Continued from my last blog…
The Wheels Fall Off the Trolley Dodger
Although years removed from their time in Brooklyn, there were still hundreds of New York residents who worshiped the Dodgers. Although the series was tied at 2-2, there was a sense of urgency missing from the LA dugout. It was as if one play had knocked the wheels off their trolley.
Los Angeles chipped away early, building a two run lead heading into the bottom of the 3rd inning. That point seemed to be the beginning of the end. New York pushed across seven runs in the 3rd and 4th innings and then coasted to an easy 12-2 shellacking.
No Sunshine in Southern California
A series that left California with such promise now saw the Dodgers one game from losing to their arch rivals for a second consecutive year. LA would score in their first at bat for the second straight game, but other than a lone run in the 3rd inning, there would be no sunshine in Southern California on this day.
The Yankees would push across three runs in their half the 2nd inning and that is all starter Catfish Hunter would need. Hunter avoided trouble a couple of times, but handed the ball over to Yankee closer Goose Gossage with a five run advantage. The Goose would slam the door shut on the Dodger season, and New York would repeat as champions.
As late as July 1978, no one even thought the Yankees would be back in the World Series. A host of injuries left them double-digit games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East. By going an astonishing 48-20 to close the season, they earned a one-game winner-take-all match with Boston for the division title.
New York would meet Kansas City for a second year in a row, but dispatched them handily in four games. It set up a rematch of the 1977 series between two of the most fabled franchises in professional baseball.
For a couple games it looked the year of the Dodger. However, as the last out call echoed across Chavez Ravine, the New York Yankees had earned their 22nd World Series Championship, culminating maybe the most thrilling years in the clubs storied history.