YEAR IN REVIEW : 1988 American League

Off the field...

Vice President and Republican candidate George Bush Sr. defeated Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis in the presidential race to become the forty-first President of the United States.

The investment firm of Kohlberg-Kravis-Roberts paid nearly $30 billion dollars for the R.J. Reynolds-Nabisco Company, which had merged in 1985, in the largest leveraged buyout ever. The investment deal went on to become the subject of a best-selling novel and television movie entitled "Barbarians at the Gate".

Undefeated heavyweight boxing champion "Iron Mike" Tyson's problems outside boxing started to gain prominence after his marriage to Robin Givens ended admidst a media circus. The highly publicized divorce set in motion a series of bizarre events that not only dimished his skills in the ring, but ultimately ended his career after repeated acts of reckless behavior and criminal violence.

In the American League...

The Anaheim Angels signed University of Michigan pitcher Jim Abbott, who was a member of the U.S. Olympic baseball team despite being born without a right hand.

Minnesota Twins reliever Jeff Reardon became the first pitcher in Major League history with forty saves in both leagues after finishing off the Chicago White Sox 3-1 on September 17th. In 1985, Reardon recorded forty-one saves with the National League's Montreal Expos.

The Oakland Athletics' Jose Canseco became the first player to hit at least forty home runs and steal forty bases in the same season. His thirty-ninth and fortieth stolen bases as well as his forty-first home run came in a 9-8, fourteen-inning marathon against the Milwaukee Brewers on September 23rd.

In the National League...

On August 30th Kent Tekulve, the side-arm reliever of the Philadelphia Phillies, pitched two innings for a 7-5 victory over the San Francisco Giants in his 1000th game. Only one other player in baseball history, Hoyt Wilhelm, had reached the one-thousand milestone to date.

Tom Browning, of the Cincinnati Reds, tossed the first perfect nine-inning game in the National League in twenty-three years against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Riverfront Stadium. The young lefty threw one-hundred two pitches and finished with a 1-0 victory and seven strikeouts.

The Los Angeles Dodgers' Orel Hershiser broke Don Drysdale's Major League record after pitching ten shutout innings against the San Diego Padres extending his string to fifty-nine. Hershiser had begun his streak with four shutout innings against the Montreal Expos. Then he beat the Atlanta Braves 3-0, the Cincinnati Reds 5-0, the Braves again 1-0, the Houston Astros 1-0 and the San Francisco Giants 3-0.

Around the league...

Chicago's Board of Alderman finally approved the addition of lights at Wrigley Field. After a vote of 29-19, the members repeal the anti-noise laws that had kept the Cubs' ballpark as the only Major League stadium without lights. The decision resulted in the introduction of night games to the other half of the "Windy City" and the promise of the 1990 All-Star Game at Wrigley.

Willie "Pops" Stargell became the only player inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988. The team captain / outfielder / first baseman played twenty-one years for the Pittsburgh Pirates and hit .282 with 475 home runs and 1,540 runs batted in. He led the National League in slugging average in 1974 with .646, led the Senior Circuit in home runs twice and played in two World Series while batting .315.

In December, Major League Baseball signed a four-year, $1.05 billion dollar television deal with the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) making it one of the largest agreements (to date) between the sport of baseball and the business of broadcasting.

The game-winning RBI was dropped as an official statistic by the rules and regulations committee.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"That's a lot of bombs (sixty-one home runs). The stars and planets have to be lined up just right for that." - Mo Vaughn

1988 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Boston
125
Boston
.366
Boston
45
Minnesota
234
Oakland
42
Boston
.480
Oakland
124
Boston
128
Oakland
.569
New York
93
Minnesota
358
Seattle
11
Kansas City
Milwaukee

1988 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Boston
14
Oakland
Minnesota
2.45
Milwaukee
70
Oakland
45
Boston
8
Boston
291
Minnesota
.774
Minnesota
24

1988 American League

Team Standings

Boston Red Sox 89 73 .549 0 $15,629,592
Detroit Tigers 88 74 .543 1 $15,597,071
Toronto Blue Jays 87 75 .537 2 $14,098,725
Milwaukee Brewers 87 75 .537 2 $10,864,000
New York Yankees 85 76 .528 $21,524,152
Cleveland Indians 78 84 .481 11 $10,244,500
Baltimore Orioles 54 107 .335 34½ $11,370,404
Oakland Athletics 104 58 .642 0 $11,628,083
Minnesota Twins 91 71 .562 13 $13,444,800
Kansas City Royals 84 77 .522 19½ $14,058,873
California Angels 75 87 .463 29 $12,382,388
Chicago White Sox 71 90 .441 32½ $7,736,952
Texas Rangers 70 91 .435 33½ $7,105,500
Seattle Mariners 68 93 .422 35½ $6,545,950
American League Team Standings

1988 American League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Boston
623
Boston
.283
Boston
310
Boston
1,569
Toronto
158
Boston
.360
Boston
813
Minnesota
.421
Milwaukee
159
Toronto
47

1988 American League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Texas
41
Oakland
3.44
Fewest Hits Allowed
Texas
1,310
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
Kansas City
102
Fewest Walks Allowed
Milwaukee
437
Oakland
64
Toronto
17
Boston
1,085
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: $438,729.00
Minimum Salary: $62,500.00
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baseball almanac fast facts

On June 11, 1988, Rick Rhoden , a pitcher for the New York Yankees , became the first pitcher to start at the designated hitter position, remain as the designated hitter, and he hit a sacrifice fly.

On June 25, 1988, a young player started in his one-thousandth career game. That player was none other than Cal Ripken, Jr. .

On September 23, 1988, Jose Canseco stole two bases and became the first player in history with forty stolen bases and forty home runs during a single season.

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