1987 Leaders & Numbers

In a year where home runs trumped ace pitchers, Wade Boggs rode the slugging frenzy to smack a career-high 24; he never hit more than 11 in any other season. Tony Gwynn shunned the homer but registered the NL’s highest average in 40 years. Former L.A. high school buddies Darryl Strawberry and Eric Davis showed off phenomenal talents that would sadly get sidetracked—the former by drugs, the latter by injuries, both by cancer. It pauses one to think how off the chart the numbers of Paul Molitor (44 games missed) and Jack Clark (31 games) would have been had they stayed healthy for the entire season. Rookie Mark McGwire forfeited his shot at a 50th home run when he skipped the year’s final game to witness the birth of his first child. Andre Dawson also surged to 49 after all but begging the Cubs to sign him—even handing them a contract with a blank dollar amount (the Cubs wrote in $500,000). As Dawson became the first MVP of a last-place team, teammate Rick Sutcliffe became the first pitcher from a cellar dweller to lead in wins. Roger Clemens recovered from a slow start that followed a contract squabble to share the major league lead in wins. With so much offense, undeserving .500 pitcher Orel Hershiser had to wonder where all of his support was. His career lost at sea, Dave Stewart found pitching paradise with a forkball and became a perennial 20-game winner. Steve Bedrosian, who couldn’t finish any of his 37 starts two years earlier, successfully finished a bunch for his teammates as he converted into the NL’s leading closer.

The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1987
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Eric Davis Cincinnati 129 .293 474 120 139 23 4 37 100 76 8 1 50 6 6
2. Darryl Strawberry New York 154 .284 532 108 151 32 5 39 104 84 13 7 36 12 4
3. Tim Raines Montreal 139 .330 530 123 175 34 8 18 68 64 26 4 50 5 9
4. Dale Murphy Atlanta 159 .295 566 115 167 27 1 44 105 86 29 7 16 6 11
5. Tony Gwynn San Diego 157 .370 589 119 218 36 13 7 54 56 26 3 56 12 13
6. Jack Clark St. Louis 131 .286 419 93 120 23 1 35 106 123 13 0 1 2 5
7. Andre Dawson Chicago 153 .287 621 90 178 24 2 49 137 25 7 7 11 3 15
8. Juan Samuel Philadelphia 160 .272 655 113 178 37 15 28 100 55 5 5 35 15 12
9. Mike Schmidt Philadelphia 147 .293 522 88 153 28 0 35 113 68 15 2 2 1 17
10. Pedro Guerrero Los Angeles 152 .338 545 89 184 25 2 27 89 56 18 4 9 7 16
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1987
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Paul Molitor Milwaukee 118 .353 465 114 164 41 5 16 75 67 2 2 45 10 4
2. Wade Boggs Boston 147 .363 551 108 200 40 6 24 89 86 19 2 1 3 13
3. Dwight Evans Boston 154 .305 541 109 165 37 2 34 123 100 6 3 4 6 10
4. George Bell Toronto 156 .322 610 111 188 32 4 47 134 30 9 7 5 1 17
5. Alan Trammell Detroit 151 .343 597 109 205 34 3 28 105 52 8 3 21 2 11
6. Makr McGwire Oakland 151 .289 557 97 161 28 4 49 118 63 8 5 1 1 6
7. Robin Yount Milwaukee 158 .312 635 99 198 25 9 21 103 66 10 1 19 9 9
8. Wally Joyner California 149 .285 564 100 161 33 1 34 117 60 12 5 8 2 14
9. Don Mattingly New York 141 .327 569 93 186 38 2 30 115 38 13 1 1 4 16
10. Kevin Seitzer Kansas City 161 .323 641 105 207 33 8 15 83 80 0 2 12 7 18
The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1987
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV BS G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Orel Hershiser Los Angeles 3.06 16 16 .500 1 0 37 35 264.2 352 90 69 5 11 9 2 12 9 30
2. Rick Reuschel Pittsburgh-S.F. 3.09 13 9 .591 0 0 34 33 227 302 78 39 3 7 8 0 5 10 17
3. Bob Wech Los Angeles 3.22 15 9 .625 0 0 35 35 251.2 315 90 80 6 4 4 4 20 18 10
4. Mike Scott Houston 3.23 16 13 .552 0 0 36 36 247.2 303 89 73 6 10 4 2 39 7 10
5. Mike Dunne Pittsburgh 3.03 13 6 .684 0 0 23 23 163.1 201 55 60 8 6 1 4 8 7 22
6. Dwight Gooden New York 3.21 15 7 .682 0 0 25 25 179.2 229 64 51 2 1 2 1 24 7 19
7. Tim Burke Montreal 1.19 7 0 1.000 18 4 55 0 91 83 12 11 6 2 0 0 6 3 7
8. Steve Bedrosian Philadelphia 2.83 5 3 .625 40 8 65 0 89 121 28 23 5 3 1 1 12 2 6
9. Nolan Ryan Houston 2.76 8 16 .333 0 0 34 34 211.2 225 75 85 2 10 4 2 45 7 6
10. John Franco Cincinnati 2.52 8 5 .615 32 9 68 0 82 107 23 21 6 1 0 0 4 3 8
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1987
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV BS G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Jimmy Key Toronto 2.76 17 8 .680 0 0 36 36 261 327 80 60 6 8 2 5 4 11 24
2. Roger Clemens Boston 2.97 20 9 .690 0 0 36 36 281.2 367 93 79 4 4 9 3 26 14 14
3. Frank Viola Minnesota 2.90 17 10 .630 0 0 36 36 251.2 361 81 65 1 1 6 1 6 8 13
4. Bret Saberhagen Kansas City 3.36 18 10 .643 0 0 33 33 257 390 96 51 2 6 6 1 10 10 19
5. Ted Higuera Milwaukee 3.85 18 10 .643 0 0 35 35 261.2 361 112 85 2 4 2 2 20 9 23
6. Dave Stewart Oakland 3.68 20 13 .606 0 0 37 37 261.1 350 107 103 2 11 6 0 32 9 14
7. Tommy John New York 4.03 13 6 .684 0 0 33 33 187.2 285 84 40 7 9 6 0 17 6 27
8. Charlie Leibrandt Kansas City 3.41 16 11 .593 0 0 35 35 240.1 364 91 72 2 9 1 3 16 8 9
9. Mark Langston Seattle 3.84 19 13 .594 0 0 35 35 272 389 116 114 0 9 5 2 26 11 20
10. Danny Jackson Kansas City 4.02 9 18 .333 0 0 36 34 224 309 100 108 1 5 7 0 16 9 20

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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1987 Awards


NL MVP
Andre Dawson, Chicago

AL MVP
George Bell, Toronto


NL Cy Young Award
Steve Bedrosian, Philadelphia

AL Cy Young Award
Roger Clemens, Boston


NL Rookie of the Year
Benito Santiago, San Diego

AL Rookie of the Year
Mark McGwire, Oakland


NL Manager of the Year
Buck Rodgers, Montreal

AL Manager of the Year
Sparky Anderson, Detroit


NL Gold Glove Awards
P Rick Reuschel, Pittsburgh-San Francisco
C Mike LaValliere, Pittsburgh
1B Keith Hernandez, New York
2B Ryne Sandberg, Chicago
3B Terry Pendleton, St. Louis
SS Ozzie Smith, St. Louis
OF Tony Gwynn, San Diego
OF Eric Davis, Cincinnati
OF Andre Dawson, Chicago


AL Gold Glove Awards
P Mark Langston, Seattle
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 Dave Winfield, New York
OF Kirby Puckett, Minnesota