1988 Chicago Cubs season

1988 Chicago Cubs
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s) Tribune Company
General manager(s) Jim Frey
Manager(s) Don Zimmer
Local television WGN-TV/Superstation WGN
(Harry Caray, Steve Stone, Dewayne Staats)
Local radio WGN
(Dewayne Staats, Dave Nelson, Harry Caray)
Stats ESPN.com
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The 1988 Chicago Cubs season was the 117th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 113th in the National League and the 73rd at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished fourth in the National League East with a record of 77–85, 24 games behind the New York Mets.

The first game under lights at Wrigley Field was on August 8 (8/8/88), against the Philadelphia Phillies. With the Cubs leading 3–1, in the middle of the 4th inning, a powerful thunderstorm rolled in. The game was suspended, and finally called at 10:25PM. Since the rules of Major League Baseball state that a game is not official unless 5 innings are completed,[1] the first official night game in the history of Wrigley Field was played on August 9, when the Cubs defeated the New York Mets 6 to 4.


  • October 23, 1987: Dickie Noles was returned to the Chicago Cubs by the Detroit Tigers as part of earlier loan.[2]
  • December 8, 1987: Lee Smith was traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Boston Red Sox for Al Nipper and Calvin Schiraldi.[3]
  • December 14, 1987: Vance Law was signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago Cubs.[4]
  • February 12, 1988: Goose Gossage was traded by the San Diego Padres with Ray Hayward to the Chicago Cubs for Keith Moreland and Mike Brumley.[5]
  • March 31, 1988: Mike Bielecki was traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Chicago Cubs for Mike Curtis (minors).[6]

Regular season

President of the United States Ronald Reagan threw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day.

After 5,687 consecutive day games played by the Cubs at Wrigley, the lights were finally lit on August 8, 1988, for a game with the Philadelphia Phillies. The game began before an announced crowd of 39,008. The Cubs were leading 3 to 1 and coming to bat in the bottom of the fourth when the rain delay began. The umpires called the game after waiting two hours, ten minutes.[7] The Cubs played the first official night game the following night against the Mets and won, 6–4.

Season standings

NL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
New York Mets 10060 0.625 56–24 44–36
Pittsburgh Pirates 8575 0.531 15 43–38 42–37
Montreal Expos 8181 0.500 20 43–38 38–43
Chicago Cubs 7785 0.475 24 39–42 38–43
St. Louis Cardinals 7686 0.469 25 41–40 35–46
Philadelphia Phillies 6596 0.404 35½ 38–42 27–54

Record vs. opponents

1988 National League Records

Atlanta 5–75–135–134–144–84–86–65–58–105–133–9
Chicago 7–56–67–54–8–19–99–98–107–118–45–77–11
Cincinnati 13–56–69–97–115–74–79–37–510–811–76–6
Houston 13–55–79–99–96–65–78–48–46–127–116–6
Los Angeles 14–48–4–111–79–98–41–1011–16–67–1112–67–5
Montreal 8–49–97–56–64–86–129–9–18–104–87–513–5
New York 8–49–97–47–510–112–610–812–67–54–814–4
Philadelphia 6-610–83–94–81–119–9–18–107–114–77–56–12
Pittsburgh 5–511–75–74–86–610–86–1211–78–48–411–7
San Diego 10–84–88–1012–611–78–45–77–44–88–106–6
San Francisco 13–57–57–1111–76–125–78–45–74–810–87–5
St. Louis 9–311–76–66–65–75–134–1412–67–116–65–7

Notable transactions


1988 Chicago Cubs
Pitchers Catchers


Outfielders Manager


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

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
Ángel Salazar346015.25001


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

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

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

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Iowa Cubs American Association Pete Mackanin
AA Pittsfield Cubs Eastern League Jim Essian
A Winston-Salem Spirits Carolina League Jay Loviglio
A Peoria Chiefs Midwest League Jim Tracy
A Charleston Wheelers South Atlantic League Brad Mills
A-Short Season Geneva Cubs New York–Penn League Bill Hayes
Rookie Wytheville Cubs Appalachian League Steve Roadcap



  1. Rule 4.10(c)(1) mlb.com
  2. "Tiger-Cub Trade Even!". Toledo Blade. October 24, 1987. p. 16.
  3. Lee Smith Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
  4. Vance Law Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
  5. Rich Gossage Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
  6. https://www.baseball-reference.com/b/bielemi01.shtml
  7. "Rain halts night debut for Cubs". Toledo Blade. August 9, 1988. p. 17. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  8. Jim Sundberg Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
  9. Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 2nd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 1997


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