1986 Boston Red Sox season

The 1986 Boston Red Sox season was the 86th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished first in the American League East with a record of 95 wins and 66 losses. After defeating the California Angels in the ALCS, the Red Sox lost the World Series to the New York Mets in seven games.

1986 Boston Red Sox
1986 American League Champions
1986 AL East Champions
Roger Clemens named AL MVP
Major League affiliations
Record95–66 (.590)
Divisional place1st
Other information
Owner(s)Buddy LeRoux, Haywood Sullivan, Jean Yawkey
PresidentJean Yawkey
General manager(s)Lou Gorman
Manager(s)John McNamara
Local televisionWSBK-TV, Ch. 38
(Ned Martin, Bob Montgomery)
Local radioWPLM-FM 99.1
WPLM-AM 1390
(Ken Coleman, Joe Castiglione)
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Red Sox manager John McNamara
  • November 13, 1985: Bob Ojeda, Tom McCarthy, John Mitchell and Chris Bayer (minors) were traded to the New York Mets for Calvin Schiraldi, Wes Gardner, John Christensen, and La Schelle Tarver.[1]
  • December 11, 1985: Mark Clear was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Ed Romero.[2]
  • January 14, 1986: Alan Mills was selected in the first round (13th overall) of the amateur draft, but did not sign.[3]
  • January 14, 1986: Curt Schilling was selected in the second round of the amateur draft, and signed on May 30.[4]
  • March 28, 1986: Mike Easler was traded to the New York Yankees for Don Baylor.[5]

Spring training

The Red Sox held spring training at Chain of Lakes Park in Winter Haven, Florida, for the 21st season.

Regular season

Record by month[6]
MonthRecordCumulativeAL EastRef.
April1181182nd (tie)2+12[7]

The Red Sox played only 161 games, as a road game scheduled against the Milwaukee Brewers on September 24 was rained out, and was not rescheduled as it had no bearing on the divisional race.[14]


Season standings

AL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
Boston Red Sox 9566 0.590 51–30 44–36
New York Yankees 9072 0.556 41–39 49–33
Detroit Tigers 8775 0.537 49–32 38–43
Toronto Blue Jays 8676 0.531 42–39 44–37
Cleveland Indians 8478 0.519 11½ 45–35 39–43
Milwaukee Brewers 7784 0.478 18 41–39 36–45
Baltimore Orioles 7389 0.451 22½ 37–42 36–47

This was the first season since 1904 that the Yankees franchise (then known as the Highlanders) finished second in the standings to the Red Sox franchise (then known as the Americans).[19]

Record vs. opponents

Baltimore 4–96–69–34–91–126–66–78–45–85–76–65–78–5
Boston 9–45–77–510–37–66–66–610–25–87–58–48–47–6
California 6–67–57–66–67–58–55–77–67–510–38–58–56–6
Chicago 3–95–76–75–76–67–65–76–76–67–68–52–116–6
Cleveland 9–43–106–67–54–98–48–56–65–810–29–36–63–10–1
Detroit 12–16–75–76–69–45–78–57–56–76–66–67–54–9
Kansas City 6–66–65–86–74–87–56–66–74–88–55–88–55–7
Milwaukee 7–66–67–57–55–85–86–64–88–55–76–64–87–6
Minnesota 4–82–106–77–66–65–77–68–44–86–76–76–74–8
New York 8–58–55–76–68–57–68–45–88–45–78–47–57–6
Oakland 7–55–73–106–72–106–65–87–57–67–510–33–108–4
Seattle 6–64–85–85–83–96–68–56–67–64–83–104–96–6
Texas 7–54–85–811–26–65–75–88–47–65–710–39–45–7
Toronto 5–86–76–66–610–3–19–47–56–78–46–74–86–67–5

Notable transactions

Opening day lineup

24Dwight EvansRF
26Wade Boggs3B
 6Bill Buckner1B
14Jim RiceLF
25Don BaylorDH
10Rich GedmanC
20Tony ArmasCF
17Marty Barrett2B
18Glenn HoffmanSS
47Bruce HurstP


Alumni game

On May 17, the Red Sox held an old-timers game at Fenway, before a scheduled game with the Texas Rangers. The game—themed to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the pennant-winning 1946 Red Sox—welcomed back 19 alumni of the team and was also the first to invite non-Red Sox alumni.[24] Besides Ted Williams, Luis Tiant, and Rico Petrocelli, the day featured appearances by all three DiMaggio brothers: Joe, Vince, and Dom.[25] The umpiring crew included Hall of Fame inductee Jocko Conlan.[25]

Illegal Firing of Tommy Harper

General Manager Haywood Sullivan, a supporter of the all-white and anti-Black Elks Club of Winter Haven, Florida (where the team then held spring training), would welcome the organization into the Red Sox' Chain of Lakes Park clubhouse to invite the white players and white front-office personnel only to the Elks' segregated facilities. Former outfielder and coach Tommy Harper spoke against this practice in 1985 and the Red Sox retaliated and fired Harper. On July 1, 1986, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission vindicated Harper and cited the Red Sox for illegal actions.[26]


1986 Boston Red Sox
Pitchers Catchers


Outfielders Manager


  • 34 Bill Fischer (Pitching)
  • 33 Walt Hriniak (Hitting & First base)
  • 36 Rene Lachemann (Third base)
  • 35 Joe Morgan (Bullpen)

Game log

1986 Regular Season Game Log (95-66) (Home: 51-30; Road: 44-36)
April (11-8) (Home: 7-4; Road: 4-4)
1April 7@ Tigers
2April 9@ Tigers
3April 10@ Tigers
4April 11@ White Sox
5April 12@ White Sox
6April 13@ White Sox
7April 14Royals
8April 16Royals
9April 17Royals
10April 18White Sox
11April 19White Sox
12April 20White Sox
13April 21Tigers
14April 22Tigers
15April 23Tigers
16April 25@ Royals
17April 26@ Royals
18April 29Mariners
19April 30Mariners
May (21-7) (Home: 9-3; Road: 12-4)
20May 1Mariners
21May 2Athletics
22May 3Athletics
23May 4Athletics
24May 5Angels
25May 6Angels
26May 7@ Mariners
27May 8@ Mariners
28May 9@ Athletics
29May 10@ Athletics
30May 11@ Athletics
31May 12@ Angels
32May 13@ Angels
33May 14@ Angels
34May 16Rangers
35May 17Rangers
36May 18Rangers
37May 19Twins
38May 20Twins
39May 21Twins
40May 23@ Rangers
41May 24@ Rangers
42May 25@ Rangers
43May 26@ Indians
44May 27@ Indians
45May 28@ Indians
46May 30@ Twins
47May 31@ Twins
June (17-10) (Home: 7-6; Road: 10-4)
48June 1@ Twins
49June 2Indians
50June 3Indians
51June 4Indians
52June 5@ Brewers
53June 6@ Brewers
54June 7@ Brewers
55June 8@ Brewers
56June 9@ Blue Jays
57June 10@ Blue Jays
58June 11@ Blue Jays
59June 13Brewers
60June 14Brewers
61June 15Brewers
62June 16@ Yankees
63June 17@ Yankees
64June 18@ Yankees
65June 20Orioles
66June 21Orioles
67June 22Orioles
68June 23Yankees
69June 24Yankees
70June 25Yankees
71June 27@ Orioles
72June 28@ Orioles
73June 29@ Orioles
74June 30Blue Jays
July (10-16) (Home: 7-6; Road: 3-10)
75July 1Blue Jays
76July 2Blue Jays
77July 3Blue Jays
78July 4Mariners
79July 5Mariners
80July 6Mariners
81July 7Athletics
82July 8Athletics
83July 9Athletics
84July 10Angels
85July 11Angels
86July 12Angels
87July 13Angels
88July 17@ Mariners
89July 18@ Mariners
90July 19@ Mariners
91July 20@ Mariners
92July 21@ Athletics
93July 22@ Athletics
94July 23@ Athletics
95July 25@ Angels
96July 26@ Angels
97July 27@ Angels
98July 28@ White Sox
99July 29@ White Sox
100July 30@ White Sox
August (17-13) (Home: 7-5; Road: 10-8)
101August 1Royals
102August 2Royals
103August 3Royals
104August 4White Sox
105August 5White Sox
106August 6White Sox
107August 8@ Tigers
108August 9@ Tigers
109August 10@ Tigers
110August 11@ Tigers
111August 12@ Royals
112August 12@ Royals
113August 13@ Royals
114August 14@ Royals
115August 15Tigers
116August 16Tigers
117August 17Tigers
118August 18@ Twins
119August 19@ Twins
120August 20@ Twins
121August 21@ Indians
122August 22@ Indians
123August 23@ Indians
124August 24@ Indians
125August 25@ Rangers
126August 26@ Rangers
127August 27@ Rangers
128August 29Indians
129August 30Indians
130August 31Indians
September (18-8) (Home: 13-2; Road: 5-6)
131September 1Rangers
132September 2Rangers
133September 3Rangers
134September 5Twins 135September 6Twins
136September 7Twins
137September 8@ Orioles
138September 9@ Orioles
139September 10@ Orioles
140September 11@ Orioles
141September 12@ Yankees
142September 13@ Yankees
143September 14@ Yankees
144September 16Brewers
145September 16Brewers
146September 17Brewers
147September 18Brewers
148September 19@ Blue Jays
149September 20@ Blue Jays
150September 21@ Blue Jays
151September 23@ Brewers
152September 26Blue Jays
153September 27Blue Jays
154September 28Blue Jays
155September 29Orioles
156September 30Orioles
October (1-4) (Home: 1-4)
157October 1Orioles
158October 2Yankees
159October 4Yankees
160October 4Yankees
161October 5Yankees

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 Gedman135462119.2581665
1BBill Buckner153629168.26718102
2BMarty Barrett158625179.286460
3BWade Boggs149580207.357871
SSRey Quiñones6219045.237215
LFJim Rice157618200.32420110
CFTony Armas121425112.2641158
RFDwight Evans152529137.2592697
DHDon Baylor160585139.2383194

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
Ed Romero10023349.210223
Spike Owen4212623.183110
Steve Lyons5912431.250114
Marc Sullivan4111923.193114
Dave Henderson365110.19613
Dave Stapleton39395.12803
Mike Greenwell313511.31404
Kevin Romine35359.25702
La Schelle Tarver13253.12001
Glenn Hoffman12235.21701
Mike Stenhouse21212.09501
Pat Dodson9125.41713
Dave Sax4115.45511

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
Roger Clemens33254.02442.48238
Oil Can Boyd30214.116103.78129
Bruce Hurst25174.11382.99167
Al Nipper26159.010125.3879
Tom Seaver16104.1573.8072
Jeff Sellers1482.0374.9451

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 Brown1557.1445.3432
Rob Woodward935.2235.3014

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
Bob Stanley6666164.3754
Joe Sambito5320124.8430
Steve Crawford400243.9232
Tim Lollar322006.9128
Sammy Stewart274104.3847
Calvin Schiraldi254291.4155
Mike Trujillo30009.534
Wes Gardner10009.001




1California – 8, Boston – 1October 7Fenway Park32,993
2California – 2, Boston – 9October 8Fenway Park32,786
3Boston – 3, California – 5October 10Anaheim Stadium64,206
4Boston – 3, California – 4 (11 innings)October 11Anaheim Stadium64,223
5Boston – 7, California – 6 (11 innings)October 12Anaheim Stadium64,223
6California – 4, Boston – 10October 14Fenway Park32,998
7California – 1, Boston – 8October 15Fenway Park33,001

World Series

NL New York Mets (4) vs. AL Boston Red Sox (3)
Game Score Date Location Attendance Time of Game
1Red Sox – 1, Mets – 0October 18Shea Stadium (New York City)57,9083:18
2Red Sox – 9, Mets – 3October 19Shea Stadium (New York City)57,9112:44
3Mets – 7, Red Sox – 1October 21Fenway Park (Boston)33,5953:09
4Mets – 6, Red Sox – 2October 22Fenway Park (Boston)33,9203:22
5Mets – 2, Red Sox – 4October 23Fenway Park (Boston)34,0102:55
6Red Sox – 5, Mets – 6 (10 inn.)October 25Shea Stadium (New York City)57,9083:18
7Red Sox – 5, Mets – 8October 27Shea Stadium (New York City)57,9112:44

Game log

1986 Postseason Game Log
1986 American League Championship Series vs. California Boston wins series 43
#DateOpponentScoreWinLossSaveAttendanceStadiumReportGame TimeNational TVNational Radio
1October 7Angels
2October 8Angels
3October 10@ Angels
4October 11@ Angels
5October 12@ Angels
6October 14Angels
7October 15Angels
1986 World Series vs. New York (NL) New York (NL) wins series 43
#DateOpponentScoreWinLossSaveAttendanceStadiumReportGame TimeNational TVNational Radio
1October 18@ Mets
2October 19@ Mets
3October 21Mets
4October 22Mets
5October 23Mets
6October 25@ Mets
7October 27@ Mets

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 Tony Torchia
A Winter Haven Red Sox Florida State League Dave Holt
A Greensboro Hornets South Atlantic League Doug Camilli
A-Short Season Elmira Pioneers New York–Penn League Bill Limoncelli



  1. Bob Ojeda page at Baseball Reference
  2. Ed Romero page at Baseball Reference
  3. Alan Mills Statistics and History - Baseball-Reference.com
  4. Curt Schilling page at Baseball Reference
  5. Don Baylor page at Baseball Reference
  6. "The 1986 Boston Red Sox". Retrosheet. Retrieved October 11, 2020.
  7. "Events of Wednesday, April 30, 1986".
  8. "Events of Saturday, May 31, 1986".
  9. "Events of Monday, June 30, 1986".
  10. "Events of Thursday, July 31, 1986".
  11. "Events of Sunday, August 31, 1986".
  12. "Events of Tuesday, September 30, 1986".
  13. "Events of Sunday, October 5, 1986".
  14. "Red Sox-Milwaukee game is postponed". Bangor Daily News. Bangor, Maine. AP. September 25, 1986. p. 24. Retrieved October 11, 2020 via newspapers.com.
  15. Cafardo, Nick (April 30, 1986). "Kall him Dr. Klemens". Nashua Telegraph. (New Hampshire). Patriot Ledger Sports Service. p. 17.
  16. Golden, Ed (April 30, 1986). "Clemens fans 20 Mariners". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. p. D1.
  17. "Boston's Clemens makes history". The Bulletin. (Bend, Oregon). UPI. April 30, 1986. p. D2.
  18. Gammons, Peter (May 12, 1986). "Striking out toward Cooperstown". Sports Illustrated. p. 26.
  19. Vaccaro, Mike (2005). Emperors and idiots: The hundred year rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox, from the very beginning to the end of the curse. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-51354-2.
  20. Scott Cooper page at Baseball Reference
  21. Steve Lyons page at Baseball Reference
  22. Spike Owen page at Baseball Reference
  23. "Detroit Tigers 6, Boston Red Sox 5". Retrosheet. April 7, 1986. Retrieved October 11, 2020.
  24. "Fenway Park through the Years [1986]: Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park". MLB.com. Boston Red Sox. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  25. Price, Terry (May 18, 1986). "Old-Timers Hit Close to Home". Hartford Courant. p. E6. Retrieved May 17, 2018 via newspapers.com.
  26. Margolick, David (March 23, 1986). "Boston Case Revives Past and Passions". The New York Times. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  27. "Statmaster: A baseball Team Statistics Tool". Baseball-almanac. Retrieved July 27, 2007.
  28. Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007
  29. Boston Red Sox Media Guide. 1986. p. 104. Retrieved March 14, 2021 via Wayback Machine.
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