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1989 Toronto Blue Jays season

 

1989 Toronto Blue Jays season

The 1989 Toronto Blue Jays season was the franchise's thirteenth season of Major League Baseball. It resulted in the Blue Jays finishing first in the American League East with a record of 89 wins and 73 losses. They lost the ALCS in five games to the eventual world champion Oakland Athletics.

Offseason

  • October 9, 1988: Carlos Delgado was signed as an amateur free agent by the Blue Jays.[1]
  • December 6, 1988: Mauro Gozzo was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays from the Kansas City Royals in the 1988 minor league draft.[2]
  • December 22, 1988: Cecil Fielder was purchased from the Blue Jays by the Hanshin Tigers (Japan Central).[3]
  • December 24, 1988: Mike Flanagan was signed as a free agent by the Blue Jays.[4]
  • January 18, 1989: Bob Brenly was signed as a free agent by the Blue Jays.[5]
  • March 9, 1989: DeWayne Buice was traded by the California Angels to the Toronto Blue Jays for Cliff Young.[6]

Regular season

The regular season would represent a turning point for the Blue Jays in many different ways. The Blue Jays started the 1989 season in Kansas City against the Royals. Behind the pitching of Jimmy Key, the Jays won the first game of the season 4-3.[7] The rest of the month would result in a losing record for the Jays. After the first month of the season, the Blue Jays had 10 wins and 20 losses and sat 6.5 games behing the Baltimore Orioles in the standings. The result was that Pat Gillick made his first trade in 605 days.[7] On April 30, Gillick sent Jesse Barfield to the New York Yankees in exchange for Al Leiter.[7] The reason for the deal was that management was convinced that Rob Ducey was ready to be an everyday outfielder (ironically, the spot eventually went to the surprising Junior Felix that year, and Ducey never became the everyday player that the Jays imagined him to be).

Traditionally, the Blue Jays had never fired a manager in the middle of the season. After the Jays were swept by the Minnesota Twins in a three game series, including a 13-1 loss in the final game of the series, the Jays had 12 wins and 24 losses.[8] The Jays had also lost 15 of their last 19 games. Gillick decided that a change was needed. On Monday, May 15, Jimy Williams had become the first Jays manager to be fired in mid-season.[9] Williams would be replaced by Cito Gaston, the first black manager in the history of the franchise.

The team would move into the brand new Skydome and leave Exhibition Stadium behind. Their last game at Exhibition Stadium would be against the first team they played there, the Chicago White Sox. From there, the Blue Jays would open the Skydome in a loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. On September 30, they clinched the American League East division title at the new ballpark.

Notable games

  • May 4, 1989 – In a game versus the California Angels, Junior Felix hits a home run in his first Major League at-bat, becoming only the 60th Major Leaguer to achieve the feat.[10]
  • May 28, 1989 – The Blue Jays play their final game at Exhibition Stadium, a 7-5 10-inning win over the Chicago White Sox. Coincidentally, the White Sox had been the Jays' opponents in their first game at Exhibition Stadium (also the first game in franchise history) twelve years before.
  • June 4, 1989 – The Blue Jays stage a remarkable comeback in a game against the Red Sox in Boston. Trailing 10-0 after six innings, they slowly close the gap, finally taking an 11-10 lead on a ninth-inning grand slam by Ernie Whitt. Boston ties the score in the bottom half of the inning, but Junior Felix smokes a two-run home run in the top of the 12th inning, giving Toronto a 13-11 victory.[11][12]
  • August 4, 1989 – With the Blue Jays leading the New York Yankees 2-0, Dave Stieb comes one out away from pitching a perfect game, but the Yankees' Roberto Kelly cracks a double into left field to break it up. Steve Sax then singles Kelly home to cut the lead to 2-1, but the Blue Jays ace holds on for the victory. It marks the third time in two seasons that Stieb has lost a no-hitter with two out in the ninth inning.[14]

Opening Day starters

Season standings

AL East W L Pct. GB
Toronto Blue Jays 89 73 .549 --
Baltimore Orioles 87 75 .537 2
Boston Red Sox 83 79 .512 6
Milwaukee Brewers 81 81 .500 8
New York Yankees 74 87 .460 14½
Cleveland Indians 73 89 .451 16
Detroit Tigers 59 103 .364 30

Notable transactions

Draft picks

  • June 5, 1989: John Olerud was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 3rd round of the 1989 amateur draft. Player signed August 26, 1989.[22]
  • June 5, 1989: Aaron Small was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 22nd round of the 1989 amateur draft. Player signed June 8, 1989.[23]

Roster

1989 Toronto Blue Jays
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Other batters

Manager

Coaches

Game log

1989 Game Log
1989 Playoff Game Log

Player stats

Batting

Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

= Indicates team leader
Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C Whitt, ErnieErnie Whitt 129 385 101 .262 11 53
1B McGriff, FredFred McGriff 161 551 148 .269 36 92
2B Liriano, NelsonNelson Liriano 132 418 110 .263 5 53
3B Gruber, KellyKelly Gruber 135 545 158 .290 18 73
SS Fernández, TonyTony Fernández 140 573 147 .257 11 64
LF Bell, GeorgeGeorge Bell 153 613 182 .297 18 104
CF Moseby, LloydLloyd Moseby 135 502 111 .221 11 43
RF Félix, JuniorJunior Félix 110 415 107 .258 9 46
DH Mulliniks, RanceRance Mulliniks 103 273 65 .238 3 29
[24]

Other batters

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Lee, ManuelManuel Lee 99 300 78 .260 3 34
Borders, PatPat Borders 94 241 62 .257 3 29
Wilson, MookieMookie Wilson 54 238 71 .298 2 17
Brenly, BobBob Brenly 48 88 15 .170 1 6
Barfield, JesseJesse Barfield 21 80 16 .200 5 11
Ducey, RobRob Ducey 41 76 16 .211 0 7
Lawless, TomTom Lawless 59 70 16 .229 0 3
Mazzilli, LeeLee Mazzilli 28 66 15 .227 4 11
Hill, GlenallenGlenallen Hill 19 52 15 .288 1 7
Myers, GregGreg Myers 17 44 5 .114 0 1
Virgil, OzzieOzzie Virgil 9 11 2 .182 1 2
Infante, AlexisAlexis Infante 20 12 2 .167 0 0
Cabrera, FranciscoFrancisco Cabrera 3 12 2 .167 0 0
Batiste, KevinKevin Batiste 6 8 2 .250 0 0
Olerud, JohnJohn Olerud 6 8 3 .375 0 0

Pitching

Starting pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Key, JimmyJimmy Key 33 216 13 14 3.88 118
Stieb, DaveDave Stieb 33 206⅔ 17 8 3.35 101
Cerutti, JohnJohn Cerutti 33 205⅓ 11 11 3.07 69
Flanagan, MikeMike Flanagan 30 171⅔ 8 10 3.93 47
Stottlemyre, ToddTodd Stottlemyre 27 127⅔ 7 7 3.88 63
Leiter, AlAl Leiter 1 6⅔ 0 0 4.05 4

Other pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA
Wills, FrankFrank Wills 24 71⅓ 1 0 3.66
Gozzo, MauroMauro Gozzo 9 31⅔ 4 1 4.83
Cummings, SteveSteve Cummings 5 21 2 0 3.00
Sanchez, AlexAlex Sanchez 4 11⅔ 0 1 10.03
Musselman, JeffJeff Musselman 5 11 0 1 10.64
Núñez, JoséJosé Núñez 6 10⅔ 0 0 2.53

Relief pitchers

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Henke, TomTom Henke 64 8 3 20 1.92 116
Ward, DuaneDuane Ward 66 4 10 15 3.77 122
Wells, DavidDavid Wells 54 7 4 2 2.40 78
Castillo, TonyTony Castillo 17 1 1 1 6.11 10
Acker, JimJim Acker 14 2 1 0 1.59 24
Hernandez, XavierXavier Hernandez 7 1 0 0 4.76 7
Buice, DeWayneDeWayne Buice 7 1 0 0 5.82 10
[24]

ALCS

Game 1

October 3, 1989 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Toronto 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 5 1
Oakland 0 1 0 0 1 3 0 2 X 7 11 0
W: Dave Stewart (1-0)   L: Dave Stieb (0-1)  
HR: OAKDave Henderson (1), Mark McGwire (1)

Game 2

October 4, 1989 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Toronto 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 3 5 1
Oakland 0 0 0 2 0 3 1 0 X 6 9 1
W: Mike Moore (1-0)   L: Todd Stottlemyre (0-1)   S: Dennis Eckersley (1)   
HR: OAKDave Parker (1)

Game 3

October 6, 1989 at SkyDome

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Oakland 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 8 1
Toronto 0 0 0 4 0 0 3 0 X 7 8 0
W: Jimmy Key (1-0)   L: Storm Davis (0-1)   
HR: OAKDave Parker (2)

Game 4

October 7, 1989 at SkyDome

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Oakland 0 0 3 0 2 0 1 0 0 6 11 1
Toronto 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 2 X 5 13 0
W: Bob Welch (1-0)   L: Mike Flanagan (0-1)   S: Dennis Eckersley (2)   
HR: OAKRickey Henderson 2 (2), José Canseco (1)

Game 5

October 8, 1989 at SkyDome

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Oakland 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 4 4 0
Toronto 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 3 9 0
W: Dave Stewart (2-0)   L: Dave Stieb (0-2)   S: Dennis Eckersley (3)   
HR: TORLloyd Moseby (1), George Bell (1)

Award winners

All-Star Game

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Syracuse Chiefs International League Bob Bailor
AA Knoxville Blue Jays Southern League Barry Foote
A Dunedin Blue Jays Florida State League Doug Ault
A Myrtle Beach Blue Jays South Atlantic League Mike Fischlin
Short-Season A St. Catharines Blue Jays New York–Penn League Bob Shirley
Rookie Medicine Hat Blue Jays Pioneer League Rocket Wheeler
[26]

References

External links

  • 1989 Toronto Blue Jays team page at Baseball Reference
  • 1989 Toronto Blue Jays team page at www.baseball-almanac.com
  • Jays Alumni:'89 A.L. East Champ
Preceded by
Boston Red Sox
1988
AL East Championship Season
1989
Succeeded by
Boston Red Sox
1990
Preceded by
1988 Toronto Blue Jays season
1989 Toronto Blue Jays Season
1989
Succeeded by
1990 Toronto Blue Jays season
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