1984 Chicago Cubs season

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1984 Chicago Cubs
National League East Champions
Chicago Cubs logo.svg
Major League affiliations
Location
Other information
Owner(s) Tribune Company
General manager(s) Dallas Green
Manager(s) Jim Frey
Local television WGN-TV/Superstation WGN
(Harry Caray, Steve Stone, Milo Hamilton)
Local radio WGN
(Milo Hamilton, Vince Lloyd, Lou Boudreau, Harry Caray)
Stats ESPN.com
BB-reference
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The 1984 Chicago Cubs season was the 113th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 109th in the National League and the 69th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished with a record of 96-65 in first place of the National League Eastern Division. Chicago was managed by Jim Frey and the general manager was Dallas Green. The Cubs' postseason appearance in this season was their first since 1945.

The Cubs pitching staff included 1984 Cy Young Award winner Rick Sutcliffe, and the lineup included 1984 Baseball Most Valuable Player Award winner second baseman Ryne Sandberg. Frey was awarded Manager of the Year for the National League for leading the Cubs to 96 victories. The Cubs were defeated in the 1984 National League Championship Series by the San Diego Padres three games to two.

Offseason[edit]

Spring training[edit]

The Cubs began their third season under the control of the Tribune Company and Dallas Green in Mesa, Arizona in February 1984. The previous year, the Cubs had fired manager Lee Elia during a 71-91 campaign, but the Cubs showed flashes of being competitive. As late as July 4, the Cubs were within a game of first place. After the 1983 season, general manager Green hired Jim Frey, the former Kansas City Royals manager who was Green's adversary during the 1980 World Series.

The Cubs opened camp with only a few new players. Richie Hebner, the former Pittsburgh Pirate, was signed as a free agent. The Cubs also made a three-way deal with San Diego and Montreal, sending Craig Lefferts and Carmelo Martínez to the Padres, and getting Scott Sanderson from the Expos.

The Cubs struggled in Cactus League action, so Green began to rebuild the team before it left Mesa. Green began by releasing Ferguson Jenkins, who was just 16 games shy of winning 300 games. Jenkins' release ended the right-hander's second stint with the Cubs, and effectively, his career. Green's biggest move of the spring came on March 26, when he sent journeyman reliever Bill Campbell and catcher Mike Diaz to Philadelphia for pitcher Porfi Altamirano and outfielders Gary Matthews and Bob Dernier.

Regular season[edit]

Season summary[edit]

The Cubs rebuilt the starting pitching staff through a series of trades by Dallas Green after a disappointing 1983 season where they went 71-91. Green had been brought to the Cubs by the Tribune company which purchased the team in 1981. Before the season started, Green dealt Carmelo Martínez, Craig Lefferts, and Fritzie Connally to acquire right-hander Scott Sanderson.[4] On May 25, the Cubs traded Bill Buckner to the Boston Red Sox for righty Dennis Eckersley and Mike Brumley.[5] Finally on June 13, Mel Hall, Joe Carter, Don Schulze, and Darryl Banks were sent to the Cleveland Indians for starter Rick Sutcliffe, George Frazier, and Ron Hassey.[6] The acquisition of these three starters solidified the rotation for the year.

The Cubs opened up the season going 12-8 in April, and were tied for first place with the New York Mets and a half-game ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies.

On May 27 against the Cincinnati Reds in Wrigley Field, third baseman Ron Cey hit what was originally ruled a home run down the left field line. Believing the ball had gone foul, Mario Soto and Reds manager Vern Rapp disputed the call, and during the argument, Soto shoved third base umpire Steve Rippley, who had made the call. After conferring, the umpires changed their decision and ruled it a foul ball, drawing a protest from the Cubs. However, for shoving Rippley, Soto was ejected, prompting him to charge the field and attack Cubs coach Don Zimmer, which triggered a ten-minute brawl. Four days later, National League president Chub Feeney suspended Mario Soto for five games. This game is also notable because Soto's opponent that day was Dennis Eckersley, who would go on to become a record-setting closer years later. "Eck", who was making his Cubs debut after being acquired in a trade with the Boston Red Sox (the Cubs traded Bill Buckner and got Eckersley and then-minor league middle infielder Mike Brumley), would take the loss that day.[7]

The race stayed tight through the first half of the season, with the Cubs and Phillies tied at 42-34 on June 30, with the Mets trailing by just one and a half games. The second half of the season was different, with the Cubs posting a 54-31 record, with the Mets trailing, and the Phillies slumping back to a .500 record.[8]

A key game during the season occurred on June 23 at Wrigley, with the Cubs facing the rival St. Louis Cardinals on the nationally televised "game of the week". The Cardinals led throughout the game, and led 9-8 going into the bottom of the ninth with closer Bruce Sutter on the mound. Twenty-four-year-old second baseman Ryne Sandberg led off the ninth with a solo home run into the left-field bleachers, tying the game at nine.[9] The following inning, St. Louis regained the lead, and Sutter stayed in the game attempting to close out the win. After the first two batters were retired, Bob Dernier walked, bringing up Sandberg again. He promptly hit another game-tying home run into the left-field bleachers, sending the Wrigley fans into a frenzy.[9] The Cardinals did not score in the top of the 11th, but the Cubs loaded the bases on three walks, then rookie Dave Owen singled in the winning run.[10] Ryne Sandberg had 7 RBI in the game. Henceforth, this game has become known as "The Sandberg Game". On September 3, 1984, Rick Sutcliffe had 15 strikeouts in a game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Cubs ended their playoff drought on September 24 at Three Rivers Stadium in front of just over 5,000 fans, many of whom were Cubs fans.[11] Rick Sutcliffe threw a two-hit complete game for his sixteenth straight victory, and the Cubs won the National League East.[11]

Opening Day starters[edit]

Season standings[edit]

NL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
Chicago Cubs 96 65 0.596 51–29 45–36
New York Mets 90 72 0.556 48–33 42–39
St. Louis Cardinals 84 78 0.519 12½ 44–37 40–41
Philadelphia Phillies 81 81 0.500 15½ 39–42 42–39
Montreal Expos 78 83 0.484 18 39–42 39–41
Pittsburgh Pirates 75 87 0.463 21½ 41–40 34–47


Record vs. opponents[edit]

1984 National League Records

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]
Team ATL CHC CIN HOU LAD MON NYM PHI PIT SD SF STL
Atlanta 3–9 13–5 12–6 6–12 5–7 4–8 7–5 8–4 7–11 10–8 5–7
Chicago 9–3 7–5 6–6 7–5 10–7 12–6 9–9 8–10 6–6 9–3 13–5
Cincinnati 5–13 5–7 8–10 7–11 7–5 3–9 5–7 7–5 7–11 12–6 4–8
Houston 6–12 6–6 10–8 9–9 7–5 4–8 6–6 6–6 6–12 12–6 8–4
Los Angeles 12–6 5–7 7–11 9–9 6–6 3–9 3–9 4–8 10–8 10–8 6–6
Montreal 7–5 7–10 5–7 5–7 6–6 7–11 11–7 7–11 7–5 7–5 9–9
New York 8–4 6–12 9–3 8–4 9–3 11–7 10–8 12–6 6–6 4–8 7–11
Philadelphia 5-7 9–9 7–5 6–6 9–3 7–11 8–10 7–11 7–5 8–4 8–10
Pittsburgh 4–8 10–8 5–7 6–6 8–4 11–7 6–12 11–7 4–8 6–6 4–14
San Diego 11–7 6–6 11–7 12–6 8–10 5–7 6–6 5–7 8–4 13–5 7–5
San Francisco 8–10 3–9 6–12 6–12 8–10 5–7 8–4 4–8 6–6 5–13 7–5
St. Louis 7–5 5–13 8–4 4–8 6–6 9–9 11–7 10–8 14–4 5–7 5–7


Notable transactions[edit]

Roster[edit]

1984 Chicago Cubs
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders Manager

Coaches

Game log[edit]

1984 Game Log

Player stats[edit]

Batting[edit]

Starters by position[edit]

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C Jody Davis 150 523 134 .256 19 94
1B Leon Durham 137 473 132 .279 23 96
2B Ryne Sandberg 156 636 200 .314 19 84
3B Ron Cey 146 505 121 .240 25 97
SS Larry Bowa 133 391 87 .223 0 17
LF Gary Matthews 147 491 143 .291 14 82
CF Bob Dernier 143 536 149 .278 3 32
RF Keith Moreland 140 495 138 .279 16 80

Other batters[edit]

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Richie Hebner 44 81 27 .333 2 8
Bill Buckner 21 43 9 .209 0 2

Pitching[edit]

Starting pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Steve Trout 32 190 13 7 3.41 81
Dennis Eckersley 24 160.1 10 8 3.03 81
Rick Sutcliffe 20 150.1 16 1 2.69 155
Scott Sanderson 24 140.2 8 5 3.14 76
Dick Ruthven 23 126.2 6 10 5.04 55
Chuck Rainey 17 88.1 5 7 4.28 45
Don Schulze 1 3 0 0 12 2

Other pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Rick Reuschel 19 92.1 5 5 5.17 43
Rich Bordi 31 83.1 5 2 3.46 41

Relief pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Lee Smith 69 9 7 33 3.65 86
Tim Stoddard 58 10 6 7 3.82 87
Warren Brusstar 41 1 1 3 3.11 36
George Frazier 37 6 3 3 4.10 58
Dickie Noles 21 2 2 0 5.15 14
Porfi Altamirano 5 0 0 0 4.76 7

Cultural Influences[edit]

Before the season began, Grammy-award winning artist Steve Goodman recorded the tune "Go Cubs Go" which was played as the lead-in music for the radio broadcast on WGN radio. Goodman, who died just days before the Cubs clinched the division, also recorded "A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request." Since the 2007 season, the song has been played at Wrigley Field after victories; the practice continues to this day.[16]

The home games always began with the popular Van Halen song "Jump".

NLCS[edit]

A myth is that the Cubs were deprived of home-field advantage for the 1984 National League Championship Series (NLCS) because they could not host night games.

However, from 1969–1984, the LCS were five-game series played in a 2-3 format. The NL West and AL East champs hosted the first two games in odd years and the NL East and the AL West hosted the first two games in even years. Thus, no changes were made to the NLCS schedule due to Wrigley Field's lack of lights.[17]

It is true that Major League Baseball announced in August 1984 that if the Cubs were to make the World Series, the first game would be moved to the American League park, to maximize the television revenues from night games. In 1984, the series was to be a seven-game series in a 2-3-2 format with the NL hosting the first two and last two games. [18]

San Diego won the series, 3–2.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 2 San Diego Padres – 0, Chicago Cubs – 13 Wrigley Field 2:49 36,282[19] 
2 October 3 San Diego Padres – 2, Chicago Cubs – 4 Wrigley Field 2:18 36,282[20] 
3 October 4 Chicago Cubs – 1, San Diego Padres – 7 Jack Murphy Stadium 2:19 58,346[21] 
4 October 6 Chicago Cubs – 5, San Diego Padres – 7 Jack Murphy Stadium 3:13 58,354[22] 
5 October 7 Chicago Cubs – 3, San Diego Padres – 6 Jack Murphy Stadium 2:41 58,359[23]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Jim Frey, Associated Press Manager of the Year
  • Ryne Sandberg – National League Most Valuable Player
  • Rick Sutcliffe – National League Cy Young Award Winner

All-Star Game

Farm system[edit]

Level Team League Manager
AAA Iowa Cubs American Association Jim Napier
AA Midland Cubs Texas League George Enright
A Lodi Crushers California League Junior Kennedy
A Quad Cities Cubs Midwest League Larry Cox
A-Short Season Geneva Cubs New York–Penn League Tony Franklin
Rookie Pikeville Cubs Appalachian League Jim Fairey

References[edit]

  • Johnson, Lloyd; Wolff, Miles, eds. (1997). The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball (2nd ed.). Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America. ISBN 978-0-9637189-8-3. 
  1. ^ "Damon Berryhill Stats - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. 
  2. ^ "Mike Diaz Stats - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. 
  3. ^ "Alan Hargesheimer Stats - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. 
  4. ^ Scott Sanderson Bio, Baseball-Reference.com, Retrieved on August 8, 2007.
  5. ^ Dennis Eckersley Bio, Baseball-Reference.com, Retrieved on August 8, 2007.
  6. ^ Rick Sutcliffe Bio, Baseball-Reference.com, Retrieved on August 8, 2007.
  7. ^ "SPORTS PEOPLE; Soto Faces Suspension". nytimes.com. 
  8. ^ The Cubs's road to the NL East championship, month by month, Chicago Tribune, October 2, 1984
  9. ^ a b Mitchell, Fred, Cub Turning Point, Chicago Tribune, page 3, October 2, 1984
  10. ^ June 23, 1984 Cubs Cardinals Boxscore, Baseball-Reference.com, Retrieved on August 8, 2007
  11. ^ a b Sept 24 1984 Cubs Pirates Boxscore, Baseball-Reference.com, Retrieved on August 8, 2007
  12. ^ "Dennis Eckersley Stats - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. 
  13. ^ "Greg Maddux Stats - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. 
  14. ^ "Rick Sutcliffe Stats - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. 
  15. ^ "Dickie Noles Stats - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. 
  16. ^ Muskat, Carrie, Cubs Mailbag 8/13/07, MLB.com, Retrieved on August 13, 2007
  17. ^ "The Post-Season Games Directory". www.retrosheet.org. 
  18. ^ From http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080806&content_id=3267314&vkey=news_chc&fext=.jsp&c_id=chc
  19. ^ "1984 NLCS Game 1 - San Diego Padres vs. Chicago Cubs". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  20. ^ "1984 NLCS Game 2 - San Diego Padres vs. Chicago Cubs". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  21. ^ "1984 NLCS Game 3 - Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  22. ^ "1984 NLCS Game 4 - Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  23. ^ "1984 NLCS Game 5 - Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 

External sources[edit]