The 1978 Baseball Season: The Playoff Teams & October Battles

The 1978 baseball season is remembered most for its dramatic one-game playoff at Fenway Park, when the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox settled the AL East title. That was the biggest moment, but there was a lot more to the season, including…

*The Los Angeles Dodgers made it two pennants in two years for manager Tom Lasorda, pulling away to win the NL West title.

*The Philadelphia Phillies relied on their bats to win an third straight NL East crown, although they turned what looked like a cakewalk into an interesting divisional race before it was over.

*The Kansas City Royals won their own third straight division title, taking home the AL West.

*The ALCS saw one of the great individual performances in postseason history, George Brett’s three-HR performance in Game 3 go to naught thanks to the efforts of Reggie Jackson and Thurman Munson. And the Yankees survived the Royals for the third consecutive time in the American League Championship Series.

*In the World Series, the Yankees again made history. After a dramatic loss in Game 2, when young Dodger flamethrower Bob Welch struck out Reggie with the money on the line, New York faced an 0-2 deficit. They became the first team to follow two opening losses with four straight wins. The way the Yankees rolled through October suggested that the World Series had been basically settled on a Monday afternoon at Fenway Park.

That brings us full circle. The Yankees and Red Sox staged a crazy divisional race. Summed up simply, Boston owned the first half, New York owned the second half. The one-game playoff itself followed a similar storyline.

The complete stories of the 1978 baseball season’s best five teams, a complete account of the Red Sox-Yankees playoff and game-by-game narratives of every postseason series are all put together in one compilation and available for download on Amazon.