Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mike Schmidt - 1976

1976 was the Bicentennial year in Philadelphia. With all of Philadelphia's history, there was a lot of Bicentennial year stuff going on in the area. It was a great time to be living in the Philadelphia.

It was a great time to be a Phillies and a Mike Schmidt fan as well. Mike had another great year. He was once again an All-Star and the All Star game was played in Philadelphia at Veteran's Stadium. The Nationals won 7-1 (remember when there was a time when the American League didn't win every year). In addition to Schmidt, other Phillie All Stars included Larry Bowa, Greg Luzinski, Dave Cash, and Bob Boone.

Schmidt hit 12 home runs in Philadelphia's first 15 games, including 4 in one game on April 17. The Phillies beat the Cubs at Wrigley that day 18-16 in 10 innings. Mike won his first (of 10) Gold Gloves in 1976. Statistically he was at or near the top in most NL offensive categories: 1st in home runs (38), 3rd in RBIs (107), 3rd in walks (100), first in total bases (306). He also led the league in strike outs with 149.

The Phillies finished the season with a record of 101 and 61 and captured the National League East title for the first time. In those days there were only 2 divisions per league. Schmidt had a decent series, going 4 for 13 with 2 rbis, but the Phillies lost in 3 games to the Reds, losing the first two games of the 5-game series at home. The Reds went on to sweep the Yankees in the World Series.

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