1988 Boston Red Sox season

1988 Boston Red Sox
1988 AL East Champions
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s) Jean Yawkey,
Haywood Sullivan
General manager(s) Lou Gorman
Manager(s) John McNamara (W-43; L-42) and Joe Morgan (W-46; L-31)
Local television WSBK-TV, Ch. 38
(Sean McDonough, Bob Montgomery)
(Ned Martin, Jerry Remy)
Local radio WPLM-FM 99.1
WPLM-AM 1390
(Ken Coleman, Joe Castiglione)
(Bobby Serrano, Hector Martinez)
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The 1988 Boston Red Sox season was the 88th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished first in the American League East with a record of 89 wins and 73 losses, but were then swept by the Oakland Athletics in the ALCS.


  • December 8, 1987: Lee Smith was traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Boston Red Sox for Al Nipper and Calvin Schiraldi.[1]
  • January 5, 1988: Dennis Lamp was signed as a Free Agent with the Boston Red Sox.[2]

Regular season

Season standings

AL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
Boston Red Sox 8973 0.549 53–28 36–45
Detroit Tigers 8874 0.543 1 50–31 38–43
Milwaukee Brewers 8775 0.537 2 47–34 40–41
Toronto Blue Jays 8775 0.537 2 45–36 42–39
New York Yankees 8576 0.528 46–34 39–42
Cleveland Indians 7884 0.481 11 44–37 34–47
Baltimore Orioles 54107 0.335 34½ 34–46 20–61

Record vs. opponents

1988 American League Records

Baltimore 4–95–74–74–95–80–124–93–93–104–87–56–65–8
Boston 9–48–47–58–56–76–610–37–59–43–96–68–42–11
California 7–54–89–48–45–75–83–94–96–64–96–78–56–6
Chicago 7–45–74–93–93–97–66–64–93–95–89–48–57–5
Cleveland 9–45–84–89–34–96–69–45–76–74–85–76–66–7
Detroit 8–57–67–59–39–48–45–81–118–54–89–38–45–8
Kansas City 12–06–68–56–76–64–83–97–66–68–57–57–64–8
Milwaukee 9–43–109–36–64–98–59–37–56–73–98–48–47–6
Minnesota 9–35–79–49–47–511–16–75–73–95–88–57–67–5
New York 10–34–96–69–37–65–86–67–69–36–65–75–66–7
Oakland 8–49–39–48–58–48–45–89–38–56–69–48–59–3
Seattle 5–76–67–64–97–53–95–74–85–87–54–96–75–7
Texas 6–64–85–85–86–64–86–74–86–76–55–87–66–6
Toronto 8–511–26–65–77–68–58–46–75–77–63–97–56–6

Notable Transactions

  • April 15, 1988: Rick Cerone signed as a Free Agent with the Boston Red Sox.[3]
  • July 29, 1988: Curt Schilling was traded by the Boston Red Sox with Brady Anderson to the Baltimore Orioles for Mike Boddicker.

Opening Day Line Up

  5Brady AndersonCF
17Marty Barrett2B
26Wade Boggs    3B
14Jim RiceLF
39Mike Greenwell    RF
24Dwight Evans1B
30Sam HornDH
10Rich GedmanC
  7Spike OwenSS
21Roger ClemensP

The Rough Beginning

The 1988 team seemed to start much better than their chaotic 1987 season as evidenced by their 14-6 record in April; however, the team went sour thereafter specially for Jim Rice as he moved from left field to designated hitter. Dwight Evans also had problems when he played first base; usually reliable Lee Smith had problems including when he gave up a game-winning home run against the Tigers on Opening Day. The Red Sox would have an 11-16 record in May.

The team would have a slightly better June with a 14-12 record, but lost Jeff Sellers when he was hit by a line drive in Cleveland and broke his hand. Wes Gardner was moved from the bullpen to become a starter, but the team and its fans were losing patience.

Morgan Magic

At the All-Star break the Red Sox were 43-42, 9 games behind the front running division champion Detroit Tigers. But management had seen enough, and fired John McNamara and hired 58-year-old Joe Morgan as their manager. On July 15, the Red Sox and Roger Clemens beat Bret Saberhagen's Kansas City Royals 3-1 in the first game of a doubleheader to begin a 12-game winning streak that launched them to first place over the slumping Yankees and Tigers. The Red Sox would later set an American League record of 24 straight home victories. 60 days after Morgan became Red Sox manager they were 81-63 and 4.5 games ahead of first.

Staggering But Still Won The East

After a bad road trip to Toronto, the Sox came to Yankee Stadium up by 4, and won 2 out of 3 to just about clinch the A.L. East title. Unfortunately, the hitting slump the team had been in for a while reasserted itself, and the Sox lost 3 to Toronto in Boston, but they crushed the Indians on September 29 to clinch a tie for first. The Yanks and Milwaukee lost the next day, and the division title was Boston's. Their 2nd A.L. East title in 3 seasons.

Alumni game

The team held an old-timers game on May 14, before a scheduled home game against the Seattle Mariners. The alumni game marked the 40th anniversary of the 1948 Red Sox team, which had lost a one-game playoff to the Cleveland Indians.[4] The visiting (non-Red Sox) alumni team, skippered by Lou Boudreau—who had been player-manager of the 1948 Cleveland squad—prevailed by an 8–2 score, led by four RBIs from former Pittsburgh Pirate Manny Sanguillén.[4]


1988 Boston Red Sox
Pitchers Catchers



Other batters



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
CRich Gedman9529969.231939
1BTodd Benzinger120405103.2541370
2BMarty Barrett150612173.283165
3BWade Boggs155584214.366558
SSJody Reed10933899.293128
LFMike Greenwell158590192.32522119
CFEllis Burks144540159.2941892
RFDwight Evans149559164.29321111
DHJim Rice135485128.2641572

Other batters

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI


Starting pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Roger Clemens3526418122.93291

Other pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Relief pitchers

Player G W L SV ERA SO


Game 1

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Oakland 000 100 100 260
Boston 000 000 100 160
W: Rick Honeycutt (1-0)   L: Bruce Hurst (0-1)  S: Dennis Eckersley (1)
HR: OAK José Canseco (1)

Game 2

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Oakland 000 000 301 4101
Boston 000 002 100 341
W: Gene Nelson (1-0)   L: Lee Smith (0-1)  S: Dennis Eckersley (2)
HR: OAK José Canseco (2)   BOS Rich Gedman (1)

Game 3

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston 320 000 100 6120
Oakland 042 010 12X 10151
W: Gene Nelson (2-0)   L: Mike Boddicker (0-1)  S: Dennis Eckersley (3)
HR: OAK Mark McGwire (1)  Carney Lansford (1)  Ron Hassey (1)  Dave Henderson (1)  BOS Mike Greenwell (1)

Game 4

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston 000 001 000 140
Oakland 101 000 02X 4101
W: Dave Stewart (1-0)   L: Bruce Hurst (0-2)  S: Dennis Eckersley (4)
HR: OAK José Canseco (3)

Awards and honors

All-Star Game

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Pawtucket Red Sox International League Ed Nottle
AA New Britain Red Sox Eastern League Dave Holt
A Lynchburg Red Sox Carolina League Dick Berardino
A Winter Haven Red Sox Florida State League Doug Camilli
A-Short Season Elmira Pioneers New York–Penn League Bill Limoncelli
Rookie AZL Mariners/Red Sox Arizona League Mike Verdi and Myron Pines

AZL club affiliation shared with Seattle Mariners


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