Year In Review : 1984 American League

O ff the field...

Republican President Ronald Reagan was reelected after defeating Democratic candidate Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro, who was the first female Vice Presidential candidate to represent a major party.

Doctor's replaced the ailing heart of an infant girl known as "Baby Fae" with that of a baboon's at Loma Linda University Medical Center in California. Although she died twenty-one days later of organ failure, doctors discovered that she hadn't rejected the heart as many had expected. That gave hope to the doctors and inspired continued research to find a cure for neonatal heart disease.

James Huberty gunned down twenty-one children and adults in a McDonalds restaurant in San Ysidro, California before being shot dead by the police at the scene. The incident was one of the worst mass murders in U.S. history.

I n the American League...

On May 9th, Harold Baines hit a 420-foot homerun in the twenty-fifth inning to give the White Sox a 7-6 victory over the visiting Milwaukee Brewers. The eight hour and six minute marathon set an all-time record for the most innings ever played in an American League game as well as the longest game ever in the Major Leagues.

Sparky Anderson's Detroit Tigers echoed the glory days of Cobb as they dominated the American League with a 104-58 record and one-hundred eighty-seven home runs. Lance Parrish hit thirty-three home runs and ninety-eight RBIs while batting .237, Kirk Gibson added twenty-seven round-trippers and ninety-one RBIs plus a .282 average and Alan Trammell led the team with the top average of .314. Jack Morris anchored the Tigers' pitching staff with a 19-11 record and Guillermo Hernandez tallies thirty-two saves in thirty-three opportunities.

On the 17th Anniversary of his first round-tripper, Reggie Jackson launched a Bud Black fastball into the right field stands for his five-hundredth career homer. He was the thirteenth player ever to reach that mark following Willie McCovey in 1978. Unfortunately, "Mr. October" and his Anaheim Angels fell 10-1 to the visiting Kansas City Royals.

I n the National League...

Pete Rose, then with the Montreal Expos, played in his 3,309th Major League game on June 29th beating Carl Yastrzemski's record as well as his former team the Cincinnati Reds (7-3).

At Fulton County Stadium, the Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres erupted in a ten-minute brawl over a pitching duel that resulted in sixteen major ejections by the officials. Several Major League umpires stated that it was the worst disgrace ever witnessed on a baseball diamond and that it clearly set the game back fifty years in the minds of many fans.

The Chicago Cubs finally won their first title (of any kind) since 1945 after they beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-1 for the National League East.

A round the league...

Due to a strike by the Major League umpires, the first game of the National League Championship Series was called by college replacement officials. The labor dispute was predominately over a pool of $340,000 that the regulars wanted distributed to all umps, including those that were not working the post-season.

"The Natural," an instant classic based on the novel by Bernard Malamud, debuted on the big screen with Robert Redford starring as Roy Hobbs, an aging slugger with the New York Knights. The climatic finale is still considered one of the greatest scenes ever filmed on a baseball diamond.

Al Schacht, better known as "The Clown Prince of Baseball" died on July 14th at the age of ninety-one. The former Washington Senators pitcher turned top hat jester had entertained the crowd before twenty-five World Series and eighteen All-Star Games.

Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth warned the city of Chicago that he would move all future playoff games involving the Cubs to St. Louis unless outdoor lights were installed at Wrigley Field.

"I really do love baseball." - President Ronald Reagan
1984 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Baltimore

107

Batting Average

New York

.343

Doubles

New York

44

Hits

New York

207

Home Runs

Boston

43

On Base Percentage

Baltimore

.415

RBI

Boston

123

Runs

Boston

121

Slugging Average

Chicago

.541

Stolen Bases

Oakland

66

Total Bases

Boston

339

Triples

Toronto

15

Toronto

1984 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Texas

17

ERA

Baltimore

2.79

Games

Detroit

80

Saves

Kansas City

44

Shutouts

Boston

5

California

Strikeouts

Seattle

204

Winning Percentage

Toronto

.739

Wins

Baltimore

20

1984 American League

Team Standings

Detroit Tigers

104 58 .642 0

Toronto Blue Jays

89 73 .549 15

New York Yankees

87 75 .537 17

Boston Red Sox

86 76 .531 18

Baltimore Orioles

85 77 .525 19

Cleveland Indians

75 87 .463 29

Milwaukee Brewers

67 94 .416

Kansas City Royals

84 78 .519 0

California Angels

81 81 .500 3

Minnesota Twins

81 81 .500 3

Oakland Athletics

77 85 .475 7

Seattle Mariners

74 88 .757 10

Chicago White Sox

74 88 .457 10

Texas Rangers

69 92 .429 14½

1984 American League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Baltimore

620

Batting Average

Boston

.283

Doubles

Toronto

275

New York

Hits

Boston

1,598

Home Runs

Detroit

187

On Base Percentage

Detroit

.345

Runs

Detroit

829

Slugging Average

Boston

.441

Stolen Bases

Toronto

193

Triples

Toronto

68

1984 American League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Baltimore

48

ERA

Detroit

3.49

Fewest Hits Allowed

Detroit

1,358

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

New York

120

Fewest Walks Allowed

Kansas City

433

Saves

Detroit

51

Shutouts

Baltimore

13

Strikeouts

New York

992



In the Metrodome if a player hit a ball over the fence it was a home run. If a player hit the roof it was a ground rule double. On May 4, 1984, Dave Kingman of Oakland hit a ball through the roof (a drainage hole) and was awarded a double.

On May 6, 1984, Cal Ripken, Jr. hit for the cycle , on May 16, 1984, Carlton Fisk hit for the cycle , and on June 28, 1984, Dwight Evans hit for the cycle which included an extra-inning game winning three run homer to complete the circuit.

On September 17, 1984, Reggie Jackson of the Angels faced Bud Black of the Royals during the seventh inning. The first pitch from Black was deposited into the right field stands and Reggie Jackson became the 13th member of the 500 Home Runs Club . Did you know that this particular date was the 17 anniversary of his first Major League home run.

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