Yankees History

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January 24, 2007

Graig Nettles 1977 Retrospective

by @ 8:47 am. Filed under 1977 Yankees, Graig Nettles

Graig Nettles is one of those guys who, as time goes by, you forget how good he really was.  Despite only hitting .248 throughout his career (which probably kept him out of being seriously considered for the Hall of Fame), he hit 390 career homeruns as a third baseman and he did it while walking 1,088 times vs. only 1,209 strikeouts.  He never struck out more then 100 times in a season and only twice did he strike out more then 80 times.  This is a guy who usually shows up as one of the top 15 third baseman ever.

Of all his outstanding seasons, 1977 was probably the best.  He set career highs in homeruns (37), RBIs (107) and runs (99).  People forget that is wasn’t slugger Reggie Jackson who led the team in homeruns in 1977, it was Graig Nettles.  After winning the homerun crown in 1976 with 32 homeruns, Nettles’ 37 in 1977 was good for second in the league to Jim Rice, who hit 39.  He won his first gold glove and also had his best MVP ballot ever.  He finished in fifth place and he even mustered two first place votes in a season where Rod Carew ran away with the award with his .388 batting average.

Nettles definitely got things done in the second half of the season.  He entered the All Star Break hitting only .222/.306/.444 through the first half but turned it up and hit .297/.368/.562 in the second half.  His best month of the year was August.  Nettles hit ten homeruns, drove in 25 and hit .340/.405/.730 in 27 games.  His best run was probably in late August when from August 20, 1977 through August 23, 1977, he hit three homeruns, drove in six and scored five runs while going six for sixteen.

Probably the only knock on Nettles 1977 season was how poorly he played in the post season.  He went 7 for 41 with only three RBIs in eleven post season games.   Regardless, it was a top notch season from a top notch player.

Here’s a look at Nettle’s numbers in 1947:

Games 158
AB 589
Runs 99
Hits 150
Doubles 23
Triples 4
Homeruns 37
RBIs 107
Walks 68
Strikeouts 79
Stolen Bases 2
Caught Stealing 5
BA .255
OBA .333
SLG% .496
OPS .829
RC 96
RC/G 5.68
ISO .241

January 14, 2007

Joe DiMaggio 1947 Retrospective

by @ 12:14 pm. Filed under 1947 Yankees, Joe DiMaggio

You have to love Joe DiMaggio.  How often do you have great teams that are ten years apart and the best player on those two teams is the same guy.  1947 was nowhere close to the numbers he put up in 1937 for DiMaggio but it was still good enough for his third and final Most Valuable Player award.

DiMaggio’s OPS says it all in 1947.  While a lot of his numbers looked like they were down (like only hitting 20 homeruns), he finished the season with a .913 OPS and 154 OPS+. Both of those were second in the league to Ted Williams that year.  Regardless, DiMaggio was the best hitter on the best team in baseball and that’s worth something, namely an MVP.  Williams had better numbers, but he played for a Red Sox team that came in a distant third place in the American League.  Not that the MVP race wasn’t close because DiMaggio edged Williams by a single point.

As in past seasons, DiMaggio did it all.  He walked twice as many times as he struck out (64/32) and his 20 homeruns were good for sixth in the league.  He drove in 97 runs (third in AL) and he scored 97 times (fifth in the AL).  And it was his sixth season in which he had double figures in doubles, triples and homeruns. 

Here’s a look at DiMaggio’s numbers in 1947:

Games 141
AB 534
Runs 97
Hits 168
Doubles 31
Triples 10
Homeruns 20
RBIs 97
Walks 64
Strikeouts 32
Stolen Bases 3
Caught Stealing 0
BA .315
OBA .391
SLG% .522
OPS .913
RC 112
RC/G 7.96
ISO .208

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