1988 National League Championship Series

The 1988 National League Championship Series was played between the National League West champion Los Angeles Dodgers and the National League East champion New York Mets. The Dodgers won the Series four games to three, en route to defeating the Oakland Athletics in five games in the 1988 World Series.

The Mets were heavy favorites when the series began in Los Angeles on October 4. They had beaten the Dodgers ten of eleven times in the regular season, outscoring them, 49–18.[1]

1988 National League Championship Series
NL-PS 4774
Teams
Team (Wins) Manager Season
Los Angeles Dodgers (4) Tommy Lasorda 94–67, .584, GA: 7
New York Mets (3) Davey Johnson 100–60, .625, GA: 15
DatesOctober 4–12
MVPOrel Hershiser (Los Angeles)
UmpiresHarry Wendelstedt, John McSherry, Joe West, Dutch Rennert, Bob Davidson, Paul Runge
Broadcast
TelevisionABC
TV announcersAl Michaels, Jim Palmer and Tim McCarver
RadioCBS
Radio announcersBrent Musburger and Jerry Coleman

Background

The Dodgers had won their fourth, and what turned out to be their final, NL West title of the 1980s, posting a 94–67 record (.580) during the 1988 regular season and beating out the Cincinnati Reds by seven games. The Mets cruised to the best record in the National League in 1988, with a 100–60 record (.625), easily winning the NL East crown by a full fifteen games over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The NLCS itself was a see-saw affair, with the two teams splitting the first two games at Dodger Stadium. The Series then shifted to Shea Stadium in New York for Games 3, 4, and 5; the Mets took Game 3 before the Dodgers pulled out close wins in both Game 4 (5–4 in twelve innings) and Game 5 (7–4). Dodgers outfielder Kirk Gibson hit home runs in both games, including the game-winning dinger in the twelfth inning of Game 4. The NLCS then went back to Los Angeles, where the Mets took the sixth game 5–1; however, they went on to be blanked by the Dodgers 6–0 in the deciding seventh game, sending L.A. to the World Series for the first time since 1981.

Dodgers pitcher Orel Hershiser was named the NLCS MVP. He made four outstanding appearances in the Series, garnering the save in Game 4 and hurling a complete game shutout against the Mets in Game 7.

It would be the Mets last postseason appearance until 1999.

Summary

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Mets

Los Angeles won the series, 4–3.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 4 New York Mets – 3, Los Angeles Dodgers – 2 Dodger Stadium 2:45 55,582[2] 
2 October 5 New York Mets – 3, Los Angeles Dodgers – 6 Dodger Stadium 3:10 55,780[3] 
3 October 8 Los Angeles Dodgers – 4, New York Mets – 8 Shea Stadium 3:44 44,672[4] 
4 October 9 Los Angeles Dodgers – 5, New York Mets – 4 (12 innings) Shea Stadium 4:29 54,014[5] 
5 October 10 Los Angeles Dodgers – 7, New York Mets – 4 Shea Stadium 3:07 52,069[6] 
6 October 11 New York Mets – 5, Los Angeles Dodgers – 1 Dodger Stadium 3:16 55,885[7] 
7 October 12 New York Mets – 0, Los Angeles Dodgers – 6 Dodger Stadium 2:51 55,693[8]

Game summaries

Game 1

Tuesday, October 4, 1988, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 8 1
Los Angeles 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 4 0
WP: Randy Myers (1–0)   LP: Jay Howell (0–1)

The series opened with a classic pitching matchup, pitting the Dodgers' Orel Hershiser, who had won 23 games during the regular season and carried a Major League record 59 consecutive scoreless innings into the game, against Mets ace Dwight Gooden, who himself had won eighteen games during the regular season. A pitchers' duel was expected, and neither pitcher disappointed.

The Dodgers pushed across an early run on a two-out RBI single from Mike Marshall in the first inning, but following that, both teams' offenses were held in check. The Dodgers were held hitless until the seventh inning, where they scored their second run off Gooden on an RBI single from Alfredo Griffin.

With Hershiser rolling, it appeared the Dodgers would knock off the Mets and take the lead in the series. But in the ninth, Mets rookie Gregg Jefferies led off with a single. He advanced to second on a ground out, and the Mets broke through against Hershiser when Darryl Strawberry lined a double into the gap in right-center field to score Jefferies. Hershiser was then lifted in favor of ace closer Jay Howell. Kevin McReynolds drew a walk, and following a Howard Johnson strikeout, Gary Carter hit a two-strike pitch in front of a diving John Shelby. Strawberry scored as the ball bounced in front of Shelby, and McReynolds followed close behind. Shelby's throw to the plate was a little off target, and McReynolds scored the winning run by bowling over catcher Mike Scioscia as the ball sailed past him.[9]

The Dodgers went down in order in the last of the ninth, and the Mets came away with a comeback win to draw first blood in the series.

Game 2

Wednesday, October 5, 1988, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 3 6 0
Los Angeles 1 4 0 0 1 0 0 0 X 6 7 0
WP: Tim Belcher (1–0)   LP: David Cone (0–1)   Sv: Alejandro Peña (1)
Home runs:
NYM: Keith Hernandez (1)
LAD: None
We saw Howell throwing curveball after curveball and we were thinking: This is the Dodgers' idea of a stopper? Our idea is Randy (Myers), a guy who can blow you away with his heat. Seeing Howell and his curveball reminded us of a high school pitcher.

David Cone, the Mets' starting pitcher for Game 2, wrote the above in an article for the New York Daily News.[10] The article appeared in the paper the morning of Game 2, and the Dodgers were not pleased upon reading it. They took out their anger on the field that night—against Cone.

Mike Marshall drove in a first inning run for the second night in a row. But in the second, the Dodgers exploded for four more runs to take a 5–0 lead and knock Cone from the game. Mickey Hatcher struck the key blow with a two-run double.

Although the Mets would draw within three runs on a fourth inning two-run home run from Keith Hernandez, they could not overcome the Dodgers' pitching. Dodgers starting pitcher Tim Belcher struck out ten over ​8 13 innings, and the Dodgers tied the series with a 6–3 victory.

Game 3

Saturday, October 8, 1988, at Shea Stadium in Queens, New York

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Los Angeles 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 7 2
New York 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 5 X 8 9 2
WP: Randy Myers (2–0)   LP: Alejandro Peña (0–1)

Fantastic plays and controversy would mark the afternoon, as the Mets rebounded from deficits twice to earn an 8–4 victory in Game 3.

Following a rainout, Game 3 was played in horrible football-esque weather. The rain that had delayed the game a day turned the field into a muddy mess.

The rainout of the previous night allowed the Dodgers to bring back Orel Hershiser to start on three days' rest, while the Mets countered with Ron Darling, who got off to a rocky start. The Dodgers scored their first run in the second inning on a throwing error by Keith Hernandez on a bunt attempt by Mike Scioscia. The Dodgers got another run on an RBI ground out by Jeff Hamilton, and a third run in the third inning on an RBI ground out by Kirk Gibson.

But the Mets would not lie down against Hershiser. Darryl Strawberry drove home Mookie Wilson with a double in the bottom of the third inning, and in the sixth inning, the Mets tied the game thanks to some clutch hitting and sloppy Dodgers fielding.

With Hernandez on first and none out, Strawberry singled to left. When Gibson bobbled the ball in the outfield, Hernandez tried to go to third. However, Hernandez slipped twice on the muddy infield, and Gibson was able to recover and throw Hernandez out as he attempted to crawl into third base. Kevin McReynolds reached on an error by third baseman Jeff Hamilton. One out later, back to back singles by Gary Carter and Wally Backman scored the two tying runs, and the Mets had come back once again against Hershiser. But the game was far from over.

With two outs and the bases empty in the top of the eighth inning, Scioscia hit a one-hop comebacker back to Mets pitcher Roger McDowell. McDowell lined up to make a throw, and slipped to the ground on the wet mound. His throw to first was wild, and Scioscia advanced to second base on the error. Following a single, a walk and a pitching change, Randy Myers walked Mike Sharperson to force home a run and give the Dodgers a 4–3 lead.

The Dodgers turned to closer Jay Howell in the bottom of the eighth. Howell ran a three ball, two strike count to McReynolds leading off the inning. Suddenly, Mets Manager Davey Johnson came out of the dugout, and asked Umpire Harry Wendelstedt to inspect Howell's glove for an illegal substance. Sure enough, Howell was found to have pine tar on his glove, and he was immediately ejected from the game, and would later be suspended for Games 4, 5, and 6.[11] The ejection seemed to undo the Dodgers. Three subsequent relievers failed to hold down the Mets, as they rallied for five runs in the inning after two men were out. Backman doubled home the tying run, Wilson singled home Backman with the lead run and Darryl Strawberry iced the inning with a two-run single.

David Cone would shake off his rocky outing from Game 2, and pitched a scoreless ninth inning to close out the Dodgers and give the Mets a two to one Series lead.

Game 4

Sunday, October 9, 1988, at Shea Stadium in Queens, New York

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 R H E
Los Angeles 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 5 7 1
New York 0 0 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 10 2
WP: Alejandro Peña (1–1)   LP: Roger McDowell (0–1)   Sv: Orel Hershiser (1)
Home runs:
LAD: Mike Scioscia (1), Kirk Gibson (1)
NYM: Darryl Strawberry (1), Kevin McReynolds (1)

It was the Dodgers who did the coming back in Game 4, and they did so in stunning fashion against the Mets ace.

Dwight Gooden started for the Mets, and the Dodgers scored early, just as they had in Game 1. A two-run single from John Shelby with two outs would give the Dodgers the lead. But once again, the Mets rebounded from the early deficit, this time against Dodgers starter John Tudor.

With no outs and Keith Hernandez on first base in the fourth inning, Darryl Strawberry launched a long home run to right off Tudor to tie the score. One batter later, Kevin McReynolds hit a home run, over the bleachers in left field to put the Mets ahead. The Mets expanded their lead on an RBI triple from Gary Carter in the sixth inning.

With a 4–2 lead going into the ninth inning, and Gooden cruising, the Mets looked to be a lock to take a commanding three games to one lead in the series. Since the first inning, Gooden had allowed one hit, and only four baserunners. But uncharacteristically, Gooden walked John Shelby to lead off the ninth, after having a two-strike count. Catcher Mike Scioscia then drilled a shocking two-run home run into the Mets bullpen in right field to tie the game.

The game continued tied into the twelfth inning, when Kirk Gibson, mired in a 1-for-16 slump in the series, hit a two-out home run off Roger McDowell to give the Dodgers the lead.[12]

With two runners on base and one out in the bottom half of the twelfth inning, the leftie Jesse Orosco came in to pitch to Hernandez and Strawberry, both left-handed hitters. Orosco worked to a 1-2 count on Hernandez, then threw three straight balls to walk the bases loaded. After Orosco threw another ball on his first pitch to Strawberry, Lasorda went out to the mound to deliver a message, which started with "What the fuck is wrong with you?" Orosco eventually got Strawberry to pop out to the infield. With the right-handed hitter McReynolds coming up, Lasorda summoned Orel Hershiser, even though he had pitched seven innings the previous day. With Jay Howell having been suspended and Tim Belcher, the starter for the next game, resting in his hotel room, Hershiser was the only pitcher left in the bullpen for the Dodgers. On his third pitch, he got McReynolds to fly out to shallow center, Shelby racing in for the game-ending catch. Hershiser got the save, and the Dodger win tied the series at two games apiece. The next game was scheduled to start in less than 11 hours.[13]

Game 5

Monday, October 10, 1988, at Shea Stadium in Queens, New York

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Los Angeles 0 0 0 3 3 0 0 0 1 7 12 0
New York 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 1 0 4 9 1
WP: Tim Belcher (2–0)   LP: Sid Fernandez (0–1)   Sv: Brian Holton (1)
Home runs:
LAD: Kirk Gibson (2)
NYM: Lenny Dykstra (1)

The Dodgers took a three games to two lead with a 7–4 win over Sid Fernandez and the Mets.

The Dodgers jumped on Mets starting pitcher Sid Fernandez in the fourth and fifth innings, to run out to a 6–0 lead. Catcher Rick Dempsey hit a two-run double in the fourth, and Alfredo Griffin drove Dempsey in with another double. Kirk Gibson delivered the crushing blow with a three-run home run in the fifth.[14]

Tim Belcher was the winning pitcher. Brian Holton got the final four outs for the save, with Hershiser again warming up in the bullpen in case Holton faltered.[15]

Game 6

Tuesday, October 11, 1988, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 1 0 1 0 2 1 0 0 0 5 11 0
Los Angeles 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 5 2
WP: David Cone (1–1)   LP: Tim Leary (0–1)
Home runs:
NYM: Kevin McReynolds (2)
LAD: None

Pitching in the face of adversity, and pitching to keep his team's season alive, David Cone rebounded from his poor outing in Game 2 to post a sterling complete game victory in Game 6.

For the only time in the entire series, the Mets scored first as a sacrifice fly by Kevin McReynolds scored Lenny Dykstra in the first inning to put the Mets ahead. McReynolds later hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning to put the game out of reach.

Cone scattered five hits and allowed one run in his effort, which knotted the series once again, forcing a decisive Game 7.

Jay Howell was available to pitch for the Dodgers because the National League president Bart Giamatti had cut a game off his suspension following an appeal hearing.[16]

Game 7

Wednesday, October 12, 1988, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 2
Los Angeles 1 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 6 10 0
WP: Orel Hershiser (1–0)   LP: Ron Darling (0–1)

Before the game, Mets manager Davey Johnson remarked that the excessive use of Orel Hershiser might undo the Dodgers. Hershiser had pitched eight-plus innings in Game 1, six in Game 3, and earned a save in Game 4. Missing from his log was a victory, but Hershiser got it with a complete game shutout to pitch the Dodgers into the World Series for the first time since 1981. Hershiser's performance earned him Most Valuable Player honors.

The Dodgers capitalized on two Mets errors in the second inning to put the game out of reach early. Steve Sax hit a two-run single to knock out Mets starter Ron Darling, and a Wally Backman error led to two more runs in a five-run Dodgers rally. With Darling out of the game, Dwight Gooden entered the game to pitch 3 innings of scoreless relief.

With Hershiser on the mound, and a big lead, the game was all but over. Hershiser allowed only five hits over his complete game effort, and his strikeout of Howard Johnson ended the game and capped off a memorable series.

This was the first postseason Game 7 to be played at Dodger Stadium; the next one would come 29 years later in the 2017 World Series, where the Dodgers would lose against the Houston Astros 5-1, clinching the Astros' first World Series championship.

Composite box

1988 NLCS (4–3): Los Angeles Dodgers over New York Mets

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 R H E
Los Angeles Dodgers 5 11 1 3 5 0 1 1 3 0 0 1 31 52 5
New York Mets 1 0 2 5 5 4 0 6 4 0 0 0 27 58 8
Total attendance: 373,695   Average attendance: 53,385

References

  1. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYM/1988-schedule-scores.shtml
  2. ^ "1988 NLCS Game 1 - New York Mets vs. Los Angeles Dodgers". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  3. ^ "1988 NLCS Game 2 - New York Mets vs. Los Angeles Dodgers". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  4. ^ "1988 NLCS Game 3 - Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Mets". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  5. ^ "1988 NLCS Game 4 - Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Mets". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  6. ^ "1988 NLCS Game 5 - Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Mets". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  7. ^ "1988 NLCS Game 6 - New York Mets vs. Los Angeles Dodgers". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  8. ^ "1988 NLCS Game 7 - New York Mets vs. Los Angeles Dodgers". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  9. ^ Major League Baseball (June 26, 2013). "1988 NLCS Gm1: Carter hits go-ahead single in ninth". Retrieved July 30, 2016.
  10. ^ Joseph Durso (October 7, 1988). "THE PLAYOFFS; Troubled Cone Stops the Press". The New York Times.
  11. ^ Suchon, Josh (2013). "NLCS". Miracle Men : Hershiser, Gibson, and the Improbable 1988 Dodgers. Chicago: Triumph Books. p. 205. ISBN 9781600788062.
  12. ^ Suchon, Josh (2013). "NLCS". Miracle Men: Hershiser, Gibson, and the Improbable 1988 Dodgers. Chicago: Triumph Books. p. 209. ISBN 9781600788062.
  13. ^ Suchon, Josh (2013). "NLCS". Miracle Men: Hershiser, Gibson, and the Improbable 1988 Dodgers. Chicago: Triumph Books. pp. 210–214. ISBN 9781600788062.
  14. ^ Suchon, Josh (2013). "NLCS". Miracle Men: Hershiser, Gibson, and the Improbable 1988 Dodgers. Chicago: Triumph Books. p. 215. ISBN 9781600788062.
  15. ^ Suchon, Josh (2013). "NLCS". Miracle Men: Hershiser, Gibson, and the Improbable 1988 Dodgers. Chicago: Triumph Books. pp. 216–217. ISBN 9781600788062.
  16. ^ Suchon, Josh (2013). "NLCS". Miracle Men: Hershiser, Gibson, and the Improbable 1988 Dodgers. Chicago: Triumph Books. p. 214. ISBN 9781600788062.

External links

1999 National League Division Series

The 1999 National League Division Series (NLDS), the opening round of the 1999 National League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 5, and ended on Saturday, October 9, with the champions of the three NL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. They were:

(1) Atlanta Braves (Eastern Division champion, 103–59) vs. (3) Houston Astros (Central Division champion, 97–65): Braves win series, 3–1.

(2) Arizona Diamondbacks (Western Division champion, 100–62) vs. (4) New York Mets (Wild Card, 97–66): Mets win series, 3–1.The Diamondbacks were participating in the postseason in only their second year of existence, the fastest any expansion team had ever qualified. The Atlanta Braves and New York Mets went on to meet in the NL Championship Series (NLCS). The Braves became the National League champion, and were defeated by the American League champion New York Yankees in the 1999 World Series.

1999 National League Wild Card tie-breaker game

The 1999 National League Wild Card tie-breaker game was a one-game extension to Major League Baseball's (MLB) 1999 regular season, played between the New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds to determine the winner of the National League (NL) wild card. It was played at Cinergy Field in Cincinnati, on October 4, 1999. The Mets won the game, 5–0, with starting pitcher Al Leiter pitching a two-hit shutout. As a result, the Mets qualified for the postseason and the Reds did not.

The game was necessary after both teams finished the season with identical win–loss records of 96–66. Some described the Mets as collapsing late in the season while the race between the Reds and their division rival Houston Astros was close enough to create the possibility of a three-way tie. The Reds won a coin flip late in the season which, by rule at the time, awarded them home field for the game. Upon winning, the Mets advanced to NL Division Series (NLDS) where they defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks, 3 games to 1. They then advanced to the NL Championship Series (NLCS) but were defeated by the Atlanta Braves, 4 games to 2. This game counted as the 163rd regular-season game by both teams, with all events in the game added to regular-season statistics.

Brian Holton

Brian John Holton (born November 29, 1959), is a former professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues primarily in relief from 1985 to 1990. He was a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers 1988 World Series winners, notching a save in game 5 of the 1988 National League Championship Series against the New York Mets along the way. After the season, on December 4, 1988, Holton was traded to the Baltimore Orioles with Juan Bell and Ken Howell for Eddie Murray.

David Cone

David Brian Cone (born January 2, 1963) is an American former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher, and current color commentator for the New York Yankees on the YES Network and WPIX. A third round draft pick of the Kansas City Royals in 1981 MLB Draft, he made his MLB debut in 1986 and continued playing until 2003, pitching for five different teams. Cone batted left-handed and threw right-handed.

Cone pitched the sixteenth perfect game in baseball history in 1999. On the final game of the 1991 regular season, he struck out 19 batters, tied for second-most ever in a game. The 1994 Cy Young Award winner, he was a five-time All-Star and led the major leagues in strikeouts each season from 1990–92. A two-time 20 game-winner, he set the MLB record for most years between 20-win seasons with 10.

He was a member of five World Series championship teams – 1992 with the Toronto Blue Jays and 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000 with the New York Yankees. His 8–3 career postseason record came over 21 games and 111 innings pitched, with an earned run average (ERA) of 3.80; in World Series play, his ERA was 2.12.Cone is the subject of the book, A Pitcher's Story: Innings With David Cone, by Roger Angell. Cone and Jack Curry co-wrote the autobiography Full Count: The Education of a Pitcher, which was released in May 2019 and made the New York Times Best Seller list shortly after its release.

Dodger Stadium

Dodger Stadium in the Elysian Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, is the home field of Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers. Opened 57 years ago on April 10, 1962, it was constructed in less than three years at a cost of US$23 million.

It is the oldest ballpark in MLB west of the Mississippi River, and third-oldest overall, after Fenway Park in Boston (1912) and Wrigley Field in Chicago (1914), and is the world's largest baseball stadium by seat capacity. Often referred to as a "pitcher's ballpark", the stadium has seen twelve no-hitters, two of which were perfect games.

The stadium hosted the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 1980—and will host in 2020—as well as games of 10 World Series (1963, 1965, 1966, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1988, 2017, and 2018). It also hosted the semifinals and finals of the 2009 and 2017 World Baseball Classics. It also hosted exhibition baseball during the 1984 Summer Olympics. It will also host baseball and softball during the 2028 Summer Olympics.

The stadium hosted a soccer tournament on August 3, 2013 featuring four clubs, the hometown team Los Angeles Galaxy, and Europe's Real Madrid, Everton, and Juventus. The Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks played a regular season game in 2014 as part of the NHL Stadium Series.

Gary Carter

Gary Edmund Carter (April 8, 1954 – February 16, 2012) was an American professional baseball catcher whose 19-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career was spent primarily with the Montreal Expos and New York Mets.

Nicknamed "The Kid" for his youthful exuberance, Carter was named an All-Star 11 times, and was a member of the 1986 World Champion Mets.

Known throughout his career for his hitting and his excellent defense behind the plate, Carter made a major contribution to the Mets' World Series championship in 1986, including a 12th-inning single against the Houston Astros which won Game 5 of the NLCS and a 10th-inning single against the Boston Red Sox to start the fabled comeback rally in Game 6 of the World Series. He is one of only four people ever to be named captain of the Mets, and he had his number retired by the Expos.After retiring from baseball, Carter coached baseball at the college and minor-league level.

In 2003, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Carter was the first Hall of Famer whose plaque depicts him as a member of the Montreal Expos.

John Shelby

John T. Shelby (born February 23, 1958) is a former center fielder in Major League Baseball (MLB) who played from 1981 to 1991. He began his career as a member of the Baltimore Orioles before later playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Detroit Tigers. Shelby was a member of two World Series–winning teams: the 1983 Orioles and the 1988 Dodgers. His nickname was "T-Bone" because of his slight frame. He currently is a coach in the Atlanta Braves minor league system.

Keith Hernandez

Keith Hernandez (born October 20, 1953) is an American former Major League Baseball first baseman who played the majority of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets. Hernandez was a five-time All-Star who shared the 1979 NL MVP award, and won two World Series titles, one each with the Cardinals and Mets.

A contact hitter with a .296 career average and a walk rate of 12.5%, Hernandez's career hitting productivity was 31% above league average. For his defensive work he received Gold Glove awards in eleven consecutive seasons, the most by any first baseman in baseball history. Hernandez is widely considered the best defensive player at his position in the history of baseball.Hernandez retired as an active player after spending one year with the Cleveland Indians in 1990. Since 2006, he has served as a television broadcaster for Mets games on SportsNet New York and WPIX, as well as a studio analyst for MLB on Fox since 2017.

Kirk Gibson

Kirk Harold Gibson (nicknamed "Gibby") (born May 28, 1957) is an American former professional baseball player and manager. He is currently a color commentator for the Detroit Tigers on Fox Sports Detroit and a special assistant for the Tigers. As a player, Gibson was an outfielder who batted and threw left-handed. He spent most of his career with the Detroit Tigers but also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kansas City Royals, and Pittsburgh Pirates.

A fierce competitor, Gibson is perhaps best known for two dramatic home runs in the World Series, each of them off a relief pitcher who would end up in the Baseball Hall of Fame. With the Tigers, he clinched the 1984 World Series with a three-run homer off Goose Gossage, who had refused to walk him with a base open. While with the Dodgers, Gibson was named the National League MVP in 1988. In game 1 of the 1988 World Series, Gibson faced heralded closer Dennis Eckersley and hit a pinch-hit walk-off home run—often described as one of the most exciting moments in World Series history. He was named to the All-Star team twice, in 1985 and 1988, but declined the invitation both times. He announced his retirement from baseball in August 1995.

Following his retirement as a player, he spent five seasons as a television analyst in Detroit and then became a coach for the Tigers in 2003. He became the Diamondbacks' bench coach in 2007 and was promoted to interim manager in 2010 following the mid-season dismissal of A. J. Hinch. On October 4, 2010, the Diamondbacks removed the "interim" label, naming Gibson their manager for the 2011 season. Gibson served as the Diamondbacks' manager until September 26, 2014.

Mike Scioscia

Michael Lorri Scioscia (, SOH-shə; born November 27, 1958) is an American former Major League Baseball catcher and manager in Major League Baseball (MLB). He managed the Anaheim / Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim / Los Angeles Angels from the 2000 season through the 2018 season, and was the longest-tenured manager in Major League Baseball and second-longest-tenured coach/manager in the "Big Four" (MLB, NFL, NHL, and NBA), behind only Gregg Popovich. As a player, Scioscia made his major league debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1980. He was selected to two All-Star Games and won two World Series over the course of his 13-year MLB career, which was spent entirely with the Dodgers; this made him the only person in MLB history to spend his entire playing career with one team and entire managing career with another team with 10+ years in both places. He was signed by the San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers late in his career, but never appeared in a major league game for either team due to injury.

After his playing career ended, Scioscia spent several seasons as a minor league manager and major league coach in the Dodgers organization before being hired as the Angels manager after the 1999 season. As a manager, Scioscia led the Angels to their only-to-date World Series championship in 2002. He is the Angels' all-time managerial leader in wins, games managed, and division titles. Scioscia was honored with the American League Manager of the Year Award in 2002 and 2009. On May 8, 2011, Scioscia became the 56th manager to win 1,000 or more games, and the 23rd to have all 1,000 or more victories with a single team.

Mookie Wilson

William Hayward "Mookie" Wilson (born February 9, 1956) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder and coach remembered as the Met who hit the ground ball that rolled through Bill Buckner's legs in the bottom of the 10th inning of game six of the 1986 World Series.A switch hitter with excellent speed, his positive attitude and hustle immediately endeared him to a New York Mets fan base with precious few stars to root for when he first came up in the early 1980s. He was enshrined in the New York Mets Hall of Fame in 1996.

Orel Hershiser's scoreless innings streak

During the 1988 Major League Baseball season, pitcher Orel Hershiser of the Los Angeles Dodgers set the MLB record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched. Over 59 consecutive innings, opposing hitters did not score a run against Hershiser. During the streak, he averted numerous high-risk scoring situations. The streak spanned from the sixth inning of an August 30 game against the Montreal Expos to the tenth inning of a September 28 game against the San Diego Padres. The previous record of ​58 2⁄3 innings was set by former Dodger pitcher Don Drysdale in 1968; as the team's radio announcer, Drysdale called Hershiser's streak as he pursued the new record. Pundits have described the streak as among the greatest individual feats in sports and among the greatest records in baseball history.

During the streak, the Elias Sports Bureau changed its criteria for the official consecutive scoreless innings record for starting pitchers from including fractional innings in which one or two outs had been recorded to counting only complete scoreless innings. Since the streak was active at the end of the 1988 season, it would have spanned two separate seasons if Hershiser had pitched any additional scoreless innings to begin the next year. However, he yielded a run in his first inning of work in the 1989 season against the Cincinnati Reds, thus ending the streak. The streak only includes innings pitched in the regular season, excluding eight scoreless innings Hershiser pitched to start Game 1 of the 1988 National League Championship Series on October 4 (unofficially extending his streak to 67 combined innings). Although he completed the ninth inning in each start, the streak's final game lasted 16 innings, of which he only pitched the first ten. Thus, Hershiser did not match Drysdale's record of six consecutive complete game shutouts. Like Drysdale's streak, the penultimate game of Hershiser's streak was a Dodgers–Giants game that featured a controversial umpire's ruling that saved the streak.

The streak was initially overshadowed by Hershiser achieving 20 wins and the race for the NL Cy Young Award between Hershiser and Danny Jackson until Hershiser reached 40 consecutive innings. Another distraction during the streak was his wife's pregnancy and his son's childbirth complications. The record-setting game was overshadowed by the 1988 Summer Olympics, football, and baseball pennant races; it was not broadcast on local television in Los Angeles. Following the regular season, Hershiser was awarded the NL Cy Young Award. In the playoffs, he earned both the NL Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award and the World Series MVP Award. He also secured Sportsman of the Year and Associated Press Athlete of the Year honors. Hershiser appeared in the 1989 MLB All-Star Game and continued to be an effective pitcher for many seasons, including two additional appearances in the World Series, one of which was preceded by his winning the 1995 AL Championship Series MVP Award.

Roger McDowell

Roger Alan McDowell (born December 21, 1960) is an American former professional baseball right-handed relief pitcher who played in Major League Baseball from 1985 to 1996. He played for the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League and the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles of the American League. McDowell was a key component in the 1986 World Series champion New York Mets and was the winning pitcher in the deciding Game 7. His major league record of decisions was 70 wins and 70 losses. McDowell served as the Atlanta Braves pitching coach from 2006 to 2016. McDowell's family is of Scottish descent.

Ron Darling

Ronald Maurice Darling Jr. (born August 19, 1960) is an American former right-handed starting pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB) who played for the New York Mets, Montreal Expos, and Oakland Athletics. Darling currently works as a color commentator for national baseball coverage on TBS, as well as for the Mets on both SNY and WPIX; he also co-hosts several MLB Network programs.

During his 13-year career, Darling amassed a 136–116 won-loss record, with 13 shutouts. He had 1,590 strikeouts and a 3.87 ERA. In 1985, he was picked for the All-Star team.

Darling had five pitches in his repertoire: the slider, a curveball, a circle changeup, a splitter, and a four seam fastball. In the beginning of his career, Darling's weak point was control, and he finished three seasons in the top four in base on balls; as his career progressed, his control improved considerably. He was considered one of the better fielding pitchers of the time and won a Gold Glove Award in 1989. Darling had one of the best pickoff moves among right-handers. An above-average athlete, he was sometimes used as a pinch runner. In 1989, he hit home runs in two consecutive starts.

Sid Fernandez

Charles Sidney Fernandez (born October 12, 1962), is an American former professional baseball left-handed pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, and Houston Astros, from 1983 to 1997.

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Fernandez was proud of his roots and wore uniform number 50 in honor of Hawaii being the 50th state. The theme song to Hawaii Five-O was often played before his starts at Shea Stadium during his days with the Mets.

Fernandez had an unorthodox pitching motion with a hesitation at the end followed by a sudden slingshot sidearm delivery. This deceptive motion, coupled with an effective curveball and a rising fastball, made him a major strikeout threat throughout his career. Fernandez' strikeouts were often commemorated by Mets fans in the outfield upper deck with taped signs marked with the letter S for Sid.

While Fernandez was popular with Mets fans, his critics point out that his statistics were much better in pitcher-friendly Shea Stadium. Every season from 1986 to 1991, excluding 1989, his earned run average (ERA) was at least two runs higher on the road than at Shea.

Fernandez has the fourth-lowest ratio of hits per innings pitched in the major league history, behind only Nolan Ryan, Clayton Kershaw, and Sandy Koufax.<

Terry Leach

Terry Hester Leach (born March 13, 1954) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher, and author of the book, Things Happen for a Reason: The True Story of an Itinerant Life in Baseball.

Tim Leary

Timothy James Leary (born December 23, 1958) is a former Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher.

Ulpiano Cos Villa

Ulpiano Cos Villa (died December 22, 2014) was a Spanish-language sports broadcaster who called California Angels baseball games.

He worked for the Angels from 1983 to 1982. In addition, he was chosen by CBS to call the 1982 American League Championship Series, the 1984-1988 National League Championship Series and the 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1988 All-Star Games.He worked alongside Ruben Valentin and Ángel Torres, among others.He was born in Cuba. He died at a hospital in the Los Angeles area at the age of 79.

Wally Backman

Walter Wayne Backman (born September 22, 1959) is an American former Major League Baseball second baseman. He is best known for his time with the New York Mets from 1980-1988 and was a member of their 1986 World Series-winning team. He was also the former manager for the Las Vegas 51s, the Mets' AAA minor league team, from 2013 to 2016. He served as the bench coach for the Pericos de Puebla of the Mexican Baseball League in 2017. He is currently the manager of the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.

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