Year In Review : 1990 National League

O ff the field...

The Hubble Space Telescope was originally due to be launched in 1986, but the explosion
of the Space Shuttle Challenger delayed the launch until April of 1990. The twelve-ton telescope was equipped with a ninety-four inch mirror and was sent into orbit by the astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. Within two months, a flaw in the mirror was discovered, placing in jeopardy the largest investment ever in astronomy. Three years later, the defect was finally repaired by specialists aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor who restored the telescope to its full optical capabilities.

Microsoft Corporation introduced their new operating system Windows 3.0 which featured a graphical user interface similar to the Macintosh platform from Apple. The PC version of the software was geared towards the novice home user and forever changed the world of personal computers. Some of the new features included the use of a mouse, which allowed the user to navigate the screen with a pointer and manipulate data with one hand.

America's favorite dysfunctional cartoon family, The Simpsons debuted as a half hour-comedy on the FOX Network. Created by Matt Groening in 1987, the characters of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie were featured as thirty-second spots on The Tracey Ullman Show before going solo in 1990. The controversial series had been repeatedly confirmed by fans and critics to be one of the most humorous and lifelike portraits of the average American family and it received the 1990 and 1991 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Animated Program.

I n the American League...

The Seattle Mariner's Randy Johnson tossed the franchise's first no-hitter with a 2-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers. The "Big Unit", who earned his nickname as the tallest pitcher in Major League history at six feet ten inches, struck out eight batters and walked six with fifty of his pitches clocked at ninety-four miles per hour or above.

As a tribute to days gone by, the Chicago White Sox held a throwback tribute to honor their 1917 World Championship team. The players donned old-fashioned uniforms and the promoters at Comiskey Park scaled all concessions back to World War I prices. The home team went on to lose 12-9 at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers in a thirteen inning nail-biter.

The Minnesota Twins set a Major League record by pulling off two triple plays in the same game, one in the fourth and another in the eighth. Both were started on grounders to third baseman Gary Gaetti who had started five of the Twins' last six triple efforts. Despite the record, the Red Sox went on to win 1-0. The following day both teams combined to set yet another major league mark for defensive plays when Boston hit into six double plays and Minnesota grounded into four. The previous mark of nine double plays was last accomplished on April 15, 1961.

I n the National League...

The National League announced it plans to expand from twelve to fourteen teams for the 1993 season opening the doors for expansion franchises in Denver and Miami. The price of admission into the National League was set at a whopping ninety-five million dollars.

Eddie Murray of the Los Angeles Dodgers homered from both sides of the plate during a 6-2 win over the San Francisco Giants. In doing so he became the first major leaguer to pull the feat in both the National and American Leagues.

Chicago Cubs' ace Greg Maddux set a Major League record for pitchers when he recorded seven putouts in a 4-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Over the course of the season he recorded thirty-nine putouts for the year to tie Vic Willis for the National League mark set in 1904. Maddux went on to match it again both in 1991 and 1993.

A round the league...

The Boston Red Sox hired Elaine Weddington as their newest assistant General Manager, making her the highest-ranking black female in the major leagues.

The Major League owners unanimously refused to open Spring Training camps without a new Basic Agreement with the Players' Association. The standoff resulted in a thirty-two day lockout that postponed the start of the regular season by one week.

Both players and owners eventually reached a collective-bargaining agreement that increased the clubs' contributions to the players' pension fund, raised the minimum major league salary to $100,000 and also set a compromise on salary arbitration that left seventeen percent of the players with two and three years experience eligible.

On April 10th, President George Bush Sr. became the first U.S. president to throw out a first pitch on foreign soil after he was invited to the Toronto home opener by the Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. The Blue Jays later went on to beat the Texas Rangers (who were owned by a group led by George Bush Jr.) by a score of 2-1.

"Playing baseball for a living is like having a license to steal." - Pete Rose
1990 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

San Diego

104

Batting Average

St. Louis

.335

Doubles

New York

40

Hits

San Francisco

192

Philadelphia

Home Runs

Chicago

40

On Base Percentage

New York

.425

RBI

San Francisco

122

Runs

Chicago

116

Slugging Average

Pittsburgh

.565

Stolen Bases

St. Louis

77

Total Bases

Chicago

344

Triples

Cincinnati

11

1990 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Los Angeles

12

ERA

Houston

2.21

Games

Houston

82

Saves

New York

33

Shutouts

San Diego

4

Los Angeles

Strikeouts

New York

233

Winning Percentage

Pittsburgh

.786

Wins

Pittsburgh

22

1990 National League

Team Standings

Pittsburgh Pirates

95 67 .586 0

$14,740,000

New York Mets

91 71 .562 4

$21,786,834

Montreal Expos

85 77 .525 10

$15,776,055

Philadelphia Phillies

77 85 .475 18

$14,013,500

Chicago Cubs

77 85 .475 18

$13,654,500

St. Louis Cardinals

70 92 .432 25

$19,225,834

Cincinnati Reds

91 71 .562 0

$14,870,166

Los Angeles Dodgers

86 76 .531 5

$20,449,377

San Francisco Giants

85 77 .525 6

$18,804,272

San Diego Padres

75 87 .463 16

$16,677,834

Houston Astros

75 87 .463 16

$17,123,000

Atlanta Braves

65 97 .401 26

$10,914,834

1990 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Philadelphia

582

Pittsburgh

Batting Average

Cincinnati

.265

Doubles

Pittsburgh

288

Hits

Chicago

1,474

Home Runs

New York

172

On Base Percentage

Pittsburgh

.334

Runs

New York

775

Slugging Average

New York

.408

Stolen Bases

Montreal

235

Triples

Montreal

43

1990 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Los Angeles

29

ERA

Montreal

3.37

Fewest Hits Allowed

Cincinnati

1,338

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

St. Louis

98

Fewest Walks Allowed

Pittsburgh

413

Saves

Cincinnati

50

Montreal

Shutouts

New York

14

Strikeouts

New York

1,217



On April 20, 1990, Pete Rose , the all-time hit king, plead guilty to two felony counts of filing false income tax returns.

On April 29, 1990, Greg Maddux , who will win several Gold Glove Awards in the future, had a record seven putouts against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

On May 22, 1990, Andre Dawson was intentionally walked a record five times during one game.

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