Victim; Lost to:

Ivan Calderon: shoulder surgery

Steve Thomas; shoulder surgery

Doug Wilson; shoulder surgery

Wayne Presley; knee surgery

Otis Wilson; knee surgery

Paul Blair; knee surgery

Jim Covert; back surgery

Scottie Pippin; back surgery

Scott Sanderson; back surgery

Kelly Paris; elbow surgery

Shaun Gayle; broken vertebra

Richard Dent; broken fibula

Emery Moorehead; broken fibula

Carlton Fisk; broken hand

William Perry; broken arm; eating disorder

Les Lancaster; broken foot; appendicitis

Greg Walker; seizures

Mike Ditka; heart attack

Duane Sutter; torn knee cartilage

Keith Brown; torn knee ligaments

Jim McMahon; sprained knee

Mike Tomczak; separated shoulder

Cap Boso; pinched nerve

Rich Gossage; pain in neck

Jody Davis; sprained toe

Damon Berryhill; strained knee

Bob Tewksberry; strained shoulder

Al Nipper; strained elbow

Rick Sutcliffe; strained ribs

Calvin Schiraldi; strained hamstring

Cub fans; strained nerves

Willie Gault; Hollywood

Calvin Thomas; drug-abuse suspension

Jim Fregosi; personality conflict

Bob Murdoch; personality conflict

Walter Payton; age

Gary Fencik; age

Jerry Hairston; age

Lance Johnson; youth

Kenny Williams; experimentation

Jose DeLeon; austerity program

Dave Lapoint; austerity program

Gary Redus; austerity program

Comiskey Park; prosperity program

Day baseball at Wrigley; prosperity program

Wilber Marshall; prosperity program

Sting; poverty

Charles Oakley; charity

–Steve Bogira

Injuries contributed to championships in both our major sports this year, but for a change they took place on the teams that eventually won. Quarterback Doug Williams’s career half-year in relief of Jay Schroeder gave a still-rebuilding Washington Redskins team the maturity it needed to win the Super Bowl. No coach would have mortgaged his future to give the perennially promising Williams one last chance as a starter, but the ‘Skins would never have won last season with the immature, ill-tempered Schroeder at quarterback. For Williams it was one of those frequent instances of being in the right place at the right time, but in this case it made all the difference for everyone concerned.

The Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t jell last summer until they lost two players believed to be key to their cause: Pedro Guerrero and Alfredo Griffin. This saved the skin of manager Tommy Lasorda, who had a career year as a bench tactician but remains a poor judge of talent. When the defensively erratic Guerrero and Griffin were replaced by the steady-fielding Jeff Hamilton and Dave Anderson, the team’s pitching settled down, and even Lasorda eventually felt confident enough to trade Guerrero for still more pitching as insurance. If Guerrero and Griffin–like Schroeder–don’t get injured, the team sticks with its initial poor decisions. That, and Dennis Eckersley’s throwing Kirk Gibson a slider when Eckersley had excelled all year on a rejuvenated fastball, are what made the Dodgers champions.