Below are more headlines from the 1976 baseball season, including stellar performances by Joe Morgan and George Foster.
Thurman Munson Named 1976 American League MVP
Thurman Munson was in his prime from 1976-1978. His 1976 stats -- a .302 average, 17 homers, 105 RBI -- earned him the 1976 American League MVP Award. Although Munson was well-respected throughout the majors, he was not without his quirks. Detroit's Norm Cash didn't care for his grooming habits, for example. "Where'd ya get that haircut," Cash once asked Munson. "In a pet shop?"
Graig Nettles Leads American League in Dingers
Graig Nettles once remarked that as a kid he wanted to either join the circus or become a big league player. As a Yankee, he fulfilled both ambitions. In 1976, he led the American League in homers with 32. By 1988, the year he retired, he had collected 390 homers (including an American League-record 319 dingers by a third baseman).
George Hendrick: 25 HRs, 81 RBI
George Hendrick had a couple of nicknames: Those who didn't appreciate his laid-back style of play dubbed him "Jogging George"; members of the press found the alias "Silent George" more fitting. Hendrick spent his last season with the Indians in 1976, posting 25 homers and 81 RBI. In his four seasons with the Tribe, he averaged 22 homers and 74 RBI per season.
Joe Morgan: Tops Across Board
No second baseman since Rogers Hornsby had better offensive statistics than Joe Morgan. Enjoying his best season in 1976, Morgan batted .320 with 27 homers and 111 RBI to win his second consecutive MVP Award. For good measure, he topped the National League in runs produced (197), OBP (.453), slugging average (.576), and stolen base percentage (87.0).
Catfish Hunter Bags 17 Triumphs
Catfish Hunter moved from Oakland to New York in 1975, then helped lead the Yankees to a pennant in 1976. His 17 wins in 1976 brought his total to 40 victories in his first two seasons with the Yankees. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987, Hunter said in his speech that merely playing for both Charley Finley and George Steinbrenner qualified him for enshrinement.
George Foster on Fire
After taking seven years to warm up, George Foster got hot in 1976. Showcasing his power, Foster bested the National League in RBI with 121 to take the first of three consecutive RBI titles (tying a major league record). He also whacked 29 homers that year (fourth in the circuit).
Reds Roll Over the Yankees
Even the fiery protest of Yankee skipper Billy Martin couldn't hold back the Reds' onslaught in the 1976 World Series. Martin's ballclub was blown away in almost every category during the four-game tournament: The Reds scored 22 runs, whacked four homers, and posted a .313 team average; the Yankees scored eight runs, nailed a single homer, and tallied a .222 average.
Thurman Munson Shines in 1976 World Series
Thurman Munson slides under the throw to Johnny Bench in game four of the 1976 World Series. The fall classic was, in many respects, Munson's finest hour, as his clutch hitting was matched only by Bench, the Series MVP. Munson hit .529, with nine hits in 17 at-bats.
Pete Rose Shuts Down the 1976 Philadelphia Phillies
With Pete Rose and the Big Red Machine humming, the Phillies never had a chance in the National League Championship Series. The Phillies outhit the Reds in games two and three, but the Reds outscored the Phillies 19-11. Rose, for his part, hit .429 in the sweep.
Find highlights from the 1976 baseball season on the next page.