Record: 89-73, Finished 1st in AL Eastern Division (1988 AL)
Managed by John McNamara (43-42) and Joe Morgan (46-31)
Coaches: Al Bumbry, Bill Fischer, Walt Hriniak, Jerry McNertney, Joe Morgan and Rac Slider
Ballpark: Fenway Park
The 1988 Boston Red Sox played at around .500 (43-42) in the first half under John McNamara, who was fired at the All-Star break. They then turned things completely around in the second half with the hiring of Joe Morgan as their manager. Sparked by a game-winning home run by Kevin Romine in one of Morgan's first games the Red Sox started off the second half with a twelve-game winning streak, then after a loss on July 26th, tacked on seven more wins. They had been 9 games behind when McNamara was fired, but were tied for first place at the end of that remarkable 19-1 run The streak reached its peak in one game at Fenway Park when Todd Benzinger hit a walk-off home run in a come-from-behind victory that was almost certain to be the end of the win streak. The second half of the 1988 season for the Red Sox was known to fans as "Morgan's Magic".
The Red Sox did not actually secure the division lead immediately; they went 2-7 in the nine games that followed the streak and fell as many as 4 1/2 games back as it all started to look like a flash in the pan. But starting in mid-August, Boston began to make up ground steadily. The Sox were back in a tie for first place on September 4th, and an 11-3 streak in early September put them in the lead by six games on September 18th. The team cooled off at the end of the season but still were able to win the AL East title by a single game over the Detroit Tigers and two in front of the Toronto Blue Jays and Milwaukee Brewers, who tied for third place.
The Red Sox were then swept in the 1988 ALCS by the Oakland Athletics, memorably closed out by Dennis Eckersley striking out Wade Boggs swinging with a pitch out of the strike zone.
Awards and Honors