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RUNNING TIME: 907 Minutes
- All six World Series games vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers plus game 5 of the ALCS
- 1977 World Series clubhouse victory celebration
- 1977 World Series trophy presentation
- Rare interviews
- Inside the Moments: Reggie Jackson’s three-HR game
- The Reggie Jackson/Billy Martin confrontation in Fenway Park
25 players. One team. One goal.
Reggie Jackson. Thurman Munson. Billy Martin. Chris Chambliss. Ron Guidry. Ron Cey. Steve Garvey. Dusty Baker. Don Sutton. George Steinbrenner. Howard Cosell. George Brett. Tom Seaver. Lou Pinella. Willie Randolph.
In lieu of The Star Spangled Banner, the 1977 Yankees entered the field to selections from Seasons in the Abyss.
The late 70’s were an amazing time to be a baseball fan in New York. There was controversy, larger than life personalities, a return to prominance for the Bronx Bombers, and in the last year of the decade, a horrible loss of a beloved player to a plane crash. It was affectionately known as "The Bronx Zoo" in in 1977 they won the whole damn thing despite dysfunctionality you rarely see outside of the movies.
"Joe Dimaggio, love your work, let’s hang out soon."……….. "Oh, we will. WE WILL!"
In 1977 I lived for two things: Star Wars and the New York Yankees. I wrote two pieces of fan mail, the only two of my life and both unresponded to in that annum. One was to Harrison Ford. Another was to Reggie Jackson. One flew through the galaxy on his ramshackle ship saving princesses and high-fiving interstellar marsupials and the other wore a round afro and considered himself the center of the baseball universe, and both heavily factored into me becoming the person I am today. I still love the escapism of the original trilogy and I still watch every single New York Yankees game. Why?
But this isn’t about me. I was just one of many kids with bulbous 70’s hair and a penchant for owning the Death Star Playset. 1977 was about a team of pinstriped heroes and assholes and the lovely game of baseball that they played so perfectly for their tiny firebrand alcoholic manager.
They probably shouldn’t have scheduled the World Series the same time as Be Impregnated By Steve Garvey Night.
Reggie Jackson’s signing by the New York Yankees to the richest contract in major league history (which would now cover Alex Rodriguez’s bidet services) led to immediate turmoil on a team full of young, proud players. Jackson’s memorable line about being the "straw that stirs the drink" caused a riot in the town which needs no extra motivation for back page gossip, and his dugout fracas with manager Billy Martin is one of the most often played clips in baseball history. Though it doesn’t seem like he was loafing it enough to deserve being pulled from a game in the middle of an inning, it sure stands out as a great example of how the presure cooker can affect people differently. That clip got a lot of airplay…
But it’s not nearly as high in the rotation as the video of Reggie hitting three home runs on three pitches in game six of the 1977 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Despite all the drama and all the madness in regards to "The Bronx Zoo", the 1977 Fall Classic was the stuff of legend. Two amazing teams taking it nearly to the wire amidst great pitching, timely hitting, and an MVP performance that created the moniker "Mr. October" for now Hall of Famer Jackson. Though there’s plenty of debate as to which New York Yankee team is the greatest, whether it be the 1927, 1936, 1961, or 1998 incarnations, 1977’s collection of rogues and drunkards might be the most colorful.
If nothing else, this DVD set certainly illustrates that. From Reggie’s dingers to the mosh pit on the field following the last out, this is a primer for the beauty of being a Yankees fan and the seventh disc’s assortment of interviews and classic clips on furthers the enjoyment. Revisiting these games after seeing them as a child complete with Howard Cosell and Tom Seaver doing the commentary was quite an odd sensation. Seeing Thurman Munson as not only a living person but in the context of the game he was amongst the very best at was also a change of pace. Over the past thirty years since the series, a lot of these moments have been immortalized in "best of" shows and Yankeeography segments but without their connective tissue they seem like isolated moments and nothing more.
Seeing each game unfold in a really well-played series is more than just a time capsule, it’s proof positive of the game’s evolution. This series is a good bridge between the baseball we see on television today and the old school stuff my father grew up on. There are tons of moments where I wish current broadcasts would incorporate this way of showing the game and just as many where the reasonably lo-fi aspect of the presentations reminded me why the game still manages to be exciting to me.
The 1977 World Series is a really special one for me personally but it’s also a major period in the history of the Yankees, a team that is more loved and reviled today than it ever has been. The 80’s were lean for the team, a period of mediocrity save for the presence of Don Mattingly. The teams of the late 70’s restored vigor to the franchise, if but for a short while. This is a wonderful trip down memory lane and any fan of baseball would be remiss not to pop these seven discs in the machine to be reminded how it used to be and also to see the managers of the current Cubs and Mets back when they were just skinny ice cubes in the drink Reggie was stirring.
Disclaimer: Nick Nunziata loves baseball as much as air. He owns an XM subscription for one channel, XM 175 Home Plate. He watches damn near every Braves and Yankees game in the season and recently switched to DirecTV to ensure uninterrupted access to all the teams all the time. He is what you would call certifiable. Go about your business.
Big fan of The Cactus Album.
Let me first go on record by saying that whomever is responsible for the packaging of A&E’s line of baseball boxed sets is not only a genius but a genius with a giant rod. The usage of the DVD case to convey box scores, trivia, and all the stats any man (or Bill James) would want is absolutely phenomenal. It makes watching the ballgames even more fun as you ‘cheat’ to see if the next guy is gonna get his walk or home run int hat at-bat.
On top of that there’s always a bonus DVD with these sets that feature the celebrations and P.R. appearances, and this one has some really amazing interviews with the principle members of team and staff.
One thing I really think they need to do with these sets is to have a commentary track with select players and personnel. From both teams. I know these sets cost a lot to make and are boutique items that aren’t going to sell Pirates of the Caribbean kinds of numbers, but I think commentaries serve this material well. I want to know what these guys were thinking as they see the game from our perspective. I want to know what we DIDN’T see. Stuff like that. That’s all I’d need to make these sets even more of a mainstay in my collection.
As it stands, this is choice stuff. Some of the best DVD sports available.
8.5 out of 10