On Monday I wrote about the 1978 Red Sox. Today I give you some “78” memorabilia to bring back that great season.
Here’s a good place to start. Rice was in his fourth full season and had become the most feared hitter in baseball. He led the league in hits, triples, home runs, RBI, slugging percentage, OPS and he became the first American League player to amass 400 total bases since Joe DiMaggio did it in 1936. no American Leaguer has done it since. He was the 1978 MVP.
He also graced the cover of the second edition of the ’78’ Red Sox yearbook.
Carlton Fisk was on the cover of the first edition.
The 1978 skipper Don Zimmer.
Rick Burleson graced the cover of a Red Sox pocket Schedule for 1978. “The Rooster” was the anchor of the Red Sox infield and the American League all-star shortstop in 1977, ’78’ and ’79’.
The Captain, senior citizen and according to the October issue of Sport Magazine the Red Sox patron saint was Carl Yastrzemski. The 38-year-old “utility man” played 63 games in left field, seven in center, 47 at first base and 25 at the DH spot. He hit .277 with 17 home runs and 81 RBI.
Rice was gracing the covers of sports publications for the entire summer. Here’s a May issue of the Sporting News.
The August 1978 edition to Baseball Digest.
He also found his way to the cover of the WSBK TV 38 pocket schedule.
The Sport Magazine cover of May 1978 featured the Red Sox left fielder who played in all 163 games of the ’78’ season.
The 1978 September issue of the Sporting News featured Red Sox all-star catcher Carlton Fisk. He hit .284 with 20 home runs and 88 RBI in 1978.
Freddy Lynn, the first player in major league history to win the Rookie of the Year Award and the MVP in the same season (1975) hit .298 with 22 home runs and 82 RBI in 1978.
There were several versions of Red Sox programs throughout the 1978 season, this is the first edition of that historic season. Featured are top left to right, second baseman Denny Doyle, Yaz and Burleson, middle George Scott, Fisk and third baseman Butch Hobson, with Rice and Lynn on the bottom.
The 1978 Red Sox media guide.
Dennis Eckersley was 20-8 for the ’78’ Sox after being acquired late in spring training in a blockbuster trade with the Indians.
The ticket stub remains a favorite memorabilia piece of fans and has been throughout the ages. This game marks the 69th game at Fenway Park, a game the Sox dropped to Oakland, 4-3.
The playoff game won by the Yankees 5-4.
One of my favorite types of baseball memorabilia is the scored program. Here is one from the ’78’ playoff game.
I wrote on Monday that the 1978 Red Sox team did not choke and I will stand by that until my dying day. Did they squander their lead? No doubt. They went from four games up September 7th to three and a half back on September 16th. They sank like a rock, however, and this is a big however, from that point on they went 11-2 the rest of the way to catch the Yankees on the last day! Included in those 11 wins was eight in a row! Eight in a row when one loss would have in all likely ended it all! That, my friends is not the performance of a choking team. To say the Red Sox choked is to take away from the Yankees a tremendous summer where they went 40-16 the months of August and September, that is .714 baseball!
The 1978 Red Sox team won 99 games. The only Red Sox teams to win more games in a season are the 1906, ’12’, ’15’ and ’46’ teams. That’s it! The 1978 Red Sox team is the best baseball team I have ever seen that did not win a pennant!
And so it is on this day in Fenway Park history, June 13, 2012.