Today on the blog, we move on to the American League for their top three RBI men of the 1976 season, in my on-going “expanded league leaders” thread that seems to be a hit with many of you out there:
We begin with the “Big Bopper” Lee May, Baltimore Orioles slugger who led the A.L. with his 109 RBIs in the Bicentennial season, along with 25 homers and 61 runs scored.
The RBI total was one short of his career-best set back in 1969 while still with the Cincinnati Reds, when he also hit 38 homers, totaled 321 bases and made his first All-Star team.
It would be the third, and last 100-RBI season of his solid 18-year career, finishing up with 1244 over 2071 games and 7609 at-bats during somewhat of a “dead-ball” era in terms of offense.
Right behind him with 105 RBIs was the American League MVP for 1976, the New York Yankee captain Thurman Munson, who guided the team to their first World Series berth since 1964, hitting 17 homers, hitting .302 and even stealing a career-best 14 bases while making his fifth All-Star team.
Munson drove in 100+ runs three seasons in a row between 1975 and 1977, while also topping the .300-mark each time, as well as 180+ hits, anchoring an A.L. powerhouse team that would win-it-all in 1977 and 1978.
In third place with 102 RBIs for the Boston Red Sox, legend Carl Yastrzemski, who had yet another solid season on his way to a Hall of Fame resume by the time he was done with his MLB tenure.
For “Yaz”, his 102 RBIs were paired up with 21 homers, 71 runs scored and 80 walks, along with his 13th All-Star nod, while putting in time between first base and the outfield.
So there it is for the top RBI men of the American league in 1976, expanded here on a 1977 league-leader card.