Cubs Classics: 1980’s Week
Marquee Sports Network is taking a look back at some of the greatest Cubs games from the 1980’s.
Here are five of the most impactful Cubs wins from the decade:
Sept. 24, 1984 vs. Pirates
Most of 1984 was a magical season for the Cubs, who finished in first place in the NL East with a 96-65 record. Of course, the year ended on a down note that fall when the Cubs blew a 2-0 lead in the NLCS and the Padres won the pennant instead.
On Sept. 24, the Cubs clinched the division against the Pirates with a 4-1 victory. Rick Sutcliffe picked up his 20th win of the season, throwing a 2-hit complete game with 9 strikeouts and 0 walks.
He also contributed with the bat, driving in 1 of the Cubs runs with an RBI single in the 2nd inning.
The Cubs acquired Sutcliffe midseason from the Indians for a package of players, including Joe Carter. The veteran right-handed pitcher only made 20 starts in a Cubs uniform, but it was enough to win the NL Cy Young, compiling an astonishing 16-1 record and 2.69 ERA to go along with 155 strikeouts in 150.1 innings.
Sutcliffe played seven more seasons with the Cubs after 1984, finishing with a 3.74 ERA in nearly 1,300 innings on Chicago’s North Side.
- A field box ticket at Wrigley Field cost $8 in 1984.
- This was the same year the original Apple Macintosh PC debuted.
- The top movies at the box office that fall were “Ghostbusters,” “Beverly Hills Cop” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.”
Aug. 8/9, 1988 vs. Mets
The first night game in Wrigley Field history was supposed to take place on 8/8/88, but after 3.5 innings, rain halted the action and forced a postponement. So the first official night game at Wrigley Field technically took place on Aug. 9, 1988 when the Cubs hosted the New York Mets.
Marquee Sports Network will air the first 3 innings under the lights from Aug. 8 and then jump to the action on Aug. 9, when the Mets got out to an early 2-0 lead.
But the Cubs came roaring back, scoring 6 unanswered runs en route to a special victory at “The Friendly Confines.”
Andre Dawson, Mark Grace, Ryne Sandberg, Rafael Palmeiro and Jody Davis all drove in runs for the Cubs and Palmeiro finished with 3 hits in the ballgame.
Goose Gossage gave up a run in the 9th inning, but picked up the save (his 12th of the season).
The 1988 Cubs finished with only a 77-85 record and in fourth place in the NL East, but this early-August night was a banner moment for the franchise.
- A Wrigley Field bleacher ticket cost $4.00 in 1988.
- The top movies at the box office that summer were “Rain Man,” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” and “Coming to America.”
April 27, 1989 vs. Dodgers
A Greg Maddux-Orel Hershiser pitcher’s duel that did not disappoint, with the Cubs claiming a thrilling 1-0 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers.
Maddux threw a complete game shutout, allowing only 5 hits and a pair of walks. Hershiser permitted 1 run in 7 innings on 3 hits and a walk.
The only extra-base hit in the ballgame was Gary Varsho’s RBI triple in the bottom of the 5th inning to score Maddux, who had singled a few pitches before.
It was Maddux’s only shutout of the season as the then-23-year-old finished 19-12 with a 2.95 ERA and in third place in NL Cy Young voting in 1989.
Hershiser somehow led the league in losses (15) despite a 2.31 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. He finished one spot (10 points) behind Maddux in Cy Young voting.
The 1989 Cubs won the division with a 93-69 record before losing to the Giants in the NLCS.
- A Wrigley Field bleacher ticket cost $5.00 that year.
- The highest-paid player in MLB that season was Hershiser, who made $2.76 million.
August 15, 1989 vs. Reds
The summer of ’89 rolls on as the Cubs fought off the Reds in a tense, 12-inning battle in mid-August.
Andre Dawson hit the game-winning 3-run homer in the top of the 12th to send the Cubs home happy in a 5-2 victory. It was the 13th homer of the season for “Hawk” and he upped his season RBI total to 46.
Once again, Maddux looked dominant, pitching 8 strong innings and allowing 2 runs. Les Lancaster and Mitch Williams each threw 2 scoreless innings out of the Cubs bullpen.
Mark Grace walked 3 times and singled once while third baseman Vance Law picked up 3 hits in the game. Dwight Smith homered in the 1st inning to give the Cubs an early lead.
- Gas cost $0.97 per gallon in 1989.
- The top movies of the year were “Batman,” “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” and “Lethal Weapon 2.”
August 29th, 1989 vs Astros
This game will go down as one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the franchise.
The Astros rushed out to an early 9-0 lead after 5 innings, but the Cubs rallied late, scoring 10 unanswered runs to pull off the victory.
Smith played hero as he knocked home Jerome Walton with an RBI single with 1 out in the bottom of the 10th inning.
The Cubs scored 2 runs in the 6th, 3 in the 7th and 4 in the 8th to send the game to extra innings. Light-hitting Astros shortstop Rafael Ramirez led the way for his team with a homer and 7 RBI in the contest.
Seven different Cubs players collected multiple hits on the afternoon at Wrigley Field, including Sandberg, Lloyd McClendon and Joe Girardi.
- The pilot episodes of “The Simpsons” and “Seinfeld” premiered in 1989.
- The top rated TV shows that year were were “Roseanne” and “Cheers.”