1989 in baseball
The following are the baseball events of the year 1989 throughout the world.
Major League Baseball
Awards and honors
MLB statistical leaders
Major league baseball final standings
- May 7 – Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley presides over the groundbreaking of the new Comiskey Park.
- May 28 – George Bell ends the Toronto Blue Jays' twelve-year stay at Exhibition Stadium with a walk-off home run to win the Jays' final game there with a 7-5 win over the Chicago White Sox, the same team the Jays' faced in their first game at Exhibition Stadium and in franchise history twelve years earlier.
- May 29 – Mike Schmidt of the Philadelphia Phillies calls a press conference, and tearfully announces his retirement, effective immediately. Nonetheless, he will be voted to start the All-Star Game, and is permitted to appear in uniform.
- June 5 – Just eight days after leaving Exhibition Stadium, the Toronto Blue Jays open their new home; SkyDome (now known as Rogers Centre); the first stadium in Major League history with a functioning retractable roof. As he did in the last game at Exhibition Stadium, George Bell hits a home run.
- June 8 – At Veterans Stadium, the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates score 10 runs in the top of the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies, three of which come on a Barry Bonds home run. As the Phillies come to bat in the bottom of the first, Pirates broadcaster Jim Rooker says on the air, "If we lose this game, I'll walk home." Both Von Hayes and Steve Jeltz hit two home runs (the latter would only hit five during his Major League career; he also becomes the first Phillie to homer from both sides of the plate in the same game) to trigger a comeback for the Phillies, who finally tie the game in the 8th on a wild pitch, then take the lead on Darren Daulton's two-run single and go on to win 15-11, becoming the first team to win a game after giving up 10 runs in the first inning. After the season, Rooker conducts a 300-plus-mile charity walk from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh.
- July 4 – Against the Philadelphia Phillies at Veterans Stadium, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Tom Browning, having already pitched a perfect game a year earlier, misses becoming the first pitcher in Major League history to throw two perfect games. Dickie Thon's leadoff double in the ninth breaks up this bid; Thon later scores on a Steve Jeltz single. John Franco then relieves Browning and induces Lenny Dykstra to hit into a game-ending double play for a Reds 2-1 victory.
- July 5 – Mark McGwire hits his 100th career home run.
- July 11 – At Anaheim Stadium, Bo Jackson and Wade Boggs lead off the bottom of the first inning with back-to-back home runs off Rick Reuschel to spark the American League to a 5–3 win over the National League in the All-Star Game. Jackson earns MVP honors.
- July 13 – A game between the Montreal Expos and Los Angeles Dodgers at Olympic Stadium is rained out because the roof, ripped by 62 mile per hour winds on June 27, cannot be lowered from its retracted position. Zamboni machines were used in an attempt to remove the water.
- July 16 – California Angels manager Doug Rader is ejected before the game against the Baltimore Orioles while taking the lineup card to home plate for arguing Mike Devereaux's disputed game-ending home run (fair vs. foul) from the night before.
- July 29 – At Olympic Stadium, Vince Coleman of the St. Louis Cardinals is called out twice for interference on the base paths.
- August 4 – Dave Stieb, pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays, loses a perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning when Roberto Kelly doubles, and later scores. Stieb wins a 2-1 two-hitter, but it is the third no-hitter that he has lost in the ninth inning in the past 11 months.
- August 10
- A little over 10 months removed from surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his pitching arm, Dave Dravecky of the San Francisco Giants starts and beats the Cincinnati Reds 4-3, pitching eight innings.
- For the fifth time in his career, five-time no-hit pitcher Nolan Ryan has a no-hitter broken up in the ninth. His Texas Rangers leading the Detroit Tigers 4-0 at Arlington Stadium, Ryan has the bid broken up by a Dave Bergman single with one out. After Matt Nokes doubles home Bergman, Ryan is relieved by Jeff Russell, who retires the two batters he faces, striking out Doug Strange for the final out. Ryan had four other no-hit bids broken up in the ninth in 1974, 1979, 1988, as well as April 23 of this season; coincidentally, all four had also been broken up with one out in the ninth. Ryan will go on to pitch two more no-hitters, in 1990 and 1991.
- August 15 – After his miraculous comeback game against the Reds, Dave Dravecky starts against the Montreal Expos and, in the sixth inning, the humerus bone in his pitching arm snaps, ending his season. While celebrating the Giants' clinching the NL West division title, Dravecky would break the arm once again. Doctors would later discover that the cancer in his arm had returned. Eighteen days later, Dravecky would retire from baseball.
- August 17 – Bruce Hurst of the San Diego Padres becomes the first pitcher in Major League history to defeat both reigning Cy Young Award winners in the same season. In the Padres' 6-2 victory over the New York Mets at Shea Stadium, he bests Frank Viola, who had been traded from the Minnesota Twins after winning the American League Cy Young Award. On July 28, Hurst had defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers and National League Cy Young winner Orel Hershiser 2-1 at Jack Murphy Stadium.
- August 21 – Cal Ripken hits his 200th career home run, helping the Baltimore Orioles beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-0.
- August 23 – The Los Angeles Dodgers edge the Montreal Expos 1-0 in 22 innings, the longest game in Expos franchise history. During the game, Expos mascot Youppi! is ejected by umpire Bob Davidson after manager Tommy Lasorda complains that the furry creature is pounding on the top of the dugout. Rick Dempsey hit a solo home run off of Dennis Martínez for the game's winning and only run.
- August 24 – Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti announces in a press conference that Pete Rose is banned from baseball for life, in the wake of evidence that has come to light regarding Rose's alleged gambling history.
- September 1 – Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti unexpectedly dies of a heart attack.
- September 14 – Jeff Reardon of the Minnesota Twins earns his 30th save of the season in a 2-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. He becomes the first pitcher to save 30 games in five consecutive seasons.
- October 3 – Kirby Puckett wins an unlikely, at the time, batting title taking advantage of an off year by Wade Boggs due to marital issues. Puckett would clinch the title in Seattle on a double in the final game of the season.
- October 9 – After 43 years on the air, NBC concludes its run as the number one over-the-air television broadcaster for Major League Baseball games.
- October 17 – Game 3 of the World Series is postponed due to the Loma Prieta earthquake, which struck immediately before the game was set to begin. It would be rescheduled for ten days later, October 27.
- October 28 – The Oakland Athletics complete a four-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants in the 1989 World Series. It's the first WS sweep since 1976. Oakland pitcher Dave Stewart, who won two games, is named MVP. It is also the latest in the calendar year that a World Series game has ever been played up to this point.
- November 20 – Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Robin Yount wins his second American League MVP Award. With his 1982 Award coming in a year he played shortstop, he is the second player (Hank Greenberg) to win two such awards while playing different positions.
- November 22 – Free agent outfielder Kirby Puckett re-signs with the Minnesota Twins for $9 million over three years, making him the first ML player ever to sign a contract that calls for an average salary of $3 million per year.
- January 9 – Bill Terry, 90, Hall of Fame first baseman for the New York Giants from 1923 to 1936 and a .341 career hitter, who was the last National League player to hit .400 (.401 in 1930) and also managed the Giants to 1933 World Series title.
- January 12 – Clise Dudley, 85, pitcher who posted a 17-33 record for the Brooklyn, Philadelphia and Chicago National League teams from 1929 to 1933.
- January 13 – Pat Ankenman, 76, backup second baseman who played for the 1936 St. Louis Cardinals and the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1943 and 1944.
- January 13 – Ray Morehart, 89, backup infielder for the Chicago White Sox in 1924 and 1926, also a member of the notorious 1927 New York Yankees.
- January 16 – Frank Trechock, 73, shortstop for the 1937 Washington Senators.
- January 18 – Buzz Clarkson, 72, utility infielder for the 1952 Boston Braves.
- January 21 – Carl Furillo, 66, All-Star right fielder who played from 1946 through 1960 for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, who hit over .300 five times and over .290 five other times, winning the National League batting crown in 1953, and owner of a strong arm in the outfield that earned him the name The Reading Rifle.
- January 22 – Willie Wells, 83, Negro Leagues All-Star in a 22-season career between 1928 and 1948, as well as a flashy shortstop and forceful slugger, who also played four seasons in the Mexican League, won two Cuban League MVP Awards, and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1997.
- January 23 – George Case, 73, four-time All-Star and corner outfielder for the Washington Senators, who led the American League in stolen bases six times from 1939 to 1943 and in 1946, while leading the league in runs scored in 1943.
- January 24 – Earl Jones, 69, relief pitcher for the 1946 St. Louis Browns.
- January 28 – Stan Partenheimer, 66, pitcher who played for the Boston Red Sox in 1945 and the St. Louis Cardinals in 1946.
- February 3 – Dick Bass, 82, pitcher for the 1939 Washington Senators.
- February 12 – Euel Moore, 80, pitcher who played from 1934 through 1936 with the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Giants.
- February 17 – Lefty Gómez, 80, Hall of Fame pitcher for the New York Yankees from 1930 to 1943, who had four 20-win seasons and a .649 career winning percentage, while leading the American League in strikeouts three times, in wins and ERA twice each, and also posted a 6-0 record with a 2.86 ERA in five World Series.
- February 21 – Chet Ross, 70, backup outfielder who hit .241 with 34 home runs and 170 RBI in 413 games for the Boston Bees/Braves from 1939 to 1944.
- February 24 – Sparky Adams, 94, middle infielder/third baseman and a .286 career hitter in 1424 games, who played from 1922 to 1934 for the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds, while leading the National League second basemen in putouts and assists in the 1925 season.
- March 8 – Dale Coogan, 58, first baseman for the 1950 Pittsburgh Pirates.
- March 19 – Joe Malay, 83, backup first baseman for the New York Giants in the 1933 and 1935 seasons.
- March 28 – Nick Bremigan, 43, American League umpire since 1974 through the time of his death, who officiated in the 1980 World Series, four ALCS, and the All-Star games of 1979 and 1985.
- April 6 – Carlos Bernier, 62, Puerto Rican outfielder who hit .213 in 105 games for the 1953 Pittsburgh Pirates.
- April 8 – Andy Karl, 75, pitcher who posted an 18-23 record and a 3.51 ERA for the Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Braves from 1943 to 1946.
- April 8 – Bus Saidt, 68, sportswriter who covered the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets and New York Yankees for the Trentonian and the Trenton Times for a long time, which made him a recipient of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award in 1992.
- April 9 – Otto Huber, 75, backup infielder for the 1939 Boston Bees.
- April 12 – Arnold Carter, 71, pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds from 1944–1945, one of many players who only appeared in the majors during World War II, who posted a 13-11 record with a 2.72 ERA in 46 games.
- April 14 – Carr Smith, 88, backup outfielder for the Washington Senators from 1923 to 1924.
- April 16 – Jocko Conlan, 89, Hall of Fame umpire who worked in the National League from 1941 to 1964, including five World Series and six All-Star Games.
- April 19 – Gale Staley, 89, backup second baseman who hit .429 in seven games for the 1925 Chicago Cubs.
- April 23 – Howie Krist, 73, pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals between the 1937 and 1946 season, including World Series championship teams in 1942 and 1946.
- May 3 – Virgil Stallcup, 67, shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals from 1947 through 1953, who led all National League players at his position in fielding percentage during the 1950 and 1951 seasons.
- May 5 – Joe Batchelder, 90, pitcher for the Boston Braves from 1923 to 1925.
- May 7 – Howie Moss, 69, backup outfielder/third baseman for the New York Giants, Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians in parts of two seasons spanning 1942–1946, also a prodigious slugger in the minor leagues, who is the only player in International League history to lead the circuit in home runs four times, including 53 in 1947, to set a single-season mark not reached since then.
- May 13 – Al Reiss, 80, shortstop for the 1932 Philadelphia Athletics.
- May 17 – Specs Toporcer, 90, middle infielder and third baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1921–1928, who is regarded as the first position player to wear corrective eyeglasses in major league history.
- May 20 – Mike Reinbach, 39, corner outfielder who hit .250 in 12 games for the 1974 Baltimore Orioles.
- June 6 – Whitey Glazner, 95, pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Phillies from 1920 to 1924, who led the National League with a .737 Win-Loss % in the 1921 season.
- June 8 – Bibb Falk, 90, sure-handed outfielder who hit a .314 average for the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians, and later coached Texas to two College World Series titles.
- June 8 – Glenn McQuillen, 74, reserve outfielder who hit .274 for the St. Louis Browns from 1939 to 1947, and later spent 10 years playing and managing in the minor leagues.
- June 8 – Emil Verban, 73, three-time All-Star second baseman for four National League teams from 1944 to 1950, who was the batting hero of the 1944 World Series with a .412 average, while leading the St. Louis Cardinals over the St. Louis Browns in the historic Trolley Series.
- June 10 – Joe Stripp, 86, fine defensive third baseman and a .294 hitter during 11 seasons with four National League teams from 1928 through 1938.
- June 14 – Pat Capri, 70, second baseman for the 1944 Boston Braves.
- June 15 – Judy Johnson, 89, Negro Leagues All-Star third baseman who eventually was able to apply his baseball knowledge in the majors, becoming the first African American to coach in Major League Baseball and one of the most accomplished talent scouts in baseball, being inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1975, as the sixth Negro Leaguer honored that way.
- June 18 – Steve Senteney, 33, relief pitcher for the 1982 Toronto Blue Jays.
- June 23 – Rick Anderson, 35, relief pitcher for the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners from 1979 to 1980, who in 1979 was named International League Pitcher of the Year, after going 13-3 with a 1.63 ERA and a league-leading 21 saves.
- July 13 – Vern Olsen, 71, pitcher who posted a 30-26 record and a 3.40 ERA for the Chicago Cubs in parts of five seasons spanning 1939–1946.
- July 15 – Naomi Meier, 62, fine outfielder for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League who collected over 25 stolen bases in five of her eight seasons in the league.
- July 18 – Donnie Moore, 35, All-Star relief pitcher for five different teams between 1975 and 1988, most prominently with the California Angels, who is best remembered for giving up a pivotal home run in the 1986 ALCS.
- July 24 – Wally Kimmick, 92, backup infielder who hit .261 in 163 games with the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies from 1919 to 1926.
- August 1 – Don Heffner, 78, who spent 36 seasons in the majors between 1934 and 1969 as a player, coach and manager.
- August 4 – Wayne LaMaster, 82, pitcher who won 19 games for the Philadelphia Phillies and the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1937 to 1938.
- August 5 – Max Macon, 73, pitcher, first baseman and outfielder who posted a 17-18 record and hit .265 for the St. Louis Cardinals, Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston Braves in parts of six seasons from 1938–1947.
- August 8 – Bob Harris, 74, pitcher who won 30 games for the Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Browns and Philadelphia Athletics from 1938 to 1942.
- August 10 – Tom Hughes, 82, backup outfielder who hit .373 in 17 games for the 1930 Detroit Tigers.
- August 17 – Fred Frankhouse, 85, National League All-Star pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Braves and Brooklyn Dodgers from 1927–1939, collecting a 106-97 record and a 3.92 ERA, who outpitched New York Giants ace and future Hall of Famer Carl Hubbell in 1937, snapping Hubbell's historical 24-game winning streak.
- August 21 – Ted Wilks, 73, relief pitcher who posted a 59-30 record with a 3.26 ERA and 46 saves for the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians from 1944 through 1953.
- August 25 – Jim Brideweser, 62, backup shortstop who hit .252 in 329 games for the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers from 1951 through 1956.
- August 27 – Hal Kelleher, 76, pitcher who posted a 4-9 record with the Philadelphia Phillies in part of four seasons from 1935–1938.
- August 28 – Fred Waters, 62, relief pitcher who went 2-2 with a 2.89 ERA in 25 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1955 and 1956 seasons.
- August 29 – Buddy Dear, 83, second baseman and pinch-runner who appeared in two games for the 1927 Washington Senators.
- August 30 – Joe Collins, 66, first baseman for the New York Yankees from 1950–1957 and a member of five Yankees World Champion teams, who hit four home runs and drove in 10 runs in seven Series appearances.
- August 31 – Skeeter Newsome, 78, shortstop for the Philadelphia Athletics, Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies in 12 seasons from 1935–1947, who later became a successful minor league manager from 1949 through 1960, while collecting a managing record of 806-645 and four championship titles.
- September 1 – A. Bartlett Giamatti, 51, commissioner of baseball since April 1, previously National League president from 1986–1989, known for numerous writings on the sport as well as his banishment of Pete Rose.
- September 3 – Rip Sewell, 82, four-time All-Star pitcher credited with inventing the eephus pitch, who posted a 143-97 record and a 3.48 ERA in 390 games for the 1932 Detroit Tigers and the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1938 through 1949, while leading the National League pitchers with 21 wins in 1943 and a .833 winning percentage in 1948.
- September 4 – Hal Lee, 84, outfielder for the Brooklyn Robins, Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Braves from 1930–1936, who replaced Babe Ruth in Braves left field in what turned out to be Ruth's last game on May 30, 1935.
- September 17 – Leon Culberson, 71, outfielder for the Washington Senators and Boston Red Sox from 1943–1948, who led American League center fielders with 13 assists and six double plays in 1945, while collecting a .313 average in 1946 to help the Red Sox win its first American League pennant in 28 years.
- September 21 – Murry Dickson, 73, All-Star pitcher who spent 18 major league seasons with six teams from 1939–1959, being part of the 1946 St. Louis Cardinals and 1958 New York Yankees World Series champions as well as for last-place teams for most of his career, winning 20 games for the 1951 Pittsburgh Pirates and collecting two 20-loss seasons, while posting a 172–181 record and a 3.66 ERA in 625 pitching appearances.
- September 29 – Gussie Busch, 90, owner of the St. Louis Cardinals since 1953 who oversaw three World Series titles.
- September 30 – Roy Weir, 78, pitcher who posted a 6-4 record for the Boston Bees/Braves from 1936 to 1939.
- October 11 – Bill Phebus, 80, pitcher who posted a 3-2 record and a 3.31 ERA in 13 games for the Washington Senators from 1936 through 1938.
- October 12 – Joe Foy, 46, third baseman for the Boston Red Sox, Kansas City Royals, New York Mets and Washington Senators from 1966 to 1971, who also won the International League batting title, MVP award and Rookie of the Year during the 1965 season.
- October 15 – Lou Guisto, 94, backup first baseman who hit .196 in 156 games for the Cleveland Indians in five seasons from 1916–1923.
- October 17 – John Mackinson, 65, pitcher who played briefly for the 1953 Philadelphia Athletics and the 1955 St. Louis Cardinals.
- October 24 – Ollie O'Mara, 98, shortstop/third baseman for the Detroit Tigers and the Brooklyn Robins in parts of six seasons spanning 1912–1919, and also a member of the Brooklyn National League champion team that faced the Boston Red Sox in the 1916 World Series.
- November 1 – Elise Harney, 64, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League All-Star pitcher and one of the sixty founding members of the circuit in 1943.
- November 2 – Steve Simpson, 41, relief pitcher who posted a 0-2 record in nine games for the 1972 San Diego Padres.
- November 7 – Tommy Tatum, 70, center fielder for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds in two seasons spanning 1941–1947, who served in World War II and later managed in the minor leagues.
- November 8 – Johnny Lanning, 79, pitcher who posted a 58-60 record and a 3.58 ERA in 278 games for the Boston Bees/Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates in a span of 11 seasons from 1936–1947.
- November 17 – Jack Cusick, 61, shortstop for the Chicago Cubs and Boston Braves from 1951 through 1952.
- November 20 – Dolan Nichols, 59, relief pitcher for the 1958 Chicago Cubs, who had one career save and surrendered only one home run in 41.0 innings.
- November 26 – Lew Fonseca, 90, valuable and versatile fielder as well as a solid hitter, who played from 1921 through 1933 for the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox, topping the .300 mark six times and winning the American League batting crown with a .369 average in 1929, even though his long-term contribution to baseball was pioneering the use of film to analyze and promote the game.
- November 27 – Ray Boggs, 84, relief pitcher who appeared in four games for the 1928 Boston Braves.
- November 28 – Bill Posedel, 83, pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Boston Braves between 1938 and 1946, who posted a 41-43 mark and also was a World War II veteran.
- December 4 – Steve Lembo, 63, backup catcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers during the 1950 and 1952 seasons.
- December 6 – Art Parks, 78, outfielder who hit .275 in 78 games for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1937 and 1939 seasons.
- December 17 – Zeb Eaton, 69, relief pitcher for the Detroit Tigers from 1944 to 1945, and also a member of the Tigers 1945 World Champions.
- December 21 – Blackie Schwamb, 63, pitcher for the 1948 St. Louis Browns, who later became the first major league player to ever be convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
- December 22 – Archie Campbell, 86, relief pitcher who posted a 2-6 record with a 4.50 ERA and six saves for three teams from 1928 to 1930, being also a member of the Yankees 1928 World Champions.
- December 25 – Billy Martin, 61, All-Star second baseman for the New York Yankees and 1953 World Series MVP Award winner, also known for his tempestuous behavior off the field, who later managed the Yankees on five different occasions, leading the team to the 1976 American League pennant and the 1977 World Series title, while guiding the Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics to playoff appearances, and receiving four Manager of the Year awards.
- December 26 – Roy Joiner, 83, pitcher for the Chicago Cubs from 1934 to 1935 and the New York Yankees in 1940, who pitched another 15 minor league seasons and also served during World War II.