Below are more headlines from the 1985 baseball season, including a hitting milestone for Hall of Famer Rod Carew.
Orel Hershiser Triumphs in 19
Nicknamed "Bulldog" by Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, Orel Hershiser made 1985 his breakthrough year. He spearheaded all National League pitchers in winning percentage at .864 as he went 19-3 and posted a 2.03 ERA for the season. In the League Championship Series, he won one game and hit .286.
Don Mattingly Named 1985 American League MVP
Batting third in the Yankee lineup in 1985, Don Mattingly showed an increase in power as he amassed a career-high 35 homers and an American League-leading 145 RBI. The performance snared the 1985 American League MVP Award. Mattingly also displayed power at first base, winning his first of four consecutive Gold Gloves. In the mid-1980s, many considered him the game's best player.
Darrell Evans Leads American League In HRs
In 1985, 38-year-old Darrell Evans led the American League in home runs with 40. Not was he the oldest home run champion in baseball history, he was also the only player ever to hit 40 or more homers in both leagues. Evans racked up 94 RBI, and was the only bright spot on the 1985 Tigers.
Willie McGee Sets Record with .353 Average
Willie McGee, the 1985 National League MVP, tallied the highest average by a switch-hitter in history, with a .353 mark. Leading the Cardinals to the senior circuit's pennant, the outfielder garnered a circuit-high 216 hits and 18 triples. In the 1985 World Series, he homered in game four to give the Cardinals their last win in the fall classic.
Vince Coleman Named 1985 National League ROTY
Vince Coleman captured 1985 National League Rookie of the Year honors , stealing 110 bases while scoring 107 runs. In his first seven years of professional baseball, Coleman led every league he had ever played in in stolen bases. He became the first player in baseball history to steal 100 in each of his first three seasons in the majors.
Coleman missed most of the 1985 postseason due to an injury (his foot got caught in an automatic tarp dispenser). He played in just three playoff games and stole just one base that year.
Phil Niekro Racks Up 300 Wins
The most celebrated game in the career of Phil Niekro came on the final day of the 1985 season, when the 46-year-old won his 300th game as the Yankees defeated the Blue Jays. Niekro went 16-12 for the Yanks in 1985.
Said outfielder Bobby Murcer: "Trying to hit Phil Niekro is like trying to eat JELL-O® with chopsticks. Sometimes you might get a piece, but most of the time you get hungry."
Bret Saberhagen Wins the 1985 National League Cy Young Award
In 1985, while Dwight Gooden was establishing himself as the best young pitcher in the National League, Bret Saberhagen was building a similar case for himself in the American League. The youngest pitcher ever to win the Cy Young Award, the 21-year-old Saberhagen went 20-6 with a 2.87 ERA. Stunning in the 1985 World Series, the righty won games three and seven and posted a 0.50 ERA.
Rod Carew Hits No. 3,000
Rod Carew became the 16th member of the exclusive 3,000-hit club on August 4, 1985, with a single off Twin Frank Viola at Anaheim Stadium. He hit .280 in 1985, his last year, retiring with a .328 career average and 1,015 RBI. Carew's 3,053 hits rank 12th on the all-time list, while his .328 lifetime average ranks 27th. No one since Stan Musial has retired with a higher average.
Though fans were sad to see Carew leave the game, many sportswriters were glad to see him go. At times, he was downright nasty with reporters.
Ozzie Smith Clinches Game Five
The Wizard of Oz, Ozzie Smith, hit the game-winning home run in the fifth contest of the National League Championship Series off Dodger reliever Tom Niedenfuer. The dinger was only the 14th round-tripper in the eight-year-old career of the switch-hitter. It was, moreover, his first homer hit lefthanded. Smith also collected a .435 average and three RBI in the tournament.
See the next page for highlights of the 1985 baseball season.