Year In Review : 1990 American League

O ff the field...

The Hubble Space Telescope was originally due to be launched in 1986, but the explosion
of the Space Shuttle Challenger delayed the launch until April of 1990. The twelve-ton telescope was equipped with a ninety-four inch mirror and was sent into orbit by the astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. Within two months, a flaw in the mirror was discovered, placing in jeopardy the largest investment ever in astronomy. Three years later, the defect was finally repaired by specialists aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor who restored the telescope to its full optical capabilities.

Microsoft Corporation introduced their new operating system Windows 3.0 which featured a graphical user interface similar to the Macintosh platform from Apple. The PC version of the software was geared towards the novice home user and forever changed the world of personal computers. Some of the new features included the use of a mouse, which allowed the user to navigate the screen with a pointer and manipulate data with one hand.

America's favorite dysfunctional cartoon family, The Simpsons debuted as a half hour-comedy on the FOX Network. Created by Matt Groening in 1987, the characters of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie were featured as thirty-second spots on The Tracey Ullman Show before going solo in 1990. The controversial series had been repeatedly confirmed by fans and critics to be one of the most humorous and lifelike portraits of the average American family and it received the 1990 and 1991 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Animated Program.

I n the American League...

The Seattle Mariner's Randy Johnson tossed the franchise's first no-hitter with a 2-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers. The "Big Unit", who earned his nickname as the tallest pitcher in Major League history at six feet ten inches, struck out eight batters and walked six with fifty of his pitches clocked at ninety-four miles per hour or above.

As a tribute to days gone by, the Chicago White Sox held a throwback tribute to honor their 1917 World Championship team. The players donned old-fashioned uniforms and the promoters at Comiskey Park scaled all concessions back to World War I prices. The home team went on to lose 12-9 at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers in a thirteen inning nail-biter.

The Minnesota Twins set a Major League record by pulling off two triple plays in the same game, one in the fourth and another in the eighth. Both were started on grounders to third baseman Gary Gaetti who had started five of the Twins' last six triple efforts. Despite the record, the Red Sox went on to win 1-0. The following day both teams combined to set yet another major league mark for defensive plays when Boston hit into six double plays and Minnesota grounded into four. The previous mark of nine double plays was last accomplished on April 15, 1961.

I n the National League...

The National League announced it plans to expand from twelve to fourteen teams for the 1993 season opening the doors for expansion franchises in Denver and Miami. The price of admission into the National League was set at a whopping ninety-five million dollars.

Eddie Murray of the Los Angeles Dodgers homered from both sides of the plate during a 6-2 win over the San Francisco Giants. In doing so he became the first major leaguer to pull the feat in both the National and American Leagues.

Chicago Cubs' ace Greg Maddux set a Major League record for pitchers when he recorded seven putouts in a 4-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Over the course of the season he recorded thirty-nine putouts for the year to tie Vic Willis for the National League mark set in 1904. Maddux went on to match it again both in 1991 and 1993.

A round the league...

The Boston Red Sox hired Elaine Weddington as their newest assistant General Manager, making her the highest-ranking black female in the major leagues.

The Major League owners unanimously refused to open Spring Training camps without a new Basic Agreement with the Players' Association. The standoff resulted in a thirty-two day lockout that postponed the start of the regular season by one week.

Both players and owners eventually reached a collective-bargaining agreement that increased the clubs' contributions to the players' pension fund, raised the minimum major league salary to $100,000 and also set a compromise on salary arbitration that left seventeen percent of the players with two and three years experience eligible.

On April 10th, President George Bush Sr. became the first U.S. president to throw out a first pitch on foreign soil after he was invited to the Toronto home opener by the Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. The Blue Jays later went on to beat the Texas Rangers (who were owned by a group led by George Bush Jr.) by a score of 2-1.

" - Al Widmar
1990 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Oakland

110

Batting Average

Kansas City

.329

Doubles

Kansas City

45

Boston

Hits

Texas

191

Home Runs

Detroit

51

On Base Percentage

Oakland

.441

RBI

Detroit

132

Runs

Oakland

119

Slugging Average

Detroit

.592

Stolen Bases

Oakland

65

Total Bases

Detroit

339

Triples

Toronto

17

1990 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Detroit

11

Oakland

ERA

Boston

1.93

Games

Chicago

77

Saves

Chicago

57

Shutouts

Boston

4

Oakland

Strikeouts

Texas

269

Winning Percentage

Oakland

.818

Wins

Oakland

27

1990 American League

Team Standings

Boston Red Sox

88 74 .543 0

$21,843,333

Toronto Blue Jays

86 76 .531 2

$16,231,854

Detroit Tigers

79 83 .488 9

$18,248,738

Cleveland Indians

77 85 .475 11

$13,820,000

Baltimore Orioles

76 85 .472

$7,985,584

Milwaukee Brewers

74 88 .457 14

$18,196,667

New York Yankees

67 95 .414 21

$19,339,816

Oakland Athletics

103 59 .636 0

$21,785,040

Chicago White Sox

94 68 .580 9

$9,843,529

Texas Rangers

83 79 .512 20

$12,617,333

California Angels

80 82 .494 23

$21,391,152

Seattle Mariners

77 85 .475 26

$11,918,167

Kansas City Royals

75 86 .466 27½

$23,197,845

Minnesota Twins

74 88 .457 29

$13,528,000

1990 American League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Baltimore

660

Batting Average

Boston

.272

Doubles

Kansas City

316

Hits

Boston

1,502

Home Runs

Detroit

172

On Base Percentage

Boston

.346

Runs

Toronto

767

Slugging Average

Toronto

.419

Stolen Bases

Milwaukee

164

Triples

Toronto

50

1990 American League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Texas

25

ERA

Oakland

3.18

Fewest Hits Allowed

Oakland

1,287

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Boston

92

Fewest Walks Allowed

Toronto

445

Saves

Chicago

68

Shutouts

Oakland

16

Strikeouts

Seattle

1,064



The "year of the no-hitter " started on June 11, 1990, when Nolan Ryan tossed his sixth gem — this time versus the Oakland Athletics.

Did you know that on August 31, 1990, Ken Griffey and Ken Griffey, Jr. became the first father and son to play together as Major League teammates ?

On September 2, 1990, Dave Stieb of Toronto threw the first Blue Jay no-hitter in franchise history. It was also the ninth and final no-hitter thrown during 1990.

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