Big (6'3" 210-lb) Littell was the American Association Pitcher of the Year in 1973.
The strikeout pitcher used his blazing fastball to become bullpen ace for
the Royals and later the Cardinals, but in the 1976 ALCS he surrendered a pennant-winning
home run to the Yankees' Chris Chambliss in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game
Five. He saved 56 games from 1976 to 1981 until elbow spurs cut short his career.
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FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»October 14, 1976:
In the final LCS game, the Yankees take the
early lead only to see the Royals even it up on Brett's
3-run homer in the 8th. Chambliss then connects on
a dramatic 9th-inning HR off relief ace Mark Littell
to win the game 7-6 and the pennant for the Yankees.
By the time Chambliss reaches 2B, he is surrounded
by screaming fans who escort him around the bases.
After he reaches the dugout he returns with a police
escort to make sure he touches 3B and home.
»August 10, 1981: After a 2-month wait, Pete Rose finally breaks Stan Musial's National League hit record, singling off Mark Littell in Philadelphia's 7–3 loss to St. Louis. Rose now has 3,631 career hits. A crowd of 60,561 cheers his 8th inning hit.
»July 29, 1995: The Royals top the Tigers 5–4 on Jon Nunnally's home run in the 16th inning, KC's first extra-base hit in the game following 21 singles, including five by OF Vince Coleman. The American League record is 26 set by the Brewers in 1992. Nine players hit in the 9th slot, including winning P Hipolito Pichardo, who bats twice. He is the 1st Royals' pitcher to go to the plate since Mark Littell in 1977, though IF David Howard, who tossed two innings in '94, batted while pitching.