Below are more headlines from the 1988 baseball season, including great performances by Tony Gwynn, Andre Dawson, and Orel Hershiser.
Trio Takes 1988 A's to Flag
The A's won their first of many American League pennants in 1988 with a nucleus of young stars led by Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, and Walt Weiss. They formed a trio of successive American League Rookies of the Year. In 1988, Canseco topped the circuit in homers (42), RBI (124), and slugging average (.569). McGwire clubbed 32 four-baggers and drove in 99 runs. Weiss hit .250. All three bombed in the 1988 World Series, however. Canseco hit .053, McGwire batted .059, and Weiss hit .063.
Tony Gwynn Takes 1988 National League Bat Title
Despite his batting average dropping a colossal 57 points from 1987, Tony Gwynn still led the National League in batting in 1988 with a .313 average. Like Wade Boggs, his American League counterpart, the outfielder sacrificed much of his power for average; in 1988, Gwynn hit seven homers with 70 RBI.
Don Mattingly, Darryl Strawberry Star in NY
Don Mattingly and Darryl Strawberry were the virtuosos of New York in the late 1980s. In 1988, Mattingly batted .311 with 18 homers and 88 RBI for the Yankees, and Strawberry hit an National League-leading 39 homers with 101 RBI. Despite the pressure on both franchises for a Subway Series, the only time the two stars and their teams would meet that year was in the annual Mayor's Trophy charity game.
Orel Hershiser Is Unhittable
No hurler ever finished a season the way Orel Hershiser wrapped up 1988. First, he pitched five straight shutouts. Then he broke Don Drysdale's consecutive-scoreless-innings streak (58 frames) of 1968 with a ten-inning scoreless no-decision against the Padres in his last start of the season. Finally, he stretched his 59-inning streak to 67 in the National League Championship Series against the Mets. Finishing the season with a 23-8 record and a 2.26 ERA, Hershiser received the 1988 Cy Young Award.
A's Sweep the BoSox
Oakland's Dave Stewart struck out Boston's Wade Boggs with the bases loaded in the second inning of the opening game of the 1988 American League Championship Series. The Red Sox lost the game 2-1, then the series in four straight. During the sweep, Stewart recorded one win, a 1.35 ERA, and 11 strikeouts in 131/3 innings; Boggs tallied a .385 average with three RBI.
Kirk Gibson Wins Game One
A 1990 sportscaster poll named Kirk Gibson's home run that clinched game one of the 1988 World Series as one of the most dramatic moments in baseball history. The injured outfielder could only hobble around the bases after whacking a 3-2 pitch from A's reliever Dennis Eckersley to bag a 5-4 Dodger victory. In his only Series at-bat, he fouled off four pitches before nailing the clincher. It was the perfect finale to Gibson's 1988 year (.290 average, 25 round-trippers, 76 RBI).
Jeff Reardon Saves 42
Jeff "The Terminator" Reardon saved a career-high 42 games in 1988 (second in the American League). Reardon was the lone reliever to compile at least 20 saves each season from 1982-1988. With a total of 287 saves after 1990, Reardon ranks among baseball's all-time leaders in saves.
Andre Dawson: 24 HRs, 79 RBI
Despite a sharp drop-off from his 1987 stats, Andre Dawson enjoyed a solid season in 1988, capturing a Gold Glove for outfielding while batting .303 with 24 homers and 79 RBI. The former Expo was easily the best free agent signing in Cub history.
Find highlights from the 1988 baseball season on the next page.