1986 in baseball
The following are the baseball events of the year 1986 throughout the world.
Major League Baseball
Awards and honors
MLB statistical leaders
Major league baseball final standings
- June 4 – Pitching at Fulton County Stadium, Atlanta Braves' pitcher Craig McMurtry gives up Barry Bonds' first career home run.
- June 18 – Don Sutton of the California Angels records his 300th career win.
- June 21 – In a move that shocks many, reigning Heisman Trophy winner Vincent "Bo" Jackson announces that he will forego dealing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who had made him the first overall selection of the National Football League Draft, and signs a contract to play baseball for the Kansas City Royals.
- July 6 – First baseman Bob Horner of the Atlanta Braves becomes the eleventh player in history to hit four home runs in one game. Horner is, however, the second player to do so in a losing effort as his Braves fall to the Montréal Expos, 11-8, at Fulton County Stadium.
- July 15 – At the Houston Astrodome, the American League wins the All-Star Game 3–2, for its second triumph in the last 15 years. AL starter Roger Clemens pitches three perfect innings to win the Game's MVP Award.
- July 22 – New York Mets third baseman Ray Knight incited a bench clearing brawl at Riverfront Stadium against his former teammates, the Cincinnati Reds. Eric Davis, pinch-running for Reds player/manager Pete Rose in the tenth inning, stole second and third base. Knight took the throw from Mets catcher Gary Carter late, brought his glove to Davis' face and knocked his helmet off. A stare-off ensued, followed by a right cross from Knight. The benches emptied and as a result of all the ejections from this fight, Mets manager brought back-up catcher Ed Hearn into the game, and moved Carter from behind the plate to third. Roger McDowell replaced Jesse Orosco on the mound, and Orosco went into right field. They traded positions with two outs in the eleventh, and McDowell traded positions with left fielder Mookie Wilson with one out in the 12th. This rotation continued for the remainder of the game, which the Mets won in fourteen innings.
- July 29 – Sparky Anderson of the Detroit Tigers becomes the first in baseball to achieve 600 career wins as a manager in both the American and National League.
- August 1 – Bert Blyleven of the Minnesota Twins records his 3000th career strikeout. In the same game, his teammate Kirby Puckett hits for the cycle for the only time in his career.
- August 10 – Billy Martin has his number 1 retired by the New York Yankees.
- August 11 – Cincinnati player-manager Pete Rose, 45, singled four times and doubled to set an NL record with the 10th five-hit game of his career. Rose drove in three runs in a 13-4 loss to the San Francisco Giants, to move one ahead of Max Carey for the record.
- August 12 – Don Baylor of the Boston Red Sox set an AL record when he was hit by a pitch for the 25th time that season, breaking the record he shared with Bill Freehan (1968) and Norm Elberfield (1911). Kansas City's Bud Black was the pitcher as the Royals completed a doubleheader sweep with a 6-5 victory.
- August 14 – Pete Rose enjoys a 3-for-4 day, the last hit being the 4,256th and final hit of his career.
- August 17 – Pete Rose inserts himself in as a pinch hitter, and takes a called third strike from San Diego Padres pitcher Goose Gossage to end a 9-5 loss for the Cincinnati Reds. It is Rose's final plate appearance (15,890), at-bat (14,503), and game (3,562), all of which are Major League career records.
- August 20 – Two no-hit bids are broken up in the ninth. Against the San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Don Carman has a perfect game broken up by a Bob Brenly double leading off the ninth. The Phillies win 1-0 in 10 innings on a Juan Samuel home run; Steve Bedrosian relieves Carman in the bottom of the tenth and retires the Giants in order. Against the California Angels at Tiger Stadium hours later, Walt Terrell of the Detroit Tigers has his no-hit bid foiled with two out in the ninth by a Wally Joyner double, the only hit he will allow in a 3-0 victory. This is the second time this season Joyner has broken up a no-hit bid in the ninth inning; against the Texas Rangers on June 16, he had foiled Charlie Hough's bid for a no-hitter with one out in the ninth.
- August 27 – Darryl Strawberry hits his 100th career home run helping the New York Mets beat the San Diego Padres 6-5.
- August 29 – A game between the Montreal Expos and San Diego Padres is postponed after two 200-pound oxygen cylinders explode inside the unfinished Olympic Stadium tower.
- September 3 – Billy Hatcher hit a home run in the top of the 18th inning to give the Houston Astros an 8-7 victory over the Chicago Cubs. The two teams began with 14 innings one day earlier, and use a major league record 53 players in the game.
- September 17 – The New York Mets secure the National League East title with a 4-2 win over the visiting Chicago Cubs, their 95th victory of the year. The team would finish the season at 108-54, the best record of any team during the 1980s.
- September 22 – Fernando Valenzuela of the Los Angeles Dodgers becomes the first Mexican pitcher to have a 20-win season in the majors, beating the Houston Astros 9-2 while allowing just two hits.
- September 25 – Houston Astros pitching ace Mike Scott hurls a 2-0 no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants at the Houston Astrodome. The victory clinches the National League West title for the Astros.
- September 26 – An 8-3 win for the California Angels in Texas gives the franchise its third American League West crown.
- September 28 – The Boston Red Sox claim the American League East championship with a 12-3 drubbing of the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park.
- October 4 – At the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Greg Gagne of the Minnesota Twins hits two inside-the-park home runs in a 7-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox. In the same game, Bert Blyleven – who goes the distance for the victory – gives up his 50th home run of the season (to Daryl Boston) to set a Major League record. Coincidentally, Blyleven had given up Dick Allen's two inside-the-park home runs in a July 31, 1972 game against the White Sox — the last game prior to this one in which one player hit two inside-the-park home runs. That game had been played in the Metrodome's predecessor, Metropolitan Stadium.
- October 12 – In Game 5 of the American League Championship Series, the Boston Red Sox, trailing 3 games to 1 to the California Angels and one out away from elimination, are rescued when Don Baylor delivers a two-run home run to trim the Angel lead from 5-2 to 5-4. Then, with Rich Gedman running on first, and one strike away from elimination, Dave Henderson crushes a pitch from California's Donnie Moore into the center field stands for a 6-5 lead. The Red Sox win 7-6 in extra innings and extend the series to another game.
- October 15 – In the longest game in post-season history (until the 2005 National League Division Series), the Mets beat the Astros 7–6 in 16 innings to earn their first trip to the World Series since 1973. New York scores three runs in the top of the 9th to force extra innings. The Mets score three more runs in the top of the 16th, and Houston answers with two of its own before Jesse Orosco fans Kevin Bass to end the game.
- October 25 – With the Red Sox leading 5-3 in Game 6 of the World Series, and just one out away from winning their first championship since 1918, the Red Sox give up hits to Gary Carter, Kevin Mitchell and Ray Knight, and pitcher Bob Stanley throws a wild pitch that allows Mitchell to score. Then Mookie Wilson hits a slow grounder that keeps bouncing, right between the legs of first baseman Bill Buckner, allowing Knight to score to give the New York Mets an improbable 6-5 win. Boston's Calvin Schiraldi absorbs the loss.
- October 27 – At Shea Stadium, the New York Mets win Game Seven of the World Series over the Boston Red Sox, 8–5. Third baseman Ray Knight is named the Series MVP.
- November 12 – Roger Clemens of the Boston Red Sox wins the American League Cy Young Award unanimously, joining Denny McLain (1968) as the only pitchers to do so. Clemens finished with a 24-4 record with 238 strikeouts and a 2.48 ERA.
- November 19 – Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Mike Schmidt wins the National League MVP Award, joining Stan Musial and Roy Campanella as the only three-time NL award winners. Schmidt led the NL with 37 home runs and 119 RBI while hitting a .290 average.
- November 24:
- The Minnesota Twins announce interim manager Tom Kelly will be their new skipper for the 1987 season. Kelly, who replaced Ray Miller late in the season, will compile a losing record (1140–1244) but wins two World Championships during his 16-year tenure as the Twins manager.
- St. Louis Cardinals reliever Todd Worrell, who led the National League with 36 saves, receives the Rookie of the Year honors. Worrell had helped St. Louis to the 1985 World Series as a late-season call-up but was still a rookie the next season as defined by the BBWAA.
- November 25 – José Canseco of the Oakland Athletics, who hit .240 with 33 home runs and 117 RBI, wins the American League Rookie of the Year Award with 16 of 28 first place votes, with the others going to Wally Joyner of the California Angels (.290, 22, 100). Canseco also becomes the first Athletics player to win the award since pitcher Harry Byrd in 1952.
- December 16 – San Diego Padres pitcher LaMarr Hoyt is sentenced to 45 days in jail following his third arrest on drug possession charges, this time on the U.S.-Mexico border. Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth bars Hoyt from baseball on February 25, 1987. An arbitrator cut Hoyt's suspension to sixty days in mid-June and ordered the Padres to reinstate him. The Padres, however, gave him his unconditional release the following day.
- January 2 – Bill Veeck, 71, executive who owned the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns and Chicago White Sox; helped break the American League's color barrier by signing Larry Doby in 1947 and was the last owner to bring Cleveland a World Series title in 1948, though he is perhaps best remembered for the wacky promotions he used to draw crowds and entertain fans at the ballpark, which included using midget Eddie Gaedel in a 1951 game, and installing fireworks in the Comiskey Park scoreboard.
- January 13 – Mike Garcia, 62, All-Star pitcher who won 142 games for the Cleveland Indians, winning 20 games and leading the AL in ERA twice each; member of the Indians' "Big Four", along with Bob Feller, Bob Lemon and Early Wynn.
- January 15 – Fred Thomas, 93, third baseman for three American League teams, a member of the champion Red Sox in the 1918 World Series and a World War I veteran.
Red Ruffing Goudey Card
- February 17 – Red Ruffing, 80, Hall of Fame pitcher whose 273 victories included four straight 20-win seasons for the Yankees from 1936–1939, with seven World Series victories helping the team win six championships; batted .300 eight times, and was later a minor league manager.
- March 7 – Jimmy Moore, 82, outfielder who played from 1930 to 1931 for the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Athletics.
- April 27 – Marty Karow, 81, coach at Texas A&M and Ohio State who won the 1966 College World Series with the Buckeyes; briefly an infielder with the 1927 Red Sox.
- April 28 – Pat Seerey, 63, outfielder who hit four home runs in a 1948 game while with the White Sox.
- May 4 – Paul Richards, 77, manager and executive, formerly a catcher, who built the Baltimore Orioles team that later dominated the AL in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and also managed the White Sox and served as an executive for the Astros and Braves.
- June 5 – Joe Mulligan, 72, pitcher for the 1934 Boston Red Sox.
- June 6 – John Carmichael, 83, Chicago sportswriter from 1927 to 1972.
- June 9 – Milton Richman, 64, sportswriter for United Press International since 1944.
Ted Lyons in 1930
- July 2 – Peanuts Lowrey, 68, All-Star outfielder, mainly with the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals, who batted .310 in the 1945 World Series.
- July 3 – Bill McCahan, 65, pitcher for the 1946-49 Philadelphia Athletics, who threw a no-hitter game in 1947.
- July 8 – Johnny Cooney, 85, pitcher/outfielder/first baseman for the Boston Bees/Braves, Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees between 1921 and 1944, later a longtime coach.
- July 9 – Red Lucas, 84, pitcher who won over 150 games for the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates; had 27 consecutive complete games in 1931–1932 and set record with 114 career pinch hits.
- July 25 – Ted Lyons, 85, Hall of Fame pitcher who played his entire 21-year career with the Chicago White Sox, collecting 260 victories; led AL in wins, innings, complete games and shutouts twice each, and won 22 games for 62-92 team in 1930.
- August 11 – Tom Gorman, 67, NL umpire from 1951 to 1976, briefly a pitcher with the New York Giants, who worked in five World Series and nine no-hitters.
- August 17 – Sammy Vick, 91, right fielder who played for the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox between 1917 and 1921.
Hank Greenberg, Hall of Famer and two-time MVP
- September 4 – Hank Greenberg, 75, Hall of Fame first baseman and left fielder for the Detroit Tigers who won MVP awards at both positions; career .313 hitter led the American League in home runs and RBI four times each despite losing four and a half seasons to military service; 58 homers in 1938 shared record for right-handed batters; first Jewish player elected to Hall of Fame.
- October 3 – Vince DiMaggio, 74, All-Star center fielder for five NL teams, and the oldest of the baseball-playing DiMaggio brothers, along with Joe and Dom.
- October 12 – Norm Cash, 51, All-Star first baseman for the Tigers who won the 1961 AL batting title with a .361 mark, but never again hit over .283.
- October 19 – George Pipgras, 86, pitcher who led AL with 24 wins for 1928 New York Yankees; later an AL umpire for nine seasons.
- December 8 – Pip Koehler, 84, utility man for the 1925 New York Giants.
- December 10 – Si Burick, 77, sportswriter for the Dayton Daily News since 1928, who covered the Cincinnati Reds and became the first writer from a non-major league city to be honored by the Hall of Fame.
- December 12 – Johnny Wyrostek, 67, All-Star outfielder for the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds.
- December 19 – Al Stokes, 86, catcher who played from 1925 to 1926 for the Boston Red Sox.