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Series Wrapup

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The 1989 baseball season turned out to be a year filled with dark moments.  In August, newly-appointed commissioner Bart Giamatti banned Pete Rose from baseball for life following months of investigation over allegations that the Reds manager had bet on his own team.  Giamatti died of a heart attack just one week later.  Stars Wade Boggs and Steve Garvey made scandalous headlines when they were sued by women with whom they had affairs.  Billy Martin died in an automobile accident in December.  And an earthquake ravaged the San Francisco Bay area shortly before Game Three of the World Series was scheduled to begin, postponing indefinitely the contest between the Oakland Athletics and the host San Francisco Giants.  Nevertheless, the campaign provided a number of memorable moments and outstanding individual performances.

Although the Oakland Athletics failed to dominate the American League to the same extent they did the previous year, the A’s remained the junior circuit’s premier team, capturing their second straight Western Division title by compiling a regular-season record of 99-63.  The Kansas City Royals finished second, seven games back, while the California Angels came in third, eight games off the pace.

Oakland continued to excel at all aspects of the game, placing high in the circuit rankings with 712 runs scored, 127 home runs, and 157 stolen bases, and leading the league with a 3.09 team ERA.  Oakland’s deep starting rotation featured four hurlers who surpassed 17 victories.  Dave Stewart led the staff with a record of 21-9 and 258 innings pitched, and he also compiled a solid 3.32 ERA.  Mike Moore and Storm Davis each won 19 games, and Moore finished third in the league with a 2.61 ERA.  Bob Welch finished 17-8 with a 3.00 ERA.  Meanwhile, Dennis Eckersley saved 33 games, won four others, compiled a 1.56 ERA, and allowed only 32 hits in 58 innings of work.  

On offense, Carney Lansford stole 37 bases and finished second in the league with a .336 batting average.  Dave Parker hit 22 homers and drove in 97 runs.  Although Mark McGwire batted only .231, he hit 33 home runs and knocked in 95 runs.  After being reacquired from the Yankees in June, Rickey Henderson performed brilliantly during the second half of the season, batting .294, compiling a .425 on-base percentage, scoring 72 runs, and stealing 52 bases.  He ended up leading the league with 113 runs scored, 126 walks, and 77 stolen bases.
     
Still, the runner-up Royals, fourth-place Rangers, and fifth-place Twins all featured players who performed better than any member of the division champions over the course of the regular season.  Bret Saberhagen had a tremendous year for Kansas City, earning A.L. Cy Young honors by leading all league hurlers with a record of 23-6, a 2.16 ERA, 262 innings pitched, and 12 complete games.  Ruben Sierra performed extremely well for Texas, hitting 29 home runs, scoring 101 runs, batting .306, and leading the league with 119 runs batted in, 14 triples, 344 total bases, and a .543 slugging average.  Kirby Puckett also had a big year for Minnesota, topping the circuit with 215 hits and a .339 batting average.

While the Athletics repeated as Western Division champions, the Red Sox failed to do so in the East, placing third in the division behind both Toronto and Baltimore.  The Blue Jays posted the division’s best record, finishing the campaign with a mark of 89-73 that left them just two games ahead of the second-place Orioles, who won 87 games after losing 107 times the previous year.  The Red Sox finished third, six games back, while the Milwaukee Brewers came in fourth, eight games off the pace.

Although three other teams finished ahead of Milwaukee in the highly-competitive East, the Brewers featured the American League’s Most Valuable Player in Robin Yount, who earned the honor for the second time in his career.  Yount hit 21 home runs and placed among the league leaders with 103 runs batted in, 101 runs scored, 195 hits, a .318 batting average, and a .511 slugging average.

The first-place Blue Jays were led on offense by the slugging duo of George Bell and Fred McGriff.  Bell hit 18 home runs, drove in 104 runs, and batted .297.  McGriff topped the circuit with 36 homers, knocked in 92 runs, and scored 98 others.  Meanwhile, Dave Stieb anchored Toronto’s pitching staff, finishing the year with a record of 17-8 and a 3.35 ERA.

Oakland made short work of Toronto in the ALCS, defeating the Blue Jays in five games.  Dave Stewart won two games and Dennis Eckersley saved three of Oakland’s four victories.  But ALCS MVP honors went to Rickey Henderson, who delivered a memorable performance by hitting two homers, driving in five runs, scoring eight others, stealing eight bases, batting .400, and compiling a .609 on-base percentage and a 1.000 slugging average.

The A’s subsequently redeemed themselves for their poor performance in the previous year’s World Series by sweeping the San Francisco Giants in the Fall Classic.  Oakland dominated the first two games, outscoring San Francisco by a combined margin of 10-1.  Although the earthquake that hit the San Francisco Bay area postponed Game Three for 10 days, the A’s continued their onslaught when the Series resumed, posting 13-7 and 9-6 victories in the final two contests played at Candlestick Park.  Dave Stewart earned Series MVP honors by winning Games One and Three.  But the award could just as easily have gone to Rickey Henderson (.474 average), Carney Lansford (.438 average), or Terry Steinbach (seven RBIs).

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

• May 7 - Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley presided over the groundbreaking of the new Comiskey Park.

• May 28 - George Bell ended the Toronto Blue Jays' 12-year stay at Exhibition Stadium with a walk-off home run to give the Jays a 7-5 win over the Chicago White Sox.

• June 5 - Just eight days after leaving Exhibition Stadium, the Toronto Blue Jays opened their new home –  SkyDome (now known as Rogers Centre) - the first stadium in major league history with a functioning retractable roof.  

• August 24 - Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti announced in a press conference the banning of Pete Rose from baseball for life, in the wake of evidence that came to light regarding Rose's gambling history.

• September 1 - Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti unexpectedly died of a heart attack.

• October 17 - Game Three of the World Series was postponed due to the Loma Prieta earthquake, which struck immediately before the game was set to begin.  The contest was rescheduled for 10 days later, October 27.

• Although Wade Boggs failed to win the batting crown for the first time in five years, he hit .330 and led the league with 113 runs scored, 51 doubles, and a .430 on-base percentage.

• Boggs collected 200 hits for a 20th-century record seventh consecutive year.

• Nolan Ryan reached the 5,000 strikeout plateau.

• Ryan led the league with 301 strikeouts, making him, at age 42, the oldest strikeout king in major league history.

• Baltimore's Gregg Olson (27 saves) earned A.L. Rookie of the Year honors.

• The American League won the All-Star Game 5-3 at Anaheim, giving the junior circuit consecutive wins in the Midsummer Classic for the first time since 1958.

• Toronto's Tony Fernandez committed just six errors, setting in the process a new major league record for shortstops by compiling a .992 fielding average.

• California’s Jim Abbott, the first one-handed pitcher since the 1880s, won 12 games and struck out 115 batters.

• Billy Martin died in a truck crash.

• The Hall of Fame inducted Johnny Bench, Carl Yastrzemski, Red Schoendienst, and Al Barlick.

• Former Angels reliever Donnie Moore committed suicide.

• Hall of Famer Bill Terry died.

• The Yankees dealt Rickey Henderson back to Oakland for Luis Polonia, Eric Plunk, and Greg Cadaret.

• Henderson tied an American League record by topping the circuit in stolen bases for the ninth time.

• Minnesota traded ace lefthander Frank Viola to the Mets for Rick Aguilera and four pitchers.

• Bo Jackson hit 32 home runs and knocked in 105 runs for Kansas City.  

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BAL 2200 5440 708 1369 659 .226 238 33 129 118 55 2060 .339 .332 .687 140 47 63
BOS 2161 5666 774 1571 716 .260 326 30 108 56 35 2281 .366 .378 .744 169 58 52
CAL 2013 5545 669 1422 624 .262 208 37 145 89 40 2139 .343 .388 .731 114 46 54
CHA 2167 5504 693 1493 661 .254 262 36 94 97 52 2109 .347 .354 .701 113 51 85
CLE 2169 5463 604 1340 567 .202 221 26 127 74 51 1994 .301 .300 .612 109 41 72
DET 2198 5432 617 1315 564 .218 198 24 116 103 50 1909 .331 .309 .640 138 43 35
KCA 2266 5475 690 1428 653 .243 227 41 101 154 51 2040 .336 .342 .679 141 50 42
MIN 2306 5581 740 1542 691 .266 278 35 117 111 53 2241 .375 .363 .756 126 58 51
ML4 2106 5473 707 1415 660 .218 235 32 126 165 62 2092 .321 .322 .677 108 54 51
NYA 2172 5458 698 1470 657 .243 229 23 130 137 60 2135 .329 .332 .662 130 49 58
OAK 2180 5416 712 1414 659 .219 220 25 127 157 55 2065 .354 .315 .714 163 62 36
SEA 2206 5512 694 1417 653 .226 237 29 134 81 55 2114 .326 .344 .688 109 52 35
TEX 2323 5458 695 1433 654 .230 260 46 122 101 49 2151 .333 .339 .687 151 40 63
TOR 2161 5581 731 1449 685 .239 265 40 142 144 58 2220 .337 .353 .691 124 53 30

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BAL 474 87 75 1446 676 486 6189 1518 134 79.660 644 686 16 3 44 38 13
BOS 459 83 79 1459 1054 548 6248 1448 131 68.210 650 735 14 6 42 40 18
CAL 414 91 71 1454 897 465 6068 1384 113 52.160 530 578 32 12 38 51 9
CHA 482 69 92 1422 778 539 6168 1472 144 103.080 671 750 9 2 46 55 15
CLE 449 73 89 1454 844 452 6128 1423 107 94.700 590 654 23 7 38 43 17
DET 414 59 103 1427 831 652 6334 1514 150 114.790 720 816 24 3 26 50 7
KCA 426 92 70 1451 978 455 6081 1415 86 93.080 572 635 27 9 38 56 7
MIN 459 80 82 1429 851 500 6180 1495 139 108.470 680 738 19 2 38 46 13
ML4 453 81 81 1432 812 457 6106 1463 129 89.280 604 679 16 4 45 35 8
NYA 439 74 87 1416 787 521 6169 1550 150 131.720 713 792 15 4 44 42 18
OAK 479 99 63 1450 930 510 6026 1287 103 73.240 504 576 17 3 57 71 6
SEA 492 73 89 1437 897 560 6187 1422 114 84.690 641 728 15 5 44 47 13
TEX 483 83 79 1435 1112 654 6161 1279 119 98.290 624 714 26 6 44 65 16
TOR 439 89 73 1469 849 478 6159 1408 99 83.220 585 651 12 5 38 58 8

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BAL 2699 7509 5586 1818 105 .986 17378 114 51 1.00 8
BOS 2678 7291 5394 1745 152 .980 17521 161 58 0 11
CAL 2481 7500 5468 1918 114 .977 17450 111 42 0 14
CHA 2734 7348 5435 1742 171 .948 17064 102 53 0 16
CLE 2633 7463 5539 1788 136 .941 17434 126 50 1.00 17
DET 2754 7345 5404 1790 151 .962 17130 126 65 1.00 10
KCA 2811 7350 5416 1792 142 .979 17414 79 56 0 12
MIN 2908 7280 5517 1635 128 .980 17152 115 49 0 8
ML4 2640 7456 5435 1838 183 .960 17190 113 46 0 11
NYA 2652 7336 5406 1784 146 .963 16971 81 51 1.00 7
OAK 2739 7367 5553 1664 150 .977 17381 89 48 0 13
SEA 2717 7408 5415 1820 173 .968 17255 115 52 0 10
TEX 2788 7176 5330 1681 165 .953 17197 140 51 0 42
TOR 2649 7534 5491 1891 152 .964 17605 115 54 1.00 16

West

team W L Att Rk SOP
Oakland Athletics 99 63 2667225 1 930
Kansas City Royals 92 70 2477700 2 978
California Angels 91 71 2647291 3 897
Texas Rangers 83 79 2043993 4 1112
Minnesota Twins 80 82 2277438 5 851
Seattle Mariners 73 89 1298443 6 897
Chicago White Sox 69 92 1045651 7 778

Central

East

team W L Att Rk SOP
Toronto Blue Jays 89 73 3375883 1 849
Baltimore Orioles 87 75 2535208 2 676
Boston Red Sox 83 79 2510012 3 1054
Milwaukee Brewers 81 81 1970735 4 812
New York Yankees 74 87 2170485 5 787
Cleveland Indians 73 89 1285542 6 844
Detroit Tigers 59 103 1543656 7 831

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Tagged:
1989 ALCS, 1989 World Series, American League, Billy Martin, Bo Jackson, Bob Welch, Bret Saberhagen, Carney Lansford, Dave Henderson, Dave Parker, Dave Stewart, Dave Stieb, Dennis Eckersley, Donnie Moore, Fred McGriff, George Bell, Gregg Olson, Jim Abbott, Jose Canseco, Kirby Puckett, Mark McGwire, Mike Moore, Nolan Ryan, Oakland Athletics, Pete Rose, Rickey Henderson, Robin Yount, Roger Clemens, Ruben Sierra, Storm Davis, Terry Steinbach, Tony Fernandez, Toronto Blue Jays, Wade Boggs

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