1987 in baseball
The following are the baseball events of the year 1987 throughout the world.
Major League Baseball
Awards and honors
MLB statistical leaders
Major league baseball final standings
- April 6 – Al Campanis, a former teammate of Jackie Robinson, appears on the ABC news program, Nightline to discuss the progress of racial integration of baseball on the fortieth anniversary of Robinson's first game. When asked why more African-Americans do not become managers or executives, Campanis states that Blacks lack certain qualities for those jobs, drawing the ire of host Ted Koppel. Campanis is fired as Los Angeles Dodgers general manager two days later.
- April 13 – At Jack Murphy Stadium, the San Diego Padres set a major league record when the first three batters in the bottom of the first inning hit home runs off San Francisco Giants starter Roger Mason in their home opener. The Padres, trailing 2–0, got homers from Marvell Wynne, Tony Gwynn and John Kruk.
- April 15 – Juan Nieves of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches a no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles. He becomes the second-youngest pitcher in major league history to accomplish the feat (22 years, 4 months, 10 days), and the first Brewer.
- April 17 – Mike Schmidt of the Philadelphia Phillies hits the 500th home run of his career. It comes in the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates' Don Robinson, giving the Phillies an 8-6 win at Pittsburgh.
- June 1 – Knuckleballer Phil Niekro of the Cleveland Indians beats the Detroit Tigers 9-6. This is his 314th major league win, and paired with brother Joe Niekro's current total of 216 wins, makes them the winningest brother duo—topping the 529 wins posted by Gaylord Perry and Jim Perry. The Niekros will finish their careers with a combined 539 wins.
- June 2 – The Seattle Mariners use the number-one overall pick of the draft to select Ken Griffey, Jr., signaling a turnaround in their fortunes as an organization.
- June 22 – With their starting rotation decimated by injury, the New York Mets seek help from Tom Seaver, who is not offered a contract to his liking following the 1986 season (his 1986 salary is $1 million; the Boston Red Sox offer him $500,000, which Seaver declines). Though no actual contract is signed, Seaver joins the club on June 6, and is hit hard on in an exhibition game against the Triple-A Tidewater Tides on June 11. After similarly poor outings on the 16th & 20th, he announces his retirement.
- June 28 – Don Baylor of the visiting Boston Red Sox is hit by a pitch from Rick Rhoden in the sixth inning of a 6-2 win over the New York Yankees. The HBP gives Baylor 244 for his career, breaking Ron Hunt's modern-day record.
- July 14 – Tim Raines caps a 3-for-3 performance in the All-Star Game with a two-run triple in the top of the 13th inning, giving the National League a 2–0 victory over the American League. Raines is selected the MVP.
- July 18 – New York Yankees first baseman Don Mattingly homers in his record-tying eighth straight game, in a 7-2 Texas Rangers win over the Yankees. He ties the record set by Dale Long in 1956.
- August 2 – At Royals Stadium, Kevin Seitzer goes 6-for-6 with two home runs and seven runs batted in the Kansas City Royals' 13-5 victory over the Boston Red Sox. Seitzer becomes the second Royal to collect six hits in one game, Bob Oliver having done so in 1969, the franchise's inaugural season.
- August 11 – Mark McGwire of the Oakland Athletics breaks Al Rosen's American League rookie record by hitting his 38th home run in an 8-2 loss to the Mariners.
- August 26 – Paul Molitor of the Milwaukee Brewers goes hitless, and ends his 39-game hitting streak. It is the longest American League hitting streak since Joe DiMaggio's 56 game streak (a major league record) in 1941.
- August 30 – With knuckleball pitcher Charlie Hough on the mound, Texas Rangers catcher Geno Petralli ties a Major League record by committing six passed balls in a 7-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers at Tiger Stadium. All seven runs are unearned and come as a result of the passed balls. Petralli commits 35 passed balls on the season, breaking J. C. Martin's modern-day single-season record of 33 in 1965.
- September 9 – Nolan Ryan strikes out 16 to pass 4,500 for his career as the Houston Astros beat the San Francisco Giants 4-2. Ryan strikes out 12 of the final 13 batters and fans Mike Aldrete to complete the seventh inning for his 4,500th strikeout.
- September 14 – In the midst of the Toronto Blue Jays' 18-3 drubbing of the Baltimore Orioles at Exhibition Stadium, Cal Ripken, Jr. is lifted from the lineup and replaced by Ron Washington, stopping Ripken's consecutive innings played streak at 8,243. In this same game, Toronto hits ten home runs to set a Major League single-game record. Ernie Whitt connects on three of the home runs, Rance Mulliniks and George Bell two each, and Fred McGriff, Lloyd Moseby and Rob Ducey one each.
- September 18 – Darrell Evans hits his 30th home run of the season, and becomes the first player to do so after the age of 40.
- September 21 – Darryl Strawberry steals his 30th base of the season to join the 30–30 club. With teammate Howard Johnson already having joined, it marks the first time that two teammates achieve 30-30 seasons in the same year.
- September 22 – Wade Boggs of the Boston Red Sox reaches the 200-hit mark for the fifth straight season in an 8-5 loss to the Detroit Tigers.
- October 4 – The Detroit Tigers defeat the Toronto Blue Jays 1-0 to clinch the American League East division title. The victory caps off a thrilling pennant race in which the Tigers overcome a 3.5 game deficit to the Blue Jays in the last two weeks of the season, including sweeping the Blue Jays at Tiger Stadium in the final weekend, and finishing two games ahead of Toronto in the standings.
- October 19 – After a disappointing fourth-place finish, New York Yankees' owner George Steinbrenner decides to promote manager Lou Piniella to general manager and hires Billy Martin as manager for the fifth time for the 1988 season.
- October 25 – In Game Seven of the World Series, starter Frank Viola and reliever Jeff Reardon hold the St. Louis Cardinals to six hits, as the Minnesota Twins win 4–2 for their first World Championship. The franchise's last title came in 1924 as the Washington Senators. Viola is named the Series MVP.
- November 10 – In the closest vote in Cy Young Award history, Steve Bedrosian of the Philadelphia Phillies edges Rick Sutcliffe of the Chicago Cubs, 57-55, to win the National League honors. Bedrosian posts a 5-3 record with a 2.83 ERA and 40 saves, while Sutcliffe finishes 18-10 with a 3.68 ERA and 174 strikeouts. Bedrosian is the third relief pitcher ever to win the award in the NL, joining Mike Marshall (1974) and Bruce Sutter (1979).
- November 18 – Andre Dawson of the Chicago Cubs is announced as the winner of the National League MVP Award, becoming the first recipient of the award to play for a last place team.
- January 1 – Velma Abbott, 57, Canadian infielder who played from 1946 to 1947 in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
- January 5 – Dale Mitchell, 65, All-Star left fielder and career .312 hitter who spent almost his entire career with the Indians; made the last out in Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series, but had only one more major league at bat
- January 6 – Margaret Danhauser, 65, outstanding first sacker for the Racine Belles of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League from 1943 through 1950
- January 17 – Ed Busch, 69, shortstop who played from 1943 to 1945 for the Philadelphia Athletics
- January 20 – Hank Behrman, 65, pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants between 1946 and 1949
- February 2 – Olive Little, 69, Canadian All-Star female pitcher who threw four no-hitters in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
- February 9 – Larry French, 79, All-Star pitcher who won 197 games, primarily with the Pirates and Cubs, before beginning a 26-year Naval career in 1943
- March 8 – Zeke Bonura, 78, first baseman for the White Sox, Senators, Giants and Cubs, who hit .300 or more in four of his seven major league seasons with a career-high .345 in 1937
- March 11 – Fred Lucas, 84, outfielder who hit a .265 average in 20 games for the 1935 Philadelphia Phillies
- March 16 – Bob Kline, 77, pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Athletics and Washington Senators in the 1930s, later a minor league manager
- April 27 – John Burrows, 74, pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics and Chicago Cubs in the 1940s
- May 1 – Bobo Holloman, 62, pitcher for the 1953 St. Louis Browns, who threw a no-hitter in his major league debut
- May 7 – Boom-Boom Beck, 82, pitcher who posted a 38-65 record for seven different teams between 1924 and 1945
- May 14 – Luke Sewell, 86, All-Star catcher for four AL teams who managed the St. Louis Browns to their only pennant in 1944
- May 31 – Jerry Adair, 50, middle infielder for four AL teams, mainly the Orioles, who set various records for error-free play
- June 13 – Huck Betts, 90, pitcher who had a 61-68 record with the Philadelphia Phillies (1920–25) and Boston Braves (1932–35)
- June 15 – George Smith, 49, Negro League second baseman who played from 1963 to 1966 for the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox
- June 17 – Dick Howser, 51, manager, formerly an All-Star shortstop, who led the Kansas City Royals to their first World Series championship in 1985
- July 22 – Don McMahon, 57, All-Star relief pitcher for seven teams who led NL in saves in 1959, retired with the third most relief appearances in history
- July 27 – Travis Jackson, 83, Hall of Fame shortstop for the New York Giants who batted .300 six times, led NL shortstops in assists four times and double plays twice; later a minor league manager
- August 8 – Juan Antonio Yanes, 85, who for more than three decades was one of the leading promoters of Venezuelan baseball both in the amateur and professional fields
- August 31 – Dick Young, 69, longtime New York sportswriter known for his hard-hitting style
- September 1 – Pinky Whitney, 82, All-Star third baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Braves who had four 100-RBI seasons
- September 2 – Cam Carreon, 50, catcher for the Orioles, Indians and White Sox from 1959 to 1966
- October 10 – Pete Cote, 85, utility for the 1926 New York Giants
- November 16 – Jim Brewer, 49, All-Star relief pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers who held the club record for career saves
- November 17 – Paul Derringer, 81, 6-time All-Star pitcher who had four 20-win seasons for the Cincinnati Reds; earned 2-1 victory in Game 7 of the 1940 World Series
- November 21 – Dusty Cooke, 80, outfielder for the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Cincinnati Reds during the 1930s, who later coached and managed with the Philadelphia Phillies
- November 27 – Babe Herman, 84, right fielder who batted .324 lifetime, and whose popularity while with the Brooklyn Dodgers was undiminished through a variety of fielding and baserunning lapses; hit for the cycle three times
- December 24 – Nino Espinosa, 34, pitcher for the Mets, Phillies and Blue Jays from 1974 to 1981