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Series Wrapup

Story

The Detroit Tigers were baseball’s dominant team in 1984, making a mockery of the A.L. East pennant race by running away with the division title.  Playing most of their early-season games against the weaker A.L. West, the Tigers got off to a torrid 35-5 start under manager Sparky Anderson, before cruising to a 104-58 record and a 15-game margin of victory over the second-place Toronto Blue Jays.

Clearly the American League’s strongest team over the course of the regular season, the Tigers finished first in the junior circuit with 829 runs scored, 187 home runs, and a team ERA of 3.49.  On offense, Lou Whitaker batted .289 and scored 90 runs.  Alan Trammell batted .314 and scored 85 times.  Lance Parrish and Kirk Gibson supplied much of the power in the middle of the lineup, combining to hit 60 home runs between them.  Although Parrish batted just .237, he led the club with 33 home runs and 98 runs batted in.  Gibson hit 27 homers, drove in 91 runs, scored 92 others, and batted .282.  Centerfielder Chet Lemon chipped in with 20 home runs and a .287 batting average.

Jack Morris and Dan Petry anchored Detroit’s starting rotation.  Morris finished 19-11 with a 3.60 ERA, while Petry compiled a record of 18-8 and a 3.24 ERA.  Milt Wilcox added another 17 victories.  Meanwhile, Willie Hernandez and Aurelio Lopez gave the Tigers a formidable bullpen duo.  Lopez finished 10-1 with 14 saves.  Hernandez won nine games, saved 32 others, compiled an ERA of 1.92, appeared in a league-leading 80 games, and went the entire season without blowing a single save opportunity.  The closer’s virtuoso performance earned him A.L. Cy Young and MVP honors.  

Although the Tigers dominated the A.L. East over the course of the regular season, they had neither the division’s best player, nor its top starting pitcher.  Mike Boddicker had an outstanding year for the fifth-place Baltimore Orioles, who finished 19 games off the pace.  The right-hander led all A.L. hurlers with 20 wins and a 2.79 ERA, and he also placed among the leaders with 16 complete games and 261 innings pitched.  

Meanwhile, the Red Sox and Yankees featured several of the circuit’s top offensive performers.  Jim Rice, Wade Boggs, and Tony Armas all had big years for the fourth-place Red Sox, who trailed Detroit by 18 games in the final standings.  Rice hit 28 homers and placed second in the league with 122 runs batted in.  Boggs batted .325, scored 109 runs, and collected 203 hits.  Armas scored 107 runs and led the league with 43 home runs and 123 runs batted in.

The third-place Yankees had the league’s top two batsmen in Dave Winfield and Don Mattingly.  The teammates waged a year-long competition for the A.L. batting title, with Mattingly edging out Winfield for league-leadership honors by going 4-for-5 against Detroit on the season’s final day.  Winfield ended the campaign with a mark of .340, while Mattingly finished the year at .343.  Winfield also hit 19 home runs, drove in 100 runs, and scored 106 others.  Mattingly hit 23 homers, drove in 110 runs, scored 91 others, and led the league with 207 hits and 44 doubles.

While the Tigers cruised to the A.L. East title, the Kansas City Royals spent most of the year battling the California Angels and Minnesota Twins for supremacy in the West.  The Royals finally prevailed, finishing the season with a record of 84-78, just three games ahead of both the Angels and the Twins.

With injuries forcing George Brett to miss a significant amount of playing time, the Royals placed near the bottom of the league rankings in several offensive categories.  They finished 11th in runs scored (673), 12th in home runs (117), and 11th in team on-base percentage (.317).  Appearing in a total of only 104 games, Brett batted just .284 and contributed only 13 homers and 69 runs batted in.  Willie Wilson led the team with a .301 batting average, 81 runs scored, and 47 stolen bases.  Steve Balboni finished first on the club with 28 home runs and 77 runs batted in.  Meanwhile, Bud Black led Kansas City’s starting rotation with 17 wins, a 3.12 ERA, and 257 innings pitched.

Fortunately for the Royals, they had an exceptional closer in Dan Quisenberry, who led the league with 44 saves, posted six victories, and compiled an ERA of 2.64, en route to earning a third-place finish in the A.L. MVP balloting.  

Finishing second in the voting was the division’s top hitter, Minnesota Twins first baseman Kent Hrbek, who hit 27 home runs, drove in 107 runs, and batted .311.

Although the Tigers swept the Royals in three straight games in the ALCS, Kansas City put up a surprisingly good fight.  After dropping the first contest by a score of 8-1, the Royals took the Tigers to 11 innings in Game Two, before finally losing 5-3.  They then lost a heartbreaking 1-0 decision in Game Three.  Kirk Gibson earned ALCS MVP honors by batting .417, homering once, and driving in two runs.

Gibson continued his outstanding postseason play against San Diego in the World Series, leading the Tigers to a five-game victory over their National League counterparts.  Gibson hit two homers and knocked in seven runs against the Padres, while compiling a .333 batting average.  However, Series MVP honors went to Alan Trammell, who batted .450, hit two home runs, and drove in six runs.

Other notable events from around the league and players who distinguished themselves over the course of the season included:

• April 7 – Detroit’s Jack Morris threw the first no-hitter by a Tiger pitcher in 26 years, defeating the Chicago White Sox by a score of 4-0.

• July 21 - The New York Yankees retired Roger Maris' number 9 and Elston Howard's number 32.

• September 17 – Reggie Jackson hit his 500th career home run.

• October 14 - Kirk Gibson blasted two upper-deck home runs at Tiger Stadium in Game Five of the World Series, to lead the Tigers to an 8-4 victory over the Padres and their first world championship since 1968.

• Detroit’s 35-5 record after 40 games represents the best 40-game start in major league history.

• Detroit’s Jack Morris posted two complete-game victories in the World Series.

• Seattle's Alvin Davis (27 home runs and 116 RBIs) earned A.L. Rookie of the Year honors.

• Sparky Anderson became the first manager to win a world championship in each league.  

• California’s Mike Witt threw a perfect game against Texas on September 30, the final day of the season.

• Peter Ueberroth replaced Bowie Kuhn as commissioner.

• The Hall of Fame inducted Luis Aparicio, Harmon Killebrew, Don Drysdale, Rick Ferrell, and Pee Wee Reese.

• Hall of Famers Stan Coveleski, Waite Hoyt, Joe Cronin, and George Kelly all passed away.

• Carl Pohlad purchased the Twins from Calvin Griffith.

• Oakland’s Rickey Henderson batted .293, scored 113 runs, and led the American League with 66 stolen bases.

• Toronto's Dave Stieb finished 16-8, with a 2.83 ERA and a league-leading 267 innings pitched.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BAL 2269 5456 681 1374 647 .260 234 23 160 51 36 2134 .355 .380 .736 133 43 45
BOS 2079 5648 810 1598 767 .260 259 45 181 38 25 2490 .373 .368 .762 148 46 36
CAL 2144 5470 696 1363 649 .223 211 30 150 80 51 2084 .332 .330 .681 140 46 65
CHA 2347 5513 679 1360 640 .188 225 38 172 109 49 2177 .317 .294 .667 111 44 37
CLE 2304 5643 761 1498 704 .289 222 39 123 126 77 2167 .385 .526 .911 137 67 37
DET 2305 5644 829 1529 788 .279 254 46 187 106 68 2436 .383 .412 .796 102 45 48
KCA 2173 5543 673 1487 639 .224 269 52 117 106 64 2211 .317 .319 .665 128 55 41
MIN 2102 5562 673 1473 636 .234 259 33 114 39 30 2140 .330 .324 .670 138 58 26
ML4 2080 5511 641 1446 598 .253 232 36 96 52 57 2038 .343 .364 .707 152 46 42
NYA 2169 5661 758 1560 725 .242 275 32 130 62 38 2289 .343 .352 .696 147 59 64
OAK 2312 5457 738 1415 697 .236 257 29 158 145 64 2204 .350 .360 .729 116 77 37
SEA 2233 5546 682 1429 635 .247 244 34 129 116 62 2128 .349 .369 .719 101 38 66
TEX 2089 5569 656 1452 618 .240 227 29 120 81 50 2097 .337 .340 .677 130 43 47
TOR 2332 5687 750 1555 702 .244 275 68 143 193 67 2395 .346 .363 .749 91 49 35

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BAL 370 85 77 1441 714 512 6065 1393 137 60.660 594 667 48 11 32 58 6
BOS 363 86 76 1444 927 517 6271 1524 141 65.240 672 764 40 11 32 37 7
CAL 365 81 81 1458 754 474 6234 1526 143 118.690 641 697 36 11 26 44 3
CHA 400 74 88 1454 840 483 6143 1416 155 64.280 669 736 43 6 32 39 3
CLE 471 75 87 1466 803 545 6360 1523 141 103.810 695 766 21 5 35 46 11
DET 430 104 58 1464 914 489 6127 1358 130 53.930 568 643 19 4 51 47 6
KCA 376 84 78 1445 724 433 6076 1426 136 78.670 629 686 18 4 50 31 8
MIN 411 81 81 1438 713 463 6078 1429 159 64.620 616 675 32 6 38 38 7
ML4 444 67 94 1433 785 480 6202 1532 137 72.420 647 734 13 2 41 45 10
NYA 449 87 75 1465 992 518 6262 1485 120 74.010 618 679 15 3 43 33 8
OAK 444 77 85 1431 695 592 6315 1554 155 112.490 713 796 15 2 44 47 7
SEA 454 74 88 1441 972 619 6302 1497 138 64.820 693 774 26 4 35 47 11
TEX 351 69 92 1437 863 518 6188 1443 148 63.870 625 714 38 3 21 62 11
TOR 420 89 73 1465 875 528 6235 1433 140 73.680 630 696 34 7 33 42 2

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BAL 2787 7542 5459 1945 138 .970 17272 99 48 2.00 9
BOS 2493 7341 5416 1765 160 .976 17308 111 67 0 10
CAL 2685 7564 5573 1842 149 .965 17487 71 49 0 4
CHA 2804 7455 5472 1831 152 .972 17450 100 41 0 4
CLE 2793 7642 5711 1761 170 .955 17612 100 47 0 14
DET 2893 7391 5557 1689 145 .968 17569 68 52 0 16
KCA 2676 7552 5519 1882 151 .973 17331 94 51 0 3
MIN 2540 7455 5592 1725 138 .979 17255 92 58 0 4
ML4 2610 7417 5422 1837 158 .970 17197 96 59 1.00 8
NYA 2678 7466 5526 1777 163 .954 17582 88 60 1.00 8
OAK 2872 7352 5631 1542 179 .973 17162 94 67 0 9
SEA 2781 7280 5396 1740 144 .973 17306 88 58 0 17
TEX 2501 7294 5437 1702 155 .973 17265 128 41 0 33
TOR 2782 7445 5589 1706 150 .966 17567 75 40 0 9

West

team W L Att Rk SOP
Kansas City Royals 84 78 1810018 1 724
California Angels 81 81 2402997 2 754
Minnesota Twins 81 81 1598692 2 713
Oakland Athletics 77 85 1353281 4 695
Chicago White Sox 74 88 2136988 5 840
Seattle Mariners 74 88 870372 5 972
Texas Rangers 69 92 1102471 7 863

Central

East

team W L Att Rk SOP
Detroit Tigers 104 58 2704794 1 914
Toronto Blue Jays 89 73 2110009 2 875
New York Yankees 87 75 1821815 3 992
Boston Red Sox 86 76 1661618 4 927
Baltimore Orioles 85 77 2045784 5 714
Cleveland Indians 75 87 734079 6 803
Milwaukee Brewers 67 94 1608509 7 785

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Tagged:
1984 ALCS, 1984 World Series, Alan Trammell, Alvin Davis, American League, Aurelio Lopez, Bud Black, Carl Pohlad, Chet Lemon, Dan Petry, Dan Quisenberry, Darrell Evans, Dave Stieb, Dave Winfield, Detroit Tigers, Don Mattingly, Eddie Murray, George Brett, Jack Morris, Jim Rice, Kansas City Royals, Kent Hrbek, Kirk Gibson, Lance Parrish, Lou Whitaker, Mike Boddicker, Mike Witt, Milt Wilcox, Peter Ueberroth, Reggie Jackson, Rickey Henderson, Sparky Anderson, Steve Balboni, Tony Armas, Wade Boggs, Willie Hernandez, Willie Wilson

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