Thirty-four years ago today, Yankees shortstop Bucky Dent was greeted at home plate by teammates Chris Chambliss and Roy White after popping a three-run fly over Fenway's "Green Monster," a home run which gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead in their one-game AL East playoff against the Red Sox.
While Dent's homer earned him an alternate middle name that day, less well-remembered (or -reviled) is the fact that it also took RBIs from Thurman Munson and Reggie Jackson (the latter with a solo home run off Bob Stanley in the top of the 8th), along with a lucky Lou Piniella grab in the outfield and a 2.2-inning save by Rich Gossage to finally bring the Red Sox down by a score of 5-4.
People also tend to forget that Ron Guidry — the eventual '78 AL Cy Young winner (some think he also shoulda beat out BoSox slugger Jim Rice for the AL MVP) — notched his 25th win of the season that day, though he did it with a less-dominant than usual outing: the Gator threw "only" 6.1 innings with 5 Ks that day while giving up 2 earned runs, including a home run to Carl Yastrzemski — the only HR a lefty batter had hit against him all season. Of course, such a pitching performance would be lauded today, but Guidry's performance paled in comparison to the rest of his phenomenal season, and thus has gotten a little lost in the shuffle of history.
The shot below was taken earlier in the season — after he'd mowed down 18 Angels in a 4-0, 4-hit shutout at Yankee Stadium on June 17 — but I just couldn't resist a pic of Guidry gnawing a rib while soaking his wing.