1989 Leaders & Numbers

Kevin Mitchell and Mark Davis respectively gave the Giants and Padres belated, brief—but very major—dividends from a 1987 seven-player trade. Despite a solid block of stats, Ruben Sierra’s MVP chances were diminished by critics who eagerly pointed out his shabby outfield defense (hence his sarcastic nickname, “Sie-error”). In the emerging era of the synthetic superslugger, relative pencil-necks Will Clark and Robin Yount posted some of the year’s most impressive numbers at the plate. Howard Johnson—HoJo to many—showed continued power to gradually prove that accusations of past corked bat usage were bunk. Like Dave Parker before him, Lonnie Smith completed the long road back to prominence after being sidetracked by drugs. Fred McGriff’s ongoing improvement in Toronto was enough to chase competing first baseman Cecil Fielder into Japanese exile—for now. If it’s an odd year, it must be Bret Saberhagen pitching at his best. For the second time in three years, Orel Hershiser’s outstanding pitching could buy him no better than a .500 record. The butt of jokes after a dreadful 2-19 mark for the 1985 Pirates, Jose DeLeon completed the transition from punch line to prime time in St. Louis. Mike Moore signed on with Oakland after a career 66-96 record at lowly Seattle and thrived on the opportunity to play for a winner. Following Dennis Eckersley’s cue, Jeff Russell converted from average starter to cagey closer. Baby-faced Greg Maddux solidified his standing as the real deal with the Cubs.

The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1989
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Kevin Mitchell San Francisco 154 .291 543 100 158 34 6 47 125 55 32 3 3 4 6
2. Will Clark San Francisco 159 .333 588 104 198 38 9 23 111 60 14 5 8 3 6
3. Howard Johnson New York 153 .287 571 104 164 41 3 36 101 69 8 1 41 8 4
4. Lonnie Smith Atlanta 134 .315 482 89 152 34 4 21 79 73 3 11 25 12 7
5. Pedro Guerrero St. Louis 162 .311 570 60 177 42 1 17 117 66 13 4 2 0 17
6. Ryne Sandberg Chicago 157 .290 606 104 176 25 5 30 76 51 8 4 15 5 9
7. Eric Davis Cincinnati 131 .281 462 74 130 14 2 34 101 56 12 1 21 7 16
8. Bobby Bonilla Pittsburgh 163 .281 616 96 173 37 10 24 86 56 20 1 8 8 10
9. Von Hayes Philadelphia 154 .259 540 93 140 27 2 26 78 87 14 4 28 7 7
10. Jack Clark San Diego 142 .242 455 76 110 19 1 26 94 114 18 1 6 2 10
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1989
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Ruben Sierra Texas 162 .306 634 101 194 35 14 29 119 41 2 2 8 2 7
2. Robin Yount Milwaukee 160 .318 614 101 195 38 9 21 103 54 9 6 19 3 9
3. Rickey Henderson New York-Oakland 150 .274 541 113 148 26 3 12 57 121 5 3 77 14 8
4. Fred McGriff Toronto 161 .269 551 98 148 27 3 36 92 107 12 4 7 4 14
5. Alvin Davis Seattle 142 .305 498 84 152 30 1 21 95 86 15 6 0 1 15
6. Wade Boggs Boston 156 .330 621 113 205 51 7 3 54 88 19 7 2 6 19
7. Bo Jackson Kansas City 135 .256 515 86 132 15 6 32 105 31 8 3 26 9 10
8. Kirby Puckett Minnesota 159 .339 635 75 215 45 4 9 85 32 9 3 11 4 21
9. Don Mattingly New York 158 .303 631 79 191 37 2 23 113 33 18 1 3 0 15
10. Dwight Evans Boston 146 .285 520 82 148 27 3 20 100 98 1 3 3 3 16
The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1989
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 2.31 15 15 .500 0 0 35 33 256.2 298 66 77 14 8 3 4 11 8 29
2. Jose DeLeon St. Louis 3.05 16 12 .571 0 0 36 36 244.2 271 83 80 5 2 6 0 13 12 12
3. Bruce Hurst San Diego 2.69 15 11 .577 0 0 33 33 244.2 306 73 66 7 8 0 0 15 14 13
4. Scott Garrelts San Francisco 2.28 14 5 .737 0 0 30 29 193.1 220 49 43 3 7 0 2 15 5 9
5. Mark Davis San Diego 1.85 4 3 .571 44 4 70 0 92.2 97 19 30 1 8 2 0 1 1 12
6. Ed Whitson San Diego 2.66 16 11 .593 0 0 33 33 227 303 67 48 6 2 5 3 8 5 16
7. Greg Maddux Chicago 2.95 19 12 .613 0 0 35 35 238.1 305 78 82 13 5 6 3 11 12 17
8. Mike Morgan Los Angeles 2.53 8 11 .421 0 1 40 19 152.2 177 43 25 8 6 2 0 7 7 17
9. Joe Magrane St. Louis 2.91 18 9 .667 0 0 34 33 234.2 293 76 65 7 14 6 5 24 11 24
10. Mike Scott Houston 3.10 20 10 .667 0 0 33 32 229 292 79 62 12 7 3 0 39 2 10
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1989
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV BS G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Bret Saberhagen Kansas City 2.16 23 6 .793 0 0 36 35 262.1 305 63 37 6 8 2 1 5 9 13
2. Mike Moore Oakland 2.61 19 11 .633 0 0 35 35 241.2 270 70 82 1 17 2 0 7 10 19
3. Bert Blyleven California 2.73 17 5 .773 0 0 33 33 241 305 73 42 2 2 8 0 18 5 25
4. Mark Gubicza Kansas City 3.04 15 11 .577 0 0 36 36 255 334 86 55 8 9 5 0 9 8 20
5. Dave Stewart Oakland 3.32 21 9 .700 0 0 36 36 257.2 389 85 69 0 13 6 0 11 8 19
6. Kevin Brown Texas 3.35 12 9 .571 0 0 28 28 191 223 71 68 2 7 4 2 6 5 22
7. Jeff Russell Texas 1.98 6 4 .600 38 6 71 0 72.2 69 16 19 5 6 3 0 3 2 13
8. Chris Bosio Milwaukee 2.95 15 10 .600 0 0 33 33 234.2 304 77 47 1 4 6 2 16 4 14
9. Kirk McCaskill California 2.93 15 10 .600 0 0 32 32 212 284 69 58 1 7 3 2 5 5 32
10. Roger Clemens Boston 3.13 17 11 .607 0 0 35 35 253.1 314 88 88 5 7 8 0 19 17 23

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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1989 Awards


NL MVP
Kevin Mitchell, San Francisco

AL MVP
Robin Yount, Milwaukee


NL Cy Young Award
Mark Davis, San Diego

AL Cy Young Award
Bret Saberhagen, Kansas City


NL Rookie of the Year
Jerome Walton, Chicago

AL Rookie of the Year
Gregg Olson, Baltimore


NL Manager of the Year
Don Zimmer, Chicago

AL Manager of the Year
Frank Robinson, Baltimore


NL Gold Glove Awards
P Ron Darling, New York
C Benito Santiago, San Diego
1B Andres Galarraga, Montreal
2B Ryne Sandberg, Chicago
3B Terry Pendleton, St. Louis
SS Ozzie Smith, St. Louis
OF Andy Van Slyke, Pittsburgh
OF Eric Davis, Cincinnati
OF Tony Gwynn, San Diego


AL Gold Glove Awards
P Bret Saberhagen, Kansas City
C Bob Boone, Kansas City
1B Don Mattingly, New York
2B Harold Reynolds, Seattle
3B Gary Gaetti, Minnesota
SS Tony Fernandez, Toronto
OF Gary Pettis, Detroit
OF Devon White, California
OF Kirby Puckett, Minnesota