1985 in baseball
The following are the baseball events of the year 1985 throughout the world.
Major League Baseball
Awards and honors
MLB statistical leaders
1Major League Triple Crown Pitching Winner
Major league baseball final standings
- May 13 – Against the Philadelphia Phillies at Riverfront Stadium, Tony Pérez of the Cincinnati Reds becomes the oldest player to hit a grand slam. The shot comes in the sixth inning off Dave Rucker with Dave Concepción, Ron Oester and Dave Van Gorder on base and breaks a 3–3 tie; the Reds win by that 7–3 score. Pérez, who will celebrate his 43rd birthday the next day, breaks Honus Wagner's 70-year record as the oldest player to hit a grand slam; Wagner had done so on July 29, 1915, at 41 years, 5 months.
- May 20 - 44-year old player-manager Pete Rose hits his first home run since 1982 in a 6–1 loss to the Chicago Cubs. Ironically, Rose would later hit his final career home run, also against the Cubs, on in a 7–5 win on September 6.
- June 11 – In a 26-7 romp over the New York Mets, Von Hayes of the Philadelphia Phillies becomes the first player in MLB history to hit two home runs in the first inning of a game. Hayes leads off the bottom of the first with a homer, then hits a grand slam later in the frame. They are the only two home runs hit in the high-scoring affair.
- July 2 – Pitcher Joe Niekro of the Houston Astros wins his 200th career game, 3–2 over the San Diego Padres. Joe and Phil Niekro join Jim Perry and Gaylord Perry as the only pitching brother combinations to each win at least 200 games.
- July 4–5 – In a game at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, the New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 16–13 in a 19-inning contest that features Keith Hernandez hitting for the cycle, Mets manager Davey Johnson being ejected, and the Braves coming back to tie the game twice in extra innings, most notably in the bottom of the 18th. Pitcher Rick Camp, a career .074 hitter batting only because the Braves have no position players left, hits a solo home run in the 18th to re-tie the game at 11-11. At the end of the game, even though the date/time is July 5, 3:15 am, the Braves go ahead and shoot off their scheduled Fourth of July post-game fireworks for the fans who endure to the end. Camp struck out to end the game.
- July 11 – The Houston Astros' Nolan Ryan becomes the first pitcher to record 4,000 strikeouts, fanning Danny Heep in the sixth inning of Houston's 4–3 win over the New York Mets.
- July 15 – Dave Parker wins the first annual All-Star Home Run Derby.
- July 16 – The National League beats the American League 6–1 at Minnesota's Metrodome for its 13th win in the last 14 All-Star Games. The San Diego Padres' LaMarr Hoyt allows one unearned run in three innings and is named MVP.
- July 20 – Darryl Strawberry collects seven RBIs in the New York Mets' 16–4 victory over the Atlanta Braves at Shea Stadium.
- July 23 – At Arlington Stadium, Oddibe McDowell becomes the first Texas Ranger to hit for the cycle as the Rangers defeat the Cleveland Indians 8–4.
- August 4
- August 5 – Darryl Strawberry hits 3 home runs helping the New York Mets beat the Chicago Cubs 7–2.
- August 6 & 7 – All parks go dark for a brief strike. 23 of the 25 missed games are made up before the season ends.
- August 10 - Dave Kingman became the 21st player in Major League Baseball history to hit 400 home runs when he hit a two-run home run in the first inning that helped the Oakland A's beat the Seattle Mariners 11–5. It took him 17 days to get 400 after being stuck on 399.
- August 15 – Cal Ripken hits his 100th career home run helping Baltimore Orioles beat the Texas Rangers 9–1.
- August 20 – Dwight Gooden strikes out a season high 16 in a 3-0 complete game victory over the San Francisco Giants.
- August 25 – With a 9–3 victory over the San Diego Padres, Dwight Gooden becomes the first New York Mets twenty game winner since Jerry Koosman in 1976. It is his 17th victory in a row.
- September 3 – At Tiger Stadium, Reggie Jackson of the California Angels becomes the first player to hit 100 home runs for three different teams. He hits the milestone home run off Detroit Tiger Bob Stoddard in the ninth inning of the Angels' 14–8 loss; he had homered off Dan Petry earlier in the game, in the fourth inning. Jackson had hit 269 home runs with the Kansas City/Oakland Athletics and 144 with the New York Yankees.
- September 8 – Pete Rose inserts himself into the Cincinnati Reds' lineup as a late addition, and picks up two singles, the second of which gives him 4,191 hits in his career, tying him with Ty Cobb for the career record. Being that the game is at Wrigley Field, the game is eventually called because of darkness after nine innings, resulting in a rare 5–5 tie.
- September 11 – Eric Show of the San Diego Padres goes down in history for pitching Pete Rose's historic 4,192nd career hit; a line drive single to center field. It breaks the tie for the career record which Rose shares with Ty Cobb since September 8.
- September 22 – At a hotel bar in Baltimore, the New York Yankees' pitcher Ed Whitson and manager Billy Martin get into a heated argument that spreads to other parts of the hotel. An ensuing fistfight results in Martin suffering a broken arm and bruised right side, while Whitson suffers a cracked rib and a split lip.
- September 24 – At Wrigley Field, Andre Dawson of the Montreal Expos (a future Cub) joins Willie McCovey as the only players to hit two home runs in the same inning twice in their careers. The two home runs come in a 12-run fifth inning that gives the Expos a 15–2 lead against the Chicago Cubs. The Expos hold on to win 17-15 after nearly squandering the 13-run lead, as the Cubs score 13 runs in the last four innings, including five in the ninth; the final out is recorded with the tying run at bat. Dawson also hit two home runs in the third inning of the Expos' 19-0 pounding of the Atlanta Braves at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium on July 30, 1978.
- October 1 – Ron Darling and John Tudor duel for nine and ten innings, respectively, in this crucial series opener between the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals. An 11th inning solo home run by Darryl Strawberry off Ken Dayley is the deciding factor in the Mets' 1–0 victory at Busch Stadium.
- October 2 - In game 2 of this crucial series, Dwight Gooden beats The Cardinals 5-2 for his 24th win of the season. The 10 strikeout complete game caps a spectacular season for Goodenn in which the 20-year old finishes the season with the best ERA in baseball (1.53), wins, innings (276.2), strikeouts (268), and complete games (16) and twice he was named National League player of the week, and the 1985 Baseball Digest Player of the Year.
- October 6 – Phil Niekro of the New York Yankees becomes the second pitcher this year to record his 300th career win, in a 6–0 shutout of the Toronto Blue Jays. Although known as a knuckleballer, Niekro did not throw a knuckleball in this game until the final pitch in which he struck out Jays' designated hitter and former Atlanta Braves teammate Jeff Burroughs.
- October 19 – Once he took the field for the Royals in Game 1 of the 1985 World Series, Lonnie Smith became the first player in major league history to play in the World Series against a team (St. Louis Cardinals) that traded him away during that same season.
- October 27 – The Kansas City Royals burn out the St. Louis Cardinals 11–0 in Game Seven of the 1985 World Series to become only the sixth team to rally from a 3–1 deficit and win the WS. Bret Saberhagen pitches the shutout and wins the Series MVP honors.
- October 27 – New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner dismisses manager Billy Martin for the fourth time. Hired to replace him is rookie manager and former Yankees player Lou Piniella.
- November 2 – The Hanshin Tigers defeat the Seibu Lions 9–3 in Game Six of the 1985 Japan Series to notch their only Japan Series win in franchise history. Tigers' first baseman and triple crown winner Randy Bass is named Japan Series MVP batting .368 with 3 HR and 9 RBI.
- November 15 – The Boston Red Sox trade Bob Ojeda, Tom McCarthy, John Mitchell and Chris Bayer to the New York Mets for Calvin Schiraldi, John Christensen, Wes Gardner and La Schelle Tarver.
- November 25 – Chicago White Sox shortstop Ozzie Guillén, who hits .273 and has just 12 errors in 150 games, is named American League Rookie of the Year. Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Teddy Higuera, who posts a 15–8 record with 127 strikeouts and a 3.90 ERA, finishes second in voting.
- November 27 – Vince Coleman, who steals 110 bases for the St. Louis Cardinals, joins Frank Robinson (1956), Orlando Cepeda (1958) and Willie McCovey (1960) as the only unanimous winners of the National League Rookie of the Year Award.
- January 16 – Ken Chase, 71, pitcher for the Washington Senators, Boston Red Sox and New York Giants between 1936 and 1943
- January 28 – Bobby Young, 60, second baseman who hit .248 in an eight-year career with the Cardinals, Browns, Orioles and Indians from 1948–58
- January 30 – Joe Bradshaw, 87, pitcher for the 1929 Brooklyn Robins
- February 10 – Johnny Mokan, 89, outfielder who hit .291 in 582 games for the Pirates and Phillies between 1921 and 1927
- February 12 – Van Lingle Mungo, 73, All-Star pitcher whose antics delighted Brooklyn Dodgers fans; led NL in strikeouts, shutouts and innings once each
- February 17 – George Washington, 77, outfielder who hit .268 with two home runs for the Chicago White Sox from 1935–36
- February 20 – Syl Johnson, 84, pitcher who posted a 112–117 record with four different teams, and a member of the 1931 World Champion St. Louis Cardinals
- February 26 – George Uhle, 86, pitcher for the Indians and Tigers who won 200 games and is credited with having developed the slider pitch in the 1920s; also batted .289, one of the highest averages for a pitcher
- March 1 – George Banks, 46, third baseman/outfielder who hit .219 in 106 games for the Twins and Indians from 1962 to 1966
- March 8 – Al Todd, 83, catcher for the Phillies, Pirates, Dodgers and Cubs between 1932 and 1943
- March 10 – Bob Nieman, 58, left fielder for six teams who batted .300 twice for the Orioles; first player to hit home runs in his first two major league at-bats, later a scout
- March 17 – Ike Pearson, 68, pitcher who played for the Phillies and White Sox between 1939 and 1948
- March 25 – Curt Barclay, 53, pitcher who posted a 10–9 record with a 3.48 for the Giants from 1957 to 1959
- March 25 – Joe Wood, 65, infielder who played briefly for the 1943 Detroit Tigers
- April 8 – Joe Sullivan, 74, knuckleball pitcher for three teams from to 1935 to 1941, and a member of the 1935 World Champion Detroit Tigers
- April 16 – Benny Zientara, 67, second baseman for the Cincinnati Reds in the 1940s
- April 23 – Bob Wilson, 60, right fielder for the 1958 Los Angeles Dodgers
- April 23 – Whitey Wistert, 73, pitcher for the 1934 Cincinnati Reds, and a World War II veteran
- May 4 – Bill Kunkel, 48, AL umpire since 1968 who worked two World Series and four ALCS; previously a relief pitcher for the Athletics and Yankees, and father of major league shortstop Jeff Kunkel
- May 5 – Joe Glenn, 76, catcher for the New York Yankees, St. Louis Browns and Boston Red Sox, who caught Babe Ruth during his last pitching game in 1933, and also caught Ted Williams in a rare relief appearance in 1940
- May 6 – Kirby Higbe, 70, All-Star pitcher for five NL teams who won 22 games for the 1941 Brooklyn Dodgers
- May 6 – Red Peery, 78, pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Braves between 1927 and 1929
- May 11 – Bud Teachout, 81 pitcher and outfielder for the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals from 1930 to 1932
- May 14 – Harry Byrd, 60, All-Star pitcher and Rookie of the Year in 1952, who posted a 46–54 career record with a 4.35 ERA for five teams of the American League
- May 14 – Bill Morley, 95, second baseman for the 1913 Washington Senators
- May 16 – Johnny Broaca, 73, pitcher who posted a 44–29 record with a 4.08 ERA in 121 games for the Yankees and Indians from 1934 to 1939
- May 21 – Archie McKain, 74, left-handed reliever who posted a 26–21 record with a 4.26 ERA and 16 saves for the Red Sox, Tigers and Browns from 1937–43
- May 21 – Grover Powell, 44, left-handed pitcher for the 1963 New York Mets, who hurled a four-hit shutout in his first start but was struck out in the face by a Donn Clendenon pitch in his next start and never won another game.
- May 23 – Whitey Wilshere, 72, pitcher who posted a 10–12 record with a 5.28 ERA for the Philadelphia Athletics from 1934 through 1936
- May 29 – Billy Zitzmann, 89, outfielder who hit a .267 career average with Cincinnati and Pittsburgh between 1919 and 1929
- May 31 – Jake Early, 70, catcher who hit .241 with 32 home runs and 264 RBI in 747 games for the Washington Senators and St. Louis Browns from 1939 to 1949
- June 2 – Dorothy Mueller, 59, All-Star pitcher and a member of three champion teams of the AAGPBL from 1947 to 1953
- June 10 – Bob Prince, 68, broadcaster for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1948 to 1975
- June 23 – Alf Anderson, 71, pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the early 1940s
- June 26 – Wes Schulmerich, 83, outfielder who hit .289 in 429 games with the Boston Braves, Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds from 1931 to 1934
- July 2 – Guy Bush, 83, pitcher who won 176 games, most with the Chicago Cubs, but was best remembered for having given up Babe Ruth's last home run
- July 14 – Larry Drake, 64, outfielder who played from 1945 through 1948 for the Washington Senators and Philadelphia Athletics
- July 24 – Ted Kleinhans, 86, left handed reliever who posted a 4–9 record with a 5.08 ERA and one save for the Reds, Yankees and Phillies from 1934 to 1938
- July 27 – Smoky Joe Wood, 95, pitcher for the Red Sox who posted a 34–5 record with a 1.91 ERA in 1912, and went on to win three games in the World Series against the New York Giants; after wearing out his arm by age 26 with a record of 117–57, returned as an outfielder with the Indians and batted .366 while platooning in 1921; later coached at Yale for 20 years
- July 27 – Carl Yowell, 82, pitcher for the Cleveland Indians in the 1920s
- August 3 – Cloy Mattox, 82, backup catcher who hit a .167 average for the 1929 Philadelphia Athletics
- August 7 – Johnny Rucker, 68, center fielder who hit .272 in 705 games for the New York Giants from 1940-'46, leading his team in at-bats (622), hits (179), doubles (38), triples (9) and runs (95) during the 1941 season
- August 15 – Sam Streeter, 84, Negro league baseball player
- August 16 – Dick Drott, 49, pitcher for the Cubs and Colt .45s from 1957-'63, who posted a 15–11 record with a 3.58 in his season debut, ending third in the Rookie of the Year vote behind pitcher Jack Sanford (19-8, 3.08) and first baseman Ed Bouchee (.293, 17 HR, 76 RBI)
- August 20 – Clarence Fieber, 71, left handed reliever for the 1932 Chicago White Sox
- August 21 – Roy Luebbe, 84, backup catcher for the 1925 New York Yankees
- August 25 – Dick Wakefield, 64, All-Star left fielder who played for the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees and New York Giants between 1941 and 1952
- August 26 – Stu Clarke, 79, backup infielder who hit .273 in 61 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1929 to 1930
- August 27 – Johnny Lindell, 68, 1943 All-Star outfielder, who hit .273 in a 12-year career, posted an 8–18 record with a 4.47 ERA as a pitcher, and won three World Series rings with the Yankees in 1943, 1947 and 1949
- August 31 – Lefty Smoll, 71, pitcher for the 1940 Philadelphia Phillies
- September 4 – Art Bramhall, 74, backup infielder for the 1935 Philadelphia Phillies
- September 12 – Steamboat Struss, 76, pitcher for the 1934 Pittsburgh Pirates
- October 9 – Tom Cooper, 58, Negro league baseball player
- October 9 – Rusty Yarnall, 82, pitcher for the 1926 Philadelphia Athletics
- October 14 – Ossie Bluege, 84, All-Star third baseman who played his entire 18-year career for the Washington Senators; later the team's manager, coach and farm director
- October 17 – Bud Sheely, 64, backup catcher who hit .210 in 101 games for the Chicago White Sox from 1951 to 1953
- October 20 – Hal Goldsmith, 87, pitcher who posted a 6–10 record with a 4.04 ERA for the Boston Braves and St. Louis Cardinals from 1926 to 1919
- October 26 – Bob Scheffing, 72, backup catcher who hit .263 with 20 home runs and 187 RBI in 517 games for the Cubs, Reds and Cardinals between 1941 and 1951
- November 11 – Roy Lee, 68, left handed pitcher for the 1945 New York Giants
- November 11 – Frank Mulroney, 82, pitcher for the 1930 Boston Red Sox
- November 12 – Augie Walsh, 81, pitcher who went 4–10 with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1927 to 1928
- November 14 – Oscar Harstad, 93, pitcher who posted a 3–5 record with a 3.40 ERA in 32 games for the 1915 Cleveland Indians
- November 14 – Luke Nelson, 91, relief pitcher who posted a 3–0 mark with a 2.96 ERA in nine appearances with the 1919 New York Yankees
- November 15 – Riggs Stephenson, 87, left fielder who batted .336 lifetime while usually platooning, mainly with the Cubs
- November 23 – Sam West, 81, All-Star center fielder for the Washington Senators and St. Louis Browns who batted .300 eight times
- November 25 – Ray Jablonski, 58, All-Star third baseman, mainly with the Cardinals, Reds and Giants, who had 100 RBI in his first two seasons
- November 26 – Monk Sherlock, 81, first baseman who hit .324 in 92 games for the 1930 Philadelphia Phillies
- November 30 – Jim Grant, 91, pitcher for the 1923 Philadelphia Phillies
- December 6 – Burleigh Grimes, 92, Hall of Fame pitcher, most notably for the Dodgers, who won 270 games with five 20-win seasons using the spitball, of which he was the last permitted practitioner; later a manager and coach
- December 8 – Dave Madison, 64, relief pitcher who played from 1950 through 1953 for the Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Browns and New York Yankees
- December 8 – Bill Wambsganss, 91, second baseman for the Cleveland Indians, who made the only unassisted triple play in World Series history and later became a manager in the AAGPBL
- December 14 – Roger Maris, 51, All-Star right fielder who hit 61 home runs in 1961 to break Babe Ruth's long-standing record AND earning his second consecutive MVP award.
- December 17 – Elmer Bowman, 88, pinch-hitter for the 1920 Washington Senators
- December 17 – Ken O'Dea, 72, All-Star catcher who hit a .255 average with 40 home runs and 323 RBI in a 12-year career with three teams, and was a member of the St. Louis Cardinals teams that won the World Series in 1942 and 1944
- December 21 – Joe Genewich, 88, pitcher who went 73–92 with the Boston Braves and New York Giants from 1922 to 1930, who led Major League pitchers with 17 putouts in the 1917 season
- December 26 – Les Bell, 84, third baseman who hit .290 with 66 home runs and 509 RBI in a nine-season career with three teams, and a member of the 1926 World Champion St. Louis Cardinals
- December 26 – Jim Bilbrey, 61, pitcher for the 1949 St. Louis Browns
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