- 1988 World Series
Infobox World Series Expanded
year = 1988
Los Angeles Dodgers(4)
champion_games = 94-67, .584, GA: 7
Tony La Russa
runnerup_games = 104-58, .642, GA: 13
October 15, 1988– October 20, 1988
Orel Hershiser(Los Angeles)
television = NBC
Vin Scullyand Joe Garagiola
radio_network = CBS
Jack Buckand Bill White
umpires = Doug Harvey (NL),
Larry McCoy(AL), Bruce Froemming(NL), Durwood Merrill(AL), Jerry Crawford(NL), Derryl Cousins(AL)
HOFers = Dodgers:
Los Angeles Dodgersover New York Mets(4-3)
Oakland Athleticsover Boston Red Sox(4-0)
The 1988 World Series matched the
Oakland Athleticsagainst the Los Angeles Dodgers, with the Dodgers upsetting the heavily favored A's to win the Series in five games (the exact opposite result of their 1974 meeting, which also went five games). The most memorable moment of the 1988 World Series occurred when injured Dodgers MVP Kirk Gibson, who could barely walk due to injuries suffered during the National League Championship Series, hit a pinch-hit, walk-off home run off of Athletics closer Dennis Eckersleyin Game 1.
Los Angeles Dodgerswon the National League Westdivision by 7 games over the Cincinnati Redsthen defeated the New York Mets, four games to three, in the 1988 NLCS. The Oakland Athleticswon the American League Westdivision by 13 games over the Minnesota Twinsthen defeated the Boston Red Sox, four games to none, in the American League Championship Series.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers' team batting did not finish in the top five in any offensive statistical category except batting average (fifth), at a pedestrian .248 – no regular or backup hit over .300 or drove in over 90 runs.
Kirk Gibson’s 25 home runs led the team but was only good enough for seventh in the National League. Slugger Pedro Guerrero had a sub-par year and was traded in July to the Cardinals for pitcher John Tudor. No position player was good enough to make the All-Star Game. However, the Dodgers were sixth in the NL in runs scored and backed that up with excellent pitching. Despite dealing All-Star pitcher Bob Welch to Oakland prior to spring training and an injury to Fernando Valenzuela(5–8, 4.24 ERA), the Dodgers were second in the NL in team ERA and runs allowed, and led the league in complete games and shutouts. The staff was anchored by Cy Young Award-winner Orel Hershiser, who led league in wins, won-loss percentage (23–8 .864), complete games (15), shutouts (8), and sacrifice hits (19).
Hershiser was backed-up by a pair of “Tims,” Tim Leary (17–11, 2.91) and rookie
Tim Belcher(12–6, 2.91), and the July acquisition of John Tudor further strengthened the staff. The bullpen was outstanding, headed by Jay Howell(21 saves, 2.08), Alejandro Peña(12 saves, 1.91), and longtime New York Metscloser Jesse Orosco. The Dodger bullpen led the league in saves with 49.
It was intensity and fortitude, however, that defined the 1988 Dodgers, a trend that began when
Kirk Gibsonwas signed as a free-agent over the winter from the Detroit Tigers, the team he helped lead to the 1984 World Championship. Moreover, the invincible Hershiser threw shutouts in his last six regular season starts en-route to a record 59 consecutive scoreless innings pitched, breaking the mark held by former Dodger great Don Drysdale. Hershiser would dominate the Mets in the NLCS, while Gibson hobbled through on bad knees and a bruised hamstring but would produce a memorable, if not the greatest, at-bat (in Game 1) of the World Series.
The powerful Oakland Athletics had all the confidence and swagger of a heavily-favored team. The “Bash Brothers” duo of
Mark McGwire(32 home runs, 99 RBI, .260 batting average) and José Canseco(42 home runs, 124 RBI, .307 batting average) were in their early twenties, emerging as young superstars. Canseco became the first player to hit 40 or more home runs and steal 40 or more bases in Major League history and would capture the Most Valuable Player award in the American League. Veterans Dave Henderson(24 home runs, 94 RBI, .304 batting average) and longtime Pirate Dave Parker(12 home runs, 55 RBI, .257 batting average), also contributed with both their bats and their experience. The 1988 World Series marked Don Baylor's third consecutive World Serieswith three separate teams. Besides being a member of the 1988 Athletics, Baylor was also a member of the 1986 Boston Red Sox and 1987 Minnesota Twins.
The Oakland pitching staff was quite possibly the best in the
American Leaguein by|1988. They led in ERA (3.44), wins (104), saves (64), and were second in strikeouts (983) and second in least amount of runs allowed and home runs allowed. The ace of the staff was Dave Stewart, an ex-Dodger (1978-83), who won 20 games for the second straight season. Another ex-Dodger was reliable Bob Welch (17–9, 3.64) followed by 16-game winner Storm Davis. After spending the previous 12 years as a starter, mostly for the Boston Red Soxand Chicago Cubs, Dennis Eckersleywould be converted into a closer in by|1987 and would lead the American Leaguein saves in by|1988 with 45. He would eventually have a distinguished 24-year career, gaining election into the Hall of Fame in 2004. Another longtime starter (and another ex-Dodger), Rick Honeycutt, proved to be a capable set-up man to Eckersley, finishing with three wins and seven saves.
But anything can happen in a short series, as proven by these 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers, who out-hit (41–28, .246–.177), out-muscled (5 HRs,-2 HRs), and out-pitched (2.03-3.92) the seemingly unbeatable
Oakland Athleticsincredibly winning the Series in 5 games, outscoring the A’s, 21–11, bringing Tommy Lasordaand the Dodgers their sixth World Series Championship.
Los Angeles Dodgers(4) vs AL Oakland Athletics(1)
October 15, 1988at Dodger Stadiumin Los Angeles, CaliforniaLinescore
Alejandro Peña(1-0)|LP= Dennis Eckersley(0-1)|SV=
José Canseco(1)|HomeHR= Mickey Hatcher(1), Kirk Gibson(1)|
Because of using ace
Orel Hershiserin Game 7 of the NLCS, the Dodgers had to open with rookie Tim Belcherin Game 1. Meanwhile, Oakland sent a well-rested Dave Stewart to the mound. Both pitchers, however, would have their troubles in this game starting out. Belcher loaded the bases in the first by giving up a single to Dave Henderson, then hitting José Cansecoand walking Mark McGwire. Terry Steinbachflied out, however, to end the threat.
Stewart's problems began in the bottom of the first when he hit
Steve Saxwith his first pitch. After retiring Franklin Stubbs, Stewart balked Sax to second. Mickey Hatcher, who hit only one homer all season, then shocked the crowd by hitting a two-run shot off Stewart. Hatcher further excited the Dodger stadium fans by running full speed around the bases, prompting Vin Scullyto comment, "He's a Saturday Evening Post character!" Commentator Joe Garagiola noted, "He ran in like they thought they were going to take it off the scoreboard! He really circled those bases in a hurry!"
Stewart would calm down, however, and the A's provided him a lead in their half of the second. With two outs, Glenn Hubbard singled. Belcher's control problems continued as he walked both Stewart and
Carney Lansfordto load the bases. With a two outs and a 1-0 count to Canseco, Canseco crushed the next pitch for a grand slam over the left-center field fence, denting an NBC game camera in the process. The A's had a 4–2 lead. Canseco's grand slam in Game 1 was his only hit of the series. His fellow Bash Brother Mark McGwirehad only one hit as well, the game-winning shot that ended Game 3.
In the sixth, the Dodgers broke Stewart's groove with three singles, the latter one by
Mike Sciosciathat scored Mike Marshall. The A's lead was cut to 4–3.
Kirk Gibsonwas taking practice swings in the Dodgers' clubhouse during Game 1, Orel Hershiserset up the hitting tee for his teammate. Along the way, NBC's Bob Costascould hear Gibson's agonized-sounding grunts after every hit.
Dennis Eckersley, came on to pitch the ninth to close it out for Stewart. After retiring the first two batters, Eckersley issued a walk to pinch-hitter Mike Davis, bringing a hobbled Kirk Gibsonto the plate to bat for reliever Alejandro Peña. After Davis stole second, Gibson bravely fouled off Eckersley's best offerings, then hit a backdoor slider into the right field bleachers to win the game. The footage of Gibson hobbling around the bases on both hurt legs and pumping his fist as he rounds second will forever live on highlight reels. Gibson would never bat again in the Series. Kirk Gibson's walk-off homer in Game 1, marked the first time that a World Series game ended with a come from behind home run; and is considered the greatest home run hit in Los Angeles Dodgers history.
Tommy Lasordatried to trick the Athletics into thinking that Kirk Gibson was not going to pinch-hit in Game 1. Preceding Gibson's at-bat, while Mike Davis was at the plate, Lasorda sent Dave Anderson, who hit .249 in the regular season, out into the on-deck circle. Dennis Eckersley, who had seen Davis hit for power in the American League, became too cautious, reasoning that he would rather risk walking Davis (assuming that Anderson next up would still prove to be an easy out), instead of trying to pitch to Davis, and perhaps make a mistake that Davis could hit for a game-tying home run. Eckersley did indeed walk Davis, thus setting the stage for Kirk Gibson to hit his game winning home run.
By the time Kirk Gibson reached his locker after Game 1, bullpen coach Mark Cresse had written "R. HOBBS" on a piece of paper and taped it over Gibson's nameplate, which was in reference to Gibson's heroics mirroring those of the fictional slugger played by
Robert Redfordin "The Natural". Kirk Gibsonwould later say that prior to the Series, Dodger scout Mel Didier had provided a report on Dennis Eckersleythat claimed with a 3-2 count against a left-handed power hitter, one could be absolutely certain that Eckersley would throw a backdoor slider. Gibson said that when the count reached 3-2, he stepped out of the batter's box and, in his mind, could hear Didier's voice, with its distinctive Southern drawl, reiterating that same piece of advice. With that thought in mind, Gibson stepped back into the batter's box; and thus when Eckersley did in fact throw a backdoor slider, it was, thanks to Didier, exactly the pitch for which Gibson was looking.
October 16, 1988at Dodger Stadiumin Los Angeles, CaliforniaLinescore
Orel Hershiser(1-0)|LP= Storm Davis(0-1)|SV=
RoadHR=|HomeHR=Mike Marshall (1)|
With a rested
Orel Hershiseron the mound, the Dodgers took a 2–0 lead. Hershiser got all the runs he needed in the third, with Mike Marshall providing the big blow with a three-run homer. Hershiser went the distance, allowing only three singles, all three hit by Dave Parker.
Hershiser also contributed offensively, with three hits, including an RBI double in the fourth inning. In the five-run third inning, he singled, went to third on an opposite-field single by
Steve Saxand later scored. He was the first pitcher to get three hits in a World Series game since 1924.
October 18, 1988at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, CaliforniaLinescore
Rick Honeycutt(1-0)|LP= Jay Howell(0-1)|SV=
The A's got back in the series on the strength of strong pitching by former Dodger World Series hero Bob Welch and three relievers. Dodger starter John Tudor left after only two innings with tightness in his pitching shoulder.
The A's struck first in the third when Glenn Hubbard singled, stole second, and came home on a single by
Ron Hassey. The Dodgers tied it in the fifth when Franklin Stubbsdrove home Jeff Hamilton with a double.
A's relievers helped squelch a Dodger threat in the sixth.
Danny Heepled off with a double. John Shelbysingled to left, but Heep was held up at third on the throw home as Shelby took second. Welch walked Mike Davis to load the bases, and left-hander Greg Cadaretwas brought in to face lefty-hitting Mike Scioscia. Scioscia popped out to third. A's manager Tony LaRussathen brought in right-hander Gene Nelson to face Hamilton, who forced Heep out at home. Alfredo Griffingrounded out to end the threat.
The A's got their winning run in the bottom of the ninth when
Mark McGwiredeposited a one-out fastball from Jay Howellinto the left-center field seats.
Jay Howell, was suspended for two games (although it was originally, three) by then
National Leaguepresident Bart Giamatti, for using pine tarduring the 1988 National League Championship Seriesagainst the New York Mets. Howell was, incidentally, also the losing pitcher in the prior year's All-Star Game in Oakland while as a member of the Oakland Athletics.
October 19, 1988at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, CaliforniaLinescore
Tim Belcher(1-0)|LP=Dave Stewart (0-1)|SV= Jay Howell(1)|
Game 4 didn't feature very many big hits or any home runs, but it was won by the Dodgers in typical scratch-and-claw fashion that defined their 1988 season.
The Dodgers got two in the first when
Steve Saxwalked, went to third on a Mickey Hatchersingle, and scored on a passed ballby A's catcher Terry Steinbach. Hatcher scored the second run on a groundout by John Shelby. The A's got one back in their half when Luis Polonialed off with a single, went to second on a passed ball, and later scored on a José Cansecogroundout.
The Dodgers went up 3–1 when
Franklin Stubbsdoubled and scored on A's shortstop Walt Weiss's throwing error on a ball hit by Mike Davis. The A's answered in the sixth on an RBI single by Carney Lansford.
The Dodgers got their final run in the seventh when pinch-hitter
Tracy Woodsondrove in Alfredo Griffinwith a groundout. The A's half of the seventh was more eventful, however.
With one out, Weiss singled and reached second when he was called safe on a double-play grounder hit by Polonia; he was running with the pitch.
Dave Hendersoncut the Dodger lead to 4–3 on a two-out RBI double. José Cansecowalked and Dave Parkerreached on a Griffin error to load the bases, but Mark McGwirepopped out, ending the A's last chance to score.
October 20, 1988at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, CaliforniaLinescore
Orel Hershiser(2-0)|LP= Storm Davis(0-2)|SV=
Mickey Hatcher(2), Mike Davis (1)|HomeHR=| Orel Hershisercapped one of the greatest seasons ever by a starting pitcher and one of the most improbable World Serieswins in history by pitching a complete game, allowing only four hits, two runs, and striking out nine.
In addition to Hershiser's performance, the Dodgers won because
Mickey Hatcherstepped in for the hobbled Kirk Gibsonin left field and provided spark, enthusiasm, and unexpected offense. He blasted his second home run in the Series , a 2-run shot, in the first; he had hit only one home run in the 1988 season.
Mike Davis, a disappointing free-agent signing for most of the 1988 season, added a 2-run blast in the fourth, and former World Series MVP
Rick Dempsey, filling in for an injured Mike Scioscia, added an RBI double in the sixth.
The Dodger pitching tamed Oakland monsters
José Canseco(one hit, his grand slam in Game 1) and Mark McGwire(one hit and one RBI, which came in Game 3) for pretty much the entire series.
The Dodgers became the first (and so far only) team to have a
perfect gamepitched against them and win a World Series in the same season. Tom Browningof the Cincinnati Redspitched the Perfect Game on September 16, by|1988.
1988 World Series (4-1):
Los Angeles Dodgers(N.L.) over Oakland Athletics(A.L.)Linescore
Los Angeles Dodgers
Total Attendance: 259,984 Average Attendance: 51,997 | Winning Player’s Share: – $108,665 Losing Player’s Share – $86,221cite web|url=http://www.baseball-almanac.com/ws/wsshares.shtml|title=World Series Gate Receipts and Player Shares|accessdate=2008-05-07|publisher=Baseball Almanac]
The 1988 World Series marked the last time that NBC [ [http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1067937/2/index.htm NBC's World Series telecasts showed it's still the best at covering the national pastime] ] would televise a World Series in seven years. Beginning in by|1990, NBC would be shut out of Major League Baseball coverage completely, after CBS signed a four year, exclusive television contract. After splitting coverage of the
1995 World Serieswith ABC, NBC would next cover a World Series exclusively in 1997.
Longtime Dodger’s broadcaster
Vin Scullycalled the 1988 World Series for a national television audience on NBC with Joe Garagiola. According to Scully (during an interview on ESPN Classic's " SportsCentury" profile on Dennis Eckersley), when he saw Kirk Gibson walk up to the plate, he seemed to be using his bat as a cane. When NBC returned from a commercial break at the start of the bottom of the 9th inning of Game 1, Scully commented (as NBC's cameras were panning the Dodgers' dugout) that Gibson (who wasn't in the dugout at the time) wouldn't play for sure. According to Gibson, Scully's comments in large part influenced his decision to want to bat. Bob Costas, who along with Marv Albert, hosted NBC's World Series pregame coverage and handled postgame interviews made on-air statements that enraged many in the Dodgers' clubhouse (especially manager Tommy Lasorda). Costas' said that the 1988 Dodgers possibly had the weakest hitting line-up in World Series history. After the Dodgers won Game 4, Lasorda (during a postgame interview with Marv Albert) sarcastically said that the MVP of the World Series should be Bob Costas.
This was the last
World Seriesthat Peter Ueberrothpresided over as commissioner. Ueberroth rose to prominence for organizing the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
Following this confrontation, both teams appeared on "
Family Feud" with Ray Combsfor a special sweeps week billed as a World Series Rematch.
*Neft, David S., and Richard M. Cohen. The World Series. 1st ed. New York: St Martins, 1990. (Neft and Cohen 425-429)
*cite web |author=Forman, Sean L. |title=1988 World Series |date= |work=Baseball-Reference.com - Major League Statistics and Information. |url=http://www.baseball-reference.com/postseason/1988_WS.shtml |accessdate=2007-12-09
* [http://www.baseball-reference.com/postseason/1988_WS.shtml 1988 World Series at Baseball-Reference.com]
* [http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_ws_recaps.jsp?feature=1988 1988 World Series at "WorldSeries.com (MLB.com)"]
* [http://baseball-almanac.com/ws/yr1988ws.shtml 1988 World Series by Baseball Almanac]
* [http://www.sportingnews.com/archives/worldseries/1988.html History of the World Series – 1988 at SportingNews.com]
* [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/features/1997/wsarchive/1988.html Destiny's Boys at SI.com]
* [http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1988/YPS_1988.htm 1988 World Series box scores and play-by-play at Retrosheet.org]
* [http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/baseballs_best/mlb_bb_gamepage.jsp?story_page=bb_88nlcs_gm4_lanym 1988 NLCS |Game 4]
* [http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/teams/1988dodgers.stm 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers at baseballlibrary.com]
* [http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/teams/1988athletics.stm 1988 Oakland Athletics at baseballlibrary.com]
* [http://www.sportingnews.com/baseball/25moments/6.html Baseball's 25 Greatest Moments: Kirk Gibson's Home Run]
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