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1961 vs 1978: The Battle To Be The Best

Some may remember the winter of 2018, I ran a simulation called the “Ultimate Yankee Series” – a seven game series between the 1927 Yanks and the 1998 team of Torre – using the Strat-O-Matic game. In that series, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig did not disappoint, as the fabled slugging duo combined to bat .382 with four home runs to lead the 1927 edition to a four games to one series victory.

With the weather getting colder we’ve decided to fire up the “Hot Stove” again and roll another classic series.

This time the 1961 Yankees will take on the 1978 edition.

Here’s Baseball-Reference page on the 1961 Yankees.

Here’s the Baseball-Reference page on the 1978 Yankees.

The 1978 team of course came back from a fourteen game deficit in the summer of 1978 to tie the Boston Red Sox and force the one-game playoff where Bucky Dent became a mythical figure with his three-run homer over the Green Monster. The 1978 team has many names familiar to Yankee fans, including Reggie Jackson, Graig Nettles, Thurman Munson, Ron Guidry and Goose Gossage. Guidry’s 1978 season was one of the greatest of all time, his 25-3, 1.74 ERA easily winning the Cy Young award and garnering MVP support.

The 1961 team featured the well-documented battle of Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle to break Babe Ruth’s season home run record (at the time) of sixty. At the end, Maris came out on top and broke the record with 61 dingers. This team isn’t just the M&M Boys though. Hall of Famer Whitey Ford topped the rotation with 25 wins, and the team featured great Yankees like Elston Howard, Bobby Richardson, Clete Boyer, Bill Skowron and at the end of his great career, Yogi Berra.

A new twist to this series is that Paul “Lem” Semendinger (1978) and Mike “Houk” Whiteman (1961) will be pitting managerial skills against each other. It’s sure to be ferocious competition!

You can learn more about Strat-O-Matic Baseball here.

Here’s the schedule:

Game One: 1961 (Whitey Ford 25-4, 3.21) at 1978 (Ron Guidry 25-3, 1.74)

Game Two: 1961 (Bill Stafford 14-9, 2.68) at 1978 (Ed Figueroa 20-9, 2.99)

Game Three: 1978 (Catfish Hunter 12-6, 3.58) at 1961 (Ralph Terry 16-3, 3.15)

Game Four: 1978 (TBA) at 1961 (TBA)

Game Five: (If necessary) 1978 at 1961

Game Six: (If necessary) 1961 at 1978

Game Seven: (If necessary) 1961 at 1978

What are your predictions?

Do you have any memories of these great teams? Please share below!

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