1986 Leaders & Numbers

Maybe this is why pitchers win MVPs: In one 3-10 stretch for the Red Sox, Roger Clemens won all three games. Imagine how much better the Mets’ pitching would have been had they not traded Mike Scott for part-timer Danny Heep in 1983. Don Mattingly was never more awesome—and never more adored by Yankee fans—in the midst of a career soon to be burdened by back trouble. His drug problems well behind him, Tim Raines continued to show baseball that he was more than just legs. Back home at third base after a year playing first, Mike Schmidt responded with his last MVP, while teammate Von Hayes finally had the kind of season Philly fans had booed him for not having since showing up in 1983. Glenn Davis gave the Astros something they hadn’t seen in nearly a generation: A power hitter. Sports Illustrated looked at what Joe Carter did in 1986 and assumed he would steer the Indians to a World Series in 1987; they should have instead looked more closely at the Twins’ Kirby Puckett and Gary Gaetti. Fernando Valenzuela had his one and only 20-win season of his 17-year career, even as Brewer fans boasted of a better Mexican pitching sensation in Ted Higuera. Mike Krukow, fleetingly free of injuries and hard luck, bolted to 20 wins after never coming close before or since. Born, raised and schooled through college near Anaheim Stadium, Mike Witt didn’t have to travel far to tell friends and family he’d made it as an Angel all-star.

The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1986
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Mike Schmidt Philadelphia 160 .290 552 97 160 29 1 37 119 64 25 7 1 2 8
2. Tim Raines Montreal 151 .334 580 91 194 35 10 9 62 69 9 2 70 9 6
3. Von Hayes Philadelphia 158 .305 610 107 186 46 2 19 98 65 9 1 24 12 14
4. Eric Davis Cincinnati 132 .277 415 97 115 15 3 27 71 63 5 1 80 11 6
5. Kevin McReynolds San Diego 158 .288 560 89 161 31 6 26 96 60 6 1 8 6 9
6. Darryl Strawberry New York 136 .259 475 76 123 27 5 27 93 63 9 6 28 12 4
7. Tony Gwynn San Diego 160 .329 642 107 211 33 7 14 59 41 11 3 37 9 20
8. Keith Hernandez New York 149 .310 551 94 171 34 1 13 83 85 9 4 2 1 14
9. Steve Sax Los Angeles 157 .332 633 91 210 43 4 6 56 54 5 3 40 17 12
10. Glenn Davis Houston 158 .265 574 91 152 32 3 31 101 58 6 9 3 1 11
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1986
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Don Mattingly New York 162 .352 677 117 238 53 2 31 113 42 11 1 0 0 17
2. Rickey Henderson New York 153 .263 608 130 160 31 5 28 74 87 2 2 87 18 12
3. Kirby Puckett Minnesota 161 .328 680 119 223 37 6 31 96 30 4 7 20 12 14
4. Joe Carter Cleveland 162 .302 663 108 200 36 9 29 121 29 3 5 29 7 8
5. Jesse Barfield Toronto 158 .289 589 107 170 35 2 40 108 64 5 8 8 8 9
6. Kirk Gibson Detroit 119 .268 441 84 118 11 2 28 86 64 4 7 34 6 8
7. Wade Boggs Boston 149 .357 580 107 207 47 2 8 71 91 14 0 0 4 11
8. George Bell Toronto 159 .309 641 101 198 38 6 31 108 38 3 2 7 8 15
9. Jim Rice Boston 157 .324 618 98 200 39 2 20 110 57 5 4 0 1 19
10. Rob Deer Milwaukee 134 .232 466 75 108 17 3 33 86 69 3 3 5 2 4
The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1986
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV BS G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Mike Scott Houston 2.22 18 10 .643 0 0 37 37 275.1 284 68 66 6 3 2 0 41 12 11
2. Fernando Valenzuela Los Angeles 3.14 21 11 .656 0 0 34 34 269.1 324 94 81 4 14 4 1 15 11 16
3. Bob Ojeda New York 2.57 18 5 .783 0 0 32 30 217.1 265 62 49 3 2 2 1 27 8 19
4. Dwight Gooden New York 2.84 17 6 .739 0 0 33 33 250 294 79 77 3 4 4 4 33 6 13
5. Mike Krukow San Francisco 2.94 20 9 .690 0 0 34 34 245 324 83 51 4 4 4 0 23 7 13
6. Rick Rhoden Pittsburgh 2.84 15 12 .556 0 0 34 34 253.2 321 80 68 8 6 2 4 20 16 16
7. Bob Knepper Houston 3.14 17 12 .586 0 0 40 38 258 352 90 49 13 5 4 0 16 9 24
8. Danny Cox St. Louis 2.90 12 13 .480 0 0 32 32 220 280 71 54 6 3 2 4 17 9 19
9. John Tudor St. Louis 2.92 13 7 .650 0 0 30 30 219 313 71 48 5 2 2 1 7 14 18
10. Roger McDowell New York 3.02 14 9 .609 22 6 75 0 128 139 43 37 5 3 3 3 12 4 15
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1986
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV BS G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Roger Clemens Boston 2.48 24 4 .857 0 0 33 33 254 280 70 67 0 11 4 3 8 15 14
2. Mike Witt California 2.84 18 10 .643 0 0 34 34 269 331 85 71 2 6 3 0 5 10 28
3. Mark Eichhorn Toronto 1.72 14 6 .710 10 3 69 0 157 158 30 31 14 2 7 1 15 5 12
4. Ted Higuera Milwaukee 2.79 20 11 .645 0 0 34 34 248.1 355 77 69 5 3 3 0 10 9 13
5. Kirk McCaskill California 3.36 17 10 .630 0 0 34 33 246.1 309 92 91 1 10 5 2 7 11 18
6. Dave Righetti New York 2.45 8 8 .500 46 10 74 0 106.2 115 29 28 7 1 2 0 4 3 13
7. Danny Jackson Kansas City 3.20 11 12 .478 1 0 32 27 185.2 252 66 78 1 7 4 0 9 13 24
8. Jack Morris Detroit 3.27 21 8 .724 0 0 35 35 267 403 97 75 7 12 0 0 21 8 20
9. Bruce Hurst Boston 2.99 13 8 .619 0 0 25 25 174.1 259 58 48 2 6 3 0 4 10 14
10. Mark Gubicza Kansas City 3.64 12 6 .667 0 0 35 24 180.2 216 73 82 2 15 5 0 15 7 12

Brown type indicates league leader.
Notes: Walks (BB) do not include intentional walks (IB). For pitchers, caught stealing (CS) also includes pickoffs.
How does This Great Game determine the best hitters and pitchers? Find out here.


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1986 Awards


NL MVP
Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia

AL MVP
Roger Clemens, Boston


NL Cy Young Award
Mike Scott, Houston

AL Cy Young Award
Roger Clemens, Boston


NL Rookie of the Year
Todd Worrell, St. Louis

AL Rookie of the Year
Jose Canseco, Oakland


NL Manager of the Year
Hal Lanier, Houston

AL Manager of the Year
John McNamara, Boston


NL Gold Glove Awards
P Fernando Valenzuela, Los Angeles
C Jody Davis, Chicago
1B Keith Hernandez, New York
2B Ryne Sandberg, Chicago
3B Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia
SS Ozzie Smith, St. Louis
OF Tony Gwynn, San Diego
OF Willie McGee, St. Louis
OF Dale Murphy, Atlanta


AL Gold Glove Awards
P Ron Guidry, New York
C Bob Boone, California
1B Don Mattingly, New York
2B Frank White, Kansas City
3B Gary Gaetti, Minnesota
SS Tony Fernandez, Toronto
OF Jesse Barfield, Toronto
OF Gary Pettis, California
OF Kirby Puckett, Minnesota