The 1976 National League Championship Series faced off the Cincinnati Reds (known for their nickname at the time, The Big Red Machine) and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Reds swept the best-of-five series in three games, winning easily in the first two games, and in their last at bat in Game 3.
Stars of the series for the Reds included batters Johnny Bench (4 for 12, HR), Dave Concepción (4 runs scored), George Foster (2 H, both home runs), Ken Griffey (5 for 13, triple), Pete Rose (6 for 14, 2 RBIs, 3 runs scored), and pitchers Don Gullett (win, 8 IP, 2 hits), Pedro Borbón (4 1⁄3 IP, 0.00 ERA), and Pat Zachry (win, 5 IP, 3 SO).
|1976 National League Championship Series|
|Umpires||Ed Sudol, Jerry Dale, Dick Stello, Ed Vargo, Doug Harvey, Terry Tata|
|TV announcers||Al Michaels, Warner Wolf and Tom Seaver|
|Radio announcers||Ralph Kiner and Jerry Coleman|
Cincinnati won the series, 3–0.
|1||October 9||Cincinnati Reds – 6, Philadelphia Phillies – 3||Veterans Stadium||2:39||62,640|
|2||October 10||Cincinnati Reds – 6, Philadelphia Phillies – 2||Veterans Stadium||2:24||62,651|
|3||October 12||Philadelphia Phillies – 6, Cincinnati Reds – 7||Riverfront Stadium||2:43||55,047|
|WP: Don Gullett (1–0) LP: Steve Carlton (0–1)|
CIN: George Foster (1)
Reds starter Don Gullett held the Phils to two hits in eight strong innings, but allowed them to score first when Dave Cash hit a leadoff double, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Mike Schmidt's sacrifice fly. Gullett then walked three to load the bases, but got Tim McCarver to fly out to end the inning. The Reds tied the game in the third on Tony Perez's sacrifice fly off of Steve Carlton, then took the lead in the sixth on George Foster's home run. After a double and error put two on, Gullett's RBI single made it 3–1 Reds. After allowing a leadoff double and walk in the eighth, Carlton was replaced by Tug McGraw, who allowed a one-out two-run double to Gullett and RBI double to Pete Rose. The Phillies attempted to rally in the ninth off of Rawly Eastwick. Garry Maddox hit a leadoff single and scored on Greg Luzinski's double. After Dick Allen singled, Jay Johnstone's RBI single made it 6–3 Reds, but Eastwick retired the next two batters to end the game and give the Reds a 1–0 series lead.
|WP: Pat Zachry (1–0) LP: Jim Lonborg (0–1) Sv: Pedro Borbón (1)|
PHI: Greg Luzinski (1)
Buoyed by an RBI single by Bob Boone in the second after two leadoff singles and a homer by Greg Luzinski in the fifth off of Pat Zachry, Phils starter Jim Lonborg no-hit the Reds until the sixth. After giving up a leadoff walk, one-out RBI single to Pete Rose, followed by another single by Ken Griffey, Lonborg was inexplicably removed from the game by manager Danny Ozark. Gene Garber came in relief and after an intentional walk loaded the bases, two runs came across on an error by first baseman Dick Allen on a ball hit by Tony Pérez, then George Foster's RBI groundout made it 4–2 Reds. They added to their lead next inning on Griffey's RBI single off of Tug McGraw and Perez's sacrifice fly off of Ron Reed. Pedro Borbon pitched the last four innings to close to give the Reds a 2–0 series lead heading home.
|WP: Rawly Eastwick (1–0) LP: Gene Garber (0–1)|
CIN: George Foster (2), Johnny Bench (1)
Once again, the Phillies got a strong starting pitching performance that went for naught. Jim Kaat held the Reds to one hit after six innings. Meanwhile, his teammates provided him a 3–0 lead via a consecutive doubles in the fourth by Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzinski off of Gary Nolan and RBI doubles by Garry Maddox and Schmidt in the seventh after a leadoff walk off of Manny Sarmiento.
But in the bottom of the seventh, Kaat began to lose it. Ken Griffey led off with a single, Joe Morgan walked. Ron Reed then replaced Kaat to face Tony Pérez, who promptly singled home Griffey. George Foster followed with a sacrifice fly. After a walk to Johnny Bench, Reed retired Dave Concepción, but then surrendered a two-run triple to César Gerónimo to put the Reds ahead 4–3.
In the eighth, the Phillies rallied against Reds closer Rawly Eastwick. Jay Johnstone led off with a double and went to third on a wild pitch as Bob Boone walked. Larry Bowa doubled in Johnstone and Dave Cash hit a sacrifice fly to give the Phillies the lead at 5–4. The Phillies added another run in the top of the ninth on an RBI triple by Johnstone to make it 6–4.
With Reed still on the mound in the ninth, Foster and Bench hit back-to-back homers to tie the game. Gene Garber relieved and promptly gave up a single to Concepción. Tom Underwood came on to surrender a walk to Geronimo. Pinch-hitter Ed Armbrister sacrificed the runners to second and third. Underwood then intentionally walked Pete Rose to load the bases. With the infield drawn in, Griffey hit a high bouncer toward Bobby Tolan playing first. Tolan charged, but the ball got past him and Concepción scored to send the Reds to their second straight World Series.
|Total attendance: 180,338 Average attendance: 60,113|
The 1976 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The Reds entered the season as the reigning world champs. The Reds dominated the league all season, and won their second consecutive National League West title with a record of 102–60, best record in MLB and finished 10 games ahead of the runner-up Los Angeles Dodgers. They went on to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1976 National League Championship Series in three straight games, and then win their second consecutive World Series title in four straight games over the New York Yankees. They were the third and most recent National League team to achieve this distinction, and the first since the 1921–22 New York Giants. The Reds drew 2,629,708 fans to their home games at Riverfront Stadium, an all-time franchise attendance record. As mentioned above, the Reds swept through the entire postseason with their sweeps of the Phillies and Yankees, achieving a record of 7-0. As of 2018, the Reds are the only team in baseball history to sweep through an entire postseason since the addition of divisions.1976 Philadelphia Phillies season
The 1976 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 94th season in the history of the franchise. The Phillies won their first National League East title, as they compiled a record of 101–61, nine games ahead of the second-place Pittsburgh Pirates, and won 100 games or more for the first time in franchise history.
The Phillies lost the NLCS, 3–0 to the Cincinnati Reds. Danny Ozark managed the Phillies, as they played their home games at Veterans Stadium, where the All-Star Game was played that season.1977 National League Championship Series
The 1977 National League Championship Series was a best-of-five matchup between the West Division champion Los Angeles Dodgers and the East Division champion Philadelphia Phillies. The Dodgers beat the Phillies three games to one and went on to lose the 1977 World Series to the New York Yankees.Bob Howsam
Robert Lee Howsam (February 28, 1918 – February 19, 2008) was an executive in American professional sport who, in 1959, played a key role in establishing two leagues—the American Football League, which succeeded and merged with the National Football League, and baseball's Continental League, which never played a game but forced expansion of Major League Baseball from 16 to 20 teams in 1961–62. Howsam later became further well known in baseball as the highly successful general manager and club president of the Cincinnati Reds during the "Big Red Machine" dynasty of the 1970s.
Born in Denver, Howsam attended the University of Colorado and served as a U.S. Navy pilot during World War II. He was the son-in-law of Edwin C. Johnson, a three-term United States Senator and two-term governor of Colorado. Johnson also was involved with professional baseball as founder and first president of the postwar Class A Western League, an upper-level minor league that played from 1947 to 1958.Dick Allen
Richard Anthony Allen (born March 8, 1942) is an American former professional baseball player. During his 15-season Major League Baseball (MLB) career, he appeared primarily as a first baseman, third baseman, and outfielder, most notably for the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox, and is ranked among his sport's top offensive producers of the 1960s and early 1970s.
Allen was an All-Star in seven seasons. He won the 1964 National League (NL) Rookie of the Year Award and the 1972 American League (AL) Most Valuable Player Award. He also led the AL in home runs for two seasons; led the NL in slugging percentage one season and the AL in two seasons, respectively; and led each major league in on-base percentage, one season apiece. His .534 career slugging percentage ranks among the highest in what was an era marked by low offensive production.
Allen's older brother Hank was a reserve outfielder for three AL teams and his younger brother Ron was briefly a first baseman with the 1972 St. Louis Cardinals.
In 2014, Allen appeared for the first time as a candidate on the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Golden Era Committee election ballot for possible Hall of Fame consideration in 2015. He and the other candidates all missed getting elected by the committee. The Committee meets and votes on 10 selected candidates from the 1947 to 1972 era every three years. Allen was one vote short of the required 12 votes needed for election.Doug Flynn
Robert Douglas Flynn, Jr. (born April 18, 1951) is a former Major League Baseball infielder. He was one of the players sent to the New York Mets in exchange for Tom Seaver.George Foster (baseball)
George Arthur Foster (born December 1, 1948) is an American former professional baseball outfielder, who played in Major League Baseball from 1969 to 1986. One of the most feared right-handed sluggers of his era, he was a key piece of the Cincinnati Reds' "Big Red Machine" that won consecutive World Series in 1975 and 1976.
Foster led the National League in home runs in 1977 and 1978, and in RBIs in 1976, 1977, and 1978. He won the NL's Most Valuable Player Award in 1977 and a Silver Slugger Award in 1981.Jay Johnstone
John William Johnstone Jr. (born November 20, 1945) is an American former professional baseball player, active from 1966 to 1985 for the California Angels, Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Chicago Cubs. Johnstone was known as a versatile outfielder with a good sense of humor, known for keeping clubhouses loose with pranks and gimmicks. He later served as a radio color commentator for the Yankees (1989–1990) and Phillies (1992–1993).Jerry Martin (baseball)
Jerry Lindsey Martin (born May 11, 1949) is an American former Professional baseball outfielder. He spent 11 years in Major League Baseball, from 1974 to 1984. On November 17, 1983, Martin and Kansas City Royals teammates Willie Aikens and Willie Wilson each received three-month prison terms on misdemeanor cocaine possession charges. They became the first active major leaguers to serve jail time.Johnny Oates
Johnny Lane Oates (January 21, 1946 – December 24, 2004) was an American professional baseball catcher, coach, and manager, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, and New York Yankees from 1970 to 1981. During his playing career, He was a light-hitting player who was valued for his defensive skills and played most of his career as a reserve player. It was as a big league manager that Oates experienced his greatest success, when, under his leadership, the Texas Rangers won three American League Western Division titles.Mike Lum
Michael Ken-Wai Lum (born October 27, 1945) is a former Major League Baseball player and coach who became the first American of Japanese ancestry to play in the major leagues when he debuted with the Atlanta Braves in 1967. He currently serves as the hitting coach with the GCL Pirates.Pat Zachry
Patrick Paul Zachry (born April 24, 1952) is a former professional baseball pitcher. He pitched in Major League Baseball from 1976 to 1985, and is likely best remembered as one of the players the Cincinnati Reds sent to the New York Mets in the infamous "Midnight Massacre".Pedro Borbón
Pedro Borbón Rodriguez (December 2, 1946 – June 4, 2012) was a relief pitcher who played Major League Baseball for 12 seasons (1969–1980) with four teams, including 10 seasons for the Cincinnati Reds (1970–1979), playing on two World Series winning teams.Ron Reed
Ronald Lee Reed (born November 2, 1942) is a former two sport star who spent two seasons as a forward in the National Basketball Association before spending nearly two decades as a Major League Baseball pitcher.Tug McGraw
Frank Edwin "Tug" McGraw, Jr. (August 30, 1944 – January 5, 2004) was an American professional baseball relief pitcher and the father of Country music singer and actor Tim McGraw. As a Major League Baseball (MLB) player, Tug McGraw is often remembered for coining the phrase, "Ya Gotta Believe", which became a popular rallying cry for the New York Mets teams of the mid-60s and early 70s, and for recording the final out, via a strikeout of the Kansas City Royals' Willie Wilson, in the 1980 World Series, thereby bringing the Philadelphia Phillies their first world championship. He was the last active big league player to have played under legendary manager Casey Stengel.