YEAR IN REVIEW : 1985 American League

Off the field...

TWA Flight 847 was hijacked by a group of Shi'ite terrorists who were identified as members of Islamic Jihad, a group of various fundamentalists, operating in Lebanon and other Middle East countries. The militant Muslims held one-hundred fifty-three people (including women and children) hostage while demanding the release of their brothers in arms. One passenger, U.S. Navy Diver Robert Stethem was executed and his body was dumped onto the tarmac. After several unsuccessful negotiations, Israel agreed to release thirty-one of its Shi'ite prisoners and the hostages were freed in return.

The wreck of the RMS Titanic (which sunk in 1912 killing 1,522 passengers and crew after striking an iceberg) was finally discovered by a joint U.S.-French expedition who located the remains of the "unsinkable" ocean liner three-hundred fifty miles southeast of Newfoundland in thirteen-thousand feet of water.

U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev held a Summit Meeting in Geneva to discuss improving relations between the U.S.S.R. and the United States and to help decrease the risk of nuclear war. In the end, both agreed not to attempt to achieve military superiority and banned the development of chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction.

In the American League...

The Milwaukee Brewers' Rollie Fingers recorded his two-hundred seventeenth American League career save breaking the record originally set by Sparky Lyle. The victory gave "The Mustache" a Major League record of three-hundred twenty-five saves overall. He retired at the end of the season capping off a brilliant seventeen-year career with a 114-118 record, a 2.90 ERA and three-hundred forty-one saves.

On August 4th, thirty-nine year-old Anaheim Angel Rod Carew became only the sixteenth player in Major League history to join the "3,000 Hit Club."

Major League Baseball's oldest stadium, Chicago's Comiskey Park, celebrated its 75th anniversary with eleven fans in attendance who were present at it's opening in 1910. The Seattle Mariners spoiled the festivities with a 3-1 win over the White Sox.

In the National League...

Dwight "Doc" Gooden of the New York Mets became the first National League pitcher to reach two-hundred strikeouts in each of his first two seasons as well as the youngest twenty game winner in baseball history. The previous mark was set by Bob Feller in 1939, but Gooden managed to beat him by one month.

Nolan Ryan, of the Houston Astros, struck out Danny Heep, of the New York Mets, to become the first pitcher ever to reach four-thousand strikeouts. The Texas ace went on to sit down ten more batters as the Astros won 4-3 in twelve innings.

Fifty-seven years to the day after Ty Cobb played in his last game, Pete Rose, of the Cincinnati Reds, knocked his 4,192nd career hit breaking "The Georgia Peach's" record. Newly approved owner Marge Schott presented Rose with a shiny red Corvette bearing the license plate PR 4192.

Around the league...

Newly appointed Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth reinstated Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle after Commissioner Bowie Kuhn had banned the Hall of Famers from association with Major League Baseball for being employed by companies with ties to legal gambling in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Pittsburgh Associates reached an agreement in principle with the Galbreath family to purchase the sinking Pirates franchise. As a result the team was able to stay afloat in the "Steel City" thanks to the combined financial commitments of Pittsburgh's most influential corporations including Carnegie Mellon University, the Aluminum Company of America, Mellon Bank, PNC Financial, PPG Industries, USX Corporation and Westinghouse Electrical Company.

Sports Illustrated pulled off a major April Fool's Day joke by publishing a story about a 168 mph pitching Tibetan Buddhist monk named Sidd Finch who was the New York Mets latest rookie phenomenon. Despite the April 1 date on the article and byline by George Plimpton, many fans believed the story was real and were disappointed after discovering that Finch was a fake.

Baseball's Championship Series was altered from a best-of-five to a best-of-seven format in an effort to generate up to $9 million dollars in additional revenues.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"I just take my three swings (at Phil Niekro's knuckleball) and go sit on the bench. I don't want to mess up my swing." - Dick Allen

1985 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Boston
114
Boston
.368
New York
48
Boston
240
Detroit
40
Boston
.452
New York
145
New York
146
Kansas City
.585
New York
80
New York
370
Kansas City
21

1985 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Cleveland
24
Minnesota
Toronto
2.48
Kansas City
84
Kansas City
37
Cleveland
5
Minnesota
Cleveland
206
Minnesota
New York
.786
New York
22

1985 American League

Team Standings

Toronto Blue Jays 99 62 .615 0 $11,800,281
New York Yankees 97 64 .602 2 $15,398,047
Detroit Tigers 84 77 .522 15 $10,850,643
Baltimore Orioles 83 78 .516 16 $12,371,429
Boston Red Sox 81 81 .500 18½ $11,080,695
Milwaukee Brewers 71 90 .441 28 $12,216,965
Cleveland Indians 60 102 .370 39½ $6,623,133
Kansas City Royals 91 71 .562 0 $11,754,512
California Angels 90 72 .556 1 $11,559,593
Chicago White Sox 85 77 .525 6 $9,849,689
Minnesota Twins 77 85 .475 14 $7,238,667
Oakland Athletics 77 85 .475 14 $10,008,823
Seattle Mariners 74 88 .457 17 $5,549,870
Texas Rangers 62 99 .385 28½ $8,101,222
American League Team Standings

1985 American League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

California
648
Boston
.282
Boston
292
Boston
1,615
Baltimore
214
Boston
.350
New York
839
Baltimore
.430
New York
155
Toronto
53

1985 American League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Minnesota
41
Toronto
3.31
Fewest Hits Allowed
Toronto
1,312
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
Kansas City
103
Fewest Walks Allowed
Minnesota
462
New York
49
Detroit
11
Kansas City
Chicago
1,023
easonal Events: All-Star Game | Draft | Home Run Derby | World Series
Navigation: Year in Review Menu | Previous Season | Next Season
Miscellaneous: N.L. Leaderboard | Retirements | Rookies List
Average Salary: $371,571.00
Minimum Salary: $60,000.00
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baseball almanac fast facts

On October 6, 1985, Phil Niekro joined the 300 Wins Club and became the oldest pitcher, at forty-six, to throw a complete game shutout.

Rich Gedman of the Red Sox, September 18, 1985, along with Oddibe McDowell of the Rangers, July 23, 1985, were the only two American League players to hit for the cycle during the 1985 AL season.

In 1985, American League players Eddie Murray , Donnie Scott , Nelson Simmons , and Mike Young all hit a home run from each side of the plate in one game . By comparison, not a single player in the National League accomplished this feat during this season.

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