Many of the 25,884 fans in San Diego’s Jack Murphy Stadium on August 23, 1986, were looking forward to a postgame concert featuring The Monkees, an iconic rock group of the 1960s on their 20-year reunion tour.1 But the afternoon’s main attraction was a baseball game between the hometown Padres and the visiting Philadelphia Phillies.
As the Saturday crowd eagerly waited for the concert, the Padres cruised into the ninth inning with a 3-0 lead. But the Phillies tied the game on a home run and a costly Padres error, sending it into extra innings. When the Phillies committed a ruinous error of their own in the 12th, the game finally ended and the stage was set for fans to celebrate hits like “Last Train to Clarksville,” “I’m a Believer,” and “Daydream Believer.”
Both the Phillies and Padres had won National League pennants within the past few seasons but were out of contention as the 1986 season wound down. Philadelphia, which reached the World Series in 1983, was in second place in the NL East, a distant 19 games behind the New York Mets. San Diego, the pennant winner in 1984, was last in the NL West, trailing the front-running Houston Astros by 11½ games.
The two starting pitchers were at opposite ends of their careers. Mike Maddux, the Phillies’ 24-year-old right-hander, was pitching in his ninth major-league game.2 Selected by the Phillies in the fifth round of the 1982 June amateur draft, Maddux had lost his first five decisions before picking up his first big-league win in his previous outing, on August 15 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.3 He entered with a 6.93 ERA.
LaMarr Hoyt was in his second year with the Padres after six successful seasons with the Chicago White Sox. In 1983 he had won 24 games and received the American League Cy Young Award. He went 16-8 with the Padres in 1985 but was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff at the end of the season. Hoyt started using drugs for the pain and was arrested twice for drug possession during the 1985-86 offseason. He had checked into a rehabilitation program early in 1986, missing most of spring training. Hoyt came into the game with a 7-8 record and a 4.79 ERA.
Hoyt was in top form against the Phillies as he coasted through eight scoreless innings, scattering five hits and two walks. In the first inning, Jeff Stone hit a leadoff single to left and stole second base. Milt Thompson walked, but Hoyt retired Von Hayes and struck out Mike Schmidt and Glenn Wilson, stranding the two baserunners.
The only other decent chance for the Phillies was in the seventh inning. With one out, John Russell broke a 0-for-20 slump with a line-drive double to the right-center-field gap. Russell moved to third on Steve Jeltz’s grounder, but was stranded when pinch-hitter Ron Roenicke flied out to left.
Maddux allowed only three hits in his six innings of work but struggled with his command, walking six batters. Two first-inning walks led to two Padres runs. Tim Flannery led off with a walk, and one out later rookie left fielder John Kruk walked. Cleanup hitter Kevin McReynolds cleared the bases with a double to center field. Steve Garvey’s single put runners at the corners, but Maddux was able to escape the inning without further damage.
Maddux cruised through the next five innings, scattering four walks and a single, but his day was done when Roenicke pinch-hit for him in the seventh. “He gave us a good effort, he pitched really good after that first inning,” Phillies manager John Felske said.4
Veteran lefty Dan Schatzeder replaced Maddux and retired the first five batters he faced. After two quick outs in the eighth, Garvey—nearing the end of his final season as a regular—hit a home run to extend the lead to 3-0.
With Hoyt cruising into the ninth holding a three-run lead, the excited fans were hoping for three quick outs so the concert could get underway. Little did they know the fireworks were just beginning.
Padres manager Steve Boros made some defensive changes for the ninth inning. Flannery moved from third base to second and Jerry Royster took over at third. In the outfield, McReynolds replaced Kruk in left and Marvell Wynne was inserted in center.
Schmidt led off for the Phillies with a single to left, his first hit of the day and the sixth surrendered by Hoyt. Wilson was retired on a popup to first, and Juan Samuel stepped to the plate. The 25-year-old second baseman was in his third full season in the big leagues. He had a strong rookie season in 1984, batting .272 with 15 home runs, placing second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting. He also led the league in strikeouts each of his first three years.
Like most of the lineup, Samuel was baffled by Hoyt through the first eight innings. But this at-bat, he crushed his 12th home run of the year to make it a 3-2 game. The Phillies’ bench came to life and the fans perked up. The home run knocked Hoyt out of the game; Rich Gossage was summoned to close it out.
The 35-year-old nine-time All-Star reliever was fifth in the league with 21 saves, but had also lost several ninth-inning leads. Russell, Gossage’s first batter, blooped a single in front of new center fielder Wynne. “I didn’t have a chance,” Wynne said. “I got a good jump but it just fell in front of me.”5
With the tying run at first base, it was Felske’s turn to make a series of moves. Gary Redus came off the bench to run for Russell and Greg Gross batted for Jeltz. Redus stole second and moved to third on Gross’s grounder.
Reserve infielder Luis Aguayo pinch-hit for Schatzeder and sent a one-hopper to Royster’s right. Royster was unable to handle it and was charged with an error, allowing Redus to score the tying run and denying Hoyt the win.6
“It’s a bad feeling. … Most of the time I catch that ball,” Royster said afterward.7
Gossage fanned Stone to end the inning, and the action moved to the bottom of the ninth. Redus stayed in the game in left field, Aguayo took over at shortstop, and Steve Bedrosian came in to pitch. The Padres’ Garry Templeton grounded a one-out single up the middle and stole second. Dane Iorg hit for Gossage and struck out. He argued the call with home-plate umpire Greg Bonin and was tossed from the game.
Both teams went quietly in the 10th. In the 11th, the Phillies loaded the bases with two outs against Craig Lefferts. Ronn Reynolds singled, Aguayo doubled, and pinch-hitter Rick Schu was walked intentionally. The rally was snuffed when Thompson took a called third strike on a 3-and-2 pitch. “You have to be swinging the bat on a close pitch like that in that situation,” Felske said.9
Kent Tekulve retired the Padres in the 11th and the Phillies could not get anything going against Lance McCullers in the top of the 12th. With Tekulve still on the mound, Flannery led off the bottom of the inning with a drive to left field. Redus got a bad jump and it glanced off his glove for a two-base error. “I should have made the catch. It was simply a bad play on my part,” said Redus.10
Gwynn was intentionally walked and Wynne singled to right. Flannery held at third and the bases were loaded with no outs.
The Phillies shifted Wilson from right field to play behind second base, forming a five-man infield. McReynolds hit a chopper that shortstop Aguayo fielded and threw home to catch Flannery at the plate.
Philadelphia was two outs from escaping the jam, but Bruce Bochy pinch-hit for McCullers and hit a liner between Wilson and Samuel that drove in the winning run. “I might have missed it by six inches,” Wilson said.11
The Phillies remained mired in second place. “To battle back like we did was another good sign, but in the end it was another tough loss,” Felske said.12 The last-place Padres won an extra-inning thriller for their fans. It was worth waiting the extra three innings as the fans could enjoy the concert while savoring the enjoyment of a home-team victory.
This article was fact-checked by Laura Peebles and copy-edited by Len Levin.
Photo credit: Trading Card DB.
In addition to the sources cited in the Notes, the author consulted Baseball-Reference.com and Retrosheet.org for pertinent information, including the box score and play-by-play
1 After their popular 1960s TV show was revived on cable television earlier in 1986, three members of The Monkees—Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, and Peter Tork—toured the United States that summer. At the time of their show in San Diego, “That Was Then, This Is Now,” their first single to reach Billboard’s Hot 100 since 1968, was on the charts. Gary Graff (Knight-Ridder News Service), “Hey, Hey They’re The Monkees! Micky, Davy, Peter Together Again,” Escondido (California) Times-Advocate, August 21, 1986: 20.
2 Maddux started 16 games his rookie season, winning three and losing seven. Over the course of his 15-year career, he pitched for nine different teams, appearing in 472 big-league games.
4 Peter Pascarelli, “12th Inning Error Helps Padres Defeat the Phillies,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 24, 1986: C1.
5 John Shea, “Bochy Finally Starts The Monkees Concert,” Escondido (California) Times-Advocate, August 24, 1986: D1.
6 Hoyt struggled throughout the season with eight wins against 11 losses and was released by the Padres at the end of the season. Hoyt didn’t pitch again, and at age 31 his career was over.
7 Shea, “Bochy Finally Starts The Monkees Concert.”