FOR WHOM JAY BELL TOLLS
In his first visit to a major league park, Indians rookie infielder Jay Bell hit the first pitch he saw for a home run off Minnesota's Bert Blyleven—the pitcher for whom he was traded in July, 1985—giving Blyleven the major league single-season gopher ball record of 47.
Blyleven gave up two more homers that night, and the next day Twins teammates had T-shirts that read: WE WERE THERE FOR ALL 49...AND COUNTING "GOPHER BERT."
THE JOHN R. TUNIS HITTING PHENOM OF THE YEAR
Reno infielder Brad Pounders, who, naturally, led the California League in homers with 36.
THE CATCHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET
With two outs in the ninth on Oct. 1, Brewer Charlie Moore struck out against Willie Hernandez, with Paul Molitor running, to ensure a 2-1 Tiger victory. Unaware the game was over, Detroit catcher Mike Heath made a throw into centerfield as Moore inexplicably raced to first. Heath sprinted to first and then second base, screaming for Chet Lemon to throw him the ball. (Heath thought the ball was live, as in a wild pitch or passed ball on a third strike.) Meanwhile, the umps had left the field, Sparky Anderson had congratulated Hernandez on the save and Kirk Gibson sank to his knees in laughter in front of the Tiger dugout. "When Charlie started running to first I thought he knew the rules better than me," Heath explained. "He [Heath] was screaming for Chet to throw him the ball," said Darnell Coles. "All you could see were the whites of his eyes. He had no pupils."
PITCHING LINE OF THE WEEK
Sept. 28, L.A. at San Francisco:
Powell 1 4 0 0 2 0
With two outs in the 10th, Dennis Powell allowed two hits, threw a wild pitch, issued an intentional walk and pitched out of the inning. In the 11th, after Joel Youngblood doubled but stopped at third on Harry Spilman's double, Powell walked the next batter and left the game. His reliever pitched out of trouble.
THE BREAKFAST CLUB
Cub rookie Greg Maddux beat his brother, Phillie rookie Mike, 8-3 Sept. 29. Before the game the brothers heard from their parents. "Being from Las Vegas and all, they asked who was a good bet," Mike said. "I said I was. I guess I wasn't."