On This Day (1988) Orel Hershiser sets Record for 59 Scoreless Innings

By JonathanMcCorkell
Sep. 28, 2016

On Sept. 28, 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Orel Hershiser broke Don Drysdale's 1968 mark of 58 2/3 scoreless innings. 

Hershiser pitched 10 innings against the San Diego Padres at Jack Murphy Stadium to reach 59 scoreless innings. Drysdale was the Dodger's radio announcer and called Hershiser's streak as he doggedly pursued the record. 

The streak spanned Hershiser's 29th through 35th (and final) starts of the 1988 season for the Dodgers. It began on August 30 against the Expos, after All-Star Tim Raines scored with two outs in the 5th inning. The streak officially ended on April 5, 1989 against Cincinnati, when Barry Larkin scored with two outs in the first inning. 

Technically, the streak was actually reached 67 innings, but post-season records are not combined officially with regular season records. Therefore, his eight scoreless innings Hershiser pitched to start Game 1 of the 1988 National League Championship Series on October 4 was not counted. 

The streak was actually not fully appreciated at the time. It was largely overshadowed by Hershiser achieving 20 wins and the race for the NL Cy Young Award between Hershiser and Danny Jackson of the Reds. During the streak Hershiser also had to battle through the emotions of his wife's pregnancy and his son's childbirth complications. 

The record-setting game was not broadcast on local television in Los Angeles. 

Following the regular season, Hershiser was awarded the NL Cy Young Award. In the playoffs, he earned both the NL Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award and the World Series MVP Award. He also secured Sportsman of the Year and Associated Press Athlete of the Year honors. Hershiser appeared in the 1989 MLB All-Star Game