Year In Review : 1988 National 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

"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 35½ $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
National League Team Standings

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
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: $438,729.00
Minimum Salary: $62,500.00
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baseball almanac fast facts

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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