Year In Review : 1989 National League

O ff the field...

On October 17 th as 60,000+ Giants and A's fans inside Candlestick Park anxiously awaited the start of Game 3 of the World Series, an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale shook the San Francisco area killing sixty-seven people and causing nearly $10 billion in damages.

U.S. Armed Forces invaded Panama after General Manuel Noriega, clamped down on the country's already limited democracy. After taking control of the region and holding a siege over Noriega's compound, U.S. troops arrested the self-proclaimed military dictator and brought him to the United States to face charges of drug trafficking.

The super-tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground off the coast of Alaska spilling eleven million gallons of oil into the Prince Willliam Sound. About seventy-hundred thirty miles of coastline and wildlife was affected by the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history and Exxon spent over $1 billion in trying to clean up the damage.

I n the American League...

On June 27 th , Frank Robinson's Baltimore Orioles went up against Cito Gaston's Toronto Blue Jays for the first meeting in Major League history between two black managers. The Orioles went on to dominate the outing 16-6.

Seattle Mariners' rookie sensation Ken Griffey, Jr. debuted at age nineteen and hit the first pitch he saw for a double off of the Oakland Athletics' Dave Stewart. His father, Ken Griffey, Sr. was still with the Cincinnati Reds making them the first father and son to play in the majors simultaneously.

Texas Ranger Nolan Ryan set the all-time strikeout record after sitting down the Oakland Athletics' Rickey Henderson with a 95-mph fastball for his 5,000th career "K". The forty-two year old ace started the contest needing six and finished with seven despite losing 2-0.

I n the National League...

On June 3rd, the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers battled for twenty-two innings in a seven hour, fourteen minute marathon that set the all-time record for the longest night game in National League history. As Saturday rolled into Sunday, the home team managed to break the stalemate for a 5-4 victory courtesy of an unlikely hero. Originally slated as a starting pitcher for the following day's outing, Mike Scott was sent home to rest before the game went into extra innings. As the contest wore on, he was eventually called back to the Astrodome and ended up pinch-hitting for his exhausted teammates. Drafted by the New York Mets in the 2nd round of the 1976 amateur draft, the right-hander had never been known for his skills at the plate. Statistics meant nothing though as Scott surprised everyone in attendance with a clutch, sacrifice-fly that ended the game. Both teams (and fans) staggered out of the ballpark, but returned a few hours later for an afternoon game that had already been scheduled. Amazingly, both opponents went toe-to-toe again for another thirteen-inning marathon that ended with a second Astros' victory (7-6). As 1989 was not exactly a banner year for the Houston franchise, the two-day, and thirty-five inning series was an exhilarating highlight for both the players, as well as the fans.

San Francisco Giants' pitcher, Dave Dravecky snapped his own arm while delivering a pitch in the sixth-inning against the Montreal Expos. The injury resulted in a stress fracture of the humerus, which was attributed to arm surgery that he had in 1988 due to cancer. Dravecky was pitching a shutout at the time and was given credit for the final 3-2 decision. Soon after, he retired with a 64-57 win-loss record.

Howard Johnson, of the New York Mets, hit his thirtieth homerun on August 20 th matching the thirty stolen bases that he had tallied to date. The tying statistic made him only the third, two-time member of the 30-30 club along with Bobby Bonds and Willie Mays.

A round the league...

Sports Illustrated printed details of Pete Rose's rumored gambling activities including allegations of hand signaling from the dugout in Riverfront Stadium to several betting associates. A few months later, the FBI reported possessing several betting sheets with the Reds' manager's handwriting and fingerprints on them. In August after a thorough investigation, the baseball commissioner's office found him guilty of betting on the games and forced Rose to sign an agreement banning him entirely from Major League Baseball.

Donnie Moore, the thirty-five year-old former pitcher for the Anaheim Angels, shot his wife, then killed himself after battling severe depression attributed to the home run he yielded to the Red Sox's Dave Henderson in the 1986 American League Championship Series.

On September 1 st , Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti died at age fifty-one of an apparent heart attack while vacationing at his summer cottage in Martha's Vineyard. He became only the second Major League Baseball Commissioner to die while serving office along with Kenesaw Mountain Landis.

Two modern baseball classics hit the big screen as "Field of Dreams" and "Major League" debuted at the box office. The first starred Kevin Costner, Ray Liotta and James Earl Jones in a film version of the W.P. Kinsella novel "Shoeless Joe" and the second featured Tom Berenger, and Charlie Sheen who took a more "tongue-in-cheek" approach to Cleveland Indian's baseball.

"A catcher and his body are like the outlaw and his horse. He's got to ride that nag till it drops." - Johnny Bench
1989 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

San Diego

132

Batting Average

San Diego

.336

Doubles

St. Louis

42

Montreal

Hits

San Diego

203

Home Runs

San Francisco

47

On Base Percentage

Atlanta

.420

RBI

San Francisco

125

Runs

New York

104

San Francisco

Chicago

Slugging Average

San Francisco

.635

Stolen Bases

St. Louis

65

Total Bases

San Francisco

345

Triples

San Francisco

11

1989 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Los Angeles

10

San Diego

ERA

San Francisco

2.28

Games

Chicago

76

Saves

San Diego

44

Shutouts

Los Angeles

8

Strikeouts

St. Louis

201

Winning Percentage

Chicago

.720

Wins

Houston

20

1989 National League

Team Standings

Chicago Cubs

93 69 .574 0

$12,167,000

New York Mets

87 75 .537 6

$21,300,878

St. Louis Cardinals

86 76 .531 7

$16,077,333

Montreal Expos

81 81 .500 12

$15,141,222

Pittsburgh Pirates

74 88 .457 19

$12,463,000

Philadelphia Phillies

67 95 .414 26

$8,633,000

San Francisco Giants

92 70 .568 0

$17,255,083

San Diego Padres

89 73 .549 3

$14,004,000

Houston Astros

86 76 .531 6

$16,761,625

Los Angeles Dodgers

77 83 .481 14

$21,147,506

Cincinnati Reds

75 87 .463 17

$12,257,000

Atlanta Braves

63 97 .394 28

$9,065,334

1989 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Montreal

572

Batting Average

Chicago

.261

Doubles

New York

280

Hits

Chicago

1,438

Home Runs

New York

147

On Base Percentage

St. Louis

.323

Runs

Chicago

702

Slugging Average

San Francisco

.390

Stolen Bases

Montreal

160

Triples

Pittsburgh

53

1989 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Los Angeles

25

ERA

Los Angeles

2.95

Fewest Hits Allowed

New York

1,260

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

St. Louis

84

Fewest Walks Allowed

Atlanta

468

Saves

Chicago

55

Shutouts

Los Angeles

19

Strikeouts

New York

1,108



Did you know that on May 29, 1989, future hall of famer Mike Schmidt of the Philadelphia Phillies retired from Major League baseball?

On June 3, 1989, the Los Angeles Dodgers played a seven hour fourteen minute losing battle against the Houston Astros. The twenty-two inning game used so many players that their pitching ace, Fernando Valenzuela , was playing first base when the game ended.

On July 5, 1989, Barry Bonds hit a home run in a losing effort versus the San Francisco Giants. Bobby Bonds and and son Barry now had a combined four-hunded eight home runs to beat the record of four-hundred seven held by the Bell and Berra families .

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