Year In Review : 1985 National League
Off the field...
TWA Flight 847 was hijacked by a group of Shi'ite terrorists who were identified as members of Islamic Jihad, a group of various fundamentalists, operating in Lebanon and other Middle East countries. The militant Muslims held one-hundred fifty-three people (including women and children) hostage while demanding the release of their brothers in arms. One passenger, U.S. Navy Diver Robert Stethem was executed and his body was dumped onto the tarmac. After several unsuccessful negotiations, Israel agreed to release thirty-one of its Shi'ite prisoners and the hostages were freed in return.
The wreck of the RMS Titanic (which sunk in 1912 killing 1,522 passengers and crew after striking an iceberg) was finally discovered by a joint U.S.-French expedition who located the remains of the "unsinkable" ocean liner three-hundred fifty miles southeast of Newfoundland in thirteen-thousand feet of water.
U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev held a Summit Meeting in Geneva to discuss improving relations between the U.S.S.R. and the United States and to help decrease the risk of nuclear war. In the end, both agreed not to attempt to achieve military superiority and banned the development of chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction.
In the American League...
The Milwaukee Brewers' Rollie Fingers recorded his two-hundred seventeenth American League career save breaking the record originally set by Sparky Lyle. The victory gave "The Mustache" a Major League record of three-hundred twenty-five saves overall. He retired at the end of the season capping off a brilliant seventeen-year career with a 114-118 record, a 2.90 ERA and three-hundred forty-one saves.
On August 4th, thirty-nine year-old Anaheim Angel Rod Carew became only the sixteenth player in Major League history to join the "3,000 Hit Club."
Major League Baseball's oldest stadium, Chicago's Comiskey Park, celebrated its 75th anniversary with eleven fans in attendance who were present at it's opening in 1910. The Seattle Mariners spoiled the festivities with a 3-1 win over the White Sox.
In the National League...
Dwight "Doc" Gooden of the New York Mets became the first National League pitcher to reach two-hundred strikeouts in each of his first two seasons as well as the youngest twenty game winner in baseball history. The previous mark was set by Bob Feller in 1939, but Gooden managed to beat him by one month.
Nolan Ryan, of the Houston Astros, struck out Danny Heap, of the New York Mets, to become the first pitcher ever to reach four-thousand strikeouts. The Texas ace went on to sit down ten more batters as the Astros won 4-3 in twelve innings.
Fifty-seven years to the day after Ty Cobb played in his last game, Pete Rose, of the Cincinnati Reds, knocked his 4,192nd career hit breaking "The Georgia Peach's" record. Newly approved owner Marge Schott presented Rose with a shiny red Corvette bearing the license plate PR 4192.
Around the league...
Newly appointed Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth reinstated Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle after Commissioner Bowie Kuhn had banned the Hall of Famers from association with Major League Baseball for being employed by companies with ties to legal gambling in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Pittsburgh Associates reached an agreement in principle with the Galbreath family to purchase the sinking Pirates franchise. As a result the team was able to stay afloat in the "Steel City" thanks to the combined financial commitments of Pittsburgh's most influential corporations including Carnegie Mellon University, the Aluminum Company of America, Mellon Bank, PNC Financial, PPG Industries, USX Corporation and Westinghouse Electrical Company.
Sports Illustrated pulled off a major April Fool's Day joke by publishing a story about a 168 mph pitching Tibetan Buddhist monk named Sidd Finch who was the New York Mets latest rookie phenomenon. Despite the April 1 date on the article and byline by George Plimpton, many fans believed the story was real and were disappointed after discovering that Finch was a fake.
Baseball's Championship Series was altered from a best-of-five to a best-of-seven format in an effort to generate up to $9 million dollars in additional revenues.