1st Rangers manager Billy Hunter is fired following a 9–4 victory over the Mariners. Seattle’s Kevin Pasley homers in what will be his last ML at bat. Pasley’s only career HR comes off Fergie Jenkins.
With the Yankees a game ahead and one to play, Cleveland’s Rick Waits stops New York on 5 hits to win 9–2. Meanwhile, Boston takes their finale, their 8th in a row, on Luis Tiant’s 5–0 shutout of the Blue Jays. Boston has two unearned runs in the 5th, a two-run homer by Rick Burleson in the 7th, and Jim Rice’s 46th homer in the 8th for their scoring. Rice finishes as the AL homer champ and triples leader; the last player to lead in both categories was Mays in the NL and Mantle in the AL, both in 1955. Both teams end the season with identical 99–63 records, with a one-game playoff to determine the divisional champ.
With an 8–3 lead over the Braves, Reds manager Sparky Anderson pulls Pete Rose in the 8th inning. Atlanta scores 5 runs in the 9th to tie and the Reds finally win in 14 innings, 10–8. Rose thus ends the season with 198 hits, and Sparky’s move deprives him of reaching his annual 200 hit total. Johnny Bench has a grand slam and the Braves hand out an NL record 16 walks in the game. Reds pitchers strike out 19.
In Baltimore’s 4-2 win over the Tigers, Doug DeCinces has a hit to extend his consecutive game hitting streak to 21 games. Pat Kelly has a pair of homers to drive in 3 runs in support of Dennis Martinez.
2nd The Yankees and Red Sox, tied for first at the end of the regular season, play a dramatic one-game playoff at Fenway for the AL East title. New York prevails 5–4 behind Bucky Dent’s 3-run HR off Mike Torrez and Guidry’s 25th win against just 3 losses. Guidry’s .893 percentage is a ML record for a 20-game winner. Goose Gossage saves the game, getting Yaz to pop out with 2 on and 2 out in the 9th. Manager Bob Lemon, who took over for Billy Martin, becomes the 1st manager to win a title after starting the season with another club.
3rd Reggie Jackson, “Mr. October,” hits a 3-run HR, a single, and a double, to lead the Yankees to a 7–1 win over the Royals in the opening game of the AL Championship Series.
4th Steve Garvey smashes 2 HRs and a triple to pace the Dodgers to a 9–5 win over the Phillies in the opener of the NLCS. Davey Lopes and Steve Yeager also homer at the Vet.
Kansas City notches 16 hits off 3 Yankee pitchers to even the AL series with a 10–4 win. Freddie Patek’s surprise homer in the 6th with a man on seals the victory.
5th Tommy John notches a 4-hit shutout to beat the Phils 4–0, as Davey Lopes drives in 3 runs. The Dodgers lead 2 games to none.
6th Despite 3 HRs by George Brett, off Catfish Hunter, the Yankees pull out a 6–5 win in the 3rd game of the LCS. Thurman Munson’s 2-run homer in the 8th gives the Yanks a 2-1 series lead. Reggie Jackson hits a 2nd inning homer to match a George Brett blast.
The Phillies stay alive with a 9–4 win in the NL game, led by the pitching and hitting (HR, single, 4 RBI) of Steve Carlton.
7th The Dodgers win the NLCS 4–3 as Bill Russell’s 10th-inning 2-out single scores Ron Cey. Dusty Baker collects 4 hits for Los Angeles. A walk to Cey and a routine liner that Garry Maddox muffs in CF sets up Russell’s game-winner.
Veteran Roy White leads the Yanks to victory, snapping a 1–1 tie with a HR in the 6th inning. New York gains its third straight championship series over Kansas City. Greg Nettle’s homer accounts for the other run, as Ron Guidry shuts down the Royals.
8th Dodgers coach Jim Gilliam dies at Inglewood, CA, at age 49.
10th Davey Lopes collects 2 HRs and 5 RBI to lead the Dodgers to an 11–5 victory over the Yankees in game 1 of the WS.
11th The Dodgers go two games up with a 4–3 win in game 2. Ron Cey drives in all the Dodger runs and Reggie Jackson does the same for the Yankees. Bob Welch saves Burt Hooton’s win in dramatic fashion by striking out Jackson in the 9th inning.
13th Graig Nettles’s spectacular defense at 3B highlights the Yankees’ first WS win 5–1. Ron Guidry goes 9 innings and gets the victory.
14th Lou Piniella’s 10th-inning single scores Roy White with the winning run as New York evens the Series with a 4–3 win.
15th The Yankees pummel the Dodgers with 18 hits to win the 5th game 12–2. Bucky Dent, Mickey Rivers, and Brian Doyle have 3 hits each.
17th The Yanks win their 4th straight game 7–2 to clinch their 2nd consecutive WS over the Dodgers as Doyle and Series MVP Dent have 3 hits apiece.
19th The White Sox fire Larry Doby, naming Don Kessinger as player-manager for the 1979 season.
24th The Cincinnati Reds leave on an exhibition tour of Japan. They will play 17 games, finishing with a 14–2-1 record.
25th The Padres Gaylord Perry becomes the first pitcher to win the Cy Young Award in each league. Perry copped the NL honors with a 21-6 record and a 2.72 ERA. This is the 13th straight season that Perry has won 15 or more games, second only to Cy Young’s 15 straight 15+ seasons.