Year In Review : 1986 National League

O ff 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.

I n 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.

I n 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.

A round 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.

"These days they have a stat for how many times a guy goes for a cup of coffee." - Mark McGwire
1986 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

New York

94

Batting Average

Montreal

.334

Doubles

Philadelphia

46

Hits

San Diego

211

Home Runs

Philadelphia

37

On Base Percentage

Montreal

.415

RBI

Philadelphia

119

Runs

San Diego

107

Philadelphia

Slugging Average

Philadelphia

.547

Stolen Bases

St. Louis

107

Total Bases

Cincinnati

304

Triples

Montreal

13

1986 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Los Angeles

20

ERA

Houston

2.22

Games

San Diego

83

Saves

St. Louis

36

Shutouts

Houston

5

Strikeouts

Houston

306

Winning Percentage

New York

.783

Wins

Los Angeles

21

1986 National League

Team Standings

New York Mets

108 54 .667 0

$13,597,780

Philadelphia Phillies

86 75 .534

$11,715,166

St. Louis Cardinals

79 82 .491 28½

$9,481,677

Montreal Expos

78 83 .484 29½

$11,937,394

Chicago Cubs

70 90 .438 37

$16,904,832

Pittsburgh Pirates

64 98 .395 44

$10,231,500

Houston Astros

96 66 .593 0

$10,368,276

Cincinnati Reds

86 76 .531 10

$11,785,036

San Francisco Giants

83 79 .512 13

$8,682,000

San Diego Padres

74 88 .457 22

$11,897,522

Los Angeles Dodgers

73 89 .451 23

$15,471,276

Atlanta Braves

72 89 .447 23½

$17,940,286

1986 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

New York

631

Batting Average

New York

.263

Doubles

Pittsburgh

273

Hits

New York

1,462

Home Runs

Chicago

155

On Base Percentage

New York

.341

Runs

New York

783

Slugging Average

New York

.401

Stolen Bases

St. Louis

262

Triples

Montreal

50

1986 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Los Angeles

35

ERA

New York

3.11

Fewest Hits Allowed

Houston

1,203

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

New York

103

Fewest Walks Allowed

St. Louis

485

Saves

Houston

51

Shutouts

Houston

19

Strikeouts

Houston

1,160



On June 7, 1986, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected Jeff King as the overall first round first draft pick.

On July 6, 1986, Bob Horner completed a fabulously rare feat when he hits four home runs in one game.

On September 25, 1986, Mike Scott pitched a 2-0 no hitter for the Houston Astros to clench the National League West title.

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@krbach @mcall I did typo that entry, and was off by a little, but not by much! 😉
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