HOUSTON — The Yankees have played in 16 American League Championship Series since the round was introduced in 1969, with their first appearance coming in 1976. They won 11 of their first 15 ALCS visits.
The 2017 version is the fifth ALCS that the Yankees have been involved in that has gone the distance. The Yankees were 3-1 in the previous four deciding games. Here’s a look back:
1976: Yankees beat Royals in Game 5, 7-6: The ALCS was a best-of-five, with the first two games in Kansas City and the final three at Yankee Stadium. The teams alternated wins, with the Royals taking Game 4 to force a deciding Game 5.
The Yankees took a 6-3 lead into the eighth inning, but Kansas City tied the game on George Brett’s three-run homer off Grant Jackson.
In one of the most famous moments in Yankees postseason history, Chris Chambliss hit a walk-off home run off Mark Littell in the ninth inning to send the Yankees to the World Series for the first time since 1964. Chambliss was mobbed by dozens of fans as he tried to round the bases.
1977: Yankees beat Royals in Game 5, 5-3: In the rematch, the first two games were played at Yankee Stadium and the last three in Kansas City. The teams again alternated wins, with the Yankees taking Game 4, 6-4.
Game 5 featured a bench-clearing brawl in the first inning after Brett slid hard into Graig Nettles on a triple and pushed Nettles. No players were ejected.
The Yankees trailed 3-1 entering the eighth inning. Reggie Jackson, who was not in the starting lineup against lefthander Paul Splittorff, had a pinch-hit RBI single to make it 3-2. The Yankees scored three in the ninth, with the go-ahead run coming on a sacrifice fly by Willie Randolph.
2003: Yankees beat Red Sox in Game 7, 6-5 (11): Trailing by three, the Yankees tied it in the bottom of the eighth against Pedro Martinez, earning manager Grady Little a place in Red Sox infamy for not removing the tiring future Hall of Famer. Aaron Boone, who had entered the game as a pinch runner in the eighth, homered to left off knuckleballer Tim Wakefield to win it in the 11th. Mariano Rivera, who threw three shutout innings for the win, ran out to the mound and collapsed as Boone circled the bases.
2004: Red Sox beat Yankees in Game 7, 10-3: Avert your eyes, Yankees fans. The Red Sox stormed back from a 3-0 series deficit to take the final four games, including Game 7 at a stunned Yankee Stadium. Boston led 6-0 after two innings and 8-0 after four. Johnny Damon hit two home runs, including a second-inning grand slam. The “Idiot’’ Red Sox became the first MLB team to win a seven-game series after losing the first three games. They went on to Reverse the Curse and win the World Series for the first time since 1918.