December 25, 1989 12:00 PM

If you build it, they will come. They always come. They take their turn at bat—and they strike out in a major-league way, leaving the field littered with the peanut shells and soda cans of their once lofty careers and reputations. It was, again, a banner year for mis-hits, run-ins and errors. Here’s our 1989 All-Star team:

Zsa Zsa Gabor struck out swinging.

Steve Garvey kept swinging—with too many misses.

Former HUD Secretary “Silent Sam” Pierce went quietly, humming the Fifth Amendment all the way to the lockers.

Sean Young raised her battling average and lowered her career chances in a well-publicized rhubarb with James Woods.

Morton Downey Jr. got a bad haircut, worse ratings and—finally—the hook, relieving a nation of Mortified TV viewers.

Jim Bakker and Leona Helmsley complained loudly about the umpiring as they were thumbed out.

Adnan Khashoggi, with the best arms in the majors, still spent time in the (bull)pen.

Cold fusion in a jar, the creation of phenoms B. Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann, turned out to be about as productive as a fission trip.

Rob Lowe’s highlight film showcased his career in the minors.

Jackie Mason made a bad pitch in the New York City mayoral race and then fowled out on prime time with Chicken Soup.

Capt. Joseph J. Hazelwood, skipper of the Exxon Valdez, was too slick for his own—and Alaska’s—good.

Joseph Stalin, wherever he is, couldn’t have missed the millions of voices, in dozens of languages, emphatically saying, “It ain’t so, Joe.”

Finally, former political powerhouses and fellow Texans Jim Wright and John Tower Jr. heard their peers declaim the immortal and dreaded words, ” Yerrrrrrrrrr OUT!!”

And so, another season ends. It is time to quietly leave the Field of Bad Dreams. Soon, the groundskeepers will be here, cleaning up the debris, putting down new turf and painting fresh baselines. Next season begins immediately. Who’s up first?

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