|The Year of the Slugger - 1987 |
|The home run clearly dominated the 1987 season. The continued emergence of young star players, the liveliness of the ball, the weak major league pitching were all given as reasons for the record 4,458 homers hit during the season. Major league teams hit 17 per cent more homers in 1987 than the previous season. Some of the long ball records set included- most home runs by one team in one game; 10 by Toronto. Most home runs by one team in one month- 58 by the Orioles. Most home runs by one team in 11, 12, 13 and 14 consecutive games- 32, 35, 36, 38 by the Baltimore Orioles. Most home runs in a season in both leagues- 4,458, records of most hit in the AL- 2,634; and most hit in the NL- 1,824. Most extra base hits by both leagues 12,147; most total bases in both leagues- 59,854. Most home runs by individual teams; Detroit 225, Toronto 215, Cubs 209, Oakland 199, Texas 194, Mets 192, Indians 187 and Royals 168. |
Bert Blyleven, veteran pitcher for the World Champion Minnesota Twins, said during the season, "I think instead of having one rabbit, some of the balls have 3 or 4." Most players and managers seem to have agreed that the ball was the primary reason, for the huge amount of long balls hit. Davy Johnson, Mets' manager, said with a smile, "Maybe the Haitian work force that manufactures the balls doesn't like pitchers and comes in and winds the balls tighter than ever."
General manager, Al Rosen of the 1987 S.F. Giants said "The players are bigger and stronger. The size of the player has grown bigger. Rookie Mark McGwire is 6'5" and 225lbs. He's going to hit the ball a long way. When I played, I was considered big and I was 5'11", 180 lbs. Today they would refer to guys that size as little. If you're bigger, you can hit the ball farther."
More records set during the 1987 season include- most grand slams in the AL- 55; most times two or more HR's by a player in a game in the AL- 156; most times 3 or more HR's in a game AL 9. Most players hitting 30 or more in one season- AL 20. Most players with 20 or more homers both leagues 79. A record amount of runs were scored in the majors 19,883.
The big news was most home runs by a rookie- Mark McGwire of Oakland smacked 49 home runs and also set a rookie record for the most extra base hits 183. Don Mattingly was making headline news with his torrid hitting. He set records for the most grand slams in one season with 6 and also set records for most HR's in 7 and 8 straight games- with 9 and 10. In this special feat, he homered at least once in each game- another record. Some pitching records that were set in 1987- highest ERA 4.28. Most home runs allowed by one team- 226 by Baltimore. Most pitchers allowing 30 or more homers in one league - 18 in the American League. Swinging for home runs cause batters to set a new major league record by striking out 25,099 times; a record 13,442 in the AL and a record 11,657 times in the NL.
Fans didn't mind the onslaught of homers as a record number packed the ballparks cheering for the home run. We do note: There was no indication of hometown fans booing any home run hit by one of their players. The general manager of the 1987 Milwaukee Brewers, Harry Dalton said it best, "I guess anything in extreme excess can be bad, but the home run is one of the most exciting plays in the game." Baseballhistorian.com 1987 Home Run Season.
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The Famous "Green Box"
What's a green box and why is it so famous? Well, just like a baseball dugout, that's where the stories are told. The "Green Box" appeared on the Baseball Historian web site during our inception back in 1999 and has been holding kangaroo court ever since. Enjoy the stories...
|Schmidt's 3 Homers Lead Phillies To Rout |
|June 15, 1987. Montreal. Chicago Tribune wires- Mike Schmidt returned from the 15-day disabled list Wednesday. Sunday, he showed the Phillies what they were missing. Schmidt hit three home runs to tie Mel Ott on the all-time list and drove in six runs to power Philadelphia to an 11-6 victory over the Montreal Expos. Schmidt, who has 511 major league homers, hit three for the second time in his 16 seasons. He has one four homer game. He equaled his personal best with six RBI's. His second homer was his 2,000 hit in the majors. "I said after coming back after my injury it would take me a while to drive the ball," said Schmidt, who had a strained muscle in his left side. "For the first few days I took an easy swing. You can't turn it loose and swing hard right away." Schmidt started swinging hard in the third when he hit a three-run shot against Lary Sorensen. Schmidt added a solo shot in the sixth and a two-run blast, his 16th of the season, in the seventh when the Phillies scored six runs. Schmidt, 37, is third in hits on the Phillies' list, trailing Ed Delahanty with 2,211 and Richie Ashburn, the leader with 2,217. Baseballhistorian.com Newspaper Clipping |
|June 21, 1987 - Red Sox Topple Yankees 9-4 |
|June 21, 1987 Baseballhistorian.com - Newspaper Clipping - Knuckle-baller Al Nipper allowed 3 runs in the first inning then settled down to help the Boston Red Sox beat the AL East leading New York Yankees 9-4. Dwight Evans, Marty Barrett and Don Baylor each had three hits in Boston's 16 hit attack. Evans also had 3 RBIs and hit his' 10th homer of the year. Nipper pitched the whole 9-yards and evened his season record to 6-6. Yankee ace Tommy John (7-3) surrendered 6 earned runs in only 4 2/3 innings. The Yankees fell to 42-26 for the year and the Red Sox moved up to 30-37. Time of Game 2:43, Attendance in Fenway Park 33,011 |
|Headline News - McReynolds, Mets Nip Phils 3-2 |
|June 21, 1987 Baseballhistorian.com Newspaper Clipping- Kevin McReynolds, who had homered earlier, hit a sacrifice fly in the last half of the ninth to give the New York Mets a 3-2 win over the visiting Philadelphia Phillies. Dwight Gooden (3-2) pitched a complete game 5-hitter, striking out seven. Howard Johnson tied the game with a homer in the 8th inning. Johnson, who also had two singles in the game, homered for the third straight game, giving him 14 for the year. |
The Phillies' starter, Bruce Ruffin, was rolling along with 2-1 lead until he surrendered Johnson's homer. Kent Tekulve pitched the fateful 9th and was the losing pitcher. The Phils' Glenn Wilson and Lance Parrish hit back-to-back homers off Dwight Gooden in the top of the 7th. The winning Mets improved to 35-31, 4th place in the NL East, while the Phillies dropped to last place with a 29-35 record. Time of Game 2:35, Attendance 49,043.
|Seitzer Caps Royals 2-1 Win Over Tigers |
April 16, 1987, baseballhistorian.com - News Clipping - Kevin Seitzer drove in both runs in Kansas City's 2-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers. Bret Saberhagen threw a 6-hitter for eight innings. Saberhagen (2-0), the 1985 Cy Young winner, had slumped to 7-12 last year, fanned two and did not walk a batter. Bud Black pitched a scoreless 9th for his first save of the year. Seitzer doubled off Tigers' starter Walt Terrell, driving in Angel Salazar to break a 1-1 8th inning tie. Time of Game 2:16, Attendance 18,721.
|Padres Take 3rd In A Row Over Giants |
|June 15, 1987, San Francisco, From Chicago Tribune wires - "The San Diego Padres were looking for a payback after they lost their first seven games against the San Francisco Giants this season. They got it over the week-end. |
Dave Dravecky's five-hit, 4-1 victory Sunday was the Padres third straight win over the Giants. Carmelo Martinez backed Dravecky with a home run and two runs batted in. The Padres hadn't won three in a row since last Aug. 19-21. "I hope we don't have to wait this long for three more," manager Larry Bowa said. "We're playing better. We're not making mental mistakes and giving teams five or six outs like we did before." Dravecky (2-6) blanked the Giants until the sixth. He struck out six and walked two. Time of Game 2:24, A- 27,249.
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