1988 Major League Baseball season

The 1988 Major League Baseball season ended with the underdog Los Angeles Dodgers shocking the Oakland Athletics, who had won 104 games during the regular season, in the World Series. The most memorable moment of the series came in Game 1, when injured Dodger Kirk Gibson hit a dramatic pinch-hit walk-off home run off Athletics closer Dennis Eckersley to win the game for Los Angeles. The Dodgers went on to win the Series in five games.

1988 MLB season
LeagueMajor League Baseball
DurationApril 4 – October 20, 1988
Top draft pickAndy Benes
Picked bySan Diego Padres
Regular season
Season MVPNL: Kirk Gibson (LA)
AL: José Canseco (OAK)
League postseason
AL championsOakland Athletics
  AL runners-upBoston Red Sox
NL championsLos Angeles Dodgers
  NL runners-upNew York Mets
World Series
ChampionsLos Angeles Dodgers
  Runners-upOakland Athletics
Finals MVPOrel Hershiser (LA)


Philadelphia Phillies at Chicago Cubs 1988-08-06 (ticket)
A ticket from the game where Goose Gossage earned his 300th career save on August 6, 1988.

One of the American League's best players in 1988 was Athletics outfielder José Canseco, who became the first player in history to hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in a single season, unanimously garnering league MVP honors. The A's surrounded him with a stellar supporting cast, led by fellow slugger Mark McGwire (with whom Canseco formed the famed "Bash Brothers" duo). Aided by strong pitching from Dave Stewart and Bob Welch and the lights-out Eckersley securing 45 saves, Oakland ran away with the American League West and swept the Boston Red Sox of Boggs, Rice, and Clemens in the playoffs before falling to the Dodgers in the World Series.

Speaking of the Dodgers, nobody expected them to even contend for the National League West title in 1988, let alone win the World Championship. However, the intensity and clutch hitting

of Gibson (named the NL MVP at season's end) and the solid pitching of Orel Hershiser (who won a league-leading 23 games) spearheaded L.A. to a division championship by seven games over the Cincinnati Reds. In addition to his 23 victories, Hershiser led the National League with 267 innings pitched and 8 shutouts, and also set a record of 59 consecutive scoreless innings (formerly held by Dodger great Don Drysdale). These accomplishments, combined with his 2.26 ERA, earned him the National League Cy Young Award. However, it was in the post-season that Hershiser really distinguished himself – he started Games 1 and 3 of the NLCS against the tough New York Mets, saved Game 4 in relief, and threw a complete game shutout in Game 7. He hurled another complete game shutout in Game 2 of the World Series and again went the distance in the clinching Game 5. Hershiser was named MVP of both the NLCS and the World Series, capping off arguably one of the greatest seasons a starting pitcher has ever had.

Awards and honors

MLB statistical leaders

Statistic American League National League
AVG Wade Boggs BOS .366 Tony Gwynn SD .313
HR José Canseco OAK 42 Darryl Strawberry NYM 39
RBI José Canseco OAK 124 Will Clark SF 109
Wins Frank Viola MIN 24 Orel Hershiser LA
Danny Jackson CIN
ERA Allan Anderson MIN
Teddy Higuera MIL
2.45 Joe Magrane STL 2.18
SO Roger Clemens BOS 291 Nolan Ryan HOU 228
SV Dennis Eckersley OAK 45 John Franco CIN 39
SB Rickey Henderson NYY 93 Vince Coleman STL 81

Major league baseball final standings

American League

AL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
Boston Red Sox 89 73 0.549 53–28 36–45
Detroit Tigers 88 74 0.543 1 50–31 38–43
Milwaukee Brewers 87 75 0.537 2 47–34 40–41
Toronto Blue Jays 87 75 0.537 2 45–36 42–39
New York Yankees 85 76 0.528 46–34 39–42
Cleveland Indians 78 84 0.481 11 44–37 34–47
Baltimore Orioles 54 107 0.335 34½ 34–46 20–61
AL West W L Pct. GB Home Road
Oakland Athletics 104 58 0.642 54–27 50–31
Minnesota Twins 91 71 0.562 13 47–34 44–37
Kansas City Royals 84 77 0.522 19½ 44–36 40–41
California Angels 75 87 0.463 29 35–46 40–41
Chicago White Sox 71 90 0.441 32½ 40–41 31–49
Texas Rangers 70 91 0.435 33½ 38–43 32–48
Seattle Mariners 68 93 0.422 35½ 37–44 31–49

National League

NL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
New York Mets 100 60 0.625 56–24 44–36
Pittsburgh Pirates 85 75 0.531 15 43–38 42–37
Montreal Expos 81 81 0.500 20 43–38 38–43
Chicago Cubs 77 85 0.475 24 39–42 38–43
St. Louis Cardinals 76 86 0.469 25 41–40 35–46
Philadelphia Phillies 65 96 0.404 35½ 38–42 27–54
NL West W L Pct. GB Home Road
Los Angeles Dodgers 94 67 0.584 45–36 49–31
Cincinnati Reds 87 74 0.540 7 45–35 42–39
San Diego Padres 83 78 0.516 11 47–34 36–44
San Francisco Giants 83 79 0.512 11½ 45–36 38–43
Houston Astros 82 80 0.506 12½ 44–37 38–43
Atlanta Braves 54 106 0.338 39½ 28–51 26–55


Major League Baseball

  League Championship Series ABC World Series NBC
East Boston 0  
West Oakland 4  
    AL Oakland 1
  NL Los Angeles 4
East NY Mets 3
West Los Angeles 4  


American League

Team Manager Notes
Baltimore Orioles Cal Ripken, Sr., Frank Robinson
Boston Red Sox John McNamara, Joe Morgan
California Angels Cookie Rojas, Moose Stubing
Chicago White Sox Jim Fregosi
Cleveland Indians Doc Edwards
Detroit Tigers Sparky Anderson
Kansas City Royals John Wathan
Milwaukee Brewers Tom Trebelhorn
Minnesota Twins Tom Kelly
New York Yankees Billy Martin, Lou Piniella
Oakland Athletics Tony La Russa Won American League Pennant
Seattle Mariners Dick Williams, Jim Snyder
Texas Rangers Bobby Valentine
Toronto Blue Jays Jimy Williams

National League

Team Manager Notes
Atlanta Braves Chuck Tanner, Russ Nixon
Chicago Cubs Don Zimmer
Cincinnati Reds Pete Rose, Tommy Helms
Houston Astros Hal Lanier
Los Angeles Dodgers Tommy Lasorda Won World Series
Montreal Expos Buck Rodgers
New York Mets Davey Johnson
Philadelphia Phillies Lee Elia, John Vukovich
Pittsburgh Pirates Jim Leyland
St. Louis Cardinals Whitey Herzog
San Diego Padres Larry Bowa, Jack McKeon
San Francisco Giants Roger Craig

Television coverage

Network Day of week Announcers
ABC Monday nights Al Michaels, Jim Palmer, Tim McCarver, Gary Bender, Joe Morgan, Reggie Jackson
NBC Saturday afternoons Vin Scully, Joe Garagiola, Bob Costas, Tony Kubek




  • February 20 – Bob O'Farrell, 91, catcher for four NL teams over 21 seasons who won 1926 MVP award with the Cardinals
  • February 23 – Pete Donohue, 87, pitcher who had three 20-win seasons for the Reds and beat the Phillies 20 consecutive times from 1922–25
  • February 28 – Harvey Kuenn, 57, 8-time All-Star shortstop and outfielder, most notably with the Tigers, who batted .303 lifetime and led AL in hits four times and doubles three times; 1953 Rookie of the Year and 1959 batting champion, later managed Brewers to their first pennant in 1982
  • March 21 – Edd Roush, 94, Hall of Fame center fielder for the Cincinnati Reds who batted .323 lifetime; led NL in batting twice, and in slugging, doubles and triples once each; hit 30 inside-the-park home runs, and ended career with 13th-most triples in history
  • March 29 – Ted Kluszewski, 63, All-Star first baseman for the Reds who led NL in homers and RBI in 1954 and batted .300 seven times, known for his sleeveless jersey; later a Reds coach
  • June 9 – Newt Allen, 87, All-Star second baseman for the Negro Leagues' Kansas City Monarchs
  • July 4 – Lee Weyer, 51, National League umpire since 1963 who worked in four World Series and 5 NL Championship Series
  • July 20 – John W. Galbreath, 90, owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1945 to 1985, during which period the team won three World Series
  • September 2 – Jim Bagby, Jr., 71, All-Star pitcher for the Red Sox and Indians, led AL in starts and innings in 1943
  • September 16 – Bob Trice, 62, first black player in Philadelphia Athletics history
  • October 14 – Vic Raschi, 69, All-Star pitcher who won 20 games for the Yankees three straight years (1949–51), won World Series clinchers in 1949 and 1951
  • November 21 – Carl Hubbell, 85, Hall of Fame pitcher who won 253 games for the New York Giants, second most among NL left-handers upon retirement; named NL's MVP in 1933 and 1936, he led league in wins and ERA three times each and had 1.79 ERA in six World Series starts; 1677 strikeouts were NL record for left-handers until 1958, and won 24 straight games in 1936–37
  • November 22 – Ray Kelly, 74, sportswriter who covered the Philadelphia Athletics and Phillies since the late 1940s
  • November 30 – Wally Berger, 83, All-Star center fielder for the Boston Braves who had four 100-RBI seasons, batted .300 lifetime; led NL in homers and RBI in 1935
  • December 12 – Joe Reichler, 73, sportswriter and author who wrote for the Associated Press for 20 years and served as an assistant to the commissioner after 1966; editor of the Macmillan Baseball Encyclopedia since its first edition in 1969
  • December 21 – Willie Kamm, 88, third baseman for the White Sox and Indians who led AL in fielding average eight times and in putouts seven times; batted .308 in 1928 and led league in walks in 1925

External links


  1. ^ Mackin, Bob (2004). The Unofficial Guide to Baseball's Most Unusual Records. Canada: Greystone Books. p. 240. ISBN 9781553650386..
  2. ^ Firstman, Diane. "Most Runs, Hits with Only Certain Types of Hits". valueoverreplacementgrit.com. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
1988 American League Championship Series

The 1988 American League Championship Series was a best-of-seven series that pitted the East Division champion Boston Red Sox against the West Division champion Oakland Athletics. It was the second meeting between the two in ALCS play. The Athletics swept the Series four games to none and would go on to lose to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1988 World Series.

1988 Atlanta Braves season

The 1988 Atlanta Braves season was the 118th in franchise history and their 23rd in Atlanta.

1988 California Angels season

The California Angels 1988 season involved the Angels finishing 4th in the American League West with a record of 75 wins and 87 losses.

1988 Chicago Cubs season

The 1988 Chicago Cubs season was the 117th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 113th in the National League and the 73rd at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished fourth in the National League East with a record of 77–85, 24 games behind the New York Mets.

The first game under lights at Wrigley Field was on August 8 (8/8/88), against the Philadelphia Phillies. With the Cubs leading 3–1, in the middle of the 4th inning, a powerful thunderstorm rolled in. The game was suspended, and finally called at 10:25PM.

Since the rules of Major League Baseball state that a game is not official unless 5 innings are completed, the first official night game in the history of Wrigley Field was played on August 9, when the Cubs defeated the New York Mets 6 to 4.

1988 Chicago White Sox season

The 1988 Chicago White Sox season was the White Sox's 89th season. They finished with a record 71-90, good enough for 5th place in the American League West, 32.5 games behind of the 1st place Oakland Athletics.

1988 Detroit Tigers season

The Detroit Tigers' 1988 season was a season in American baseball. The Tigers, fresh off of losing the American League pennant to Minnesota Twins, were attempting to repeat as American League East champions after winning the division on the final day of the previous season. The Tigers hit five grand slams, the most in MLB in 1988.

1988 Houston Astros season

The Houston Astros' 1988 season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Houston Astros attempting to win the National League West.

1988 Kansas City Royals season

The 1988 Kansas City Royals season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Royals finishing 3rd in the American League West with a record of 84 wins and 77 losses.

1988 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1988 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 59th playing of the "Midsummer Classic" between Major League Baseball's American League (AL) and National League All-Star teams. The All-Star Game was held on July 12, 1988, at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, the home of the NL's Cincinnati Reds.

The game resulted in the AL defeating the NL 2-1. Terry Steinbach, a catcher for the AL's Oakland Athletics, won the All-Star game's most valuable player award. Steinbach was credited with both of the AL's two runs in the game. Frank Viola of the Minnesota Twins was the winning pitcher.

1988 Milwaukee Brewers season

The 1988 Milwaukee Brewers season involved the Brewers finishing 3rd in the American League East with a record of 87 wins and 75 losses.

1988 Montreal Expos season

The 1988 Montreal Expos season was the 20th season in franchise history.

1988 New York Mets season

The New York Mets' 1988 season was the 27th regular season for the Mets. They went 100–60 and finished first in the NL East. They were managed by Davey Johnson. They played home games at Shea Stadium.

1988 San Diego Padres season

The 1988 San Diego Padres season was the 20th season in franchise history. Tony Gwynn set a National League record by having the lowest batting average (.313) to win a batting title.

1988 San Francisco Giants season

The 1988 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 106th season in Major League Baseball, their 31st season in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season, and their 29th at Candlestick Park. The team finished in fourth place in the National League West with an 83-79 record, 11½ games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.

1988 Seattle Mariners season

The Seattle Mariners 1988 season was their 12th since the franchise creation, and ended the season finishing 7th in the American League West with a record of 68–93 (.422).

1988 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1988 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 107th season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 97th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 76-86 during the season and finished 5th in the National League East division.

1988 Texas Rangers season

The Texas Rangers 1988 season involved the Rangers finishing 6th in the American League west with a record of 70 wins and 91 losses.

Tom Browning's perfect game

On September 16, 1988, Tom Browning of the Cincinnati Reds pitched the 12th perfect game in Major League Baseball history, blanking the Los Angeles Dodgers 1–0 at Riverfront Stadium. Browning threw 72 of his 100 pitches for strikes and did not run the count to three balls on a single Dodger hitter. He recorded seven strikeouts, the last of which was to the game's final batter, pinch-hitter Tracy Woodson. A two-hour, 27 minute rain delay forced the game to start at approximately 10 PM local time. The rain delay lasted longer than the game itself, played in a brisk one hour, 51 minutes.

The game's lone run came in the sixth inning. Batting against Tim Belcher, himself working on a no-hitter, Barry Larkin doubled and advanced to third on Chris Sabo's infield single; an error by Jeff Hamilton on the play enabled Larkin to score.

Browning, who became the first left-handed pitcher to pitch a perfect game since Sandy Koufax in 1965 (see Sandy Koufax's perfect game), had had another no-hitter broken up earlier in the season, against the San Diego Padres at Jack Murphy Stadium on June 6. A Tony Gwynn single with one out in the ninth foiled this bid and would be the only hit Browning allowed in defeating the Padres 12–0.

The Dodgers would go on to win the World Series—the only time, to date, that a team has won a World Series after having a perfect game pitched against it during the season. (Only one other team has since earned a postseason berth after having a perfect game pitched against it during the season: the 2010 Tampa Bay Rays, who were on the losing end of Dallas Braden's perfect game on May 9, went on to win the American League East title.) Kirk Gibson, whose walk-off home run in Game 1 of that Series helped the Dodgers defeat the Oakland Athletics 4 games to 1, was ejected by home plate umpire Jim Quick after striking out in the seventh inning of the perfect game.

The perfect game was the first of a record three Paul O'Neill would play in as a member of the winning team. As a New York Yankee, he would be on the winning end of David Wells' and David Cone's in 1998 and 1999 respectively.

On July 4 of the following season, Browning narrowly missed becoming the first pitcher to throw two perfect games. Against the Philadelphia Phillies at Veterans Stadium, his Reds leading 2–0, he retired the first 24 batters he faced before Dickie Thon broke up the bid with a leadoff double. After striking out Steve Lake, Browning gave up a single to Steve Jeltz to score Thon. John Franco then relieved Browning and got Len Dykstra to hit into a game-ending double play.

1988 MLB season by team
AL East
AL West
NL East
NL West
Pre-modern era
Modern era
See also

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