Year In Review : 1987 American League
Off the field...
U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the I.N.F. (Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces) treaty marking the beginning of the end of the Cold War. As a result, Soviets were able to quicken the pace of what was known as "glasnost" (openness and reform), which ultimately caused the end of the Soviet empire.
The largest stock-market drop in Wall Street history occurred on October 19, otherwise known as "Black Monday" when the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 508.32 points, losing 22.6% of its total value. That fall far surpassed the one-day loss of 12.9% that began the great stock market crash of 1929 and foreshadowed the Great Depression.
The Iraqi Air Force attacked the U.S.S. Stark, a United States Navy ship in the Persian Gulf, initiating an ongoing hostile relationship that would eventually result in Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.
In the American League...
A high school outfielder named Ken Griffey, Jr. was selected by the Seattle Mariners as their first overall pick in the 1987 Amateur Draft.
After hitting a meager .220 with fifteen home runs for the Oakland Athletics, forty-one year old Reggie Jackson finally retired. "Mr. October" had played twenty-one years in the Major Leagues and totaled five-hundred sixty-three home runs, one-thousand seven-hundred two runs batted in and a .262 batting average. He also held the all time record for strikeouts with two-thousand five-hundred ninety-seven and the best slugging average in World Series play with .755.
At an exhibition game in Toronto, the Blue Jays became the first team ever to hit ten home runs in a single game as they bombed the Baltimore Orioles 18-3. The previous team record was originally set by the Yankees in 1939 and equaled by several other teams over the years. The combined eleven home runs in the contest also tied a two-team Major League record.
In the National League...
The New York Mets' Dwight "Doc" Gooden entered a twenty-eight day drug rehabilitation program at the Smithers Alcoholism Treatment Center. The 1985 Cy Young Award winner had tested positive for cocaine use and would not return to start the season until June 5th.
On April 18th, Mike Schmidt, of the Philadelphia Phillies, launched a three-run blast over the wall at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium for his 500th career home run. The historic shot put the All-Star third baseman in the company of just thirteen other players in Major League history.
The Cincinnati Reds' Eric Davis set two National League records in April and May with three grand slam home runs in a single month as well as nineteeen home runs in two months.
Around the league...
The Major League Players Association filed a grievance accusing the owners of acting together to restrict player's salaries. The association cited the lack of offers to free agents from 1985-1987, which resulted in them returning to their original teams. In a study from the 1985 season, it was estimated that free agents lost between $70 and $90 million dollars.
The "Rookie of the Year Award" was renamed "The Jackie Robinson Award" in both the American and National Leagues.
On October 17th, the Minnesota Twins welcomed the St. Louis Cardinals to the Metrodome for the first World Series game ever played indoors. The home team dominated the visitors 10-1 in front of a capacity crowd of 55,171.
Major League attendance reached an all-time high in 1987 with a combined 52,029,664 people going out to the ballparks.