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The 1976-81 Renaissance In New York Yankees History

There was a renaissance in New York Yankees history that started in the mid-to-late 1970s. The proud franchise had last reached the World Series in 1964 and after the team was sold to CBS, a period of irrelevance and bad teams followed. Yankee Stadium itself underwent renovations and the team had to share Shea Stadium with the Mets while the work was being completed. 1976 was the year the renaissance arrived and it continued until 1981.

George Steinbrenner took over the team in 1973 and his investments in the lineup paid off three years later. The Yankees returned to the World Series that year. New York lost that one, but came back to the Fall Classic each of the next two years and beat the Los Angeles Dodgers both times. In 1980, they won the AL East before losing in the playoffs. And in 1981, a season split apart by a strike, the Yankees won one more pennant, eventually losing to the Dodgers in these World Series.

The links below contain season-long narratives of those five seasons, all within a six-year window that produced at least an AL East title, four pennants and two World Series championships.

1979 is the one year missing, and it’s one that was marked by tragedy. Thurman Munson, the captain of the 1976-78 teams, was killed in a plane crash as he flew his private plane.

The rest of the New York Yankees history from 1976-81 is all here. There were big home runs off the bats of Chris Chambliss, Reggie Jackson and Bucky Dent. There was great starting pitching, especially from Ron Guidry. The bullpen, whether it was Sparky Lyle or Goose Gossage, was as good as any.

There were the turmoils, the managerial changes that Steinbrenner became renowned for, the slumps, and the moments when rivals—from the Boston Red Sox to the Baltimore Orioles to the Milwaukee Brewers at the end—seemed ready to triumph, before New York finally won. The moments—the big ones and the under-the-radar ones that marked the 1976-81 Yankee Renaissance—is here.

1976: Winning The AL East
1976 ALCS
1976 World Series

1977: Winning The AL East
1977 ALCS
1977 World Series

1978: Epic Pennant Race With Boston
1978: One Game In Fenway
1978 ALCS
1978 World Series

1980: Winning The AL East
1980 ALCS

1981: Strike-Shortened Season
1981 ALDS
1981 ALCS
1981 World Series