Year In Review : 1982 American League
Off the field...
The Vietnam Veterans' War memorial was dedicated in Washington, bearing 58,000 names of US servicemen and women who were killed during one of America's most unpopular wars. "The Wall" was designed by Maya Ying Lin, an architecture student at Yale University and has become one of the most revered and appreciated public memorials in the United States.
Princess Grace of Monaco, a former Hollywood actress, was killed in a terrible accident after her car careened off the winding roads of France leading to Monaco. An investigation later revealed that she had suffered a mild stroke, which caused her to lose control of her vehicle.
Barney B. Clark, a sixty-one-year-old retired dentist, had his diseased heart replaced by the "Jarvick 7" the world's first permanent artificial heart. Dr. William C. DeVries at the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City performed the successful transplant operation and Clark survived for one-hundred twelve days before finally succumbing to complications caused by the implant.
In the American League...
During an inter-league exhibition game between the Oakland Athletics and the San Diego Padres, A's pitcher Steve McCatty stepped up to the plate swinging a children's toy bat on the instructions of manager Billy Martin, who was upset that his club was not allowed to use a DH in spring training games at National League ballparks. Jim Quick, the home plate umpire, refused to allow the 15" bat and McCatty was called out on three strikes.
The largest crowd ever to see a baseball game in the state of Minnesota (52,279) turned out for the inaugural game at the brand-new indoor Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The Seattle Mariners put a damper on the festivities though after beating the Twins 11-7.
The Detroit Tigers' Larry Herndon hit three home runs in an 11-9 win over the Oakland Athletics (following a round-tripper in his final at bat against the Minnesota Twins) to become the fourteenth player in Major League history to hit four home runs in consecutive plate appearances.
In the National League...
On Saturday, July 31st, Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Manny Trillo misplayed a Bill Buckner grounder in the seventh during a 2-0 win over the Chicago Cubs. The error ended Trillo's "e-free" streak at eighty-nine games and four-hundred seventy-nine consecutive chances stopping him just two games short of Joe Morgan's record of ninety-one.
On August 4th, Joel Youngblood became the first Major League player to play for two different teams in two different cities on the same day. The New York Mets outfielder started the afternoon by going one-for-two off the Cubs' Fergie Jenkins at Wrigley Field. Following the contest he was traded to the Montreal Expos and flew to Philadelphia in time to enter the sixth inning of a night game at Veterans Stadium. The well-traveled outfielder then went one-for-one off Steve Carlton, another Hall of Fame inductee, in a 5-4 loss.
Veteran first baseman Willie Stargell's number eight (8) was officially retired by the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 6th, better known as "Willie Stargell Day" at Three Rivers Stadium. "Pops" twice led the National League in home runs, with a career high forty-eight in 1971 and his four-hundred seventy-five home runs were fifteenth all-time when he retired following the season. After his playing career, he went on to coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1985, and the Atlanta Braves from 1986-88.
Around the league...
Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson became the twelfth and thirteenth players elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA in their first year of eligibility. Aaron fell just nine votes shy of becoming the first-ever unanimous selection and his 97.8 election percentage was second only to Ty Cobb's 98.2 percent in the Hall's 1936 inaugural election.
Thirty-seven year-old Steve Carlton won the National League Cy Young Award for the fourth time, a record unmatched by any pitcher in the history of the Major Leagues through this date. The Philadelphia Phillies veteran lefthander led the National League in wins (twenty-three), innings (295.2), strikeouts (two-hundred eighty-six), and shutouts (six). He was a previous winner in 1972, 1977, as well as 1980.
An up-and-coming shortstop / third baseman named Cal Ripken, Jr. finished his debut season with a .264 average as well as twenty-eight home runs for the Baltimore Orioles and was named American League Rookie of the Year.
At a November Major League owners meeting in Chicago, members voted not to renew Commissioner Bowie Kuhn's contract, which was due to expire in August. The American League owners voted in favor of Kuhn 11-3 and the National League 7-5, but the eighteen votes left him two shy of the three-fourths majority required for reelection.