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1987 World Series

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1987 World Series

A logo for the 1987 World Series.

The 1987 World Series, in which the Minnesota Twins defeated the St. Louis Cardinals, was the first World Series in which the home team won all seven games. This also happened in 1991 and 2001. The World Series victory by the Twins was the first for the franchise since 1924, when the team was located in Washington, D.C. and known as the Washington Senators.


The 1987 Series was remarkable in several regards: It featured the first World Series games played in an indoor stadium (the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome) and the final Series game to start earlier than prime time in the eastern United States (Game 6, with a 4 p.m. ET start), and was the first World Series in which all games were won by the home team. (Four previous series had the home team winning the first six games, but in all four cases, the visiting team won Game 7). The 1987 Twins[1] set the record for the worst regular season win-loss record of any World Series championship team (85-77, .525). This record stood until broken in 2006 by the Cardinals themselves, who won the World Series after going 83-78 (.516).

Besides setting a record for the worst ever regular season winning percentage for a World Series winner (at the time) 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!" However, he forgot that the Twins defeated Detroit by piling on 34 runs to the Tigers 23 in the 1987 ALCS composite boxscore.

For this World Series, the powerhouse Cardinals, making their third World Series appearance in a six season span, were expected to make quick work of the supposedly-hapless Twins. However, the Twins team, the Metrodome and the fans combined 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.

AL Minnesota Twins (4) vs NL St. Louis Cardinals (3)

1St. Louis Cardinals - 1, Minnesota Twins - 10October 17Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome55,171[2]
2St. Louis Cardinals - 4, Minnesota Twins - 8October 18Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome55,257[3]
3Minnesota Twins - 1, St. Louis Cardinals - 3October 20Busch Stadium II55,347[4]
4Minnesota Twins - 2, St. Louis Cardinals - 7October 21Busch Stadium II55,347[5]
5Minnesota Twins - 2, St. Louis Cardinals - 4October 22Busch Stadium II55,347[6]
6St. Louis Cardinals - 5, Minnesota Twins - 11October 24Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome55,293[7]
7St. Louis Cardinals - 2, Minnesota Twins - 4October 25Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome55,376[8]


Game 1Edit

Saturday, October 17, 1987 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Team 123456789RHE
St. Louis 010000000 1 51
Minnesota 00072010X 10 110
WP: Frank Viola (1-0)  LP: Joe Magrane (0-1)  
HRs:  MIN – Dan Gladden (1), Steve Lombardozzi (1)

A raucous, sold-out Metrodome met the Cardinals on the 17th, stunning them at times with the sheer noise. 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. Their play was marred with numerous mistakes brought by the Dome's fast AstroTurf and white roof. The Twins' aggressive play hardly helped the Cards at all, and the game was a 10-1 blowout. Starting pitcher Frankie "Sweet Music" Viola put the lights out on the Cards easily. Dan Gladden hit a grand slam home run capping off a 7 run fourth inning and Steve Lombardozzi added another 2-run shot.

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.

Game 2Edit

Sunday, October 18, 1987 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Team 123456789RHE
St. Louis 000010120 4 90
Minnesota 01060100X 8 100
WP: Bert Blyleven (1-0)  LP: Danny Cox (0-1)  
HRs:  MIN – Gary Gaetti (1), Tim Laudner (1)

While improving on their game one performance, the Cards were unable to hold the Twins offence again and fell behind 7-0 before beginning to rally. The Cards total of nine hits was just one short of the Twins but their bats lacked power as they managed only one double against three doubles and two home runs hit by Minnesota. The Twins broke the game open in the fourth, scoring six runs and chasing starter Danny Cox from the game. The final score was 8-4. Randy Bush and Tim Laudner each came through with a pair of 2 run scoring hits in the 4th.

Game 3Edit

Tuesday, October 20, 1987 at Busch Stadium II in St. Louis, Missouri

Team 123456789RHE
Minnesota 000001000 1 51
St. Louis 00000030X 3 91
WP: John Tudor (1-0)  LP: Juan Berenguer (0-1)  SV: Todd Worrell (1)  

Traveling down the Mississippi, to the open air of Busch Stadium, Game 3 saw a tense pitching duel between Twins starter Les Straker and John Tudor of the Cardinals. Les Straker was the first Venezuelan to pitch in the World Series.

After five scoreless innings by both teams, the Twins broke through in the top of the 6th inning. Tom Brunansky's RBI single looked like all the offense the game would see. But, in the bottom of the seventh, Juan Berenguer, in relief of Straker, surrendered leadoff back-to-back singles to Jose Oquendo and Tony Pena. Terry Pendleton sacrificed the runners to second and third, and Vince Coleman slammed a two-run double to give the Cards a 2-1 lead. Ozzie Smith followed by singling in Coleman for the final run, and Todd Worrell closed out the win for Tudor.

Game 4Edit

Wednesday, October 21, 1987 at Busch Stadium II in St. Louis, Missouri

Team 123456789RHE
Minnesota 001010000 2 71
St. Louis 00160000X 7 101
WP: Bob Forsch (1-0)  LP: Frank Viola (1-1)  SV: Ken Dayley (1)  
HRs:  MIN – Greg Gagne (1)  STL – Tom Lawless (1)

In Game 4, the Cardinals issued payback to the Twins for their manhandling in Games 1 and 2, hammering Viola, who gave up 5, as they marched to a 7-2 victory. Tom Lawless hit a 3 run homer off Viola (only his second Major League homer after going 2 for 25 during the regular season) in the 4th inning.

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.

Game 5Edit

Thursday, October 22, 1987 at Busch Stadium II in St. Louis, Missouri

Team 123456789RHE
Minnesota 000000020 2 61
St. Louis 00000310X 4 100
WP: Danny Cox (1-1)  LP: Bert Blyleven (1-1)  SV: Todd Worrell (2)  

Game 5 was a much closer ball game, but eventually the Cardinals were victorious, by a score of 4-2. Curt Ford hit a two run single in the 6th, breaking a scoreless pitcher's duel between Danny Cox and Bert Blyleven. By the end of the 7th, the Cards were up 4-0. The Twins scored two in the 8th on a triple by Gaetti off reliever Todd Worrell and made a game of it but eventually relinquished the save to him. The Cardinals stole five bases in Game 5, the most for one team since the 1907 Chicago Cubs.

Game 6Edit

Saturday, October 24, 1987 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Team 123456789RHE
St. Louis 110210000 5 112
Minnesota 20004401X 11 150
WP: Dan Schatzeder (1-0)  LP: John Tudor (1-1)  
HRs:  STL – Tom Herr (1)  MIN – Don Baylor (1), Kent Hrbek (1)

The Series returned to the Metrodome with the Twins facing elimination (a position they would find themselves in once more four years later against the Atlanta Braves). ABC allowed the game to be played on Saturday afternoon—the only day game of the series, and the last time a World Series game has been played in the daytime.

The Cardinals drew first blood off Les Straker on a Tommy Herr home run in the first, and the Twins countered with two in their half of the first on RBI singles by Kirby Puckett and Don Baylor. The Cardinals quickly tied it in the second on a Jose Oquendo RBI single.

In the fourth, the Cards chased Straker when Dan Driessen led off with a double to right and went to third on a Willie McGee single. McGee took second on the attempted throw home by center fielder Dan Gladden. Terry Pendleton followed by singling home Driessen and Oquendo hit a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2. Another run scored for the Cards in the fifth when lefty Dan Schatzeder walked Ozzie Smith. Smith went to second on a groundout, to third on a flyout, and scored on another McGee single.

But, in the bottom of the fifth, the Twins began to claw back against John Tudor. Puckett led off with a single and was doubled in by Gary Gaetti. Benefitting from use of the designated hitter in their home ballpark, the Twins then tied it on a mammoth home run by their DH, Don Baylor. After Tom Brunansky followed with a single, the Twins took the lead for good when Steve Lombardozzi singled him with two out on a close play at the plate.

The Twins then blew the game open in the sixth. Greg Gagne led off with an infield single and Puckett walked. A passed ball by Tony Pena advanced the runners. With first base open and one out, Cards veteran Bob Forsch intentionally walked Baylor to load the bases. After Brunansky popped out, left-hander Ken Dayley was brought in to face the lefty-hitting Kent Hrbek. Hrbek finally broke out of his batting doldrums and hit a grand slam and essentially put the game out of the Cards reach.

Brunansky drove in the final run in the eighth and the Twins had staved off the defeat.

Game 7Edit

Sunday, October 25, 1987 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Team 123456789RHE
St. Louis 020000000 2 61
Minnesota 01001101X 4 100
WP: Frank Viola (2-1)  LP: Danny Cox (1-2)  SV: Jeff Reardon (1)  

Game 7 was the 500th World Series game ever played. 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).

Joe Magrane of the St Louis Cardinals became only the sixth rookie pitcher to start the seventh game of a World Series.[9] He also is the only pitcher in World Series history to start Games 1 and 7 of a World Series without any starts in between.

In the second, the Cardinals looked poised to send Frank Viola to an early shower. Three straight no-out singles by Jim Lindeman, Willie McGee, and Tony Pena plated the first run. Viola settled down to retire the next two hitters, but then Steve Lake singled in McGee for a 2-0 lead. Viola would settle into a groove, however, and allow only two more hits and no runs in eight strong innings.

The Twins came back in their half of the second on a Steve Lombardozzi RBI single, but not before a bad call at home plate by umpire Dave Phillips had already cost the Twins a run. Twins DH Don Baylor reached base on a hit-by-pitch by Magrane to lead off the inning and Tom Brunansky singled him to second. With one out, Tim Laudner singled to left and Baylor was gunned down at home by Vince Coleman in left, but replays showed Baylor was clearly safe. Lombardozzi then singled in Brunansky.

In the fifth, the Twins tied it when Greg Gagne reached on an infield hit and Kirby Puckett drove him in with a double. Incidentally replays showed Gagne to be out on his infield hit, thus this run served to counteract the run the Twins lost in the second on the missed call on Baylor at the plate. The Twins seemed on the verge of taking the lead when Gary Gaetti followed Puckett with a walk and went to second when Puckett was thrown out by Lake trying to steal third. Baylor followed with a single to center, but McGee threw out Gaetti at the plate in a violent collision with Lake.

The Twins then took the lead in the sixth off Danny Cox, who had relieved Magrane the previous inning. Cox walked Brunansky to lead off, but got into an argument with first base umpire Lee Weyer over a checked-swing call. The flustered Cox then walked Kent Hrbek and was relieved by Todd Worrell. After retiring the first batter he faced, Worrell walked pinch-hitter Roy Smalley to load the bases and then gave up a two-out RBI single to Gagne.

The Twins' final run came in the eighth on an RBI double by Dan Gladden. Jeff Reardon retired the side in the ninth to give Minnesota their first World Series victory.

Twins manager Tom Kelly became the youngest non-playing manager to win the World Series since John McGraw in 1905. coverage of Game 7

Composite boxEdit

1987 World Series (4-3): Minnesota Twins (A.L.) over St. Louis Cardinals (N.L.)

Team 123456789RHE
Minnesota Twins 2211387140 38 643
St. Louis Cardinals 141823520 26 606

<tr><td style="text-align:left;" colspan="13">Total Attendance: 387,138   Average Attendance: 55,305</td></tr> <tr><td style="text-align:left;" colspan="13">Winning Player’s Share: – $85,581   Losing Player’s Share – $56,053[10]</td></tr>


Although Steve Carlton was left off of the Twins' playoff roster, he still attended the White House to be congratulated by President Reagan. While making a photo op 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 Carlton.

The 1987 World Series featured at least two players who would go on to win Manager of the Year awards. 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.

Series quotesEdit

To Gaetti...for the first time ever, the Minnesota Twins are the World Champions!

Al Michaels calling the final out of the series.

We are no longer the Twinkies. I don't want to hear that again.



  • Neft, David S., and Richard M. Cohen. The World Series. 1st ed. New York: St Martins, 1990. (Neft and Cohen 419-424)
  • Forman, Sean L.. 1987 World Series. - Major League Statistics and Information.. Retrieved on 2007-12-09.

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