The 1982 baseball season has some hidden gems in MLB history. The final day of the regular season produced an epic head-to-head battle. Game 5 of the American League Championship Series—then the decisive game, in this era of best-of-five LCS play—produced a similar dramatic ending. A future Hall of Fame manager made his first appearance on the October stage. And none of the teams involved in any of the above ultimately won the World Series. Here’s the rundown…
*The Milwaukee Brewers won a memorable winner-take-all regular season finale with the Baltimore Orioles after both teams had caught the Boston Red Sox from behind after slow starts. The Brewers then won an equally memorable Game 5 of the ALCS against the California Angels. Both are games that should rank much higher in the conventional list of baseball’s great moments.
*Joe Torre was mostly known for his playing days and less for his five unsuccessful years managing the New York Mets. Torre took over the Atlanta Braves in 1982, and backed by an MVP year from centerfielder Dale Murphy, the Braves won an exciting NL West race on the last day of the season. It was Torre’s first appearance in the postseason and it certainly wouldn’t be his last.
*Atlanta’s victory in the NL West came about because of a memorable Dodgers-Giants finale, both teams that were in the race to the end. The rivals took turns ousting each other on Saturday and Sunday and added fuel to the bitterness of their longstanding rivalry.
But it was not the Braves or the Brewers that ultimately won the World Series and not the three-way races in the AL East or NL West that ultimately told the story of the 1982 baseball season.
The St. Louis Cardinals didn’t play with the same drama—of the four division winners, they were the one who clinched with a little bit of room to spare. The Cards swept the Braves in a drama-free NLCS. The drama finally came in the World Series, when St. Louis survived Milwaukee in an exciting seven-game battle.
TheSportsNotebook.com has compiled 11 articles that exist individually on the site, modestly edited them for blatant redundancy and put them all together into a compilation available for download at Amazon.
This blog compilation contains the stories of the eight most important teams of the 1982 MLB season—the four division winners, along with the Orioles/Red Sox in the AL East and Dodgers/Giants in the NL West. These are followed by game-by-game narratives of the ALCS, NLCS and World Series.