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1988 Baseball Season

1988 Baseball Season Headlines
Dennis Eckersley, the A's relief ace, lead the majors with 45 saves.
Dennis Eckersley, the A's relief ace, lead the majors with 45 saves.

In 1988, venerable Wrigley Field installed lights, and Jay Howell was caught doctoring a ball with pine tar. Here are some of the headlines from the 1988 baseball season:

Dennis Eckersley Saves ALCS

Oakland's Dennis Eckersley saved all four games of the 1988 American League Championship Series against the Red Sox. Coming off a banner year, Eckersley led the circuit with a phenomenal 45 saves -- just one short of the major league record -- and averaged 8.6 Ks a game. Wild in his early years, Eckersley walked just 11 in 76 innings during the season.

Rick Reuschel Wins 19

Rick Reuschel received a new lease on his career with the Giants, as he won 19 games in 1988, his first full season with the ballclub. He tied for the lead in the National League in both starts (36) and sacrifice hits (19). Reuschel finished the season with the most career victories (194) among active senior circuit pitchers.

Frank Viola Wins 1988 American League Cy Young

Frank Viola won the 1988 American League Cy Young Award, compiling a 24-7 record with a 2.64 ERA. The New York native also won the All-Star Game by pitching two scoreless innings. Viola helped the Twins to a 91-71 record that season.

Kevin McReynolds Has a Whopper of a Year

Kevin McReynolds enjoyed an outstanding season in 1988, hitting .288 with 27 homers and 99 RBI. The Mets left fielder set a major league season record for most stolen bases without being caught (21). In the National League Championship Series, Big Mac tied the tournament record for most hits in a game (four).

Jay Howell Sacked in NLCS

National League President A. Bartlett Giamatti inspected the glove of Jay Howell after it was discovered that the Dodger had used pine tar while pitching the eighth inning of game three of the 1988 League Championship Series. Giamatti decided to suspend Howell for three games. An appeal cut the suspension to two games. Howell didn't resurface until the ninth inning of game three of the 1988 World Series. The A's won the contest 2-1.

Mike Greenwell: 22 HRs, 119 RBI

In his first full season with the Red Sox, Mike Greenwell proved that he was worthy to succeed the great Jim Rice as guardian of The Green Monster. The left fielder batted .325 with 22 homers and 119 RBI with just 38 strikeouts. Like Rice, the young slugger was a sometimes brutal fielder who was foiled time and again by the tricky bounces that balls took off the left-field wall in Fenway Park, 310 feet from home plate.

Kirk Gibson Bags 1988 National League MVP

The Dodgers snared a pennant in 1988 when they secured the services of Kirk Gibson. The free agent won the 1988 National League MVP Award with a .290 batting average, 25 homers, and 76 RBI. He then racked up a pair of home runs and six RBI in the League Championship Series. One of his homers, a 12th-inning dinger, won game four; the other, a three-run round-tripper, won game five.

Wrigley Field Brings an End to an Era

In 1988, Chicago's Wrigley Field became the last major league ballpark to install lights. Although the issue met with opposition from nostalgic fans and residents, Wrigley executives nevertheless forged ahead with the plan. According to the agreement, the Cubs were limited to a maximum of 18 night games a season until the year 2002.

Check out more headlines from the 1988 baseball season on the next page.

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