For Most of the ’89 Orioles, Postseason Baseball Remained a Dream

As part of its package revisiting the final dramatic push of the Orioles’ 1989 “Why Not?” campaign The Sun provides quotes from players, fans, and general managers (including then Minnesota GM Andy MacPhail) who either were involved with or were following the exciting late-season action.

Among the most interesting of those quotes, at least to me, is the simple, telling wisdom of catcher Mickey Tettleton.

Said Tettleton in ’89: “It’s a lot of fun. You don’t know as a player or as a fan if you’re ever going to be in this situation again. Why not enjoy it?”

Most of the 1989 Orioles – 30 players from the 40-man roster – did not make the postseason later in their careers.

Tettleton, then in his sixth season and his second with the Orioles, played 14 years in the bigs. He appeared in the postseason just once in his career, as a member of the 1996 Texas Rangers team that lost the Division Series 3-1 to the New York Yankees.

At age 35, Tettleton served as a designated hitter in the Division Series, going 1-for-12 in four games with five walks and seven strikeouts. He had a .353 on-base percentage despite batting .083 in the series. His lone hit was an RBI single that plated Dean Palmer in the Rangers’ 6-4 Game 4 loss.

The list of players from the ’89 Orioles squad who would see post-season action later in their careers included the following:

-Brady Anderson (’96 and ’97 Orioles)
-Chris Hoiles (’96 & ’97 Orioles)
-Cal Ripken (’96 and ’97 Orioles)
-Rene Gonzalez (’91 Blue Jays, ’96 Rangers)
-Gregg Olson (’99 Diamondbacks)
-Jamie Quirk (’90 & ’92 A’s)
-And unlikely 1995 NLCS MVP Mike Devereaux, who also appeared in the 1996 playoffs with the Orioles.

The two players who would see the most post-season action were part of the regrettable Glenn Davis trade:

Steve Finley (’96 & ’98 Padres; ’99, ’01 & ’02 Diamondbacks, ’04 Dodgers, ’05 Angels) and Curt Schilling (’93 Phillies, ’01 & ’02 Diamondbacks, ’04 & ’07 Red Sox).

Only six players entered the 1989 season having already played post-season baseball:

-Brian Holton (’88 Dodgers)
-Mark Huismann (’84 Royals)
-Keith Moreland (’80 & ’81 Phillies, ’84 Cubs)
-Bob Melvin (’87 Giants)
-Quirk (’76 & ’85 Royals)
-Mark Thurmond (’84 Dodgers).

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About mptaylor11

Roar from 34, a Baltimore Orioles Blog. Humor. History. Homerism. Since 2006.
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