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The 1990 World Series matched the defending champions and heavily-favored Oakland Athletics against the Cincinnati Reds, with the Reds sweeping the Series in four games. It is remembered for Billy Hatcher's seven consecutive hits. This also was the second World Series meeting between the two clubs (Oakland won 4–3 in 1972).
The Cincinnati Reds won the National League West division by five games over the Los Angeles Dodgers and set an N.L. record by staying in first place in the division for the entire season or "wire-to-wire", which had been done only one other time (1984 Detroit Tigers) and then defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, four games to two, in the National League Championship Series.
The Oakland Athletics were the defending World Series champions, two-time defending American League champions, and favorites against the Reds. The Oakland Athletics became the first franchise to appear in three consecutive World Series since the 1976-1978 New York Yankees. Their lineup consisted of three former AL Rookies-of-the-Year: José Canseco, (1986); Mark McGwire, (1987); and Walt Weiss, (1988). A's outfielder Willie McGee won a batting title that year, but it wasn't the AL batting title. He batted .335 for the NL's St Louis Cardinals before he was traded in late August to Oakland.
"The Nasty Boys"Edit
But the strength of the Cincinnati Reds bullpen and timely hitting led them to a quick sweep of the AL champions. The Reds' bullpen had three primary members--Norm Charlton, Randy Myers, and Rob Dibble--collectively they were known as the "Nasty Boys", and wouldn't let the A's score against them in nearly nine innings of work. Media talk of a forthcoming A's dynasty led Reds fans to call their own team the "dyNASTY." The Nasty Boys were originally meant to be 5 pitchers, with the other two being Tim Layana and Tim Birtsas.
Before the Series, Chicago Tribune columnist Mike Royko issued the stunning prediction that the heavily favored A's were "doomed," based on the Ex-Cubs Factor. When the prediction came true, it fueled new interest in that arguably spurious correlation.
|1||Oakland Athletics - 0, Cincinnati Reds - 7||October 16||Riverfront Stadium||55,830|
|2||Oakland Athletics - 4, Cincinnati Reds - 5 (10 innings)||October 17||Riverfront Stadium||55,832|
|3||Cincinnati Reds - 8, Oakland Athletics - 3||October 19||Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum||48,269|
|4||Cincinnati Reds - 2, Oakland Athletics - 1||October 20||Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum||48,613|
Tuesday, October 16, 1990 at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio
HRs: CIN – Eric Davis (1)
Until 2007, this was the last World Series to be scheduled to begin play on a Tuesday, and the first since 1984. The schedule called for the seven-game series to be held Tue-Wed, Fri-Sat-Sun, Tue-Wed. Games 5, 6, and 7, however were not necessary. All World Series between 1985 and 2006, with the exception of this one, were scheduled to begin on a Saturday. The change in this instance was necessitated by an early season lockout which had caused the first week of the season to be postponed. In order to make up the postponed games, the regular season was extended by three days, causing the postseason to begin on a Thursday rather than Tuesday as had been the practice for many years.
The Reds got out of the gate quickly with a two-run blast (that that nearly hit the CBS television studio where anchor Pat O'Brien was sitting in left-center) from Eric Davis in the bottom of the first inning off A's ace Dave Stewart. Billy Hatcher helped out offensively in a big way by starting his streak of seven straight hits in the series (after a walk in the first inning). Jose Rijo settled in after the early lead and cruised to a surprise Cincinnati victory. The following day, the headline of the Cincinnati Post newspaper captured the city's surprise with the headline, "DAVIS STUNS GOLIATH."
Wednesday, October 17, 1990 at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio
HRs: OAK – José Canseco (1)
Eventual Cy Young award winner Bob Welch opposed postseason veteran Danny Jackson in Game 2. Rickey Henderson manufactured a run for the A's in the 1st by getting a hit, stealing second, getting sacrificed to third, and scoring on a groundout. The Reds came right back in the bottom of the first. Barry Larkin and Billy Hatcher hit consecutive opposite field doubles and Hatcher would score on Davis's groundout.
In the third the A's got the lead back. José Canseco hit a rocket into the right-center field stands to tie the game (his only hit of the series). A base hit by Mark McGwire and two walks followed, knocking Jackson out of the game. With the bases loaded, Ron Hassey hit a sac fly and Mike Gallego singled to center to give the A's a 4-2 lead.
The A's, however, would not score anymore runs thanks to the relief pitching of All-Star game starter Jack Armstrong and the threesome nicknamed the "Nasty Boys" which included Rob Dibble, Norm Charlton, and Randy Myers.
The Reds got a run closer at 4–3 run on pinch hitter Ron Oester's RBI single that drove in Joe Oliver in the 4th. The Reds tied it in the 8th when Hatcher tripled over the crippled Canseco (who was suffering from back spasms throughout the playoffs) and scored on a force play.
During Game 2, Reds pitcher Tom Browning's pregnant wife Debbie went into labor during the game. Debbie left her seat in the fifth inning to drive herself to the hospital. As the game went on, the Reds wanted Browning ready to pitch just in case the game went well into extra innings. Thinking that Browning was en route to a nearby hospital, the Reds had their radio broadcaster Marty Brennaman put out an All Points Bulletin on Browning, a bulletin that was picked up by Tim McCarver on CBS television, who passed it along in the ninth inning.
In the 10th, the Reds broke through to win the game off A's closer Dennis Eckersley. Utilityman Bill Bates chopped an infield single off home plate to start the inning. Chris Sabo singled to left to put runners on first and second. Then Oliver, hit a bouncer that hopped over third base and down the line to drive in Bates with the winning run.
Friday, October 19, 1990 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California
HRs: CIN – Chris Sabo 2 (2) OAK – Rickey Henderson (1), Harold Baines (1)
Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott made a major verbal slip-up when she dedicated the 1990 World Series to "our women and men in the Far East" (Schott meant to say Middle East). The Oakland Athletics, not to be outdone, dedicated the World Series to the victims of the previous year's Loma Prieta earthquake, as evidenced by a moment of silence prior to Game 3.
Game 3 turned out to be the Chris Sabo show as the Reds shockingly went up 3-0 on the defending champs. Tom Browning started for the Reds while Mike Moore, who got two wins in the 1989 World Series, got the assignment for Oakland. In the second inning, Sabo put the Reds up 1-0 with a solo homer. The lead was short lived as DH Harold Baines hit a soaring 2-run homer to give the A's a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second.
In the third, the Reds put the game completely out of reach with a 7 run inning. It all began with Billy Hatcher's 8th hit in 9 at bats (he had rapped into a doubleplay in the first inning ending his streak of seven straight hits). Paul O'Neill then singled off the glove of first baseman Mark McGwire to put runners on first and second. Eric Davis drilled a sharp single to center scoring Hatcher and advancing O'Neill to third. Following an RBI groundout by Hal Morris, the Reds went up 5-2 when Sabo hit his second homer of the game into the left field stands. Todd Benzinger then singled and Joe Oliver hit an RBI double. Mariano Duncan drove Oliver home with a single, stole second, and scored himself when Barry Larkin hit a gapper. The Oakland Coliseum was in a state of shock with the A's now down 8-2. Rickey Henderson's solo blast made it 8-3, but Tom Browning pitched effectively the rest of the way to earn the victory and put the Reds one win away from the title.
Saturday, October 20, 1990 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California
Game 4 was pitchers duel between Dave Stewart and Jose Rijo (the Game 1 starters) that eventually culminated in the Reds sweeping the series. The A's got on the board in the first when Willie McGee doubled and Carney Lansford singled him in. The game remained 1-0 until the 8th when the Reds finally got to Stewart. Barry Larkin singled up the middle, Herm Winningham followed with a bunt single, and Paul O'Neill reached on a throwing error by Stewart that loaded the bases. Glenn Braggs' groundout and Hal Morris's sacrifice fly gave the Reds a precious 2-1 edge which was preserved by both Rijo, who at one point retired 20 straight batters, and Randy Myers who got the final two outs. The A's became the first team ever to be swept in a World Series after sweeping the League Championship Series.
The 1990 World Series would be the Reds 5th championship but would also be remembered as one of the biggest upsets in baseball history.
Cincinnati Reds' pitcher Jose Rijo became the second Dominican born player to earn World Series MVP honors. Fourteen years later (2004), another Dominican born player by the name of Manny Ramírez of the Boston Red Sox becomes the third Dominican-born player to earn the MVP honors in the World Series. The first Dominican born to earn World Series MVP honors was Pedro Guerrero of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1981, (along with his co-MVP teammates Ron Cey and Steve Yeager).
Meanwhile, Reds outfielder Billy Hatcher set a World Series record with seven consecutive hits. In addition, Hatcher's .750 batting average, (9 for 12), broke a mark for a four-game World Series that was previously set by Babe Ruth (.625 in 1928).
Radio and television coverageEdit
I would like to dedicate this World Series to our men and women in the Far East!
- ↑ 1990 World Series Game 1 - Oakland Athletics vs. Cincinnati Reds. Retrosheet. Retrieved on 2008-06-16.
- ↑ 1990 World Series Game 2 - Oakland Athletics vs. Cincinnati Reds. Retrosheet. Retrieved on 2008-06-16.
- ↑ 1990 World Series Game 3 - Cincinnati Reds vs. Oakland Athletics. Retrosheet. Retrieved on 2008-06-16.
- ↑ 1990 World Series Game 4 - Cincinnati Reds vs. Oakland Athletics. Retrosheet. Retrieved on 2008-06-16.
- Forman, Sean L.. 1990 World Series. Baseball-Reference.com — Major League Statistics and Information.. Retrieved on 2007-12-09.
- 1990 World Series at Baseball-Reference.com
- 1990 World Series at WorldSeries.com (MLB.com)
- 1990 World Series by Baseball Almanac
- History of the World Series - 1990 at SportingNews.com
- The Big Sweep at SI.com
- 1990 World Series box scores and play-by-play at Retrosheet.org
- 1990 Cincinnati Reds at baseballlibrary.com
- 1990 Oakland Athletics at baseballlibrary.com
- Reds History