In many ways, the 1989 MLB season isn’t one that stirs fond memories in too many places. The game was marred by the scandal surrounding the investigation into Pete Rose’s gambling and the ultimate banishment from baseball imposed on the Reds’ manager. And even when the sport was at its high point, prepared to celebrate a Bay Area World Series between Oakland and San Francisco, that suffered a worse tragedy—an earthquake right before Game 3 that inflicted massive damage on the community.
*The Oakland A’s had one of the great teams of recent years, cruising through the regular season, the ALCS and ultimately the World Series. As good as the A’s were on the field, they were even better off of it—helping the community in the aftermath of the earthquake and declining to use champagne after the World Series out of respect for the victims.
*On the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco Giants won their first National League pennant in 27 years. Kevin Mitchell hit 47 home runs and won the MVP award, while Will Clark continued to grow as one of the best all-around hitters in the game.
*A youth movement on the North Side of Chicago, combined with the sustained excellence of second baseman Ryne Sandberg, put the Cubs back on the map. Chicago won a good NL East race with a strong finishing kick. The Cubs outlasted the Mets, one of the division’s best teams in the late 1980s, but whose star was starting to fade .
*And though the AL East didn’t have the best teams, they did produce the best race. Baltimore enjoyed a great turnaround year after losing 107 games in 1988 and contended to the final weekend of the season. In the end though, Toronto was able to survive and win a second division crown in five years.
READ MORE ABOUT THE 1989 OAKLAND A’S
READ MORE ABOUT THE 1989 SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
READ MORE ABOUT THE 1989 CHICAGO CUBS
READ MORE ABOUT THE 1989 NEW YORK METS
READ MORE ABOUT THE 1989 BALTIMORE ORIOLES