.62 12 7 .632 1 0 32 31 223.1 265 65 55 5 5 3 1 15 6 16
7. Goose Gossage Pittsburgh 1.62 11 9 .55 26 10 72 0 133 116 24 43 6 2 2 0 9 3 7
8. Steve Rogers Montreal 3.10 17 16 .515 0 0 40 40 301.2 384 104 78 3 14 5 1 24 13 23
9. J.R. Richard Houston 2.97 18 12 .600 0 0 36 36 267 310 88 103 1 6 0 1 22 13 21
10. Bruce Sutter Chicago 1.34 7 3 .710 31 9 62 0 107.3 102 16 16 7 7 1 0 7 4 5
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1977
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV BS G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Jim Palmer Baltimore 2.91 20 11 .645 0 0 39 39 319 395 103 98 1 6 3 0 15 30 22
2. Dennis Leonard Kansas City 3.04 20 12 .625 1 0 38 37 292.2 356 99 79 0 13 8 2 10 13 20
3. Ron Guidry New York 2.82 16 7 .696 1 0 31 25 210.2 248 66 63 2 6 0 0 7 10 12
4. Nolan Ryan California 2.77 19 16 .543 0 0 37 37 299 263 92 197 7 21 9 3 43 19 21
5. Bert Blyleven Texas 2.72 14 12 .538 0 0 30 30 234.2 267 71 68 1 8 7 0 16 10 20
6. Dave Goltz Minnesota 3.36 20 11 .645 0 0 39 39 303 422 113 87 4 9 2 1 18 16 26
7. Frank Tanana California 2.54 15 9 .625 0 0 31 31 241.1 314 68 59 2 8 12 1 9 11 13
8. Sparky Lyle New York 2.17 13 5 .722 26 8 72 0 137 174 33 27 6 10 2 0 7 8 18
9. Bill Campbell Boston 2.96 13 9 .591 31 11 69 0 140 176 46 50 10 3 5 1 4 6 12
10. Dave Rozema Detroit 3.09 15 7 .682 0 0 28 28 218.1 337 75 30 4 2 7 2 11 15 19

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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1977 Awards


NL MVP
George Foster, Cincinnati

AL MVP
Rod Carew, Minnesota


NL Cy Young Award
Steve Carlton, Philadelphia

AL Cy Young Award
Sparky Lyle, New York


NL Rookie of the Year
Andre Dawson, Montreal

AL Rookie of the Year
Eddie Murray, Baltimore


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 Dave Parker, Pittsburgh
OF Garry Maddox, Philadelphia
OF Cesar Geronimo, Cincinnati


AL Gold Glove Awards
P Jim Palmer, Baltimore
C Jim Sundberg, Texas
1B Jim Spencer, Chicago
2B Frank White, Kansas City
3B Graig Nettles, New York
SS Mark Belanger, Baltimore
OF Juan Beniquez, Texas
OF Al Cowens, Kansas City
OF Carl Yastrzemski, Boston