1987 World Series
From BR Bullpen
The 1987 World Series was played between the Minnesota Twins and the St. Louis Cardinals. With both cities located on the banks of the Mississippi River, it was called by some observers the "Series on the Mississippi". The Minnesota Twins won 4 games to 3, giving the franchise its first World Series victory since 1924, when the team was located in Washington, D.C. and known as the Washington Senators.
Going into the 1987 ALCS, few outside of Minnesota gave the lowly Twins much chance of defeating the mighty Detroit Tigers. Many sportswriters noted that the Twins' 85-77 record would have placed them fifth in the powerful AL East. The Twins' home record in 1987, however, was the best in Major League Baseball, and they cruised to victory in the ALCS, winning both games at the Metrodome and losing the first at Tiger Stadium before winning Games 4 and 5 and ending the Tigers' season.
The 1987 NLCS was a much closer race, with four of the seven games being decided by two or fewer runs. The Cardinals eventually hung on to defeat the San Francisco Giants and return to the World series for the third time in 6 years.
The 1987 Series was remarkable in several regards: it featured the first World Series game played in an indoor stadium (the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome), and was the first World Series in which all games were won by the home team. The Twins set the record for the worst regular season won-loss record of any World Series championship team (85-77, .525). This record stood until broken in 2006 by the St. Louis Cardinals, who won the World Series after going 83-78 (.516).
For this World Series, the powerhouse Cardinals were expected to make quick work of the supposedly-hapless Twins, who in addition to their poor record were considered to have no reliable pitchers behind aces Bert Blyleven and Frank Viola. However, the Cards were weakened by a number of key injuries, including to 1B Jack Clark and 3B Terry Pendleton, while the Twins were fully healthy and were helped by scheduled off-days which meant their two aces could start five of the seven games. The Cards did not have a pitching ace (three different pitchers recorded 11 wins to lead the team), a distinct disadvantage in a short series. Thus, a pesky Twins team, the Metrodome and the screaming fans conspired to make victory in Minnesota impossible for the St. Louis team, and three of the four Dome games were well out of the Cards' reach by the seventh-inning stretch.
- Dave Phillips (AL), Lee Weyer (NL), Greg Kosc (AL), John McSherry (NL), Ken Kaiser (AL), Terry Tata (NL)
|Game||Score||Date||Location||Attendance||Time of Game|
|1||Cardinals – 1, Twins – 10||October 17||Hubert H Humphrey Metrodome (Minnesota)||55,171||3:36|
|2||Cardinals – 4, Twins – 8||October 18||Hubert H Humphrey Metrodome (Minnesota)||55,257||2:42|
|3||Twins – 1, Cardinals – 3||October 20||Busch Stadium (St. Louis)||55,347||2:45|
|4||Twins – 2, Cardinals – 7||October 21||Busch Stadium (St. Louis)||55,347||3:11|
|5||Twins – 2, Cardinals – 4||October 22||Busch Stadium (St. Louis)||55,347||3:21|
|6||Cardinals – 5, Twins – 11||October 24||Hubert H Humphrey Metrodome (Minnesota)||55,293||3:22|
|7||Cardinals – 2, Twins – 4||October 25||Hubert H Humphrey Metrodome (Minnesota)||55,376||3:04|
 Composite Box
|St Louis Cardinals||1||4||1||8||2||3||5||2||0||26||60||6|
|Total Attendance: 387,129 Average Attendance: 55,304|
|Winning Player’s Share: – $85,581, Losing Player’s Share – $56,053 *Includes Playoffs and World Series|
 Quotes of the Series
We are no longer the Twinkies. I don't want to hear that again. - Twins second baseman Steve Lombardozzi.
To (Gary) Gaetti... for the first time ever the Minnesota Twins are the world champions! -- Al Michaels announcing that the Twins had won the World Series.
- Al Michaels' epigraph to the World Series was technically correct; the Minnesota Twins had not won the World Series before. However, in 1924 as the Washington Senators the franchise previously won a world championship.
- Although Steve Carlton was left off of the Twins' playoff roster, he still went to the White House to be congratulated by President Reagan. While at a photo opportunity with the president, local newspapers listed the names of all of the Minnesota Twins. The only man who wasn't listed (and simply identified as a Secret Service agent) was a tall man wearing dark sunglasses in the back. The man in question was none other than Steve Carlton.
- Joe Magrane of the St Louis Cardinals became only the sixth rookie pitcher to start the seventh game of a World Series.
- Les Straker was the first Venezuelan to pitch in the World Series.
- Just prior to Game 4, Reggie Jackson, who was working as a field reporter for ABC's coverage of the 1987 World Series, admitted that he didn't know who eventual Game 4 hero Tom Lawless was.
- The Minnesota Twins became only the second team to hit at least two grand slams in a single World Series (the 1956 New York Yankees are the other).
- Besides setting a record for the worst ever regular season winning percentage for a World Series winner and hosting the first ever World Series game indoors, the 1987 Twins were the first team to ever enter the World Series having been outscored in the regular season. The 1987 Twins, as a team, were pretty much outnumbered in virtually every major statistical category. As ABC play-by-play man Al Michaels put it in the pre-game show for Game 1 "They were out everything!"
- The crowd noise in the Metrodome could exceed 110 decibels, which is about the same as what a jet plane makes when it takes off.
- The 1987 World Series featured at least two players who would go on to win the Manager of the Year Award. The Twins' Don Baylor won it in 1995 for his work with the Colorado Rockies while the Cardinals' Tony Peña won it in 2003 for his work with the Kansas City Royals.
- Twins manager Tom Kelly became the youngest non-playing manager to win the World Series since John McGraw in 1905.
- Game 7 forced the scheduled National Football League game between the Denver Broncos and the Minnesota Vikings to be played the following night (also on ABC).
- This was the first year Major League Baseball used this particular World Series logo. It would be the logo for the 1988, 1990 and 1991 World Series. It would have been the 1989 logo as well, but Major League Baseball altered it to honor the first Bay Bridge Series.
- Frank Viola was supposed to be the best man at his brother's wedding, but had to back out when the Twins reached the World Series, since it fell on the same night as Game 1, which he was scheduled to pitch. ABC showed clips of the wedding throughout the game's broadcast.
 Further Reading
- Kent Hrbek and Dennis Brackin: Kent Hrbek's Tales from the Twins Dugout, Sports Publishing LLC, Champaign, IL, 2007.
- David S. Neft and Richard M. Cohen: The World Series, 1st ed., St Martins Press, New York, NY, 1990, pp. 419-424
- 1987 World Series at WorldSeries.com (MLB.com)
- 1987 World Series by Baseball Almanac
- History of the World Series - 1987 at SportingNews.com
- Sweet Music at SI.com
- 1987 World Series box scores and play-by-play at Retrosheet.org
- 1987 St. Louis Cardinals at baseballlibrary.com
- 1987 Minnesota Twins at baseballlibrary.com
- 10 audio clips of World Series plays
|Modern Major League Baseball World Series
Pre-1903 Postseason Series