The New York Yankees 1977 World Series Collectors Edition

Reggie Jackson's three-homerun World Series game overshadows all the other accomplishments in his career. It also overshadows all the other action on this DVD.

The New York Yankees 1977 World Series Collector's Edition

Distributor: A&E
Cast: Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson, Billy Martin, George Steinbrenner, Mike Torrez
First date: 1977
US Release Date: 2007-04-24

Few, if any, sports teams have enjoyed success comparable to that of the New York Yankees. In the course of its history, the team has captured 26 league championships, a feat unparalleled in major American sports. The overwhelming abundance of Yankee victories has bred a legion of rabid fans who are convinced that their team's success is inevitable. In several World Series, New York players have performed feats that apparently confirm such a belief and, further, almost seem to suggest that Yankee victory is a divine mandate. One of these series, the 1977 Fall Classic, has recently been released in full as a Collector's Edition DVD, and baseball fans will now have a chance to witness the heroics of "Mr. October", Reggie Jackson, in their original context.

In retrospect, the 1977 World Series wasn't exactly a nail-biter. The contest lasted for only six games, only one of which was determined by one run. In all but two of the games, the first team to score ended up the victor. In strictly competitive terms, many World Series have been more memorable. Of course, no other Series featured the now immortal hitting of Reggie Jackson, who slugged an unprecedented three consecutive homeruns in the final game of the playoffs. Anyone familiar with baseball should be impressed by Jackson's feat, but truly understanding the significance of his accomplishment requires a closer examination of the game's culture.

The true baseball faithful view their sport with a quasi-religious reverence, and just like faithful worshippers, they also hold a number of questionable beliefs. One of the most hallowed yet doubtful tenets of the baseball faith is the idea of clutch hitting. Most baseball fans believe that certain players have an innate ability to hone their concentration and produce big hits in the moments when they face the greatest pressure. Despite statistical evidence that suggests that clutch hitting is a myth, fans cling to the notion dogmatically.

Baseball fans enamored of clutch hitting revere players such as Jackson who display their skills when games and series are on the line. Similarly, they cajole players such as Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who, despite being one of the very best players ever to swing a bat, has had poor performances in the postseason and is, therefore, not "clutch". Perhaps this obsession with "clutchness" is not surprising. Baseball fans, who have long been eager to interpret their sport as an embodiment of American political ideals, love to celebrate the determined hero who controls his own destiny by applying concentration and force when facing the most difficult opposition.

Though it dominates much baseball discourse, clutch hitting is not the only reason why modern fans might enjoy the new Collector's Edition DVD. The set offers a chance to see some of today's most prominent baseball managers in their playing days. Watching Lou Piniella, the Yankees left fielder who now manages the Chicago Cubs, and Willie Randolph, the Yankees second baseman who currently manages the Bronx Bombers' crosstown rival Mets, will surely be a treat for fans of today's game. The 1977 World Series will also interest connoisseurs of baseball's history. In the '40s and '50s, the World Series rivalry between the Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers was the fiercest in sports. The 1977 Series marked the second time that the Yankees faced the Dodgers in their new home, Los Angeles.

In the world of religious baseball fanaticism, DVDs such as the World Series Collector's Editions are the equivalent of new translations of Scripture. They allow the members of the congregation to encounter honored performances on their own terms and uncover their own messages in the games of yesterday. The 1977 set is just the latest in a series of releases that includes canonized contests such as the 1975 match-up between the Cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Sox and the 1986 games between the New York Mets and the Red Sox. For the most part, A&E Home Entertainment has once again delivered a faithful version of the Series in question. Except for the fact that small sections at the top and bottom of the screen have been cropped out on several discs, the DVD set is a very faithful reproduction of the 1977 broadcast. The picture is as good as one would expect from 30-year-old sports footage.

The 1977 World Series DVD comes with a host of extras. A bonus DVD includes Game 5 from the '77 American League Championship game between the Yankees and the Kansas City Royals. It also includes footage from the World Series trophy presentation and victory celebration, interviews with players such as Jackson, Piniella, and Randolph, and analysis of key moments in the Series. Finally, each disc in the 7-DVD sets is packaged in a case covered in SleeveStats, which are box scores, line scores and trivia facts from each game.

Overall, the New York Yankees 1977 World Series Collector's Edition is much like the other Collector's Edition DVDs from A&E and Major League Baseball Productions. Its extensive footage and solid extras make it a desirable package for fans of the winning team. Its lack of status as a truly classic series will probably not endear it to a wide audience of baseball fans or casual viewers. If in the end, the set appeals most to diehard Yankee fans and admirers of clutch hitting, the makers of the DVD can at least be satisfied that they have marketed to two of the most ardent niche groups in baseball today.






'What a Fantastic Death Abyss': David Bowie's 'Outside' at 25

David Bowie's Outside signaled the end of him as a slick pop star and his reintroduction as a ragged-edged arty agitator.


Dream Folk's Wolf & Moon Awaken the Senses with "Eyes Closed" (premiere)

Berlin's Wolf & Moon are an indie folk duo with a dream pop streak. "Eyes Closed" highlights this aspect as the act create a deep sense of atmosphere and mood with the most minimal of tools.


Ranking the Seasons of 'The Wire'

Years after its conclusion, The Wire continues to top best-of-TV lists. With each season's unique story arc, each viewer is likely to have favorites.


Paul Reni's Silent Film 'The Man Who Laughs' Is Serious Cinema

There's so much tragedy present, so many skullduggeries afoot, and so many cruel and vindictive characters in attendance that a sad and heartbreaking ending seems to be an obvious given in Paul Reni's silent film, The Man Who Laughs.


The Grahams Tell Their Daughter "Don't Give Your Heart Away" (premiere)

The Grahams' sweet-sounding "Don't Give Your Heart Away" is rooted in struggle, inspired by the couples' complicated journey leading up to their daughter's birth.


Gloom Balloon Deliver an Uplifting Video for "All My Feelings For You" (premiere)

Gloom Balloon's Patrick Tape Fleming considers what making a music video during a pandemic might involve because, well, he made one. Could Fellini come up with this plot twist?


Brian Cullman Gets Bluesy with "Someday Miss You" (premiere)

Brian Cullman's "Someday Miss You" taps into American roots music, carries it across the Atlantic and back for a sound that is both of the past and present.


IDLES Have Some Words for Fans and Critics on 'Ultra Mono'

On their new album, Ultra Mono, IDLES tackle both the troubling world around them and the dissenters that want to bring them down.


Napalm Death Return With Their Most Vital Album in Decades

Grindcore institution Napalm Death finally reconcile their experimental side with their ultra-harsh roots on Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism.


NYFF: 'Notturno' Looks Passively at the Chaos in the Middle East

Gianfranco Rosi's expansive documentary, Notturno, is far too remote for its burningly immediate subject matter.


What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .


The Avett Brothers Go Back-to-Basics with 'The Third Gleam'

For their latest EP, The Third Gleam, the Avett Brothers leave everything behind but their songs and a couple of acoustic guitars, a bass, and a banjo.


PM Picks Playlist 1: Rett Madison, Folk Devils + More

The first PopMatters Picks Playlist column features searing Americana from Rett Madison, synthpop from Everything and Everybody, the stunning electropop of Jodie Nicholson, the return of post-punk's Folk Devils, and the glammy pop of Baby FuzZ.


David Lazar's 'Celeste Holm  Syndrome' Appreciates Hollywood's Unsung Character Actors

David Lazar's Celeste Holm Syndrome documents how character actor work is about scene-defining, not scene-stealing.


David Lord Salutes Collaborators With "Cloud Ear" (premiere)

David Lord teams with Jeff Parker (Tortoise) and Chad Taylor (Chicago Underground) for a new collection of sweeping, frequently meditative compositions. The results are jazz for a still-distant future that's still rooted in tradition.


Laraaji Takes a "Quiet Journey" (premiere +interview)

Afro Transcendentalist Laraaji prepares his second album of 2020, the meditative Moon Piano, recorded inside a Brooklyn church. The record is an example of what the artist refers to as "pulling music from the sky".


Blues' Johnny Ray Daniels Sings About "Somewhere to Lay My Head" (premiere)

Johnny Ray Daniels' "Somewhere to Lay My Head" is from new compilation that's a companion to a book detailing the work of artist/musician/folklorist Freeman Vines. Vines chronicles racism and injustice via his work.


The Band of Heathens Find That Life Keeps Getting 'Stranger'

The tracks on the Band of Heathens' Stranger are mostly fun, even when on serious topics, because what other choice is there? We all may have different ideas on how to deal with problems, but we are all in this together.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.