1988 Major League Baseball season

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This article is about the 1988 Major League Baseball season only. For information on all of baseball, see 1988 in baseball.
1988 MLB season
League Major League Baseball
Sport Baseball
Duration April 4, 1988 – October 20, 1988
Regular season
Season MVP NL: Kirk Gibson (LAD)
AL: José Canseco (OAK)
League postseason
AL champions Oakland Athletics
  AL runners-up Boston Red Sox
NL champions Los Angeles Dodgers
  NL runners-up New York Mets
World Series
Champions Los Angeles Dodgers
World Series MVP Orel Hershiser (LAD)
MLB seasons

The 1988 Major League Baseball season ended with the underdog Los Angeles Dodgers shocking the Oakland Athletics, who had won 104 games during the regular season, in the World Series. The most memorable moment of the series came in Game 1, when injured Dodger Kirk Gibson hit a dramatic pinch-hit walk-off home run off Athletics closer Dennis Eckersley to win the game for Los Angeles. The Dodgers went on to win the Series in five games.

Overview[edit]

A ticket from the game where Goose Gossage earned his 300th career save on August 6, 1988.

The American League's best player in 1988 clearly was Athletics outfielder José Canseco.[citation needed] This season saw him become the first player in history to hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in a single season, unanimously garnering league MVP honors. The A's surrounded him with a stellar supporting cast, led by fellow slugger Mark McGwire (with whom Canseco formed the famed "Bash Brothers" duo). Aided by strong pitching from Dave Stewart and Bob Welch and the lights-out Eckersley securing 45 saves, Oakland ran away with the American League West and swept the Boston Red Sox of Boggs, Rice, and Clemens in the playoffs before falling to the Dodgers in the World Series.

Speaking of the Dodgers, nobody expected them to even contend for the National League West title in 1988, let alone win the World Championship.[citation needed] However, the intensity and clutch hitting of Gibson (named the NL MVP at season's end) and the solid pitching of Orel Hershiser (who won a league-leading 23 games) spearheaded L.A. to a division championship by seven games over the Cincinnati Reds. In addition to his 23 victories, Hershiser led the National League with 267 innings pitched and 8 shutouts, and also set a record of 59 consecutive scoreless innings (formerly held by Dodger great Don Drysdale). These accomplishments, combined with his 2.26 ERA, earned him the National League Cy Young Award. However, it was in the post-season that Hershiser really distinguished himself – he started Games 1 and 3 of the NLCS against the tough New York Mets, won Game 4 in relief, and threw a complete game shutout in Game 7. He hurled another complete game shutout in Game 2 of the World Series and again went the distance in the clinching Game 5. Hershiser was named MVP of both the NLCS and the World Series, capping off arguably one of the greatest seasons a starting pitcher has ever had.

Champions[edit]

League Championship Series World Series
           
East Boston Red Sox 0
West Oakland Athletics 4
AL Oakland Athletics 1
NL Los Angeles Dodgers 4
East New York Mets 3
West Los Angeles Dodgers 4

Awards and honors[edit]

MLB statistical leaders[edit]

  American League National League
Type Name Stat Name Stat
AVG Wade Boggs BOS .366 Tony Gwynn SDP .313
HR José Canseco OAK 42 Darryl Strawberry NYM 39
RBI José Canseco OAK 124 Will Clark SFG 109
Wins Frank Viola MIN 24 Orel Hershiser LAD
Danny Jackson CIN
23
ERA Allan Anderson MIN
Teddy Higuera MIL
2.45 Joe Magrane STL 2.18
SO Roger Clemens BOS 291 Nolan Ryan HOU 228
SV Dennis Eckersley OAK 45 John Franco CIN 39
SB Rickey Henderson NYY 93 Vince Coleman STL 81

Major league baseball final standings[edit]

AL East W L Pct. GB
Boston Red Sox 89 73 .549    --
Detroit Tigers 88 74 .543   1.0
Milwaukee Brewers 87 75 .537   2.0
Toronto Blue Jays 87 75 .537   2.0
New York Yankees 85 76 .528   3.5
Cleveland Indians 78 84 .481 11.0
Baltimore Orioles 54 107 .335 34.5
AL West W L Pct. GB
Oakland Athletics 104 58 .642 --
Minnesota Twins 91 71 .562 13
Kansas City Royals 84 77 .522 19½
California Angels 75 87 .463 29
Chicago White Sox 71 90 .441 32½
Texas Rangers 70 91 .435 33½
Seattle Mariners 68 93 .422 35½
NL East W L Pct. GB
New York Mets 100 60 .625 --
Pittsburgh Pirates 85 75 .531 15
Montreal Expos 81 81 .500 20
Chicago Cubs 77 85 .475 24
St. Louis Cardinals 76 86 .469 25
Philadelphia Phillies 65 96 .404 35.5
NL West W L GB Pct.
Los Angeles Dodgers 94 67 -- .584
Cincinnati Reds 87 74 7.0 .540
San Diego Padres 83 78 11.0 .516
San Francisco Giants 83 79 11.5 .512
Houston Astros 82 80 12.5 .506
Atlanta Braves 54 106 39.5 .338

Postseason[edit]

Major League Baseball[edit]

League Championship Series ABC World Series NBC
           
East Boston Red Sox 0
West Oakland Athletics 4
AL Oakland Athletics 1
NL Los Angeles Dodgers 4
East New York Mets 3
West Los Angeles Dodgers 4

Managers[edit]

American League[edit]

Team Manager Notes
Baltimore Orioles Cal Ripken, Sr., Frank Robinson
Boston Red Sox John McNamara, Joe Morgan
California Angels Cookie Rojas, Moose Stubing
Chicago White Sox Jim Fregosi
Cleveland Indians Doc Edwards
Detroit Tigers Sparky Anderson
Kansas City Royals John Wathan
Milwaukee Brewers Tom Trebelhorn
Minnesota Twins Tom Kelly
New York Yankees Billy Martin, Lou Piniella
Oakland Athletics Tony La Russa Won American League Pennant
Seattle Mariners Dick Williams, Jim Snyder
Texas Rangers Bobby Valentine
Toronto Blue Jays Jimy Williams

National League[edit]

Team Manager Notes
Atlanta Braves Chuck Tanner, Russ Nixon
Chicago Cubs Don Zimmer
Cincinnati Reds Pete Rose, Tommy Helms
Houston Astros Hal Lanier
Los Angeles Dodgers Tommy Lasorda Won World Series
Montreal Expos Buck Rodgers
New York Mets Davey Johnson
Philadelphia Phillies Lee Elia, John Vukovich
Pittsburgh Pirates Jim Leyland
St. Louis Cardinals Whitey Herzog
San Diego Padres Larry Bowa, Jack McKeon
San Francisco Giants Roger Craig

Events[edit]

Movies[edit]

Deaths[edit]

  • February 20 – Bob O'Farrell, 91, catcher for four NL teams over 21 seasons who won 1926 MVP award with the Cardinals
  • February 23 – Pete Donohue, 87, pitcher who had three 20-win seasons for the Reds and beat the Phillies 20 consecutive times from 1922–25
  • February 28 – Harvey Kuenn, 57, 8-time All-Star shortstop and outfielder, most notably with the Tigers, who batted .303 lifetime and led AL in hits four times and doubles three times; 1953 Rookie of the Year and 1959 batting champion, later managed Brewers to their first pennant in 1982
  • March 21 – Edd Roush, 94, Hall of Fame center fielder for the Cincinnati Reds who batted .323 lifetime; led NL in batting twice, and in slugging, doubles and triples once each; hit 30 inside-the-park home runs, and ended career with 13th-most triples in history
  • March 29 – Ted Kluszewski, 63, All-Star first baseman for the Reds who led NL in homers and RBI in 1954 and batted .300 seven times, known for his sleeveless jersey; later a Reds coach
  • June 9 – Newt Allen, 87, All-Star second baseman for the Negro Leagues' Kansas City Monarchs
  • July 4 – Lee Weyer, 51, National League umpire since 1963 who worked in four World Series and 5 NL Championship Series
  • July 20 – John W. Galbreath, 90, owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1945 to 1985, during which period the team won three World Series
  • September 2 – Jim Bagby, Jr., 71, All-Star pitcher for the Red Sox and Indians, led AL in starts and innings in 1943
  • September 16 – Bob Trice, 62, first black player in Philadelphia Athletics history
  • October 14 – Vic Raschi, 69, All-Star pitcher who won 20 games for the Yankees three straight years (1949–51), won World Series clinchers in 1949 and 1951
  • November 21 – Carl Hubbell, 85, Hall of Fame pitcher who won 253 games for the New York Giants, second most among NL left-handers upon retirement; named NL's MVP in 1933 and 1936, he led league in wins and ERA three times each and had 1.79 ERA in six World Series starts; 1677 strikeouts were NL record for left-handers until 1958, and won 24 straight games in 1936–37
  • November 22 – Ray Kelly, 74, sportswriter who covered the Philadelphia Athletics and Phillies since the late 1940s
  • November 30 – Wally Berger, 83, All-Star center fielder for the Boston Braves who had four 100-RBI seasons, batted .300 lifetime; led NL in homers and RBI in 1935
  • December 12 – Joe Reichler, 73, sportswriter and author who wrote for the Associated Press for 20 years and served as an assistant to the commissioner after 1966; editor of the Macmillan Baseball Encyclopedia since its first edition in 1969
  • December 21 – Willie Kamm, 88, third baseman for the White Sox and Indians who led AL in fielding average eight times and in putouts seven times; batted .308 in 1928 and led league in walks in 1925

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mackin, Bob (2004). The Unofficial Guide to Baseball's Most Unusual Records. Canada: Greystone Books. p. 240. ISBN 9781553650386. .