SI Vault
Tim Kurkjian
October 08, 1990
Forget Pete Rose. And George Steinbrenner. And Howard Spira. This has been one of the wildest, wackiest and most wonderful baseball seasons in recent memory. In March, who would have guessed that on Oct. 1, Cecil Fielder would be one blast away from breaking the 50 home runs barrier? That Whitey Herzog wouldn't be managing in the majors—and that Stump Merrill would? That Casey Candaele (.308) would have a higher batting average than Will Clark (.296)? That Carlton Fisk would have more stolen bases than Gerald Young (seven to six)? That Jeff Gray would have more saves than Mark Davis (nine to six)? That Bill Sampen would have more victories than Mark Langston (11 to 10)? That the National League batting leader, Willie McGee, would end up playing for the A's in the American League? Here's a salute to some of this season's most unusual achievements.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
October 08, 1990


View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3

To Dave Johnson of the Orioles. As of Sunday, only 10 base runners had attempted to steal on Johnson in his two years in the majors. The lone success came Sept. 27, when Cleveland's Alex Cole took off on a pitchout. "With the pitchout on, I was thinking, Good, I hope he goes," said Johnson. "When he made it, I just thought, Wow!"

To Billy Swift and Mike Jackson of the Mariners, who on July 15 combined to throw 79 pitches in a 7-0 win over the Indians. Compare that with the May 28 game between the Red Sox and Rangers, in which Boston's Roger Clemens and Texas's Charlie Hough made a total of 51 pickoff throws.

To Ryan, who not only threw his sixth career no-hitter and won his 300th game but also struck out 16 White Sox on April 26. That performance gave him 15 games in which he has fanned 16 or more batters. That's as many 16-strikeout games as all the other American League pitchers combined have in the last 25 years. When Blue Jay infielder Rance Mulliniks was asked what baseball would be like if every player was like Ryan, he said, "Everyone would like each other, and no one would get a hit."

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

1 2 3