George Foster and the 1977 Reds

The Rise of a Slugger and the End of an Era


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SKU: 9780786464517 Categories: , ,

About the Book

The Cincinnati Reds are recognized as one of the great teams in baseball history. Left fielder George Foster—an integral part of the Reds’ back-to-back World Championships in 1975–1976—has never received proper credit for his contribution to their legacy.
In 1977, Foster became the most feared slugger in the National League, batting .320, with 52 home runs and 149 runs batted in to win the NL MVP Award, establishing a new single-season home run record for the Reds’ franchise that still stands. Yet Foster’s big year was not enough to stem the emergence of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who roared out of the gate and ran away with the NL West Division pennant.
This book tells the story of Foster’s record-setting season and puts his pre-steroid era achievements in proper perspective. The author chronicles the subsequent decline of the Big Red Machine and the rest of Foster’s big league career, including his disappointing tenure with the New York Mets.

About the Author(s)

Mike Shannon is the co-founder and current editor-in-chief of Spitball magazine. The author of more than a dozen baseball books, he lives in Cincinnati.

Bibliographic Details

Mike Shannon
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 216
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6451-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3664-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1. The 1976 World Series: A Subdued Celebration 7

2. Spring Training 1977: Human Nature and Hubris 14

3. April 1977: A Pair of Slow Starts 27

4. May 1977: Getting Untracked 47

5. June 1977: Gaining Momentum 74

6. July 1977: Spreading the Souvenirs Around 105

7. August 1977: “Doctor Foster’s no imposter” 127

8. September–October 1977: Getting Over the Hump 149

9. Fall 1977 and Beyond: The Rest of the Story 171

Appendix A. Log of George Foster’s 52-Home Run Season in 1977 189

Appendix B. Statistical Breakdown of the 52 Home Runs Hit by George Foster in 1977 192

Appendix C. George Foster’s Career Home Runs in Perspective 194

Appendix D. ­Single-Season Home Run Leaders for Every Major League Franchise 196

Bibliography 199

Index 201

Book Reviews & Awards

“Reds fans will enjoy Shannon giving Foster his due”—Baseball Happenings