|1976 American League Championship Series|
|Umpires||Joe Brinkman, Larry Barnett, George Maloney, Bill Haller, Art Frantz, Larry McCoy|
|TV announcers||Bob Uecker (Game 1), Keith Jackson (Games 2–5), Howard Cosell and Reggie Jackson|
|Radio announcers||Ernie Harwell and Ned Martin|
New York won the series, 3–2.
|1||October 9||New York Yankees – 4, Kansas City Royals – 1||Royals Stadium||2:09||41,077|
|2||October 10||New York Yankees – 3, Kansas City Royals – 7||Royals Stadium||2:45||41,091|
|3||October 12||Kansas City Royals – 3, New York Yankees – 5||Yankee Stadium||3:00||56,808|
|4||October 13||Kansas City Royals – 7, New York Yankees – 4||Yankee Stadium||2:50||56,355|
|5||October 14||Kansas City Royals – 6, New York Yankees – 7||Yankee Stadium||3:13||56,821|
|WP: Catfish Hunter (1–0) LP: Larry Gura (0–1)|
The opener was played on a bright Saturday afternoon at Royals Stadium and pitted Yankee ace Jim "Catfish" Hunter against left-hander and ex-Yankee Larry Gura. The Yankees got off to a quick start, scoring two in the first aided by a pair of George Brett throwing errors. Hunter was in top form and went the distance, not going to a three-ball count the entire game. While the Royals were able to halve that margin going into the ninth, Roy White's two-run double in the top of the frame gave the Yanks two insurance runs that were the final scoring in a tidy 4–1 win.
|WP: Paul Splittorff (1–0) LP: Ed Figueroa (0–1)|
Five Yankee errors helped key the Royals series-tying win. Lefty Paul Splittorff was solid with 5 2⁄3 innings of work in relief of Brooklyn native Dennis Leonard, while Yankee reliever Dick Tidrow was ineffective and permitted three more Kansas City runs to score in the eighth after relieving starter Ed Figueroa with one out in the sixth. The series, now tied at one, moved to New York and newly remodelled Yankee Stadium for the remaining three games.
|WP: Dock Ellis (1–0) LP: Andy Hassler (0–1) Sv: Sparky Lyle (1)|
NYY: Chris Chambliss (1)
The first Yankee post-season home game since 1964 started ominously for the Bombers, as the Royals tagged righty Dock Ellis for three runs in the first. He settled down immediately after though and went eight solid innings, aided by several double plays and two base runners caught stealing. The Yankees narrowed the margin to one in the fourth on a Chris Chambliss two-run homer off Andy Hassler and then tacked on three more in the sixth, as Kansas City manager Whitey Herzog carted in four relievers in that inning alone. Sparky Lyle got the save by pitching a scoreless ninth inning, as the Bronx Bombers took a two games to one lead.
|WP: Doug Bird (1–0) LP: Catfish Hunter (1–1) Sv: Steve Mingori (1)|
NYY: Graig Nettles 2 (2)
Hoping to wrap up the series in four games, Yankee manager Billy Martin brought back Catfish Hunter on three days' rest while the Royals did the same, bringing back Larry Gura. Neither fared well, as Gura gave up six hits and two runs in two innings, while Hunter lasted three and surrendered five runs on five hits. Though the Yankees' bullpen was able to hold Kansas City to only two runs over six innings, winning pitcher Doug Bird only gave up one in 4 2⁄3, while lefty Steve Mingori pitched 2 1⁄3 and allowed only one tally, picking up the save. The Yankee offense was highlighted by Graig Nettles' two homers and three RBI. The series was then knotted at two, with a deciding Game 5 to be played the next night.
|WP: Dick Tidrow (1–0) LP: Mark Littell (0–1)|
KC: John Mayberry (1), George Brett (1)
NYY: Chris Chambliss (2)
The deciding game was a fitting ending to a thrilling series, as both teams fought tooth and nail to bring home the AL flag. It culminated in a moment of sheer, unbridled joy for the winners and stunned disbelief for the losers. The Yankees started Ed Figueroa on three days rest, as the Royals did likewise, starting Dennis Leonard. The Royals jumped out on top in the first, as Brett doubled and scored on John Mayberry's two-run homer. The Yankees quickly countered in their half, with Mickey Rivers tripling and scoring on Roy White's infield single. White went to third after Thurman Munson singled. Herzog removed Leonard and brought in Game 2 winner Paul Splittorff, who limited the damage by allowing only Chambliss' sacrifice fly. The Royals countered with one in the second, but the Yanks jumped ahead in the third, as they tacked on two; one on a Munson single and the other on a Chambliss' ground out. The Yanks added on in the sixth, scoring twice; once on a Munson single and a second time on a Brett throwing error. Figueroa held that lead going into the eighth. After Al Cowens led off with a single, Billy Martin brought in lefty Grant Jackson. He allowed a single to pinch hitter Jim Wohlford. Brett then stunned the sell-out crowd of 56,821 by planting Jackson's second pitch just over the short right-field wall, tying the game at six. All this was a prelude to the bottom of the ninth inning, when, at 11:43 pm, Chris Chambliss hit Kansas City reliever Mark Littell's first pitch over the right center field wall. Thousands of fans vaulted over the dugouts and walls and celebrated. Chambliss reached second, then dodged hordes of spectators in trying to reach third. He then proceeded to make a beeline towards the safety of the clubhouse, as the area around home plate and much of the field was covered with celebrating fans. Some time later, Chambliss was escorted back out onto the field to touch home, but the plate had been stolen. He touched the area where the plate had been. He was later informed by the umpires that given the circumstances of the situation, they would have counted the run regardless. It was the Yankees first pennant in 12 years.
|New York Yankees||4||3||4||2||0||5||1||0||4||23||55||6|
|Kansas City Royals||7||4||0||2||0||3||0||8||0||24||40||4|
|Total attendance: 252,152 Average attendance: 50,430|
Chambliss was later cornered in the Yankee locker room by Graig Nettles, who asked him if he had touched home. Chambliss responded that he had not, because there were too many people in the way. Nettles then told him that home plate umpire Art Frantz was waiting for him out on the field for him to touch home so that the home run could be ruled official. Chambliss was then escorted out to the field and touched the area where home had been.
Kansas City manager Whitey Herzog did not attempt to contest the home run, although major league rules state that a player must touch all the bases on any hit or when running the bases. In this case, the mayhem on the field made that task impossible, and the magnitude of the game was such that Herzog would have never tried to have it restarted or protested it due to a technicality.
As a result, MLB amended rule 4.09 calling it "The Chris Chambliss Rule"  The exception states: Rule 4.09(b) Comment: An exception will be if fans rush onto the field and physically prevent the runner from touching home plate or the batter from touching first base. In such cases, the umpires shall award the runner the base because of the obstruction by the fans.
Brett's home run was the first of nine that he hit in ALCS competition. Six of those came against the Yankees: one in 1976, three in 1978, and two in 1980. His other three ALCS home runs, which came in the 1985 ALCS, were all against one pitcher, Doyle Alexander of the Blue Jays. Alexander was a Yankee in 1976. He warmed up in the bullpen during Game 5, and started the first game of the World Series for them against the Cincinnati Reds.
The series also contained some interesting side stories. Kansas City pitcher Larry Gura publicly criticized Yankee manager Billy Martin prior to the series, saying that Martin treated him shabbily in the short time Martin was his manager in New York. Gura was on the Yankees' roster from spring training till the time he was traded to Kansas City on May 16. He did not appear in any games for the Yankees in that time. Martin responded by saying that if he had him there with the Yankees at that moment, he'd get rid of him again. George Brett also had harsh words for Martin, as he claimed that Martin had lied to his brother, pitcher Ken Brett, when Ken spent the first two months of 1976 with the Yanks. George's brother appeared in two games for the Yankees over two months, and was then traded to the Chicago White Sox.
This was the first of three consecutive ALCS between the two teams. They also went head to head in 1977 and 1978, with the Yankees coming out on top again. The Royals, however, exacted a big measure of revenge when they met again in the 1980 ALCS and swept the Bombers in three straight.
The 1976 Kansas City Royals season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Royals finishing first in the American League West with a record of 90 wins and 72 losses. They lost in the 1976 American League Championship Series to the New York Yankees, three games to two.Art Frantz
Arthur Frank Frantz (March 1, 1921 – January 24, 2008) was an American umpire in Major League Baseball who worked in the American League from 1969 to 1977. He was crew chief for the 1975 World Series, and also officiated in the American League Championship Series in 1972 and 1976 as well as the 1974 All-Star Game.Billy Martin
Alfred Manuel Martin Jr. (May 16, 1928 – December 25, 1989), commonly called Billy, was an American Major League Baseball second baseman and manager who, as well as leading other teams, was five times the manager of the New York Yankees. Known first as a scrappy infielder who made considerable contributions to the championship Yankee teams of the 1950s, he built a reputation as a manager who would initially make bad teams good, and then be fired amid dysfunction. In each of his stints with the Yankees, he managed them to winning records before being fired or forced to resign by team owner George Steinbrenner, usually amid a well-publicized scandal such as Martin's involvement in an alcohol-fueled fight.
Martin was born in a working-class section of Berkeley, California. His skill as a baseball player gave him a route out of his home town. Signed by the Pacific Coast League Oakland Oaks, Martin learned much from the man who would manage him both in Oakland and in New York, Casey Stengel, and enjoyed a close relationship with him. Martin's spectacular catch of a wind-blown Jackie Robinson popup late in Game Seven of the 1952 World Series saved that Series for the Yankees, and he was the hitting star of the 1953 World Series, earning the Most Valuable Player award in the Yankee victory. He missed most of two seasons, 1954 and 1955, after being drafted into the Army, and his abilities never fully returned; the Yankees traded him after a brawl at the Copacabana club in New York during the 1957 season. Martin bitterly resented being traded, and did not speak to Stengel for years, a time during which Martin completed his playing career, appearing with a series of also-ran baseball teams.
The last team for whom Martin played, the Minnesota Twins, gave him a job as a scout, and he spent most of the 1960s with them, becoming a coach in 1965. After a successful managerial debut with the minor-league Denver Bears, Martin was made Twins manager in 1969, and led the club to the American League West title, but was fired after the season. He then was hired by a declining Detroit Tigers franchise in 1971, and led the team to an American League East title in 1972 before being fired by the Tigers late in the 1973 season. He was quickly hired by the Texas Rangers, and turned them for a season (1974) into a winning team, but was fired amid conflict with ownership in 1975. He was almost immediately hired by the Yankees.
As Yankee manager, Martin led the team to consecutive American League pennants in 1976 and 1977; the Yankees were swept in the 1976 World Series by the Cincinnati Reds but triumphed over the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games in the 1977 World Series. The 1977 season saw season-long conflict between Martin and Steinbrenner, as well as between the manager and Yankee slugger Reggie Jackson, including a near brawl between the two in the dugout on national television, but culminated in Martin's only world championship as a manager. He was forced to resign midway through the 1978 season after saying of Jackson and Steinbrenner, "one's a born liar, and the other's convicted"; less than a week later, the news that he would return as manager in a future season was announced to a huge ovation from the Yankee Stadium crowd. He returned in 1979, but was fired at season's end by Steinbrenner. From 1980 to 1982, he managed the Oakland A's, earning a division title with an aggressive style of play known as "Billyball", but he was fired after the 1982 season. He was rehired by the Yankees, whom he managed three more times, each for a season or less and each ending in his firing by Steinbrenner. Martin died in an automobile accident on Christmas night, 1989, and is fondly remembered by many Yankee fans.Chris Chambliss
Carroll Christopher Chambliss (born December 26, 1948) is an American professional baseball player and coach. He played in Major League Baseball from 1971 to 1988 for the Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves. He served as a coach for the Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, and Seattle Mariners.
Chambliss won the American League Rookie of the Year Award with the Indians in 1971. He was an All-Star with the Yankees in 1976, the same year he hit the series-winning home run in the 1976 American League Championship Series. He was a member of the Yankees' 1977 and 1978 World Series championship teams, both against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and won the Gold Glove Award in 1978. Chambliss went on to win four more World Series championships as the hitting coach for the Yankees in 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2000.Dave Nelson
David Earl Nelson (June 20, 1944 – April 22, 2018) was an American professional baseball infielder. He played in Major League Baseball for the Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators / Texas Rangers, and Kansas City Royals from 1968 through 1977. He also served as one of the broadcasters for the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team on Fox Sports Wisconsin.
During a period in the early 2010 season, Nelson was the team's interim radio color commentator over the Brewers Radio Network during road games outside of Chicago while Bob Uecker recovered from heart surgery to repair an aortic valve. He was the team's first base coach for four years prior to the end of his contract. He helped to develop many players, including Kenny Lofton, Scott Podsednik and Rickie Weeks.Dock Ellis
Dock Phillip Ellis, Jr. (March 11, 1945 – December 19, 2008) was an American professional baseball player. A pitcher, Ellis played in Major League Baseball from 1968 through 1979 for the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Texas Rangers, and New York Mets. In his MLB career, he had a 138–119 (.537) record, a 3.46 earned run average, and 1,136 strikeouts.
Ellis threw a no-hitter on June 12, 1970, and later stated that he accomplished the feat under the influence of LSD. Reporters at the game say they do not believe the claim. Ellis was the starting pitcher for the National League in the All-Star Game in 1971 and later that year, the Pirates were World Series champions. Joining the Yankees in 1976, he helped lead the team to the American League pennant, and was named the league's Comeback Player of the Year.
Ellis was an outspoken individual who advocated for the rights of players and African Americans. He also had a substance abuse problem, and he acknowledged after his retirement that he never pitched without the use of drugs. After going into treatment Ellis remained sober and devoted the remainder of his life to counseling others with substance use disorder in treatment centers and prisons. He died of a liver ailment at age 63 in 2008.Elliott Maddox
Elliott Maddox (born December 21, 1947) is a former Major League Baseball player.George Brett
George Howard Brett (born May 15, 1953) is a retired American baseball third baseman and designated hitter who played 21 years in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Kansas City Royals.
Brett's 3,154 career hits are the most by any third baseman in major league history and 16th all-time. He is one of four players in MLB history to accumulate 3,000 hits, 300 home runs, and a career .300 batting average (the others being Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Stan Musial; Albert Pujols currently fulfills all three conditions, but is still an active player). He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999 on the first ballot and is the only player in MLB history to win a batting title in three different decades.
Brett was named the Royals' interim hitting coach in 2013 on May 30, but stepped down from the position on July 25 in order to resume his position of vice president of baseball operations.History of the New York Yankees
The history of the New York Yankees Major League Baseball (MLB) team spans more than a century. Frank J. Farrell and William Stephen Devery bought the rights to an American League (AL) club in New York City after the 1902 season. The team, which became known as the Yankees in 1913, rarely contended for the AL championship before the acquisition of outfielder Babe Ruth after the 1919 season. With Ruth in the lineup, the Yankees won their first AL title in 1921, followed by their first World Series championship in 1923. Ruth and first baseman Lou Gehrig were part of the team's Murderers' Row lineup, which led the Yankees to a then-AL record 110 wins and a Series championship in 1927 under Miller Huggins. They repeated as World Series winners in 1928, and their next title came under manager Joe McCarthy in 1932.
The Yankees won the World Series every year from 1936 to 1939 with a team that featured Gehrig and outfielder Joe DiMaggio, who recorded a record hitting streak during New York's 1941 championship season. New York set a major league record by winning five consecutive championships from 1949 to 1953, and appeared in the World Series nine times from 1955 to 1964. Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Whitey Ford were among the players fielded by the Yankees during the era. After the 1964 season, a lack of effective replacements for aging players caused the franchise to decline on the field, and the team became a money-loser for owners CBS while playing in an aging stadium.
George Steinbrenner bought the club in 1973 and regularly invested in new talent, using free agency to acquire top players. Yankee Stadium was renovated and reopened in 1976 as the home of a more competitive Yankees team. Despite clubhouse disputes, the team reached the World Series four times between 1976 and 1981 and claimed the championship in 1977 and 1978. New York continued to pursue their strategy of signing free agents into the 1980s, but with less success, and the team eventually sank into mediocrity after 1981. In the early 1990s, the team began to improve as their roster was rebuilt around young players from their minor league system, including Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. After earning a playoff berth in 1995, the Yankees won four of the next five World Series, and the 1998–2000 teams were the last in MLB to win three straight Series titles.
As the 2000s progressed, the Yankees' rivalry with the Boston Red Sox increased in intensity as the sides met multiple times in the American League Championship Series (ALCS), trading victories in 2003 and 2004. New York regularly reached the postseason, but were often defeated in the first two rounds. In 2009, the Yankees opened a new Yankee Stadium and won the World Series for the 27th time in team history, an MLB record. The furthest the Yankees have gone in the postseason since then is the ALCS, in 2010, 2012, and 2017.Jim Mason (baseball)
James Percy Mason (born August 14, 1950), is an American Major League Baseball shortstop, who played nine seasons in the major leagues, from 1971 to 1979, for the Washington Senators, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, and Montreal Expos.
Born in the Alabama port city of Mobile, Mason was a member of the Yankees during the 1976 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. Although he did not play in the 1976 American League Championship Series, he played three games in the World Series. In his only plate appearance of the series, Mason hit a home run off Pat Zachry. This turned out to be Mason's only postseason appearance, and the Yankees' only home run of their four-game series loss.
Because of Mason's low batting average, which hovered just over .200, his name, along with that of catcher Leo Dixon, was proposed for inclusion in a new term for poor hitting called the Mason Dixon Line (.204), which is closer to .200 than the Mendoza Line of Mario Mendoza (.215).Mason is one of a handful of players to hit four doubles in one game, doing so while with the Yankees against his former team, the Rangers, at Arlington Stadium on July 8, 1974.Keith Jackson
Keith Max Jackson (October 18, 1928 – January 12, 2018) was an American sports commentator, journalist, author and radio personality, known for his career with ABC Sports (1966–2006). While he covered a variety of sports over his career, he is best known for his coverage of college football from 1952 until 2006, and his distinctive voice, with its deep cadence and operatic tone considered "like Edward R. Murrow reporting on World War II, the voice of ultimate authority in college football."List of events at Yankee Stadium (1923)
Yankee Stadium was a stadium that opened in 1923 and closed in 2008. It was primarily the home field of the New York Yankees professional baseball club for over eight decades, but it also hosted football games, boxing matches, live concerts, and Papal visits in its 85 years of existence.Mark Littell
Mark Alan Littell (born January 17, 1953), is a professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues from 1973 to 1982 for the Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals. Littell had a lifetime ERA of 3.32 and saved 56 games from 1976 to 1981. Bone spurs in his elbow cut his career short, and Littell retired midway through the 1982 season at the age of 29.
Primarily a relief pitcher, Littell served at the Royals' closer in 1976–1977, and is best remembered for giving up a walk-off home run to New York Yankees first baseman Chris Chambliss to end the 1976 American League Championship Series. It was only the second home run he allowed in more than 100 innings pitched that year.
Two years later, the Royals dealt Littell, along with catcher Buck Martinez, to the Cardinals in exchange for relief pitcher Al Hrabosky.Pitch invasion
A pitch invasion (known in North America as field invasion, field intrusion, rushing the field or storming the field) occurs when an individual or a crowd of people watching a sporting event run onto the playing area to celebrate or protest an incident. Pitch invasions may involve individual people or capacity crowds. Charges can be laid, resulting in fines or jail time.Sandy Alomar Sr.
Santos Alomar Conde Sr. (; Spanish pronunciation: [aloˈmaɾ]; born October 19, 1943), is a former Major League Baseball second baseman who played for the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves (1964–66), New York Mets (1967), Chicago White Sox (1967–69), California Angels (1969–74), New York Yankees (1974–76), and Texas Rangers (1977–78). Alomar was a switch-hitter and threw right-handed. He is the father of former Major League catcher and current Cleveland Indians first base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. and Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar.Walk-off home run
In baseball, a walk-off home run is a home run that ends the game. It must be a home run that gives the home team the lead (and consequently, the win) in the bottom of the final inning of the game. Thus the losing team (the visiting team) must then "walk off" the field immediately afterward, rather than finishing the inning, and the winning team (the home team) can "walk off" the field with the win. The winning runs must still be counted at home plate.