With an eye toward my book, 1970s Baseball: A History and Analysis of the Decade’s Best Seasons, Teams, and Players, which ranks all 26 clubs and Top 10 players overall at every position, I decided to select a 1970s All-New York team. Here’s part 3 of 3 posts, focusing on pitchers:
In 7 full seasons with the Mets during the 1970s, Tom Terrific won 2 Cy Young Awards, led the National League in strikeouts 5 times and ERA 3 times, while surpassing 200 Ks every season and winning 20+ games 3 times. Seaver is the best player in Mets history, and quite possibly the #1 all-time New York pitcher.
LHP- Ron Guidry, Yankees, 1975-79 59-19, 652 Ks, 16 SHO, 2.49 E.R.A.
Guidry enjoyed the top single season in New York during the decade, going an unworldly 25-3 with a 1.74 E.R.A. in 1978. No one in the American League posted a lower ERA for 22 years. His slider was thought to be the game’s best. During the decade Guidry went 4-0 in the postseason with 3 complete games in 5 starts.
Jon’s won-lost record was no indicator of how effective he was during the 70s. He was the National League’s Rookie of the Year in 1972, and was a 3 time All-Star who led the league in shutouts twice.
In 1974 the Yankees traded popular Bobby Murcer to San Francisco for Bobby Bonds. Bonds had a productive 1975 season for the Bombers, then was dealt to California for Mickey Rivers and Figueroa. Ed became the ace of the staff in 1976, going 19-11 and then followed that up with 16 wins in 1977. He won 20 games in 1978, which included a 13-2 run from July 19th through the end of the season as the Yanks came back from 14 1/2 games out to overtake Boston.
LHP- Jerry Koosman, Mets, 1970-78 104-114, 1430 Ks, 13 SHO, 3.29 E.R.A.
Stottlemyre and Koosman will share the #5 spot in the rotation, along with pitching in long relief. Mel led the ’70s Yankees in wins and shutouts, and finished second only to Guidry in ERA. 1970 was the 5th and final time Stottlemyre was selected as an American League All-Star, and by age 32 his career ended following a rotator cuff injury. Koosman and Seaver were the only New York pitchers to win over 100 games in the decade. Jerry was known for a sharp breaking curve and a fastball that bore in on righty hitters. He closed the decade in see-saw fashion, going a career best 21-10 in 1976, then faltered to 8-20 in ’77 and 3-15 in ’78, before being traded to his hometown Twins and rebounding with a 20-13 record in 1979.
Just Missed the Cut:
Catfish Hunter, Yankees
Another one-sided trade by New York brought Lyle in from Boston for Danny Cater. Sparky led the AL in saves twice and finished second only to Rollie Fingers of Oakland for most saves in the 1970s. He made 3 All-Star teams and captured Cy Young honors in 1977 when he went 13-5 with a 2.17 ERA and 26 saves, pitching 137 innings in 72 appearances.
Though best known for his vocal enthusiasm during the Mets’ 1973 pennant run, McGraw enjoyed his best seasons as a Met in 1971 and 1972, when he posted back-to-back 1.70 ERAs. Like Lyle and most prominent relief pitchers in the early 70s, McGraw was more than a 9th inning specialist, logging 515 innings in 5 years with New York. He was traded away to Philadelphia for John Stearns in 1974 and eventually won a World Championship as the Phils’ closer in 1980.
Lockwood was one of the few bright spots for the dreadful late 70s Mets. He led all Mets pitchers in the decade with a .213 batting average against, and established a Mets season record for Games in 1977 with 63.
How do you follow-up in the off-season when your lefty ace relief pitcher just won a Cy Young Award? If you’re the Yankees its simple – sign a top righty ace relief pitcher to join him of course! The flame throwing Gossage only pitched two 70s seasons in New York, but he was so dominant he made our All-New York bullpen anyway. Goose led the league with 27 saves in ’78, fanning 122 batters in 134 innings. Overall in ’78-’79 he saved 45 games and held opposing hitters to a .200 batting average, best among all 1970s New York pitchers.
Just Missed the Cut:
Lindy McDaniel, Yankees
Final 1970s All-New York Roster