Kirby Puckett Wins 1989 American League Bat Title
Kirby Puckett pounded out a .339 average to capture the 1989 American League batting title and become just the second righty in 20 years to seize the crown. The Twins' center fielder bested the loop with 215 hits while tallying 85 RBI that season. As a testament to his fielding prowess, he captured his fourth Gold Glove Award that year.
Robin Yount Takes Second MVP
Robin Yount became the first player ever to win an MVP Award at two different positions. He had won one at shortstop for the Brewers in 1982 and -- after moving out of the infield due to a serious knee injury -- copped another MVP trophy as a center fielder in 1989. In 1989, Yount hit .318 with 21 home runs, 103 RBI, 101 runs scored, and a .511 slugging percentage.
Bret Saberhagen Wins 1989 Cy Young
Bret Saberhagen returned to his 1985 pitching form, as he captured the 1989 American League Cy Young Award. The Royals righty put up a circuit-topping 23 wins and 2.16 ERA that season, the lowest mark in the loop since 1978. Known for pitching well in odd years and poorly in even years, Saberhagen fell to 5-9 in 1990.
Mr. Clean Hit by Dirt
Steve Garvey once said: "God has laid out the game plan. I walk around as if a little boy or a little girl was following me and I don't do anything physically or mentally to take away from the ideal they might have for Steve Garvey." His words came back to haunt the former ballplayer in 1989. He was slapped with paternity suits from two different women that year.
Wade Boggs Drops to .330 BA
Wade Boggs was dragged through the mud in 1989, as his affair with Margo Adams made scandalous headlines. Boggs was so affected that his season average plummeted to .330, lowering his career average to .352. For the first time in five years, Boggs did not win the American League bat crown. Still, he led the league in runs (113), doubles (51), and on-base percentage (.430).
Jim Abbott Wins a Dozen
Jim Abbott inspired America in 1989 as he made his major league debut with the Angels. Born with only his left hand, the former Olympic and University of Michigan star pitcher jumped directly to the big leagues from his college team. Abbott both won and lost 12 games in 1989, collecting two shutouts. Despite his handicap, the pitcher was a star quarterback in high school.
Will Clark Thrills with .333 BA
Will Clark proved to be a hitting machine during the 1989 season, as he batted .333, collected 23 home runs and 111 RBI, and spearheaded the National League with 104 runs. Nicknamed "The Thrill," he was the latest in a splendid string of Giant first basemen including Hall of Famers George Kelly, Bill Terry, Johnny Mize, and Willie McCovey. In the 1989 League Championship Series, Clark turned in a towering .650 batting average with a pair of home runs and eight RBI. In that fall's World Series, he was good for a .250 average.
Check out the next page for more headlines from the 1989 baseball season.
To learn more about baseball, see:
- 1988 Baseball Season
- 1990 Baseball Season
- Baseball History
- How Baseball Works
- How the Baseball Hall of Fame Works
- How Minor League Baseball Teams Work
- Babe Ruth