Year In Review : 1986 National 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

"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 21½ $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
National League Team Standings

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
Seasonal Events: All-Star Game | Draft | Home Run Derby | World Series
Navigation: Year in Review Menu | Previous Season | Next Season
Miscellaneous: A.L. Leaderboard | Retirements | Rookies List
Average Salary: $412,520.00
Minimum Salary: $60,000.00
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

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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