The 5 Greatest Teams of Baseball’s Golden Decade the 1970’s

The 5 Greatest Teams of the 1970's


Baseball, to me, reached its peak in the 1970’s. This to me was the Golden Decade for Major League Baseball. Today we are going to look at the best five teams of the decade. The scary thing about this 10-year span was that it was so stacked you had great teams like the Royals 76-78, Dodgers 74-78, Phillies 76-78, that don’t even get near the list. Baseball was a special sport in the 1970’s, as the baseball “Game of the Week” on NBC was a special occasion on Saturday afternoons. Remember outside of your home team broadcasting around 40 or so road games and a couple of home games? Those Saturday “Games of the Week”, and later in the 70’s, some Monday night baseball games were all you got to see. It was not like today when you could see pretty much every game that was played.

Kids instead of playing video games and being on their phones actually went outside and played baseball. Or maybe it was raining so they stayed inside and traded baseball cards with their friends. Today lets go back and look at the teams that made those days special to baseball fans.


5). New York Yankees, 1977, 100W-62L

The Yankees were owned by George Steinbrenner and managed by the hot-tempered Billy Martin, which always led to fireworks. The Yankees had been swept in the 1976 World Series by the Cincinnati Reds. They came into the 1977 season as the favorites to win the American League Championship.

The Yankees battled with the Orioles and Red Sox all year and ended up winning the A.L. East Title by 2.5 games to advance to the ALCS, and a rematch with the Royals who they had beaten in a classic five-game series in 1976.

Once again the ALCS would go the five-game limit with the Yankees prevailing in the end.

That led to a throwback World Series between the Yankees and the rival Dodgers. The Yankees, just like the old days, would come out victorious in six hard fought games, culminating with Reggie Jackson’s historic three home run night in game six at Yankee Stadium.

Starting Lineup

CThurman Munson149595183.30818100
1BChris Chambliss157600172.2871790
2BWillie Randolph147551151.274440
3BGraig Nettles158589150.25537107
SSBucky Dent158477118.247849
LFRoy White143519139.2681452
CFMickey Rivers138565184.3261269
RFReggie Jackson146525150.28632110
DHCarlos May6518141.227216


Starting Pitching

The Yankees after the 1976 season signed Cincinnati Reds ace starter Don Gullett to a huge contract. Unfortunately for the Yankees and Gullett, the Free Agent Acquisition pitched injured for much of the year and the injury he suffered would eventually end his career.

Ed Figueroa32239.116113.57104
Mike Torrez3121714123.8290
Ron Guidry31210.21672.82176
Don Gullett22158.11443.58116
Catfish Hunter22143.1994.7152
Dock Ellis319.2111.835


Relief Pitching

Sparky Lyle72137135262.1768
Dick Tidrow4915111453.1683
Ken Clay2155.22314.3720
Stan Thomas36.11007.111
Larry McCall260107.500



4). 1973 Oakland A’s, 94W-68L

The A’s were a great team from 1972-74, winning three straight World Championships. Starting pitching puts this team on the list as the A’s had three 20-game winners in Jim (Catfish) Hunter, Ken Holtzman and Vida Blue.

The A’s won the A.L. West title by six games over the second-place Kansas City Royals. They then met the Baltimore Orioles in the ALCS and won a hard fought but low scoring best-of-five series. They won the fifth and deciding game 3-0 behind a five-hit shutout by their ace Catfish Hunter.

The World Series would once again see this gutty team pushed to the limit, finally prevailing over the underdog New York Mets in yet another game 7.


Starting Lineup

CRay Fosse14349237126.2567522
1BGene Tenace16051083132.25924842
2BDick Green1333323387.2623420
3BSal Bando16259297170.28729984
SSBert Campaneris15160189150.25044634
LFJoe Rudi12043753118.27012660
CFBilly North14655498158.28553453
RFReggie Jackson15153999158.2933211722
DHDeron Johnson13146461114.24619810


Starting Pitching

Ken Holtzman40297.121132.9766157
Vida Blue37263.22093.28105158
Catfish Hunter36256.12153.3469124
Blue Moon Odom30150.15124.496783
Dave Hamilton1669.2644.392434


Relief Pitching

Rollie Fingers62126.278221.9239110
Darold Knowles52996893.094946
Horacio Piña47886382.763441
Paul Lindblad36781523.692833
Rob Gardner37.10004.9124


3). 1975 Cincinnati Reds, 108W-54L

This was the first of two consecutive World Championship teams for the Reds. They were more dominant in the regular season than any other team on this list.

In the regular season, the Reds finished an unbelievable 20 games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the N.L. West title. The Reds went 64–17 at home in 1975. That is the best ever home record by a national league team and the second best in baseball history behind only the 1961 Yankees, who went 65–16 at home that year. The Reds also set the major league record for most consecutive wins to ever close out a half with 10, when they went into the all-star break on a 10-game winning streak. The 840 runs scored by the Reds in 1975 were the most in the league that season and their +254 run differential was also the best in the league. The Reds were the only team in the National League to have a winning record on the road, going 44–37.

The Reds swept the high-powered and talented Pittsburgh Pirates in three straight games. They out scored the Pirates 19-7 in the short three-game series.

The World Series in 1975 was not so easy for the Big Red Machine as they met a very talented Boston Red Sox team in a series for the ages. The Reds would prevail in the seventh game in Boston coming from 3-0 down in the sixth inning and winning the game in their final at-bat 4-3 on a bloop single by future hall of fame second baseman Joe Morgan.


Starting Lineup

CJohnny Bench142530150.28328110
1BTony Pérez137511144.28220109
2BJoe Morgan146498163.3271794
3BPete Rose162662210.317774
SSDave Concepción140507139.274549
LFGeorge Foster134463139.3002378
CFCésar Gerónimo148501129.257653
RFKen Griffey132463141.305446


Starting Pitchers

Gary Nolan32210.21593.1674
Jack Billingham3320815104.1179
Fred Norman341881243.73119
Don Gullett22159.21542.4298
Pat Darcy27130.21153.5846
Clay Kirby26110.21064.7248


Relief Pitchers

Will McEnaney7052152.4748
Pedro Borbón679552.9529
Rawly Eastwick5853222.6061
Clay Carroll567572.6244
Tom Hall20000.003


2). 1970 Baltimore Orioles, 108W-54L

The 1970 Orioles had one the greatest starting rotations in Major League Baseball history as they boasted three 20 game winners. They also boasted a terrific starting eight that could put a lot of runs on the board quickly.

The Orioles ran away with the A.L. East in 1970 finishing a full 15 games ahead of second-place New York.

In the ALCS they made short work of the A.L. West Champion Minnesota Twins, sweeping them in three games. They out scored the Twins 27-10, in a series that showcased their ability to score runs.

The Orioles went on to remove the demons of the 1969 World Series by jumping out to a 3-0 lead over the Cincinnati Reds. The Orioles would go on to win the series in five games.


Starting Lineup

CElrod Hendricks10632278.2421241
1BBoog Powell154526156.29735114
2BDavey Johnson149530149.2811053
3BBrooks Robinson158608168.2761894
SSMark Belanger145459100.218136
LFDon Buford144504137.2721766
CFPaul Blair133480128.2671865
RFFrank Robinson132471144.3062578


Starting Pitchers

Mike Cuellar40297.22483.48190
Dave McNally402962493.22185
Jim Palmer3930520102.71199
Tom Phoebus27135553.0772


Relief Pitchers

Eddie Watt5377123.2533
Pete Richert5072131.9866
Dick Hall3210533.0830
Marcelino López251102.0849
Dave Leonhard230015.0814
Moe Drabowsky214213.7821


1). 1976 Cincinnati Reds, 102W-60L

The 1975 Reds won more games, but the 1976 Reds never lost in the postseason. The Phillies and Yankees were both excellent teams in their own right, but they were no match for the Big Red Machine. The Reds went 49–32 at home and an incredible 53–28 on the road in 1976.

In the NLCS the Reds faced the Philadelphia Phillies and made quick work of them in three games.

Next up the Reds faced the New York Yankees in the World Series and would out score the Yankees 22-8 to win the series in four quick games. Johnny Bench was the series MVP, hitting two home runs in game four to help the Reds clinch the World Series.


Starting Lineup

CJohnny Bench13546562109.234167413
1BTony Pérez13952777137.260199110
2BJoe Morgan141472113151.3202711160
3BPete Rose162665130215.32310639
SSDave Concepción15257674162.28196921
LFGeorge Foster14456286172.3062912117
CFCésar Gerónimo14948659149.30724922
RFKen Griffey148562111189.33667434


Starting Pitchers

Gary Nolan34239.11593.46113
Pat Zachry382041472.74143
Fred Norman33180.11273.10126
Jack Billingham3417712104.3276
Santo Alcalá301321144.7067
Don Gullett231261133.0064


Relief Pitchers

Rawly Eastwick71115262.0970
Pedro Borbón694383.3553
Rich Hinton121207.648
Joe Henderson42000.007
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