1997 Major League Baseball season

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This article is about the 1997 Major League Baseball season only. For information on all of baseball, see 1997 in baseball.
1997 MLB season
League Major League Baseball
Sport Baseball
Duration April 1, 1997 – October 26, 1997
Regular Season
Season MVP AL: Ken Griffey, Jr. (SEA)
NL: Larry Walker (COL)
League Postseason
AL champions Cleveland Indians
  AL runners-up Baltimore Orioles
NL champions Florida Marlins
  NL runners-up Atlanta Braves
World Series
Champions Florida Marlins
  Runners-up Cleveland Indians
World Series MVP Liván Hernández (FLA)
MLB seasons

The 1997 Major League Baseball season was the inaugural season for Interleague play, as well as the final season in the American League for the Milwaukee Brewers before moving to the NL the following season. The Florida Marlins ended the season as the World Champions defeating the Cleveland Indians in a seven-game World Series, four games to three.

Major league baseball final standings[edit]

American League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
East Division
1st Baltimore Orioles 98   64 .605    –
2nd New York Yankees 96   66 .593    2.0
3rd Detroit Tigers 79   83 .488 19.0
4th Boston Red Sox 78   84 .481 20.0
5th Toronto Blue Jays 76   86 .469 22.0
Central Division
1st Cleveland Indians 86   75 .534    –
2nd Chicago White Sox 80   81 .497   6.0
3rd Milwaukee Brewers 78   83 .484 8.0
4th Minnesota Twins 68   94 .420 18.5
5th Kansas City Royals 67   94 .416 19.0
West Division
1st Seattle Mariners 90   72 .556    –
2nd Anaheim Angels 84   78 .519   6.0
3rd Texas Rangers 77   85 .475 13.0
4th Oakland Athletics 65   97 .401 25.0
National League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
East Division
1st Atlanta Braves   101 61 .623    –
2nd Florida Marlins   92 70 .568   9.0
3rd New York Mets   88 74 .543   13.0
4th Montreal Expos   78 84 .481   23.0
5th Philadelphia Phillies   68 94 .420   33.0
Central Division
1st Houston Astros   84 78 .519    –
2nd Pittsburgh Pirates   79 83 .488 5.0
3rd Cincinnati Reds   76 86 .469 8.0
4th St. Louis Cardinals   73 89 .451 11.0
5th Chicago Cubs   68 94 .420 16.0
West Division
1st San Francisco Giants   90 72 .556    –
2nd Los Angeles Dodgers   88 74 .543   2.0
3rd Colorado Rockies   83 79 .512   7.0
4th San Diego Padres   76 86 .469 14.0


  Division Series
League Championship Series
World Series
  Cent.  Cleveland Indians 3  
WC  New York Yankees 2  
  Cent.  Cleveland Indians 4  
American League
  East  Baltimore Orioles 2  
East  Baltimore Orioles 3
  West  Seattle Mariners 1  
    AL  Cleveland Indians 3
  NL  Florida Marlins 4
  East  Atlanta Braves 3  
Cent.  Houston Astros 0  
  East  Atlanta Braves 2
National League
  WC  Florida Marlins 4  
West  San Francisco Giants 0
  WC  Florida Marlins 3  

Awards and honors[edit]

MLB statistical leaders[edit]

  American League National League
Type Name Stat Name Stat
AVG Frank Thomas CHW .347 Tony Gwynn SDP .372
HR Ken Griffey, Jr. SEA 56 Larry Walker COL 49
RBI Ken Griffey, Jr. SEA 147 Andrés Galarraga COL 140
Wins Roger Clemens1 TOR 21 Denny Neagle ATL 20
ERA Roger Clemens1 TOR 2.05 Pedro Martínez MON 1.90
SO Roger Clemens1 TOR 292 Curt Schilling PHI 319
SV Randy Myers BAL 45 Jeff Shaw CIN 42
SB Brian Hunter DET 74 Tony Womack PIT 60

1 American League Triple Crown Pitching Winner


American League[edit]

Team Manager Notes
Anaheim Angels Terry Collins
Baltimore Orioles Davey Johnson
Boston Red Sox Jimy Williams
Chicago White Sox Terry Bevington
Cleveland Indians Mike Hargrove Won American League Pennant
Detroit Tigers Buddy Bell
Kansas City Royals Bob Boone, Tony Muser
Milwaukee Brewers Phil Garner
Minnesota Twins Tom Kelly
New York Yankees Joe Torre
Oakland Athletics Art Howe
Seattle Mariners Lou Piniella
Texas Rangers Johnny Oates
Toronto Blue Jays Cito Gaston, Mel Queen, Jr.

National League[edit]

Team Manager Notes
Atlanta Braves Bobby Cox
Chicago Cubs Jim Riggleman
Cincinnati Reds Ray Knight, Jack McKeon
Colorado Rockies Don Baylor
Florida Marlins Jim Leyland Won World Series
Houston Astros Larry Dierker
Los Angeles Dodgers Bill Russell
Montreal Expos Felipe Alou
New York Mets Bobby Valentine
Philadelphia Phillies Terry Francona
Pittsburgh Pirates Gene Lamont
St. Louis Cardinals Tony La Russa
San Diego Padres Bruce Bochy
San Francisco Giants Dusty Baker



  • January 5 – Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield escapes serious injury when he is hit by a car while out jogging. He is released from the hospital after being treated for bruises.
  • January 6 – Knuckleballer Phil Niekro is elected to the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Niekro receives 80.34% of the vote. Pitcher Don Sutton falls nine votes short of election.


  • April 15 – In an unprecedented move, Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig announces on the 50th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson's debut that the number he wore with the Brooklyn Dodgers, number 42, would be unilaterally retired throughout all of Major League Baseball during a mid-game ceremony in a game between the Dodgers and the New York Mets at Shea Stadium Rachael Robinson, Jackie's widow and President Bill Clinton attend the event as well. The number would be worn by players during the anniversary of his major league debut, and would still be worn by players who started wearing the number before the announcement, most famously the New York Yankees' Mariano Rivera, until he retired after the 2013 season, thus officially retiring number 42, as he was the last player to wear the number 42 jersey on a regular basis.
  • May 7 – The Montréal Expos score a National League-record 13 runs in the 6th inning of their game against the San Francisco Giants on the way to a 19–3 win. The Expos send 17 batters to the plate. Mike Lansing homers twice in the inning to drive in five runs, becoming the third Expos player to perform the feat, and the first NL second baseman to do so since Bobby Lowe in 1894.
  • May 8 – At home, the Baltimore Orioles stop Randy Johnson's 16-game win streak with a decisive 13–3 pasting of the Seattle Mariners. Baltimore is led by catcher Chris Hoiles, who collects six RBI on two homers and a double. Johnson strikes out 10 in six innings, but gives up five runs on six hits and two walks in his attempt to become the first AL pitcher since Dave McNally (1968–69) to win 17 straight.
  • May 26 – In Toronto, Roger Clemens allows one run and four hits in seven innings and strikes out seven to beat the Rangers 8–1. The Rocket is now 9–0, his best start since beginning 1986 at 14–0.
  • May 27 – Barry Larkin's streak of consecutively reaching base 13 times is stopped by Curt Schilling, who goes all the way to beat Cincinnati 2–1. Larkin singles in the first inning, but flies out in the 3rd to end his streak one shy of Pedro Guerrero's NL record, set in 1985.
  • May 30 – The Orioles' Mike Mussina retires the first 25 Indian batters before Sandy Alomar, Jr. ruins his no-hit bid with a one-out single in the 9th. Mussina then strikes out the final two batters for a 3–0 victory.
  • May 31 – Cal Ripken, Jr. snaps a 7th-inning tie with a record-breaking home run as the Baltimore Orioles rally from a 4-run deficit to beat the Cleveland Indians 8–5. Ripken's homer gives him 4,274 total bases with Baltimore, breaking the franchise mark for total bases in a career. Baltimore also place Eric Davis on the disabled list. Davis is suffering from colon cancer and will be operated on in early June.
  • May 31 – In Miami, Andrés Galarraga golfs a 529-foot grand slam, the longest home run ever at Pro Player Stadium. His homer gives the Colorado Rockies a 7–0 lead over the Florida Marlins, and they eventually win 8–4. Galarraga has three home runs in the past three games against Florida that traveled 1,435 feet, an average of 478 feet. He hit a 455-foot homer two days before and a 451-foot homer the previous day. The longest previous homer at the stadium was 482 feet by Pete Incaviglia of the Phillies off Al Leiter on May 1, 1996.


  • July 12 – At a sold out Three Rivers Stadium, Francisco Córdova pitched nine innings of a combined 10-inning no-hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Ricardo Rincón pitched the 10th inning. The Pirates won the game on a dramatic three run, pinch hit home run in the bottom of the 10th by Mark Smith.


  • August 31 – Don Mattingly the former first baseman and Yankee Captain has his uniform number 23 retired by the New York Yankees in a pregame ceremony. A plaque is also dedicated in his honor in Monument Park.
  • September 10 – Mark McGwire joins Babe Ruth as the only players in major league history with 50 home runs in consecutive seasons by hitting a 446-foot shot off Shawn Estes in the third inning of the St. Louis Cardinals' road game against the San Francisco Giants. McGwire, who hit a major league-leading 52 homers for the Oakland Athletics last season, becomes the first player with back-to-back 50-homer seasons since Ruth did it in 1927 and 1928.



  • January 6 – Dick Donovan, 69, All-Star pitcher, mainly with the White Sox and Indians, who led AL in ERA in 1961 and won 20 games in 1962
  • January 20 – Curt Flood, 59, All-Star center fielder who won seven Gold Gloves and batted .300 six times; challenged baseball's reserve clause all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, unsuccessfully, after refusing a trade
  • February 7 – Manny Salvo, 83, Boston pitcher who tied for the National League lead in shutouts in 1940
  • February 13 – Bobby Adams, 75, third baseman for the Cincinnati Reds/Redlegs, Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles and Chicago Cubs between 1946 and 1959
  • June 1 – Mickey Rocco, 81, Cleveland first baseman who led the American League in fielding percentage at his position in 1943 and 1945
  • June 9 – Thornton Lee, 90, All-Star pitcher who won over 100 games for the White Sox; won 22 games and led AL in ERA in 1941
  • July 31 – Eddie Miller, 80, 7-time All-Star shortstop for four NL teams who led league in fielding five times
  • August 23 – Guy Curtright, 84, White Sox outfielder who finished sixth in 1943 American League batting race with a .291 average
  • September 9 – Richie Ashburn, 70, Hall of Fame center fielder for the Phillies who batted .308 lifetime, winning two batting titles, and led NL in putouts nine times, hits three times, triples twice and steals once; retired with six of the top eight single-season putout totals in history
  • September 22 – Eddie Sawyer, 87, manager who led the Phillies' "Whiz Kids" to the 1950 pennant, later a scout
  • September 26 – Woody English, 91, All-Star infielder for the Cubs who batted .300 twice
  • October 6 – Johnny Vander Meer, 82, All-Star pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds who in 1938 became the only player to pitch two consecutive no-hitters; led NL in strikeouts three times
  • October 21 – Dolph Camilli, 90, All-Star first baseman who was the NL's MVP in 1941, leading the Brooklyn Dodgers to the pennant; had five 100-RBI seasons
  • November 2 – Roy McMillan, 68, All-Star shortstop for the Reds, Braves and Mets who won the NL's first three Gold Gloves; minor league manager, coach and scout
  • November 20 – Dick Littlefield, 71, well-traveled pitcher who played for nine teams, earning 15 of his 33 wins with the Pirates
  • November 27 – Buck Leonard, 90, Hall of Fame first baseman of the Negro Leagues regularly among the league leaders in batting average and home runs