Year In Review : 1988 National League

O ff 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.

I n 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.

I n 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.

A round 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.

"The Ruth is mighty and shall prevail. He did yesterday." - New York World Article from 1912
1988 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

San Francisco

100

Batting Average

San Diego

.313

Doubles

Montreal

42

Hits

Montreal

184

Home Runs

New York

39

On Base Percentage

Cincinnati

.400

RBI

San Francisco

109

Runs

San Francisco

109

Slugging Average

New York

.545

Stolen Bases

St. Louis

81

Total Bases

Montreal

329

Triples

Pittsburgh

15

1988 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Los Angeles

15

Cincinnati

ERA

St. Louis

2.18

Games

Cincinnati

76

Saves

Cincinnati

39

Shutouts

Los Angeles

8

Strikeouts

Houston

228

Winning Percentage

New York

.870

Wins

Los Angeles

23

Cincinnati

1988 National League

Team Standings

New York Mets

100 60 .625 0

$15,452,714

Pittsburgh Pirates

85 75 .531 15

$8,647,500

Montreal Expos

81 81 .500 20

$9,452,333

Chicago Cubs

77 86 .475 24

$12,849,333

St. Louis Cardinals

76 86 .469 25

$14,027,500

Philadelphia Phillies

65 96 .404

$13,248,000

Los Angeles Dodgers

94 67 .584 0

$16,412,515

Cincinnati Reds

87 74 .540 7

$9,998,833

San Diego Padres

83 78 .516 11

$10,978,168

San Francisco Giants

83 79 .512 11½

$12,332,000

Houston Astros

82 80 .506 12½

$13,565,576

Atlanta Braves

54 106 .338 39½

$12,634,667

1988 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Pittsburgh

553

Batting Average

Chicago

.261

Doubles

Chicago

262

Hits

Chicago

1,481

Home Runs

New York

152

On Base Percentage

New York

.328

Runs

New York

703

Slugging Average

New York

.396

Stolen Bases

St. Louis

234

Triples

Montreal

48

1988 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Los Angeles

32

ERA

New York

2.91

Fewest Hits Allowed

New York

1,253

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

New York

78

Fewest Walks Allowed

New York

404

Saves

Los Angeles

49

Shutouts

Los Angeles

24

Strikeouts

New York

1,100



On September 28, 1988, Orel Hershiser pitched ten additional shutout innings to continue his scoreless streak to fifty-nine.

On August 9, 1988, the Chicago Cubs played the New York Mets during the first ever Wrigley Field night game.

Did you know that on November 10, 1988, Orel Hershiser won the Cy Young Award unanimously?

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