1983 Baseball Season

Johnny Bench, Carl Yastrzemski, and Gaylord Perry all retired after the 1983 baseball season. Bench, with the Reds since 1967, finished his career with a total of 389 homers and four World Series appearances. Yaz, who had worn the Red Sox uniform for 23 years, slugged 3,419 hits. And Perry left with 314 wins for eight different teams, although he never made it to the World Series.

Some other aged players had no intentions of retiring. Philadelphia's Steve Carlton, 38, and Houston's Nolan Ryan, 36, spent the spring battling for the all-time strikeout crown.

Ryan passed longtime strikeout king Walter Johnson in April, only to be overtaken by Carlton in June. Ryan wound up the winner and Carlton got his 300th career victory. Tom Seaver returned to Shea Stadium and won nine games for the Mets.

Wade Boggs
Wade Boggs won the
1983 batting title.

There were bright moments for players across the league. Yankee Dave Righetti had a July 4 no-hitter against Boston. The Cardinals' Bob Forsch and Oakland's Mike Warren also fired no-hitters. Playing his first complete season, Boston third baseman Wade Boggs won the batting title with a .361 average. Boston's Jim Rice and Tony Armas led the league in homers, hitting 39 and 36.

In the National League East was Philadelphia, a team loaded with aging stars, including Pete Rose (42), Joe Morgan (40), Tony Perez (41), Tug McGraw (39), and Carlton. But the Phillies -- "the Wheeze Kids," as they were called -- still had enough to win the National League East. In the playoffs, the Phillies would meet a Dodgers team with no pitchers who won more than 15 games and only one hitter (Pedro Guerrero) who knocked in more than 73 runs.

Joe Altobelli replaced the legendary Earl Weaver as manager of the Orioles and -- with the solid performances of MVP Cal Ripken (.318 average, 27 homers, 102 RBI) and Eddie Murray (.306, 33 homers, 111 RBI) -- took them to their first World Championship since 1970. Although none of the Baltimore pitchers won 20 games, the staff was strong and consistent.

The Chicago White Sox won the West Division with 99 games. Their offense lived by the long ball, as skipper Tony LaRussa had four players who blasted at least 20 home runs: Greg Luzinski, Harold Baines, Carlton Fisk, and 1983 Rookie of the Year Ron Kittle. The team led the league in runs. Its pitching staff, which relied on control, was spearheaded by Cy Young winner LaMarr Hoyt, a 24-game winner.

The Mets finished 68-94, but they laid the groundwork for future success. They traded Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey to St. Louis for Keith Hernandez, and introduced young slugger Darryl Strawberry, who slammed 26 homers, collected 74 RBI, and took Rookie of the Year honors.

The Phillies defeated the Dodgers three games to one in the National League Championship Series. Carlton won two of the games, allowing a total of just one earned run. The Orioles shot down the White Sox in the American League Championship Series. Chicago, which had such a potent offense during the season, scored a measly three runs in four games against Baltimore.

In the 1983 World Series, the Orioles took care of the Phillies in five games. No Baltimore pitcher won more than one game, but together they limited Philadelphia to a .195 average and 1.8 runs per game. Oriole catcher Rick Dempsey, who batted .385, was named 1983 World Series MVP.

Continue to the next page for headlines and summaries of the big stories from the 1983 baseball season.

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In 1983, Darryl Strawberry played his rookie year in New York, while Gaylord Perry pitched his final season. Here are some of the headlines from the 1983 baseball season:

Eddie Murray: 33 HRs, 111 RBI

Eddie Murray was probably the most feared power hitter in either league. In 1983, he batted .306, tallying 33 homers and 111 RBI. The all-time home run leader for the Orioles, Murray nailed a pair of dingers in the fifth and final game of the 1983 World Series.

Darryl Strawberry Ripens in NY

Few New York rookies have arrived with as much potential and hoopla as Darryl Strawberry in 1983. In his 122 appearances, the 21-year-old outfielder batted .257 with 26 homers and 74 RBI to capture the 1983 National League Rookie of the Year Award.

Jim Rice Tops American League in HRs

Jim Rice enjoyed a monster season at the plate in 1983, as he led or tied for the American League lead in homers (39), RBI (126), and total bases (344). Many had high hopes for huge career numbers from the left fielder, but he fizzled out at age 34 and retired after 1989.

A player who shunned the press, Rice once said, "Privacy is important to everyone. People say you owe the public this or that. You don't owe the public anything."

Dr. Gaylord Perry Wins 314th

Gaylord Perry played his 22-year major league career with eight teams, splitting the 1983 season between Seattle and Kansas City. He totaled seven victories that season, bringing his career wins to 314. Perry's stellar stint in baseball was marred when he was ejected from a game in 1982 for doctoring the baseball.

Wade Boggs Leads American League at .361

In his first full season, Wade Boggs continued the hitting that marked his rookie campaign, seizing the American League batting title with a .361 average. Boggs achieved further press when it was discovered that he ate chicken prior to each game. He eventually wrote a cookbook entitled Fowl Tips, which was illustrated with drawings by his father, Win Boggs.

Dale Murphy Cops 1983 National League MVP Award

Dale Murphy, 27, won the 1983 National League MVP Award, becoming the youngest player ever to win back-to-back MVP honors. He combined his Gold Glove fielding skills with a .302 batting average, a league-leading .540 slugging average, and a loop-high 121 RBI. His 36 homers (second in the circuit) and 30 stolen bases that season gained him admission to the 30/30 club.

Dan Quisenberry Saves a Record 45

Dan Quisenberry enjoyed his best season in 1983, as he set a then-major league record of 45 saves. Originally undrafted and signed out of La Verne College by the Royals as a free agent in 1975, Quisenberry adopted his submarine style of pitching because of a sore arm.

Cal Ripken Named 1983 American League MVP

Cal Ripken Jr. followed up his stellar 1982 rookie season with the 1983 American League MVP. Spearheading the Orioles to a World Championship, the shortstop batted .318 with 27 homers and 102 RBI. He achieved circuit-topping totals for runs (121), hits (211), and doubles (47).

Steve Garvey Ends CG Streak at 1,207

In December 1982, first baseman Steve Garvey signed a five-year, $6.5 million contract with the Padres. His hitting and professionalism were of great value -- In 1983, Garvey brought his consecutive game streak to an end at 1,207, a National League record. He finished the season with a .294 batting mark, a .459 slugging average, and 76 runs scored.

Check out more headlines from the 1983 baseball season on the next page.

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Below are more headlines from the 1983 baseball season, including a no-hitter from Dave Righetti and an infamous pine-tar incident.

Fernando Valenzuela Wins National League West

Fernando Valenzuela clinched the National League Division title for the Dodgers in an October 1 game with the Braves. It was the ballclub's second division championship in three years. Despite losing the services of such veterans as Ron Cey and Steve Garvey, the Dodgers still won 91 games in 1983.

Dave Righetti Sparkles on July 4

The highlight of Dave Righetti's 14-8 1983 season was July 4, 1983, when Rags thrilled fans by pitching a no-hitter against the Red Sox. It was the first no-no for the Yankees since Don Larsen's 1956 World Series perfect game. Righetti administered the final stroke to his masterpiece by striking out batting champion Wade Boggs.

Rusty Staub, PH Deluxe

Rusty Staub utilized his hitting skills in the role of pinch hitter deluxe for the Mets. Batting .296 in 1983, he matched major league records for consecutive pinch hits (eight) and RBI (25) while setting the mark for pinch at-bats (81).

LaMarr Hoyt Wins 1983 American League Cy Young Award

LaMarr Hoyt gave the performance of his career in 1983, placing first in the American League with 24 triumphs and 1.07 walks per game. On his way to leading the White Sox to their first American League West Division crown, Dewey copped the 1983 Cy Young Award. The ace pitcher hurled the Sox to their sole victory in the League Championship Series.

Carlton Fisk Adds Sock to Sox

Power hitters have always been a rare commodity at Comiskey Park. In 1983, however, Chicago was shaken up as Carlton Fisk lead the Sox to the American League West Division title. Posting a .518 slugging average, Pudge socked 26 homers and tallied 86 RBI. Fisk went on to set the all-time White Sox record for homers (161). Fisk disappeared in the playoffs, though, batting .176 with no runs or RBI.

Pine Tar Erases George Brett Home Run

No occurrence sparked more controversy in 1983 than the infamous pine tar incident. The dispute centered on the ninth-inning, two-run home run George Brett hit off Yankee reliever Goose Gossage to give the Royals a 5-4 lead in a July 24 game. Because Brett's bat had pine tar beyond the legal limit of 18 inches, the round-tripper was disallowed.

Jim Dwyer Scores in Game Four

Jim "Pigpen" Dwyer scored the winning run in the seventh inning of game four of the 1983 World Series, as Baltimore beat Philadelphia 5-4. Rich Dauer was credited with the RBI on a base hit. Dwyer hit .375 in the fall classic, breaking open game one of the tournament with a first-inning homer.

Rick Dempsey Homers in Game Five

Gary Matthews, Phillies left fielder, couldn't reach Rick Dempsey's third-inning home run in game five of the 1983 World Series. The dinger, which was socked off Philly starter Charles Hudson, put the Orioles up 2-0 in the finale. Dempsey had hit just four home runs that year.

Lou Whitaker Bats .320

Sweet Lou Whitaker had a watershed year in 1983. The great second baseman captured his premier Gold Glove. He was named 1983 Tiger of the Year. Whitaker batted .320 with 12 homers and 72 RBI, and became the first lefthanded Tiger batter since 1943 to get 200 hits.

Find more highlights from the 1983 baseball season on the next page.

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The 1983 baseball season led to a World Series between the Phillies and the Orioles; the Orioles went on to win in five games. Below, you will find highlights from the 1983 baseball season:
  • Orioles win American League flag for their new manager Joe Altobelli.

  • Phillies triumph in the National League.

  • Orioles need just four games to beat White Sox in the LCS.

  • Phillies beat LA in four games in LCS, as Steve Carlton wins two.

  • Orioles win the 1983 World Series in five games after dropping the opener to John Denny.

  • Pete Rose, the oldest World Series regular ever at 42, hits .313 during the 1983 World Series.

  • Denny is awarded the 1983 National League Cy Young Award after topping loop with 19 wins.

  • LaMarr Hoyt of Chicago wins the 1983 American League Cy Young Award and tops loop with 24 wins.

  • Atlanta's Dale Murphy wins his second consecutive National League MVP Award.

    Cal Ripken
    Cal Ripken was the 1983
    American League MVP.

  • Baltimore's Cal Ripken wins the 1983 American League MVP Award.

  • Steve Garvey's National League record streak of 1,207 consecutive games ends when he breaks his thumb.

  • KC's Dan Quisenberry sets a new major league record with 45 saves.

  • Nolan Ryan and Carlton both surpass Walter Johnson's career K record of 3,509.

  • Jim Rice leads the American League in homers (39) and total bases (344), and ties in RBI (126).

  • Boston's Wade Boggs wins his first bat crown in the American League (.361) and also leads in OBP (.449).

  • Bill Madlock wins his fourth and final bat crown in National League (.323).

  • White Sox win their division by 20 games.

  • With 108 steals, Rickey Henderson becomes the first to swipe at least 100 bases in consecutive years.

  • Louisville Redbirds become the first team in minor league history to draw one million fans in a season.

  • George Brett hits his famous "Pine Tar" homer vs. Yankees on July 24.

  • American League breaks skein of 11 consecutive losses in 1983 All-Star Game by beating National League 13-3 at Comiskey Park.

  • New York's Darryl Strawberry is named 1983 National League Rookie of the Year.

  • Chicago's Ron Kittle is named 1983 American League Rookie of the Year.

  • Strawberry sets a Mets rookie record with 26 homers.

  • Kittle sets a White Sox rookie record with 35 homers.

  • On April 23, Tiger Milt Wilcox misses a perfect game vs. Chicago when he gives up a single with two out in ninth inning.

  • On July 3, Texas beats A's with 12 runs in the 15th inning -- a major league record for most runs scored in an overtime frame.

  • Mariners are the first major league team in this century to go through a season without playing a doubleheader.

  • Dodger Steve Howe and Royal Willie Aikens are first players to be suspended for a full year for drug abuse.

  • Yankee Dave Righetti no-hits Boston on July 4.

  • Cardinal Bob Forsch no-hits Expos on Sept. 26.

  • Oakland's Mike Warren no-hits Chicago on Sept. 29.

  • Expo Tim Raines sets a National League record when he scores 19.6 percent of his team's runs, as he leads the major league with 133 runs.

  • Raines also tops the National League with 90 steals.

  • Raines has a steals success rate of 86.5 percent, setting a National League record for players who've attempted 100 or more steals in a season.

  • Mike Schmidt tops the National League in homers (40), walks (128), and OBP (.402).

Check out the next page for more highlights from the 1983 baseball season.

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Below are more highlights from the 1983 baseball season, including the year's Gold Glove winners and Hall of Fame inductees.

  • Dale Murphy leads the National League in RBI (121) and SA (.540).

  • Cal Ripken tops the major league in hits (211) and doubles (47); leads American League in runs (121).

  • Atlee Hammaker of Giants paces majors with 2.25 ERA.

  • The Hall of Fame inducts Brooks Robinson, Juan Marichal, George Kell, and Walter Alston.

  • Phil Niekro wins the last of his five Gold Gloves for National League pitchers.

  • Detroit's Lance Parrish wins the first of his three consecutive Gold Gloves as the American League's top fielding catcher.

  • Detroit's Lou Whitaker wins the first of his three consecutive Gold Gloves as the American League's best fielding second baseman.

  • Alan Trammell joins keystone mate Whitaker by winning the Gold Glove at shortstop.

  • Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg wins his first Gold Glove.

  • Oakland's Dwayne Murphy wins the fourth of six consecutive Gold Gloves as an American League outfielder.

  • Phillie Pete Rose is first the first sacker since the dead-ball era to play a full season for a pennant winner without hitting a home run.

  • St. Louis ships Keith Hernandez to Mets for Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey -- a trade which will help New York to a World Crown.

  • Braves send Rick Behenna, Brook Jacoby, Brett Butler, and $150,000 to Cleveland for Len Barker.

  • White Sox trade Pat Tabler to Cleveland for Jerry Dybzinski.

  • Cleveland sends Rick Manning and Rick Waits to Milwaukee for Gorman Thomas and two other players.

  • LaMarr Hoyt sets a White Sox record when he wins 13 games in a row.

  • Pittsburgh's Dale Berra reaches base a major league season record seven times on catcher's interference.

  • Chicago's Harold Baines sets a new American League record with 22 game-winning RBI.

  • Mets' Rusty Staub sets a new major league record when he has 81 at-bats as a pinch hitter.

  • Earl Averill dies.

  • Andre Dawson paces National League in total bases (341) and ties for lead in hits (189).

  • Butler of the Braves leads majors with 13 triples.

  • Milwaukee's Cecil Cooper leads American League in runs produced (202).

  • George Brett leads the major league with a .563 SA.

  • Robin Yount paces American League with ten triples.

  • Rickey Henderson leads American League in walks (103) and is second in OBP (.415).

  • Steve Carlton leads National League in Ks (275) and innings (284).

  • Cincinnati's Mario Soto leads National League with 18 CGs, is second in wins with 17, and also second in innings with 274.

  • Ranger Rick Honeycutt wins American League ERA crown (2.42).

  • Chicago's Lee Smith tops the National League with 29 saves.

  • Montreal's Steve Rogers paces National League with five shutouts; American League leader Mike Boddicker of the O's also has five.

  • Jack Morris leads American League in Ks (232) and innings (294), wins 20 for Tigers.

  • Ron Guidry wins 21 games and tops the major league with 21 CGs.

  • Hoyt tops majors in fewest walks issued per game at 1.07 -- which is the lowest total in the American League since Tiny Bonham's 0.96 in 1942.

  • Blue Jays break .500 for first time with an 89-73 record.

  • Reds improve by 13 games over 1982 showing, but still finish last in the National League West for the second consecutive year.

  • Phils win National League flag despite having the oldest team in majors and posting a sub-par BA (.249) and FA (.976).
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