The following are the baseball events of the year 1988 throughout the world.
Major League Baseball
Awards and honors
MLB Statistical Leaders
Major league baseball final standings
- January 12 - Former Pittsburgh Pirates slugger Willie Stargell is the only player elected to the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Stargell becomes the 17th player to be elected in his first year of eligibility. Pitcher Jim Bunning garners 317 votes (74.2%), and falls four votes shy of the 321 needed for election in his 13th year on the ballot.
- January 22 - As a result of the Players Association's 1985 collusion suit against the owners, arbitrator Thomas Roberts declares seven players no-risk free agents until March 1, giving them a chance to sign with other clubs despite already having contracts. The seven are Juan Beníquez, Tom Brookens, Kirk Gibson, Carlton Fisk, Donnie Moore, Joe Niekro and Butch Wynegar.
- March 1 - For the first time since 1956, the Special Veterans Committee does not elect anyone to the Hall of Fame. Phil Rizzuto, Leo Durocher, Joe Gordon and Gil Hodges are among the candidates passed over.
- April 12 - The Baltimore Orioles dismissed manager Cal Ripken after their sixth consecutive loss starting the season. Ripken, a casualty of the streak, is replaced by Frank Robinson who will see the streak extended to a Major League-record 21 consecutive losses.
- April 29 - The Baltimore Orioles shut out the Chicago White Sox, 9–0, at Comiskey Park. It is the first victory of the season for the helpless Orioles, behind a strong pitching effort by starter Mark Williamson, who was credited with the win after allowing three hits on two strikeouts and no walks in six innings of work. Closer Dave Schmidt earned the save, giving up one hit on one strikeout and no walks in three innings. For the Orioles, Cal Ripken, Jr. went 4-for-5 with three runs and one RBI, including a double and a home run, while Eddie Murray hit a two-run homer. Jack McDowell was the losing pitcher. Baltimore is now 1-21.
- April 30 - Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose shoves umpire Dave Pallone twice after a delayed call by Pallone at first base results in the New York Mets scoring the go-ahead run and the argument between Rose and Pallone escalates to the shovings when Pallone allegedly touched Rose under his eye pointing back at him. Three days later, National League president A. Bartlett Giamatti suspends Rose for 30 days, the longest such suspension for an on-field incident by a manager in MLB history.
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- September 8 - A. Bartlett Giamatti is unanimously elected by the owners to replace outgoing Commissioner Peter Ueberroth.
- September 9 - Bruce Sutter converts his 300th career save (the third player in history to do so) to preserve an Atlanta Braves win over the San Diego Padres. It is the last save of his career.
- September 16 - Tom Browning of the Cincinnati Reds pitches a 1-0 perfect game over the Los Angeles Dodgers. It is not only the tenth perfect game in Major League history, but the first to ever be pitched against the team that would go on to win the World Series that year. In defeating the San Diego Padres on June 6 of this season, Browning had another no-hitter broken up in the ninth inning. This bid was foiled by Tony Gwynn's single with one out.
- September 17 - Jeff Reardon becomes the first pitcher to save 40 games in both leagues as the Minnesota Twins beat the Chicago White Sox, 3–1. Reardon, who saved 42 games for the Montreal Expos in 1985, pitches the ninth inning for his 40th save in 47 opportunities.
- September 20 - Wade Boggs becomes the first player in Major League history, since 1901, to collect 200 or more hits in six consecutive years. He is also the second player (to Lou Gehrig) to collect 200 hits and 100 bases on balls in three straight seasons.
- September 23 - José Canseco steals his 40th base of the year, and becomes the first member of the 40-40 club.
- September 28 - One of the great season closing games in history is played as Orel Hershiser of Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher and Andy Hawkins of the San Diego Padres each pitch ten scoreless innings. The Padres eventually win, but the tenth inning proves to be Hershiser's 59th consecutive scoreless inning, breaking Don Drysdale's record streak of 58 consecutive innings.
- September 30 - For the second consecutive start, Dave Stieb of the Toronto Blue Jays has a no-hitter broken up with two out in the ninth, and has to settle for a one-hit shutout. In the Blue Jays' 4-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles at Exhibition Stadium, he has the bid broken up by a Jim Traber single. Six days earlier, in a 1-0 shutout over the Cleveland Indians at Cleveland Stadium, Stieb's bid for a no-hitter was broken up by a Julio Franco single with two out in the ninth. Had Stieb accomplished the double no-hit feat, he would have joined Johnny Vander Meer (1938) as the only pitchers to hurl no-hitters in consecutive starts.
- October 15 - In Game One of the 1988 World Series at Dodger Stadium, the Los Angeles Dodgers trail the Oakland Athletics, 4–3, in the bottom of the ninth inning when the Dodgers' Kirk Gibson, badly injured in the NLCS against the New York Mets, hobbles to the plate to pinch-hit against Oakland's lethal closer, Dennis Eckersley. With two outs, a 3-2 count against him, and Mike Davis on second base, Gibson uses his upper body and wrists to launch a backdoor slider from Eckersley into the right-field stands for a 5–4 Los Angeles victory. Gibson's home run re-energized the underdog Dodgers and shattered the confidence of the A's, who lost the series in five games. It inspired the coining of the phrase "walk-off home run", and is widely regarded as one of the greatest moments in baseball history.
- October 20 - Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Orel Hershiser ends his dream season with a 5–2 four-hitter over the Oakland Athletics in Game Five of the World Series. The win gives the Dodgers their first World Championship since 1981, and makes them the only team to win more than one World Series in the 1980s. Hershiser is selected the Series MVP.
- November 10 - Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Orel Hershiser, who posted a 23-8 record with 178 strikeouts and a 2.31 ERA, is a unanimous choice as National League Cy Young Award winner. Hershiser becomes the ninth pitcher in National League history to win the award unanimously, after receiving all twenty-four first place votes from the BBWAA.
- November 28 - Rich Gedman becomes the highest paid catcher in American League history when he signs a one-year contract with the Boston Red Sox for $1.2 million.
- January 6 - Ralph Buxton, 76, Canadian pitcher who played briefly for the 1938 Philadelphia Athletics and the 1949 New York Yankees.
- January 15 - Joe Hatten, 72, pitcher who posted a 65-49 record with a 3.87 ERA for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Chicago Cubs from 1946 through 1952.
- January 15 - George Hennessey, 80, pitcher form the St. Louis Browns, Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs between 1937 and 1945.
- January 16 - Dutch Kemner, 88, relief pitcher who appeared in nine games with the 1929 Cincinnati Reds.
- January 23 - Johnny Gee, 72, who pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Giants in the 1940s and also played basketball with the NBA Syracuse Nationals during the 1946–1947 season.
- January 24 - Ray Rohwer, 92, outfielder who hit .284 for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1921 to 1922.
- January 28 - Al Rubeling, 74, backup infielder for the Philadelphia Athletics and Pittsburgh Pirates from 1940 through 1944.
- February 1 - Red Phillips, 79, relief pitcher who posted a 4-4 record in 29 games for the Detroit Tigers in the 1934 and 1936 seasons.
- February 3 - Jocko Thompson, 71, pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies in four seasons, also a much-decorated American lieutenant who served in the European Theater during World War II.
- February 16 - Bill Cox, 74, pitcher in 50 games for the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Browns from 1936 to 1940, who later served in Germany in the U.S. Army during World War II.
- February 20 - Bob O'Farrell, 91, catcher for four National League teams over 21 seasons who won the 1926 MVP award with the St. Louis Cardinals.
- February 23 - Pete Donohue, 87, pitcher who had three 20-win seasons for the Cincinnati Reds and beat the Philadelphia Phillies 20 consecutive times from 1922–1925.
- February 26 - Tom Oliver, 85, fine defensive center fielder for the Boston Red Sox in the early 1930s.
- February 28 - Harvey Kuenn, 57, eight-time All-Star shortstop and outfielder, most notably with the Detroit Tigers, who batted .303 lifetime and led the American League in hits four times and doubles three times, while winning the 1953 Rookie of the Year Award and the 1959 batting title, and also managing the Milwaukee Brewers to their first pennant in 1982,
- March 1 - Luis 'Canena' Márquez, 62, the third Puerto Rican to play in the major leagues (after Hiram Bithorn and Luis Rodríguez Olmo), who appeared in 68 games from 1951 to 1954 with the Boston Braves, Chicago Cubs, and Pittsburgh Pirates.
- March 6 - Lou Legett, 86, catcher for the Boston Red Sox between 1929 and 1935.
- March 6 - Dick Ricketts, 54, pitcher for the 1959 St. Louis Cardinals and also a forward-center in NBA with the St. Louis Hawks and the Rochester/Cincinnati Royals from 1955–1958.
- March 11 - Art Daney [Chief Whitehorn], 84, Native American of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, who pitched briefly for the 1928 Philadelphia Athletics
- March 14 - Zeb Terry, 96, shortstop/second baseman who hit .260 in 589 games for the Boston Braves, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates from 1916 to 1922.
- March 16 - Jigger Statz, 90, outfielder for the New York Giants, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs and Brooklyn Robins from 1919 to 1928, who hit .319 for the 1923 Cubs including 209 hits, 110 runs, 51 extrabases, 70 RBI and 29 stolen bases.
- March 21 - Edd Roush, 94, Hall of Fame center fielder for the Cincinnati Reds who batted .323 lifetime, leading the National League in batting twice and in slugging, doubles and triples once each, while hitting 30 inside-the-park home runs and ending with 182 triples for the 13th-most triples in major league history.
- March 29 - Ted Kluszewski, 63, All-Star first baseman who played from 1947 through 1961 for four teams, most prominently with the Cincinnati Reds, who led the National League with 49 home runs and 141 RBI in 1954 and batted .300 seven times, also known for his sleeveless jersey, and later a Reds coach.
- April 4 - Jack Aragón, 72, a 12-season catcher and manager in the minors leagues who appeared in one game for the 1941 New York Giants.
- April 4 - Charlie Snell, 94, backup catcher who hit .211 in eight games for the 1912 St. Louis Browns.
- April 5 - Tom Earley, 71, relief pitcher who posted an 18-24 record with a 3.78 ERA for the Boston Braves from 1938 to 1945.
- April 9 - Syd Cohen, 81, pitcher for the Washington Senators from 1934 to 1937, and later a minor league baseball manager.
- April 12 - Frank Skaff, 77, first baseman for the 1935 Brooklyn Dodgers and the 1943 Philadelphia Athletics, who later managed the 1966 Detroit Tigers.
- April 14 - Ralph Winegarner, 78, infielder/outfielder/pitcher for the Cleveland Indians and St. Louis Browns in parts of six seasons spanning 1930–1949.
- April 22 - Len Church, 46, relief pitcher for the 1966 Chicago Cubs.
- April 27 - Tommy Thomas, 88, pitcher who won 117 games for the Chicago White Sox, Washington Senators, Phillies Phillies, St. Louis Browns and Boston Red Sox from 1926 through 1937.
- April 29 - Dom Dallessandro, 74, outfielder for the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs in eight seasons from 1937–1947, who posted a .304 average and a .400 on-base percentage in 1944, while missing the 1945 Cubs' pennant-winning season due to military service during World War II and a chance to play in the 1945 World Series.
- May 12 - Jacquelyn Kelley, 61, All-Star outfielder in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
- May 12 - Hank Schenz, 69, backup infielder who posted a .247 average in 207 games for the Cubs, Pirates and Giants from 1946 through 1951.
- May 25 - Charlie Perkins, 82, pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies and Brooklyn Dodgers in the early 1930s.
- May 26 - Dick Strahs, 64, relief pitcher for the 1954 Chicago White Sox.
- June 1 - Belve Bean, 83, relief pitcher who posted an 11-7 record with the Indians and Senators from 1930 to 1935.
- June 8 - Walt Chipple, 69, backup outfielder for the 1945 Washington Senators.
- June 9 - Newt Allen, 87, All-Star second baseman for the Negro Leagues' Kansas City Monarchs.
- June 12 - Merle Settlemire, 85, relief pitcher for the 1928 Boston Red Sox.
- June 15 - Hugh Willingham, 82, backup infielder for the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies from 1930 to 1933.
- June 17 - Ed Montague, 82, shortstop for the Cleveland Indians between 1928 and 1932, who later became a scout, most notable for signing Willie Mays.
- June 19 - Alice DeCambra, 66, infielder/pitcher during five seasons in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
- June 21 - Ed Linke, 76, relief pitcher who posted a 22-22 record with the Washington Senators and St. Louis Browns from 1933 to 1938.
- June 22 - Hank Edwards, 69, outfielder who hit .280 with a .343 on-base percentage in 735 games with the Indians, Cubs, Dodgers, Reds, White Sox and Browns from 1941 to 1953.
- June 27 - Red Bullock, 76, pitcher for the 1936 Philadelphia Athletics.
- July 1 - Ed Sauer, 69, outfielder who played in the 1940s with the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis and Boston Braves.
- July 2 - Tom Drake, 75, relief pitcher for the Cleveland Indians and Brooklyn Dodgers from 1939 to 1941.
- July 4 - Lee Weyer, 51, National League umpire since 1963 who worked in four World Series and five NL Championship Series.
- July 8 - Frank Ellerbe, 84, third baseman who hit .268 in 420 games for the Senators, Browns and Indians from 1919 to 1924.
- July 10 - Ernie Nevel, 69, relief pitcher who appeared in 14 games with the New York Yankees and Cincinnati Reds from 1950–1953.
- July 14 - Whitey Witt, 92, outfielder who hit .287 with 18 home runs and 302 RBI in 1139 for the Athletics, Yankees and Robins from 1916 to 1926; the last surviving member of the 1923 New York Yankees World Series champions.
- July 15 - Clyde Beck, 88, infielder for the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds from 1926 to 1931.
- July 20 - John W. Galbreath, 90, owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1945 to 1985, during which period the team won three World Series.
- July 23 - Ken Polivka, 67, relief pitcher who appeared in two games with the 1947 Cincinnati Reds.
- July 24 - Jerry Lane, 62, pitcher for the Senators and Reds from 1956–1955.
- July 24 - Joe Orengo, 73, valuable man at all four infield positions, who hit .238 in 366 games for the Cardinals, Giants, Dodgers, Tigers and White Sox between 1939 and 1945.
- July 26 - Al Flair, 62, first baseman for the 1941 Boston Red Sox.
- August 2 - Bob Berman, 89, backup catcher for the 1918 Washington Senators.
- August 5 - Ralph Michaels, 86, backup infielder who hit .295 in 32 games for the Cubs from 1924–1926.
- August 13 - Mel Almada, 75, outfielder who hit .284 from 1933 through 1939 for the Boston Red Sox, Washington Senators, St. Louis Browns and Brooklyn Dodgers, who is regarded as the first Mexican player to appear in a major league baseball game.
- August 22 - Bob Daughters, 74, played for the 1937 Boston Red Sox.
- August 29 - Charles Johnston, 92, American League umpire in 1936 and 1937.
- August 31 - John Daley, 101, shortstop for the 1912 St. Louis Browns, the oldest living major leaguer player at the time of his death.
- September 2 - Jim Bagby, 71, All-Star pitcher for the Red Sox and Indians (1938–1947), who led AL in starts and innings in 1943.
- September 2 - Marshall Riddle, 70, Negro league baseball infielder.
- September 6 - Lew Krausse, 76, relief pitcher who posted a 5-1 record with a 4.50 ERA in 23 appearances for the Philadelphia Athletics from 1931 to 1932.
- September 16 - Bob Trice, 62, pitcher who in 1953 became the first African American player in Philadelphia Athletics history.
- September 29 - Tony Ordeñana, 69, shortstop for the 1943 Pittsburgh Pirates, and one of many players who only appeared in the majors during World War II.
- October 6 - Bob Boken, 80, infielder for the Washington Senators and Chicago White Sox from 1933 to 1934.
- October 8 - Boob Fowler, 87, infielder who hit .326 in 78 games for the Cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Sox from 1923 through 1926.
- October 14 - Abie Hood, 85, second baseman who hit .286 in five games for the 1925 Boston Braves.
- October 14 - Vic Raschi, 69, All-Star pitcher who won 20 games for the Yankees three straight years (1949–51), won World Series clinchers in 1949 and 1951.
- October 19 - Bill Burgo, 67, backup outfielder for the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1943 and 1944 seasons
- October 21 - Regino 'Reggie' Otero, 73, Cuban first baseman who had a long minor league career (1936–1953), played briefly with the 1945 Chicago Cubs, also played 13 years in the Cuban League, and later enjoyed a successful career as a manager in the Cuban, Mexican and Venezuelan leagues
- October 27 - Ben Steiner, 67, second baseman for the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers from 1945 to 1947
- October 28 - Dave Tyriver, 50, pitcher for the 1962 Cleveland Indians.
- October 29 - Andy Cohen, 84, second baseman who hit .281 in 262 games with the New York Giants from 1926–29.
- October 30 - Bernie Walter, 80, pitcher for the 1930 Pittsburgh Pirates.
- November 1 - Lefty Sullivan, 72, pitcher for the 1939 Cleveland Indians.
- November 5 - Glenn Chapman, 82, infielder who hit .280 in 67 games for the 1934 Brooklyn Dodgers.
- November 9 - Bob Weiland, 82, pitcher who won 62 games with the White Sox, Red Sox, Indians and Browns from 1928 to 1940.
- November 21 - Carl Hubbell, 85, Hall of Fame pitcher who won 253 games for the New York Giants, second most among NL left-handers upon retirement; named NL's MVP in 1933 and 1936, he led league in wins and ERA three times each and had 1.79 ERA in six World Series starts; 1677 strikeouts were NL record for left-handers until 1958, and won 24 straight games in 1936-37.
- November 22 - Ray Kelly, 74, sportswriter who covered the Philadelphia Athletics and Phillies since the late 1940s.
- November 30 - Wally Berger, 83, All-Star center fielder for the Boston Braves who had four 100-RBI seasons, batted .300 lifetime; led NL in homers and RBI in 1935.
- December 16 - Bob Kahle, 73, pinch-hitter for the 1938 Boston Braves.
- December 12 - Joe Reichler, 73, sportswriter and author who wrote for the Associated Press for 20 years and served as an assistant to the commissioner after 1966; editor of the Macmillan Baseball Encyclopedia since its first edition in 1969.
- December 21 - Willie Kamm, 88, third baseman for the White Sox and Indians who led AL in fielding average eight times and in putouts seven times; batted .308 in 1928 and led league in walks in 1925.
- December 29 - John Happenny, 87, backup infielder who hit .221 in 32 games for the 1923 Chicago White Sox.
- December 29 - Earl Mossor, 63, pitcher who appeared in three games with the 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers.
- December 31 - Wes Flowers, 75, relief pitcher who posted a 2-2 record with a 5.40 ERA for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1940 and 1944, and later served in the Navy during World War II.
- ^ http://articles.latimes.com/1988-06-23/news/mn-7461_1_billy-martin