The Yankees’ Greatest Games : October 18, 1977: Reggie! Reggie! Reggie!

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The Yankees would end a 15-year championship drought in 1977, but not without enduring through a memorably tumultuous season—and certainly not without first-year New York star slugger Reggie Jackson, the unapologetic ego who was often in the middle of the tumult.
Having clashed all year with teammates and (especially) confrontational manager Billy Martin, Jackson was ready to make it all up the best way he could: By using his bat. Before Game Six of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Jackson drove 35 batting practice pitches into the Yankee Stadium seats and felt as good as he ever had prior to a game. He would magnificently leverage that vibe be to the game itself.
Jackson walked in his first at-bat against starter Burt Hooton in what would be the wisest move by a Dodger pitcher all evening. When Jackson reappeared against Hooton in the fourth inning with the Yankees trailing 3-2, he took the first offering and slammed it over the fence for a two-run shot, knocking Hooton out of the game and giving New York a one-run lead. An inning later, he repeated the feat against reliever Elias Sosa, hammering his first pitch into the bleachers. When he next returned to the plate in the eighth against knuckleballer Charlie Hough, the crowd was buzzing with chants of “Reggie! Reggie! Reggie!” Jackson would not disappoint, meeting the anticipation with yet another first-pitch home run—this one well beyond the center field fence, into the closed-off bleacher spaces reserved for the hitter’s background. Jackson circled the bases and answered the thunderous curtain call of the fans, yelling out to them, “Thank you! Thank you!”
The three home runs in one game tied Babe Ruth’s Series record (he did it twice) and set the mark for most homers in a series with five. Aided by Jackson’s theatrics, Yankees starter Mike Torrez went the distance and defeated the Dodgers, 8-4, wrapping up a big-budget world title earned by, not so arguably, the most contentious Yankee team ever compiled.

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