After winning the 1981 World Series, raising the expectations of management and fans, the Los Angeles Dodgers followed up with six years of disappointing finishes. By the time they ended the 1987 season 17 games behind the hated Giants, general manager Fred Claire had seen enough. Over the winter Claire radically restructured the team, bringing in fiery players like outfielder Kirk Gibson, closer Jay Howell and shortstop Alfredo Griffin to spark the team out of complacency.Led by Gibson and pitcher Orel Hershiser, the upstart Dodgers outlasted Houston in a race for the NL West title. They then edged a star-studded Mets team in the league championship series. But their best, most dramatic moments came in the World Series, when the Dodgers shocked everyone by bashing the A's of McGwire and Canseco in five games. In the first book-length history of the 1988 Dodgers, author Bill McNeil covers the story from all angles.
William F. McNeil is a longtime baseball historian and the author of numerous books on the game. A member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), he is the recipient of five Robert Peterson awards for increasing the public's awareness of the Negro Leagues. He lives in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.