1978 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 1978 throughout the world.

List of years in baseball


Major League Baseball

  League Championship Series
World Series
East New York Yankees 3  
West Kansas City Royals 1  
    AL New York Yankees 4
  NL Los Angeles Dodgers 2
East Philadelphia Phillies 1
West Los Angeles Dodgers 3  

Other champions

Winter Leagues

Awards and honors

MLB statistical leaders

American League National League
AVG Rod Carew .333 Dave Parker .334
HR Jim Rice 46 George Foster 40
RBI Jim Rice 139 George Foster 120
Wins Ron Guidry 25 Gaylord Perry 21
ERA Ron Guidry 1.74 Craig Swan 2.43
Ks Nolan Ryan CAL 260 J. R. Richard HOU 303

Major league baseball final standings

American League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win % GB
East Division
1st New York Yankees 100   63 .613    --
2nd Boston Red Sox   99   64 .607   1.0
3rd Milwaukee Brewers   93   69 .574   6.5
4th Baltimore Orioles   90   71 .559   9.0
5th Detroit Tigers   86   76 .531 13.5
6th Cleveland Indians   69   90 .434 29.0
7th Toronto Blue Jays   59 102 .366 40.0
West Division
1st Kansas City Royals   92   70 .568    --
2nd Texas Rangers   87   75 .537   5.0
3rd California Angels   87   75 .537   5.0
4th Minnesota Twins   73   89 .451 19.0
5th Chicago White Sox   71   90 .441 20.5
6th Oakland Athletics   69   93 .426 23.0
7th Seattle Mariners   56 104 .350 35.0
National League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
East Division
1st Philadelphia Phillies 90 72 .556    --
2nd Pittsburgh Pirates 88 73 .547   1.5
3rd Chicago Cubs 79 83 .488 11.0
4th Montreal Expos 76 86 .469 14.0
5th St. Louis Cardinals 69 93 .426 21.0
6th New York Mets 66 96 .407 24.0
West Division
1st Los Angeles Dodgers 95 67 .586    --
2nd Cincinnati Reds 92 69 .571   2.5
3rd San Francisco Giants 89 73 .549   6.0
4th San Diego Padres 84 78 .519 11.0
5th Houston Astros 74 88 .457 21.0
6th Atlanta Braves 69 93 .426 26.0




  1. In his 12th major league season speckled with near-misses, Cincinnati's Tom Seaver finally hurls a no-hitter. The Cardinals are the 4–0 victims as Seaver strikes out 3 batters.
  2. Fresh off the Arizona State University campus with no minor league ball, the Atlanta Braves' Bob Horner homers in his first major league game off Bert Blyleven of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • June 17 – The Yankees' Ron Guidry strikes out 18 batters — 15 in 6 innings — in a 4–0 shutout of the California Angels, setting an American League record for left-handers. The victory raises the New York Yankee southpaw's record to 11–0.
  • June 30 – In the first game of a 10–9, 10–5 doubleheader loss to the Atlanta Braves, the San Francisco Giants' Willie McCovey hits his 500th career home run, off Braves pitcher Jamie Easterly. McCovey becomes the 12th member of the 500th home run club. Giant Mike Ivie adds his 2nd pinch grand slam of the year in the opener. Giant Jack Clark has 3 runs in the 2 games.
  • July 11 – At San Diego, the National League wins the All-Star Game over the American League, 7–3. Dodgers first baseman Steve Garvey earns the MVP trophy. Vida Blue starts for the NL, becoming the first pitcher to start for both leagues in the All-Star Game. Blue also started in 1971 and 1975 for the American League.
  • July 13 – Jerry Koosman and Tom Seaver lock up for the second time since Seaver's trade to the Cincinnati Reds. Koosman and the Mets beat Seaver and the Reds, 4–2. Only one of the three runs Seaver gives up is earned.
  • July 17 – The Kansas City Royals defeated the New York Yankees 9-7 in 11 innings, but the game is remembered for Reggie Jackson ignoring signs from third-base coach Dick Howser with the score tied 5-5 in the bottom of the 10th. With Thurman Munson on first, manager Billy Martin wanted Jackson to sacrifice bunt. Jackson made a half-hearted attempt with the first pitch, and Martin removed the bunt sign. Jackson, however, defied Martin and still attempted a bunt, but ended up striking out. Jackson was suspended by Martin for five games.
  • July 21:
    • As Reggie Jackson was returning from suspension, Billy Martin says in a post-game interview about Jackson and Yankee owner George Steinbrenner, "One's a born liar (referring to Jackson), and the other's convicted (referring to Steinbrenner, about an incident from the past when Steinbrenner was accused of making illegal presidential campaign contributions)." Martin later appears on live television tearfully announcing his resignation from the Yankees, although some sources believed Steinbrenner actually fired him. Bob Lemon is named Yankee manager for the remainder of the season.
    • Cleveland Indians starter Mike Paxton strikes out four batters in the fifth inning of an 11–0 win over the Seattle Mariners.
  • July 26 – Johnny Bench hits his 300th career home run.
  • August 1 – The Atlanta Braves trounce the Cincinnati Reds, 16–4, and stop Pete Rose's hitting streak at 44 games. Larry McWilliams and Gene Garber are the Atlanta pitchers. Rose goes 0-for-4, including striking out in the 9th inning to end the game. Rose's streak is the second-longest in major league history. He goes 70-for-182 during the skein (a batting average of .385).
  • August 5 – At Old-timers Day at Yankee Stadium, recently fired Billy Martin is announced as the New York Yankees' manager for the 1980 season.
  • August 20 – Before the Los Angeles Dodgers' game against the New York Mets, Steve Garvey and Don Sutton engage in a clubhouse fistfight over comments made by Sutton in an interview with the Washington Post about Garvey being the "All-American boy".











MG 6582 Jason Marquis
All-Star Jason Marquis








  • January 7 – George H. Burns, 84, first baseman for five AL teams who batted .307 lifetime and won 1926 MVP award with the Cleveland Indians
  • January 13 – Bill Clowers, 79, pitcher for the Boston Red Sox in the 1920s
  • January 13 – Merwin Jacobson, 83, backup outfielder for the New York Giants, Chicago Cubs and Brooklyn Robins between 1915 and 1927
  • January 13 – Joe McCarthy, 90, Hall of Fame manager who led the New York Yankees to eight pennants and record seven World Series titles; also won 1929 NL pennant with Chicago Cubs, and was first manager to capture titles in both leagues; 2125 career wins ranked 4th in major league history, and winning percentages of .615 (regular season) and .698 (postseason) were both records
  • January 27 – Monte Pearson, 69, All-Star pitcher who won 100 games, mainly with the Indians and Yankees.
  • January 28 – Larry Raines, 47, middle infielder and third baseman for the Cleveland Indians from 1957 to 1958, who is recognized for having been the first ballplayer to perform professionally in Minor League Baseball, Negro League baseball, Japanese Baseball and the major leagues.


  • February 3 – Mike Herrera, 80, second baseman for the Boston Red Sox from 1925–26, and one of the first men to play in both the major leagues and the negro leagues.
  • February 8 – Josephine Kabick, 55, female pitcher who played from 1944 through 1947 in the AAGPBL
  • February 23 – Vic Harris, 72, outfielder and manager in the Negro Leagues who guided the Homestead Grays to seven Negro National League pennants, including five in a row from 1937 to 1941; played in six East-West All-Star games between 1933 and 1947.


  • March 12 – Gene Moore, 68, All-Star right fielder known for his accurate arm
  • March 21 – Fritz Coumbe, 88, a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Naps and Indians and the Cincinnati Reds between 1914 and 1921.
  • March 30 – Billy Cox, 58, third baseman, mainly with the Brooklyn Dodgers, well known for his spectacular defense.


  • April 8 – Ford Frick, 83, Hall of Fame executive who served as commissioner from 1951 to 1965 and was the National League president from 1935 to 1951, serving also as ghostwriter for Babe Ruth while a sportswriter, ruling in 1961 that home run records of Ruth and Roger Maris would be recorded separately based on season length.
  • April 14 – Joe Gordon, 63, nine-time All-Star second baseman in 11 seasons for the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians, who won the 1942 MVP award, while setting an American Leaguee record of 246 home runs at his position, later a manager and scout.
  • April 15 – Nick Cullop, 78, outfielder for the New York Yankees, Washington Senators, Cleveland Indians, Brooklyn Robins and Cincinnati Reds, and also a longtime player/manager at minor league level.
  • April 20 – Jack Graney, 91, Canadian left fielder who played his entire career with the Cleveland Naps and Indians teams, best known the first batter to face Boston Red Sox pitcher Babe Ruth in a Major League Baseball game, on July 11, 1914.
  • May 29 – Carl Reynolds, 75, outfielder for five teams who batted .302 lifetime.


  • May 1 – Claude Corbitt, 62, infield utility who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds in a span of four seasons from 1945–1949.
  • May 8 – Red Smith, 73, two-sport star at Notre Dame before becoming a player and coach in both professional baseball and professional football, while debuting as a catcher for the New York Giants of the National League in 1927 and later playing with the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League.
  • May 16 – Mike Wilson, 81, catcher for the 1921 Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • May 20 – Bob Logan, 68, pitcher who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds and Boston Braves in all or part of five seasons between 1935 and 1945.
  • May 22 – Pete Susko, 73, first baseman for the Washington Senators in its 1934 season.
  • May 29 – Carl Reynolds, 75, fine outfielder and consistent hitter who played from 1927 through 1939 for the Chicago White Sox, Washington Senators, St. Louis Browns, Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs, ending his career with a.302 batting average, including 1357 hits, 80 home runs and 699 runs batted in 1,222 games.[3]


  • June 2 – Bob McGraw, 83, pitcher for the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Brooklyn Robins, St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies in a span of nine seasons from 1917–1929.
  • June 3 – Marv Rickert, 57, backup outfielder who played with five different clubs in five seasons, including the 1948 Boston Braves that won the National League pennant.
  • June 16 – Hugh Shelley, 67, outfielder who played for the Detroit Tigers in 1935, though he was not on their World Series roster that season.
  • June 20 – Bill Dietrich, 68, pitcher who played from 1933 through 1948 for the Philadelphia Athletics, Washington Senators Chicago White Sox, whose no-hitter over the St. Louis Browns in 1937 lifted the helpess White Sox in their race for the American League pennant.[4]
  • June 28 – Johnny Schulte, 81, backup catcher for five teams in all of his five years in the Major Leagues between 1923 and 1932, being also a member of the 1929 National League pennant-winning Chicago Cubs, and later a coach during 15 full seasons for the New Yankees from 1934 to 1948.
  • June 30 – Dummy Lynch, 52, second baseman for the 1948 Chicago Cubs.


  • July 1 – Joe Vance, 72, pitcher for the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees in parts of three seasons between 1935 and 1938.
  • July 24 – Joel Hunt, 72, Hall of Fame football player and coach, who also played in the majors as an outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1932.
  • July 29 – Charlie Bold, 83, Swedish first baseman who played for the St. Louis Browns in its 1914 season.


  • August 5 – Jesse Haines, 85, Hall of Fame pitcher who won 210 games, including a no-hitter, for the St. Louis Cardinals, while compiling three 20-win seasons, and two wins in the 1926 World Series.
  • August 7 – Kay Lionikas, 54, outfielder, one of three descendants of Greek migrants to play in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
  • August 14 – Maury Newlin, 64, pitcher who played with the St. Louis Browns in the 1940 and 1941 seasons.
  • August 15 – Ed Chaplin, 84, catcher for the Boston Red Sox between 1920 and 1922.
  • August 18 – George Harper, 86, outfielder for six teams in five seasons between 1943 and 1950, who hit .300 or higher in three of these seasons.
  • August 30 – Ed Sicking, 81, middle infielder and third baseman who played for the Chicago Cubs, New York Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates over part of five seasons from 1916–1927.


  • September 11 – Mike Gazella, 82, utility infielder for the New York Yankees in four seasons between 1923 and 1928, being a member of three World Series champion teams and one AL pennant winner.
  • September 11 – Snipe Hansen, 71, pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Browns in a span of four seasons from 1930–1935).
  • September 15 – Larry Bettencourt, 72, outfielder and third baseman who played for the St. Louis Browns in three seasons from 1928–1932, and later served as a center for the NFL Green Bay Packers in 1933.
  • September 16 – Bill Foster, 74, star pitcher in the Negro Leagues where he was a dominant left-hander, and later a head coach at Alcorn State University for two decades.
  • September 24 – Lyman Bostock, 27, finest defensive outfielder and excellent bases runner, who hit .323 and .336 during his first two full big league seasons with the Minnesota Twins from 1976-1977, whose promising career was cut short by a gunshot, being victim of a meaningless and accidental homicide.[5]


  • October 1 – Abe White, 74, pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • October 8 – Jim Gilliam, 49, two-time All-Star second baseman for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers teams from 1953–1966, who won four World Series rings with the franchise, and also received Rookie of the Year Award honors both in the Negro Leagues and the National League, as his jersey N° 19 was retired by the Dodgers.
  • October 13 – George Jeffcoat, 64, pitcher who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston Boston Braves in four seasons between 1936 and 1943.
  • October 16 – Eddie Stumpf, 84, Minor league player, manager, coach, scout and executive in a career that spanned more than four decades.
  • October 25 – Molly Craft, 82, pitcher who played from 1916 through 1919 for the Washington Senators.
  • October 27 – Rube Walberg, 82, pitcher who won 155 games, primarily with the Philadelphia Athletics.
  • October 30 – Reese Diggs, 63, pitcher who appeared in four games for the Washington Senators in the 1934 season.


  • November 5 – Tommy O'Brien, 59, backup outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox and Washington Senators in a span of five seasons from 1943–1950.
  • November 8 – Steve Gerkin, 75, 32-year-old rookie pitcher who played for the Philadelphia Athletics in its 1945 season, one of many ballplayers who only appeared in the major leagues during World War II.
  • November 12 – Buzz Boyle, 70, outfielder for the Boston Braves and Brooklyn Dodgers during five seasons spanning 1929–1935, who led all National League outfielders in assists in 1934 and also had a 25-game hitting streak that year, while later managing in the minors for a long time, including a stint between in 1946 with the Muskegon Lassies of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
  • November 12 – Roy Elsh, 87, backup outfielder for the Chicago White Sox over part of two seasons from 1923–1925.
  • November 12 – George Shears, 88, pitcher for the 1912 New York Highlanders.
  • November 13 – Les Powers, 69, first baseman who played with the New York Giants in 1938 and for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1939.
  • November 16 – Harry Matuzak, 68, pitcher who played for the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1936 and 1938 seasons.
  • November 20 – Warren Brown, 84, Chicago sportswriter, who earned J. G. Taylor Spink Award honors in 1973, and was inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame the same year along with outfielder Mickey Mantle, pitcher Whitey Ford and umpire Jocko Conlan.
  • November 23 – Buck Ross, 63, pitcher who played from 1936 through 1945 for the Philadelphia Athletics and Chicago White Sox.
  • November 29 – Al Williamson, 78, pitcher for the 1928 Chicago White Sox.


  • December 8 – Nick Cullop, 78, backup outfielder who played for the New York Yankees, Washington Senators, Cleveland Indians, Brooklyn Robins and Cincinnati Reds over part of five seasons spanning 1926–1931.
  • December 9 – Dick Siebert, 66, All-Star first baseman for the Philadelphia Athletics who twice batted .300, and later coached at the University of Minnesota for 31 years, while winning three College World Series titles.
  • December 11 – Paul O'Dea, 78, two-way player who performed for the Cleveland from 1944 to 1945 and later scouted and managed in the Indians minor league system.
  • December 12 – Nick Dumovich, 76, pitcher for the 1923 Chicago Cubs.
  • December 20 – Willard Mullin, 76, cartoonist whose caricature of the Brooklyn Bum personified the Dodgers franchise.
  • December 21 – Joe Mathes, 87, second baseman who played for the Philadelphia Athletics, St. Louis Terriers and Boston Braves in a span of three seasons from 1912–1916, and later managed in the minor leagues off and on from 1919 through 1934.
  • December 24 – George McQuinn, 68, seven-time All-Star first baseman for the St. Louis Browns and New York Yankees, who had 34-game hitting streak in 1938.
  • December 24 – Bill Rodgers, 91, second baseman who played between 1915 and 1916 for the Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox and Cincinnati Reds.
  • December 29 – Walt Alexander, 87, backup who played for the St. Louis Browns and New York Yankees in part of four seasons from 1912–1917.
  • December 31 – Tod Davis, 54, infielder and pinch-hitter who played for the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1949 and 1951 seasons.


  1. ^ Baseball Almanac – Grand Slam Records
  2. ^ A Love Affair: The Eleanor and Lou Gehrig Story. IMDb. Retrieved on May 27, 2019.
  3. ^ Carl Reynolds. Article written by Bill Nowlin. SABR Biography Project. Retrieved on May 26, 2019.
  4. ^ June 1, 1937: Bill Dietrich no-hitter lifts White Sox in a race for first place. Article written by Gregory H. Wolf. SABR Biography Project. Retrieved on May 27, 2019.
  5. ^ Lyman Bostock. Article written by Tim Connaughton. SABR Biography Project. Retrieved on May 30, 2019.

External links

1977–78 Cuban National Series

The 1977–78 Cuban National Series was a watershed in that it coincided with Cuba's administrative restructuring of 1977, which created fourteen provinces. Pinar del Río's Vegueros won the title, with a slim victory over Havana's Industriales.

1978 Amateur World Series

The 1978 Amateur World Series took place in Italy and was won by Cuba.

There were 11 participating countries. It was also Belgium's and Australia's first Amateur World Series, later to be known as the Baseball World Cup.

1978 American League Championship Series

The 1978 American League Championship Series was held between the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals for the third consecutive year.

1978 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1978 introduced a new system that would continue to 1994. The special committee on Negro Leagues had disbanded after its 1977 meeting. Two of its members were appointed to the Veterans Committee, as part of expanding that body from twelve to eighteen members, and its responsibilities were extended to cover the Negro Leagues. Where the special committee had elected nine people in seven years from 1971, the expanded Veterans Committee would elect two in seventeen years up to 1994, before the next reform.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected Eddie Mathews.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider older major league players as well as managers, umpires, executives, and figures from the Negro Leagues.

It selected Addie Joss and Larry MacPhail.

1978 Big League World Series

The 1978 Big League World Series took place from August 12–19 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States. Taipei, Taiwan defeated Tampa, Florida in the championship game. It was Taiwan's fifth straight championship.

This year featured the debut of the Venezuela region.

1978 Caribbean Series

The twenty-first edition of the Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) was played in 1978. It was held from February 4 through February 9 with the champions teams from the Dominican Republic, Águilas Cibaeñas; Mexico, Tomateros de Culiacán; Puerto Rico, Indios de Mayagüez and Venezuela, Leones del Caracas. The format consisted of 12 games, each team facing the other teams twice, and the games were played at Estadio Teodoro Mariscal in Mazatlán, México.

1978 Little League World Series

The 1978 Little League World Series took place between August 22 and August 26 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The Pinkuang Little League of Pintung, Taiwan, defeated the San Ramon Valley Little League of Danville, California, in the championship game of the 32nd Little League World Series.

1978 Senior League World Series

The 1978 Senior League World Series took place from August 14–19 in Gary, Indiana, United States. Hualien, Taiwan defeated Burbank, Illinois in the championship game. It was Taiwan's seventh straight championship.


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