Cardinal Ted Simmons Bats .318
Ted Simmons solidified his reputation as one of the best hitting catchers in 1977, batting .318 with 21 homers and 95 RBI. As one of the resident intellectuals of baseball, Simmons began collecting art and antiques while with the Cardinals; he eventually was elected as a trustee of the St. Louis Museum of Art.
Ron Cey Tallies 30 HRs, 110 RBI
Ron Cey achieved career-high totals in homers (30) and RBI (110) in 1977 as he helped the Dodgers to the pennant. The squat third baseman was extremely quick and was solid defensively.
Billy Martin Wins His Only World Series Ring
Billy Martin, the most temperamental of baseball figures, won several World Championships as a player and just one as a manager. The Yankees won the crown for Martin in 1977, his second full season at the helm. His volatile nature compelled him to change uniforms six times in his 16-year career as manager.
Steve Carlton Takes the 1977 National League Cy Young Award
Steve Carlton (23-10, 2,64 ERA, 17 CG) copped his second National League Cy Young Award in 1977. After a newspaper allegedly misquoted him, Carlton refused to grant interviews for nearly a decade. The lefty stuffed cotton in his ears when on the mound to block out noise and maximize concentration.
1977 New York Mets Cut Tom Seaver
On June 15, 1977, Mets general manager M. Donald Grant traded Tom Seaver to the Reds for Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, Pat Zachry, and Dan Norman. Seaver won 189 games for the Mets in 10 years. Despite the swap, Seaver still won 21 games between his two teams in 1977. The Mets came in last that season, 37 games back.
Rookie Bruce Sutter Saves 31 for 1977 Chicago Cubs
Long before the split-finger fastball became common, Bruce Sutter was the only pitcher throwing the difficult pitch. As the Cubs stopper, Sutter dazzled the National League and was close to unhittable for a half-dozen years. In 1977, Sutter was 7-3 with 31 saves (second in the loop). He allowed just 69 hits in 107 innings. He fanned 129 batters while walking a mere 23. His ERA? A paltry 1.35.
Phil Niekro Puts Up a Mixed Year
Phil Niekro lost 20 games in 1977 to tie for first in defeats in the National League; in addition, he topped the loop in hits allowed (315), runs allowed (166), and walks (164). Niekro also spearheaded the circuit in innings pitched (330), strikeouts (262), complete games (20), and -- naturally for a knuckleballer -- wild pitches (17). Niekro got a lot of his mileage out of his trademark toss, pitching in the majors until age 48.
Andre Dawson Named 1977 National League Rookie of the Year
In 1977, Andre Dawson became the second Expo to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award, as he batted .282 while smacking 19 homers and driving in 65 runs. Despite being overshadowed by catcher Gary Carter, the outfielder called "Awesome" became the greatest all-around player in the history of the franchise.
Bobby Murcer: 27 HRs, 89 RBI
The Cubs were Bobby Murcer's third major league address. The friendly confines of Wrigley Field were ideal for his compact left-handed swing, as he totaled 27 homers and 89 RBI in 1977, his last great season. Murcer broke into broadcasting after retiring in 1983.
Find more headlines from the 1977 baseball season on the next page.
To learn more about baseball, see:
- 1976 Baseball Season
- 1978 Baseball Season
- Baseball History
- How Baseball Works
- How the Baseball Hall of Fame Works
- How Minor League Baseball Teams Work
- Babe Ruth