YEAR IN REVIEW : 1986 American League

Off the field...

After a Libyan-sponsored terrorist attack against Americans in West Germany, U.S. military warplanes attacked various targets in Libya. As a result, the Libyans scaled back their support for terrorist activities against all Western targets.

The Reagan Administration confirmed that it had been selling arms to Iran in an effort to obtain the release of American hostages in Lebanon as part of the "Iran-Contra Deal". Money from the sales was used to help the Contras fighting the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua.

Tragedy struck the NASA Space Program after the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded seventy-three seconds after take-off, killing all seven astronauts on board. The crew included the first "civilian" ever accepted into the astronaut program, a teacher named Christa McAuliffe. The accident was later blamed on faulty o-rings in the shuttles main booster rocket.

In the American League...

On April 29th, Red Sox ace Roger Clemens struck out twenty Seattle Mariners setting a Major League record for most strikeouts in a single game.

Vincent "Bo" Jackson, a Heisman Trophy winner who chose baseball over football, played twenty-five games for the Kansas City Royals as an outfielder and designated hitter, batting .207 with two home runs. The Auburn All-American turned down a $7 million dollar deal from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a much smaller $1 million dollar contract with the Royals because he said he liked baseball best.

The "Curse of the Bambino" remained in effect as the Boston Red Sox fell victim to the "Amazin' Mets". In Game 6, the Red Sox had a two-run, 10th-inning lead with two outs and no runners on base. Then, after the Mets hit three consecutive singles, a passed ball erased the Red Sox lead, setting up one of the most improbable comebacks in post-season history. When the Mets' Mookie Wilson tapped a grounder down the first base line that somehow found its way between Bill Buckner's legs, the game ended; the costly error gave New York a 6-5 victory, and extended the Series to a Game 7.

In the National League...

On May 31st, a young rookie outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates named Barry Bonds tapped a double off the Los Angeles Dodgers' Rick Honeycutt for his first official Major League hit.

Bob Horner, of the Atlanta Braves, hit four homeruns in a single game against the Montreal Expos. Despite tying the Major League record for solo blasts, Horner's team lost 11-8 to the visiting Canadian franchise.

Forty-five year-old Pete Rose banged out five hits for the tenth time in his career (setting a National League record) as the Cincinnati Reds took on the San Francisco Giants on August 11th. "Charlie Hustle" also reached a record 4,256 career at-bats during his last appearance in a Major League line-up.

Around the league...

In an effort to set an example, Commissioner Peter Ueberoth suspended seven players for drug abuse. All seven decided to contribute ten percent of their seasonal salary to drug abuse programs, serve one-hundred hours of community service and be subjected to random drug testing. The seven include Keith Hernandez of the New York Mets, Dale Berra of the New York Yankees, Joaquin Andujar of the Oakland Athletics, Jeffrey Leonard of the San Francisco Giants, Lonnie Smith of the Kansas City Royals, Enos Cabell of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Dave Parker of the Cincinnati Reds.

Bret Saberhagen sued Rawlings over a misrepresented endorsement deal. As many other players were being paid $50,000+ as part of their compensation, the Kansas City Royal pitcher was given two free gloves per season as his contract.

A free baseball promotion night at Arlington Stadium backfired as hundreds of fans targeted the Texas Rangers and umpires after the visiting Milwaukee Brewers rallied for a 10-2 win.

The Chicago Cubs were forced to fire their twenty-eight year old ball girl, Marla Collins, after she posed nude for Playboy. Despite fan support the young lady was terminated for "behavior unbecoming an employee" of the franchise.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"All you have to do is pick up a baseball. It begs to you - throw me." - Dave Dravecky

1986 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Boston
106
Boston
.357
New York
53
New York
238
Toronto
40
Boston
.455
Cleveland
121
New York
130
New York
.573
New York
87
New York
388
Cleveland
14

1986 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Cleveland
17
Boston
2.48
Texas
80
New York
46
Detroit
6
Seattle
245
Boston
.857
Boston
24

1986 American League

Team Standings

Boston Red Sox 95 66 .590 0 $16,003,236
New York Yankees 90 72 .556 $17,248,360
Detroit Tigers 87 75 .537 $12,254,047
Toronto Blue Jays 86 76 .531 $12,447,880
Cleveland Indians 84 78 .519 11½ $8,047,000
Milwaukee Brewers 77 84 .478 18 $8,429,321
Baltimore Orioles 73 89 .451 22½ $12,196,745
California Angels 92 70 .568 0 $14,254,758
Texas Rangers 87 75 .537 5 $6,892,218
Kansas City Royals 76 86 .469 16 $13,996,417
Oakland Athletics 76 86 .469 16 $9,933,388
Chicago White Sox 72 90 .444 20 $10,099,510
Minnesota Twins 71 91 .438 21 $9,815,200
Seattle Mariners 67 95 .414 25 $6,382,309
American League Team Standings

1986 American League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

California
671
Cleveland
.284
Boston
320
Cleveland
1,620
Detroit
198
New York
.350
Cleveland
831
New York
.430
Cleveland
141
Cleveland
45

1986 American League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Minnesota
39
Kansas City
3.82
Fewest Hits Allowed
Oakland
1,334
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
Kansas City
121
Fewest Walks Allowed
Boston
474
New York
58
Kansas City
13
Texas
1,059
Seasonal 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: $412,520.00
Minimum Salary: $60,000.00
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

On April 29, 1986, Roger Clemens set the Major League record for strikeouts during a nine-inning game with twenty. His pitch count also included zero walks, three hits, and eight consecutive strikeouts at one point.

On October 4, 1986, Dave Righetti saved both ends of a doubleheader AND set a Major League record with forty-six saves during a single season.

In November, 1986, Roger Clemens won the American League Cy Young Award unanimously and became the first starting pitcher since Vida Blue to win the Most Valuable Player Award during the same season.

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