|1988 MLB season|
|League||Major League Baseball|
|Duration||April 4 – October 20, 1988|
|Number of games||162|
|Number of teams||26|
|Top draft pick||Andy Benes|
|Picked by||San Diego Padres|
|Season MVP|| NL: Kirk Gibson (LA)|
AL: José Canseco (OAK)
|AL champions||Oakland Athletics|
|AL runners-up||Boston Red Sox|
|NL champions||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|NL runners-up||New York Mets|
|Champions||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|World Series MVP||Orel Hershiser (LA)|
The 1988 Major League Baseball season ended with the underdog Los Angeles Dodgers shocking the Oakland Athletics, who had won 104 games during the regular season, in the World Series. The most memorable moment of the series came in Game 1, when injured Dodger Kirk Gibson hit a dramatic pinch-hit walk-off home run off Athletics closer Dennis Eckersley to win the game for Los Angeles. The Dodgers went on to win the Series in five games.
One of the American League's best players in 1988 was Athletics outfielder José Canseco, [ citation needed ] who became the first player in history to hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in a single season, unanimously garnering league MVP honors. The A's surrounded him with a stellar supporting cast, led by fellow slugger Mark McGwire (with whom Canseco formed the famed "Bash Brothers" duo). Aided by strong pitching from Dave Stewart and Bob Welch and the lights-out Eckersley securing 45 saves, Oakland ran away with the American League West and swept the Boston Red Sox of Boggs, Rice, and Clemens in the playoffs before falling to the Dodgers in the World Series.
Speaking of the Dodgers, nobody expected them to even contend for the National League West title in 1988, let alone win the World Championship. [ citation needed ] However, the intensity and clutch hitting
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of Gibson (named the NL MVP at season's end) and the solid pitching of Orel Hershiser (who won a league-leading 23 games) spearheaded L.A. to a division championship by seven games over the Cincinnati Reds. In addition to his 23 victories, Hershiser led the National League with 267 innings pitched and 8 shutouts, and also set a record of 59 consecutive scoreless innings (formerly held by Dodger great Don Drysdale). These accomplishments, combined with his 2.26 ERA, earned him the National League Cy Young Award. However, it was in the post-season that Hershiser really distinguished himself – he started Games 1 and 3 of the NLCS against the tough New York Mets, saved Game 4 in relief, and threw a complete game shutout in Game 7. He hurled another complete game shutout in Game 2 of the World Series and again went the distance in the clinching Game 5. Hershiser was named MVP of both the NLCS and the World Series, capping off arguably one of the greatest seasons a starting pitcher has ever had.
|Statistic||American League||National League|
|AVG||Wade Boggs BOS||.366||Tony Gwynn SD||.313|
|HR||José Canseco OAK||42||Darryl Strawberry NYM||39|
|RBI||José Canseco OAK||124||Will Clark SF||109|
|Wins||Frank Viola MIN||24|| Orel Hershiser LA|
Danny Jackson CIN
|ERA|| Allan Anderson MIN|
Teddy Higuera MIL
|2.45||Joe Magrane STL||2.18|
|SO||Roger Clemens BOS||291||Nolan Ryan HOU||228|
|SV||Dennis Eckersley OAK||45||John Franco CIN||39|
|SB||Rickey Henderson NYY||93||Vince Coleman STL||81|
|League Championship Series|
|Baltimore Orioles||Cal Ripken, Sr., Frank Robinson|
|Boston Red Sox||John McNamara, Joe Morgan|
|California Angels||Cookie Rojas, Moose Stubing|
|Chicago White Sox||Jim Fregosi|
|Cleveland Indians||Doc Edwards|
|Detroit Tigers||Sparky Anderson|
|Kansas City Royals||John Wathan|
|Milwaukee Brewers||Tom Trebelhorn|
|Minnesota Twins||Tom Kelly|
|New York Yankees||Billy Martin, Lou Piniella|
|Oakland Athletics||Tony La Russa||Won American League Pennant|
|Seattle Mariners||Dick Williams, Jim Snyder|
|Texas Rangers||Bobby Valentine|
|Toronto Blue Jays||Jimy Williams|
|Atlanta Braves||Chuck Tanner, Russ Nixon|
|Chicago Cubs||Don Zimmer|
|Cincinnati Reds||Pete Rose, Tommy Helms (acting)|
|Houston Astros||Hal Lanier|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||Tommy Lasorda||Won World Series|
|Montreal Expos||Buck Rodgers|
|New York Mets||Davey Johnson|
|Philadelphia Phillies||Lee Elia, John Vukovich|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||Jim Leyland|
|St. Louis Cardinals||Whitey Herzog|
|San Diego Padres||Larry Bowa, Jack McKeon|
|San Francisco Giants||Roger Craig|
|Team Name||Wins||%±||Home attendance||%±||Per Game||Est. Payroll||%±|
|New York Mets||100||8.7%||3,055,445||0.7%||38,193||$15,401,814||11.2%|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||94||28.8%||2,980,262||6.5%||36,793||$17,141,015||18.4%|
|St. Louis Cardinals||76||-20.0%||2,892,799||-5.8%||35,714||$13,192,500||12.2%|
|New York Yankees||85||-4.5%||2,633,701||8.5%||32,921||$20,371,152||4.7%|
|Toronto Blue Jays||87||-9.4%||2,595,175||-6.6%||32,039||$14,412,725||33.9%|
|Boston Red Sox||89||14.1%||2,464,851||10.5%||30,430||$14,687,092||6.7%|
|Kansas City Royals||84||1.2%||2,350,181||-1.8%||29,377||$14,850,062||18.7%|
|San Francisco Giants||83||-7.8%||1,785,297||-6.9%||22,041||$12,822,500||50.3%|
|San Diego Padres||83||27.7%||1,506,896||3.6%||18,604||$10,723,502||-11.1%|
|Chicago White Sox||71||-7.8%||1,115,749||-7.6%||13,775||$8,537,500||-29.6%|
|Network||Day of week||Announcers|
|ABC||Monday nights||Al Michaels, Jim Palmer, Tim McCarver, Gary Bender, Joe Morgan, Reggie Jackson|
|NBC||Saturday afternoons||Vin Scully, Joe Garagiola, Bob Costas, Tony Kubek|
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