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The Greatest Comeback Ever: A fan’s diary of the 1978 New York Yankees Championship Season by Paul Keck


In 1978, I began writing a daily diary about my favorite team, the New York Yankees. As a dedicated 16 year old, I already had found a “second home” in the Bronx, and a favorite player-Chris Chambliss. I thoroughly enjoyed reading and writing, flipping baseball cards and playing sports year round with my friends-particularly baseball.


The year started well for the Yankees, but much better for the Red Sox who were burning up the AL East, powered by Jim Rice, Dennis Eckersley and a well balanced team overall. The Yankees, struggling with a dissension laden team and too many injuries to list, fell a full 14 games behind first place Boston by July 19.  But the fireworks were just about to begin for the Bronx Bombers, in a very positive way. With Billy Martin’s resignation at mid-season, things began to turn around. Bob Lemon, who himself had been fired from the White Sox recently, came on board and engineered what became the greatest comeback in MLB history. From 14 out, the Yanks stormed back to tie Boston for first on the last day of the season. The rare tie-breaker playoff game to decide the AL East division winner is one of the greatest jewels ever produced in baseball history. Yankees and Red Sox fans alike will never forget where they were when Bucky Dent hit his famous homerun to lead the Yankees back to victory and a date with the Kansas City Royals for the AL Championship. Personally, I was celebrating with a couple of my best friends as we watched Dent round the bases after his 3 run homer. After the Yankees dispatched the Royals, they went on to become the first team in MLB history to lose the first two games of the World Series and then win the next four straight-a feat which took 75 years of Fall Classic play to accomplish.


The daily journal I wrote that year is filled with the joy, decided opinions and thoughts that any fan can relate to as they follow their favorite team through the season. In December 2008, I finally had my diary published, complete with all the “hits, runs and errors” of a young writer. It is the only book ever written by a young fan, live-time as the season unfolded on any sports season-an amazing one at that! Published as The Greatest Comeback Ever: A fan’s diary of the 1978 New York Yankees Championship Season, it’s truly a great read for all ages-adults, youth and everyone between. It is currently available from, and I hope you will have the good pleasure and opportunity to read my special book this year. Truly a unique book on a unique season, the Yankees and Red Sox pennant race of 1978 will always rank as one of the most spectacular of all time. With wonderful write-ups from then rookie pitcher Ken Clay and Anita and Lou Piniella, you’ll see what I mean. Read the book!


Paul Keck


Buy now: The Greatest Comeback Ever: A fan’s diary of the 1978 New York Yankees Championship Season

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