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Random Box Score Watching (from 1974)

The other day, a dear friend stopped by and gave me his old 1973 Strat-o-Matic Baseball set. This friend had just finished reading my novel Scattering the Ashes (which has a few Strat-o-Matic references). In a discussion about the book afterwards (he LOVED the story, by the way), my friend asked if I would like to have his old Strat-o-Matic set. I, of course, said, “YES!”

After he dropped off the game set (it was the entire set from 1973, including the original dice, split cards, game board… and everything), I spent a few hours looking at all of the player cards. This was like taking a true step back in time. I don’t think the box had been opened since the mid-1970s.

In addition to the old cards, Inside the box were some old newspaper clippings (box scores and such) including the Herald-News’ Sports Scoreboard page from May 6, 1974. Well, I had to read and study that as well…

This one page has a treasure trove of fun Yankees facts:

On that day, the Yankees were actually in First Place in the American League East!

In looking at the League Leaders, a number of Yankees show up, including the favorite player from my childhood – Graig Nettles…

Graig Nettles was leading the American League in home runs with 11. (Future Yankee Reggie Jackson was right behind him with 10. Reggie was also second in the league in batting average at .380.)

Jackson (27) and Nettles (26) were also one and two in the league in Runs Batted In.

Also of note:

Charlie Spikes (who I just wrote about the other day) – one of the players the Yankees traded to get Graig Nettles was 8th in the American League in hitting at .340.

Good ol’ Lou Piniella was 10th in batting on that day. Sweet Lou was hitting .333

With a 5-1 record, Doc Medich was among the top pitchers in the American League

In less happy news, the Yankees had lost to the Kansas City Royals the night before. Graig Nettles had made an error. A young player named George Brett went 3-for-4 for the Royals. Pat Dobson (2-4) took the loss for the Yankees.

It’s great fun to take a step back into time and see a true moment in time in the history of baseball.


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