1987 Chicago Cubs season

1987 Chicago Cubs
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s) Tribune Company
General manager(s) Dallas Green
Manager(s) Gene Michael and Frank Lucchesi
Local television WGN-TV/Superstation WGN
(Harry Caray, Steve Stone, Dewayne Staats)
Local radio WGN
(Dewayne Staats, Lou Boudreau, Jim Frey, Harry Caray)
Stats ESPN.com
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The 1987 Chicago Cubs season was the 116th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 112th in the National League and the 72nd at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished sixth and last in the National League East with a record of 76–85, 18½ games behind the division and pennant-winning St. Louis Cardinals.


Spring training

The team opened camp in Mesa, Arizona, apparently content with Brian Dayett to start in right field. However, Andre Dawson and his agent Dick Moss showed up after camp opened hoping that Green would consider signing the all-star outfielder. Dawson was one of the top free agents on the market during the off-season, but he garnered little interest. He made no secret that he wanted to leave Montreal, where his knees were battered by the Olympic Stadium Astroturf. He also made it known during the off season that the Cubs were his top choice, as Wrigley Field had a natural grass surface and had no lights. Dawson hit considerably better during the day.

After a couple weeks of Green saying he was flatly uninterested in Dawson, Dawson and Moss presented Green with a "blank" signed contract. Green filled in the amount -- $500,000 for one year.

Spring training also began with the dark news of broadcaster Harry Caray suffering a stroke in Palm Springs. WGN announced that until Caray was well enough to return, guest announcers would fill in and sit alongside color analyst Steve Stone.[1]

Notable transactions

Regular season

The 1987 season featured a career year from free-agent acquisition Andre Dawson, who captured National League Most Valuable Player honors following a 49-home run season. It was also the rookie season for starting pitcher Greg Maddux, the final full season for Wrigley Field without lights, and the last year for general manager Dallas Green, who resigned in late October 1987.

Season summary

An 18–10 May propelled the Cubs into the race, and they spent time in first place in early June. However, injuries to Ryne Sandberg and Shawon Dunston within days of each other crippled the Cubs' middle infield and hampered their offense. Their replacements were Paul Noce and Mike Brumley, respectively, Brumley having been acquired as "thrown-in" in the 1984 Buckner-for-Eckersley trade. Neither player was able to come close to replacing the lost production from Sandberg and Dunston and, consequentially, the team struggled.

In the month of August, two incidents occurred in which players cheated against the Cubs. Phillies pitcher Kevin Gross was pitching against the Chicago Cubs on Aug 10, 1987. Gross was caught with sandpaper in his glove and suspended for 10 games.[7] Astros batter Billy Hatcher was batting against the Chicago Cubs on Aug 31, 1987, when he broke his bat and it flew down the third base line. Cubs third baseman Keith Moreland saw cork, and Hatcher was suspended for 10 games.[7] Later on, Hatcher claimed that he was using pitcher Dave Smith's bat, and not his own.

After a woeful August, Michael told the press that he was planning on resigning after the season. Green said that he would accept the resignation, effective immediately, and replaced Michael with Frank Lucchesi, a longtime scout in the Philadelphia organization who had become a Cubs roving instructor. As the Cubs played out the string under Luchessi, they finished last, although they were a markedly improved team over the '86 club, with a promising future.

Season standings

NL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
St. Louis Cardinals 9567 0.586 49–32 46–35
New York Mets 9270 0.568 3 49–32 43–38
Montreal Expos 9171 0.562 4 48–33 43–38
Philadelphia Phillies 8082 0.494 15 43–38 37–44
Pittsburgh Pirates 8082 0.494 15 47–34 33–48
Chicago Cubs 7685 0.472 18½ 40–40 36–45

Record vs. opponents

1987 National League Records

Atlanta 6–58–108–106–123–97–57–57–56–128–103–9
Chicago 5–66–68–46–610–89–98–104–149–35–76–12
Cincinnati 10–86–613–510–86–67–55–74–812–67–114–8
Houston 10–84–85–1312–67–56–66–66–65–1310–85–7
Los Angeles 12–66–68–106–123–96–62–106–611–710–83–9
Montreal 9–38–106–65–79–38–1010–811–79–35–711–7
New York 5–79–95–76–66–610–813–512–68–49–39–9
Philadelphia 5-710–87–56–610–28–105–1311–78–42–108–10
Pittsburgh 5–714–48–46–66–67–116–127–118–46–67–11
San Diego 12–63–96–1213–57–113–94–84–84–85–134–8
San Francisco 10–87–511–78–108–107–53–910–26–613–57–5
St. Louis 9–312–68–47–59–37–119–910–811–78–45–7

Notable transactions

Opening Day starters


1987 Chicago Cubs
Pitchers Catchers


Outfielders Manager


Game log

1987 Chicago Cubs Game Log

Player stats


Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
CJody Davis125428106.2481951
1BLeon Durham131439120.2732763
2BRyne Sandberg132523154.2941659
3BKeith Moreland153563150.2662788
SSShawon Dunston9534685.246522
LFJerry Mumphrey118309103.3331344
CFDave Martinez142459134.292836
RFAndre Dawson153621178.28749137

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Brian Dayett9717749.277525
Jim Sundberg6113928.201415
Wade Rowdon11317.22614


Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Greg Maddux301566145.61101

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Mike Mason1738415.6828

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Jay Baller230106.7527

Awards and honors

All-Star Game

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Iowa Cubs American Association Larry Cox
AA Pittsfield Cubs Eastern League Jim Essian
A Winston-Salem Spirits Carolina League Jay Loviglio
A Peoria Chiefs Midwest League Jim Tracy
A-Short Season Geneva Cubs New York–Penn League Tom Spencer
Rookie Wytheville Cubs Appalachian League Brad Mills



  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 10, 2011. Retrieved 2010-06-14.
  2. Heathcliff Slocumb at Baseball Reference
  3. Guy Hoffman at Baseball Reference
  4. Andre Dawson at Baseball Reference
  5. Mike Martin at Baseball Reference
  6. Jim Sundberg at Baseball Reference
  7. 1 2 http://espn.go.com/page2/s/list/cheaters/ballplayers.html
  8. 1 2 Dickie Noles at Baseball Reference
  9. Steve Trout at Baseball Reference
  10. Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 2nd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 1997
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