As third baseman Graig Nettles points out in The Bronx Zoo,
reliever Sparky Lyle's memoir of the 1978 Yankees, some little
boys dream about running away to join the circus, others
fantasize about becoming big leaguers. Those Yankees had it both
ways. If drama is based on conflict, the '78 Yanks were worthy of
Shakespeare. Lyle was coming off a Cy Young season, but owner
George Steinbrenner brought in Goose Gossage to supplant him.
Reggie Jackson battled Billy Martin, and Lou Piniella battered
the clubhouse's 100-cup coffeemaker. Martin resigned as the Yanks
fell 14 games behind the Red Sox. Then, of course, the Yanks
caught Boston, and Dent became a four-letter word in New England.
Could it really be 25 years?
COLOR PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY AARON GOODMAN WILLIE RANDOLPH Third base coach,New York Yankees LOU PINIELLA Manager, Tampa Bay Devil Rays GOOSE GOSSAGE Special asst. to G.M., Colorado Rockies REGGIE JACKSON Special adviser, New York Yankees GRAIG NETTLES Retired, San Diego area SPARKY LYLE Manager, Somerset Patriots
COLOR PHOTO: DELL PUBLISHING CO.