1997 in baseball

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The following are the baseball events of the year 1997 throughout the world.  

Champions[edit]

Major League Baseball[edit]

  Division Series
NBC/Fox/ESPN
League Championship Series
NBC/Fox
World Series
NBC
                           
  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  

Other champions[edit]

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 Clemens TOR 21 Denny Neagle ATL 20
ERA Roger Clemens TOR 2.05 Pedro Martínez MON 1.90

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

 

  • The asterisk denotes the club that won the wild card for its respective league.

Events[edit]

January-March[edit]

  • 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 - Pitcher 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-May[edit]

  • April 15 - On the fiftieth anniversary of Jackie Robinson's first game, all Major League baseball games are stopped so that fans across the country may witness a special presentation at Shea Stadium. With then U.S. President Bill Clinton alongside, acting Commissioner Bud Selig announces that Robinson's uniform #42 will be retired from all Major League teams in perpetuity, with exceptions made for players currently wearing #42 in honor of Robinson.
  • 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 Texas 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 31 - Cal Ripken, Jr. snaps a seventh-inning tie with a record-breaking home run as the Baltimore Orioles rally from a four-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.

June-July[edit]

  • 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 Rincon 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-September[edit]

  • August 8 - For the second time this season, Randy Johnson of the Seattle Mariners records a 19-strikeout performance at the Kingdome, this time against the Chicago White Sox. Unlike his 19-K performance on June 24, Johnson comes out on top, shutting out the White Sox 5-0.
  • September 19 - Mark McGwire records his 20th home run of the season with the St. Louis Cardinals. Paired with the 34 home runs he had hit with the Oakland Athletics earlier in the year, he becomes the first player in Major League history to record twenty or more home runs for two different teams in the same season.
  • September 25 - Pedro Martínez records his 300th strikeout of the season, becoming the first player since 1972 (Steve Carlton) to record 300 or more strikeouts while maintaining a sub-2.00 ERA.

October-December[edit]

  • October 26 - The Marlins win the World Series.
  • November 12 - Ken Griffey, Jr. of the Seattle Mariners becomes the ninth unanimous pick for the American League MVP Award. Griffey hit .304 for Seattle, led the AL with 56 home runs, and led the Majors with 147 RBI. He receives all 28 first-place votes and 392 points in balloting to become the first unanimous AL pick since Frank Thomas in 1993, and the 13th unanimous selection overall.
  • November 26 - Arbitrator Alan Symonette rejects the owners' attempt to dismiss the umpires' grievance dismissed, giving the 22 booted umps a chance to get their jobs back. Symonette will hear the grievance beginning December 13.

Movies[edit]

Deaths[edit]

January-March[edit]

  • 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 11 - Carol Habben, 63, slugger center fielder who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
  • 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
  • January 27 - Kathryn Beare, 79, catcher for the Fort Wayne Daisies of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
  • 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
  • February 25 - Cal Abrams, 72, popular Brooklyn Dodgers outfielder, who also played for the Reds, Pirates, Orioles and White Sox
  • March 3 - Harry Davis, 86, first baseman for the Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Browns in the 1930s

April-June[edit]

  • April 8 - Bob Cain, 72, pitcher for the White Sox, Tigers and Browns from 1949 to 1953, who is most remembered for the walk he issued to pinch-hitting midget Eddie Gaedel in 1951
  • April 25 - Kay Blumetta, 73, pitcher who spent eleven seasons in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
  • May 21 - Piper Davis, 79, Negro league player from 1942 to 1950
  • June 1 - Mickey Rocco, 81, Cleveland first baseman who led the American League in fielding percentage at his position in 1943 and 1945
  • June 8 - Ken Hunt, 62, backup outfielder for the Yankees, Angels and Senators from 1959 to 1964
  • 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-September[edit]

  • July 10 - Dwight Lowry, 39, manager of the Jamestown Jammers of the New York-Penn League and former catcher for the Detroit Tigers
  • July 31 - Eddie Miller, 80, 7-time All-Star shortstop for four NL teams who led league in fielding five times
  • August 12 - Rex Barney, 72, pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers between 1943 and 1950, who threw a no-hitter against the New York Giants in 1948
  • August 23 - Guy Curtright, 84, White Sox outfielder who finished sixth in 1943 American League batting race with a .291 average
  • August 23 - Buddy Hassett, 85, first baseman who played from 1936 through 1942 for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Boston Bees/Braves and New York Yankees
  • 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 19 - Bill Butland, 89, pitcher who played for the Boston Red Sox (1940, 1942, 1946–1947).
  • September 22 - Eddie Sawyer, 87, manager who led the Phillies' "Whiz Kids" to the 1950 pennant, later a scout
  • September 25 - Bill Donovan, 81, pitcher for the Boston Braves in the 1940s
  • September 26 - Woody English, 91, All-Star infielder for the Cubs who batted .300 twice

October-December[edit]

  • 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 14 - Al Somers, 92, umpiring instructor who developed thousands of students for the profession, including 70 major league umpires
  • 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
  • October 30 - Barney Martin, 74, appeared in one game for the Cincinnati Reds in 1953
  • 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 13 - Bill Conroy, 82, catcher for the Philadelphia Athletics and Boston Red Sox between 1935 and 1944
  • 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
  • November 28 - Sylvia Wronski, 72, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League pitcher for the 1944 Milwaukee Chicks champion team