1998 in baseball

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The following are the baseball events of the year 1998 throughout the world.  

Headline events of the year[edit]

Champions[edit]

Major League Baseball[edit]

  Division Series
Fox/NBC/ESPN
League Championship Series
Fox/NBC
World Series
Fox
                           
  East  New York Yankees 3  
West  Texas Rangers 0  
  East  New York Yankees 4  
American League
  Cent.  Cleveland Indians 2  
Cent.  Cleveland Indians 3
  WC  Boston Red Sox 1  
    AL  New York Yankees 4
  NL  San Diego Padres 0
  East  Atlanta Braves 3  
WC  Chicago Cubs 0  
  East  Atlanta Braves 2
National League
  West  San Diego Padres 4  
Cent.  Houston Astros 1
  West  San Diego Padres 3  

Other champions[edit]

Awards and honors[edit]

MLB statistical leaders[edit]

  American League National League
Type Name Stat Name Stat
AVG Bernie Williams NYY .339 Larry Walker COL .363
HR Ken Griffey, Jr. SEA 56 Mark McGwire STL 70
RBI Juan González TEX 157 Sammy Sosa CHC 158
Wins Roger Clemens TOR
David Cone NYY
Rick Helling TEX
20 Tom Glavine ATL 20
ERA Roger Clemens TOR 2.65 Greg Maddux ATL 2.22

Major league baseball final standings[edit]

American League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
East Division
1st New York Yankees 114 48 .704    --
2nd Boston Red Sox *   92 70 .568 22.0
3rd Toronto Blue Jays   88 74 .543 26.0
4th Baltimore Orioles   79 83 .488 35.0
5th Tampa Bay Devil Rays   63 99 .389 51.0
Central Division
1st Cleveland Indians   89 73 .549    --
2nd Chicago White Sox   80 82 .494   9.0
3rd Kansas City Royals   72 89 .447 16.5
4th Minnesota Twins   70 92 .432 19.0
5th Detroit Tigers   65 97 .401 24.0
West Division
1st Texas Rangers   88 74 .543    --
2nd Anaheim Angels   85 77 .525   3.0
3rd Seattle Mariners   76 85 .472 11.5
4th Oakland Athletics   74 88 .457 14.0
National League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
East Division
1st Atlanta Braves 106   56 .654    --
2nd New York Mets   88   74 .543 18.0
3rd Philadelphia Phillies   75   87 .463 31.0
4th Montreal Expos   65   97 .401 41.0
5th Florida Marlins   54 108 .333 52.0
Central Division
1st Houston Astros 102   60 .630    --
2nd Chicago Cubs *   90   73 .552 12.5
3rd St. Louis Cardinals   83   79 .512 19.0
4th Cincinnati Reds   77   85 .475 25.0
5th Milwaukee Brewers   74   88 .457 28.0
6th Pittsburgh Pirates   69   93 .426 33.0
West Division
1st San Diego Padres   98   64 .605    --
2nd San Francisco Giants   89   74 .546   9.5
3rd Los Angeles Dodgers   83   79 .512 15.0
4th Colorado Rockies   77   85 .475 21.0
5th Arizona Diamondbacks   65   97 .401 33.0

 

  • The asterisk denotes the club that won the wild card for its respective league. The Chicago Cubs defeated the San Francisco Giants 5-3 in a one-game playoff to determine the NL wild card.

Events[edit]

January–March[edit]

  • January 5 - Don Sutton, a 324-game winner, is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on his fifth try. Sutton, who missed election by nine votes in 1990, is named on 81.6% of the ballots.

April–May[edit]

  • April 2 - By hitting a home run in Colorado's 6–4 win over Arizona at Bank One Ballpark, Rockies outfielder Ellis Burks sets a major league record by having homered in 33 different stadiums.
  • April 5 - The Arizona Diamondbacks win their first game in franchise history 3–2, over the San Francisco Giants. Andy Benes gets the win for the 1–5 D'backs.
  • April 10 - The Los Angeles Dodgers' Mike Piazza becomes the fifth NL player in history to hit grand slams in consecutive games by homering in a 7–2 win over the Houston Astros. Piazza also homered with the bags full, while driving in six runs, in last night's 7–2 win over Arizona. He'll hit another on April 24 to tie the major-league record for slams in a month.
  • May 6 - In one of the finest pitching efforts ever, Chicago Cubs rookie right-hander Kerry Wood fans 20 Houston Astros in a 2–0, one-hit victory to tie the major league mark for strikeouts in a 9-inning game. The 20-year-old ties the record held by Roger Clemens, who performed the feat twice. He also eclipses Bill Gullickson's single-game rookie record of 18 strikeouts in 1980. The only Houston baserunners come from an infield single to Ricky Gutiérrez in the 3rd inning and a hit batter. Wood also becomes the second pitcher in baseball history to record a single-game strikeout total equal to his age (in 1936, 17-year-old Bob Feller struck out 17 batters). Wood strikes out the first five batters of the game, and seven in a row between the 7th and 9th innings, tying Jamie Moyer's Cubs record for most consecutive strikeouts.
  • May 11 - In a 4-2 win over Arizona, Kerry Wood strikes out 13 Diamondbacks in seven innings. By doing so, Wood sets a major league record with 33 strikeouts over two consecutive games.
  • May 13 - The Atlanta Braves set an NL record by homering in their 25th straight game, a 10–2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. This ties the major league mark held by the 1941 Yankees and the 1994 Tigers. The streak will be stopped by the Cardinals the next day.
  • May 19 - The Cardinals' Mark McGwire hits three home runs in a game for the 2nd time this season, leading St. Louis to a 10–8 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. He is only the 12th player in history to have a pair of 3–HR games in the same season. McGwire drives in six of the Cardinal runs as he reaches the 20 home run mark faster than other player in history.
  • May 25 - Cleveland's David Bell becomes the third player in major league history to play against a team managed by his father. Bell's 2–run double brings home the go–ahead run in the Indians 7–4 win over Buddy Bell's Detroit Tigers. Bump Wills and Moisés Alou are the only other players to appear in games against their fathers (Maury Wills and Felipe Alou).
  • May 28 - With Arizona leading the Giants, 8–6, in the bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded, manager Buck Showalter orders reliever Gregg Olson to intentionally walk Barry Bonds to bring home the Giants' 7th run. It is only the 4th bases–loaded intentional walk in major league history, and the first since Bill "Swish" Nicholson on July 23, 1944.

June–July[edit]

  • June 10 - NY Yankee Tim Raines steals the 800th base of his career in NY's 6–2 win over the Montreal Expos, his former team. He is the fifth player in history to reach the milestone.
  • June 20 - The Cleveland Indians retire Bob Feller's uniform number 19 prior to the team's 5–3 loss to the Yankees.
  • June 29- Uniquely, no major league games are scheduled today: all 30 teams are off.
  • June 30 - The Chicago Cubs' Sammy Sosa hits his 33rd home run of the season in a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Sosa's 20th home run in the month of June is a new MLB record for most home runs in one month.
  • July 26 - Trevor Hoffman's bid to set a major league record with 42 straight saves ended when the San Diego closer gave up a home run to Moisés Alou on his first delivery in the ninth inning, tying the game. The Padres wound up beating Houston 5-4 in the 10th.

August–September[edit]

  • August 25 - The Toronto Blue Jays' Roger Clemens strikes out 18 in a 3–0 victory over the Kansas City Royals. He becomes the first pitcher ever to record three games of 18 or more strikeouts. Clemens allows only three hits and does not walk a batter.
  • September 1 - Mark McGwire hits his 56th and 57th home runs of the season, breaking Hack Wilson's National League record of 56 in 1930.
  • September 8 - Mark McGwire breaks Roger Maris' 37-year-old home run record, lining historic No. 62 just over the wall in left field with two outs in the fourth inning. McGwire's solo shot off the Chicago Cubs' Steve Trachsel—among the shortest he would hit all year—sets off a wild celebration at Busch Stadium. The Cubs' Sammy Sosa, who hit his 58th home run earlier in the game, is on the field to congratulate McGwire, creating an iconic image of the 1998 home run race. In the sixth inning of the same game, the Cardinals' J.D. Drew makes his major league debut pinch-hitting for pitcher Kent Mercker.
  • September 11 - The Florida Marlins lose to the Atlanta Braves 8–2, to become the first World Series champion in history to lose 100 games the next season.
  • September 15 - Ken Griffey, Jr. hits homer #52 and drives in the 1,000th run of his career in the Mariners 12–7 win over the Twins. He becomes the fourth-youngest player in history to reach the milestone, after Mel Ott, Jimmie Foxx and Lou Gehrig. A day later, Griffey would collect his 20th stolen base of the season to become just the third player in major league history to record at least 50 homers and 20 steals in the same season; Willie Mays and Brady Anderson are the others.
  • September 20 - Cal Ripken, Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles takes himself out of the lineup prior to the game with the New York Yankees to end his major league record consecutive game streak at 2,632. The Orioles lose the historic game by a score of 5–4. Ryan Minor, Ripken's replacement at 3B, gets one hit in four at bats.
  • September 25 - Just hours after Sammy Sosa hits his league-leading 66th home run, pulling ahead of Mark McGwire for the first time all season, McGwire hits his 66th in a game against the Montreal Expos.
  • September 27 - In the St. Louis Cardinals' final game of the season, Mark McGwire hits two home runs against the Montreal Expos for the second straight night, establishing a new MLB record with 70 home runs in a season. Sammy Sosa fails to hit a home run in the Cubs' 4-3 loss to the Houston Astros, leaving him at 66 homers. However, the Cubs loss forces a one-game playoff with the San Francisco Giants for the National League wild card, giving Sosa one final chance to reach McGwire.
  • September 27 - In the San Diego Padres' final regular season game, left fielder Greg Vaughn hits his 50th home run of the season, a career high and a San Diego Padres record for home runs in a season. This marks the first time in major league history that four players - Vaughn (50), Griffey (56), Sosa (66) and McGwire (70) - hit at least 50 home runs in the same season. Also during this game, Trevor Hoffman records his 53rd save of the season, tying the National League record set by the Cubs' Randy Myers in 1993.
  • September 27 - The New York Yankees win their seventh-straight game, defeating the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 8-3. The Yankees finish the season with an American League record 114 wins.
  • September 28 - In a one-game playoff, the Chicago Cubs defeat the San Francisco Giants 5-3 to secure the final playoff spot in the National League. For the third game in a row, the Cubs' Sammy Sosa gets two hits, but no home runs, leaving him at 66 home runs for the season; four fewer than Mark McGwire, who pulled ahead of Sosa with five home runs in his final three games.

October–December[edit]

  • Tom Glavine of the Atlanta Braves wins his second National League Cy Young Award in an extremely close vote over two San Diego Padres pitchers: Trevor Hoffman and Kevin Brown. Glavine, who receives 11 first-place votes to Hoffman's 13 (Brown receives the remaining 8), becomes the first National League pitcher since the league instituted its four-vote system in 1970 to win the award despite receiving fewer first-place votes than another player. Glavine tallied 99 points (Hoffman - 88, Brown - 76), with 5 points being awarded for each first place vote, 3 for each second-place vote, 2 for third, and 1 for fourth. Another oddity is the fact that Hoffman, Brown, and Rod Beck (who did not receive a single point in the Cy Young Award voting) finished higher than Glavine in the MVP voting, despite Glavine's Braves finishing with the best record in the National League.[1]
  • December 12 - The Dodgers set the salary bar higher by signing free agent Kevin Brown to a 7-year, $105 million contract, the largest in the majors.

Movies[edit]

Deaths[edit]

January–April[edit]

  • January 11 - Joe Becker, 89, catcher for the Cleveland Indians from 1936–37, later a pitching coach for the Dodgers, Cardinals and Cubs
  • February 5 - Marv Olson, 90, second baseman who played in the early 1930s for the Boston Red Sox
  • February 8 - Betty Foss, 68, All-Star first woman and two-time champion bat in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
  • February 11 - Mike Fornieles, 66, All-Star relief pitcher for four AL teams who led league in saves in 1960
  • February 18 - Harry Caray, 83, beloved and much-parodied broadcaster for the Cardinals, White Sox and Cubs since 1945
  • March 23 - Joseph Jessup, 83, pitcher in the Negro leagues from 1940 to 1948
  • April 11 - Doris Tetzlaff, 77, infielder and coach during ten seasons in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
  • April 26 - Gabe Paul, 88, general manager of the Cincinnati Reds, Houston Colts .45s, and Cleveland Indians from 1951 to 1973, later part owner of the Yankees

May–August[edit]

  • May 9 - Ray Noble, 79, Cuban catcher in the Negro Leagues, later a reserve with the New York Giants
  • May 16 - Rufino Linares, 47, Dominican left fielder for the Atlanta Braves who hit .298 for 1982 division champions
  • June 4 - Shirley Povich, 92, sportswriter for The Washington Post since 1924
  • June 7 - Tom Buskey, 51, relief pitcher who played from 1973 through 1980 for the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays.
  • June 10 - Jim Hearn, 77, All-Star pitcher for the Cardinals and NY Giants who won 17 games for New York's 1951 pennant winners
  • June 21 - Al Campanis, 81, general manager of the Dodgers from 1968 to 1987 who was fired after making racially controversial remarks in a 1987 TV interview; previously a scout for 18 years
  • July 1 - Ed Connolly, 57, pitched in the 1960s for the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians
  • July 19 - Elmer Valo, 77, Czech right fielder who batted .300 five times for the Philadelphia and Kansas City Athletics; later a minor league manager and scout
  • July 27 - Bill Tuttle, 69, center fielder for three AL teams who batted .300 for the 1959 Kansas City Athletics
  • August 6 - Jack Brickhouse, 82, broadcaster for the Cubs from 1941–1981, also with the White Sox for over 20 years
  • August 17 - Johnny Lipon, 75, shortstop for the Tigers who scored 104 runs in 1950; later a minor league manager
  • August 17 - Jim Murray, 79, sportswriter for the Los Angeles Times since 1961 who won a Pulitzer Prize and was named the nation's best sportswriter 14 times

September–December[edit]

  • September 17 - Chet Hoff, 107, pitcher for the New York Highlanders and St. Louis Browns who became the longest-lived major league player
  • September 30 - Dan Quisenberry, 45, All-Star relief pitcher for the Kansas City Royals who led the AL in saves a record five times and posted the first 40-save season in history; held AL career record from 1987 to 1992 and was Cy Young runnerup twice
  • October 2 - Gene Autry, 91, owner of the Angels since their formation in 1961 who hoped in vain for the team's first pennant, watching the team fall achingly short three times
  • October 6 - Mark Belanger, 54, All-Star shortstop and eight-time Gold Glove winner for the Baltimore Orioles, later a players' union official
  • October 10 - Strick Shofner, 79, third baseman for the 1947 Boston Red Sox
  • October 14 - Denny Galehouse, 86, pitcher who won 109 games with the Indians, Red Sox and Browns, and Game 1 of 1944 World Series
  • October 21 - Phil Haugstad, 74, pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds between 1947 and 1952
  • October 30 - George Schmees, 74, first baseman/outfielder/pitcher for the St. Louis Browns and Boston Red Sox in the 1950s
  • November 10 - Hal Newhouser, 77, Hall of Fame pitcher for the Detroit Tigers who won back-to-back MVP awards in 1944-45; led AL in wins four times and in ERA and strikeouts twice each; struck out 10 in Game 7 victory in 1945 World Series
  • November 16 - Russ Meyer, 75, pitcher who won over 90 games for the Cubs, Phillies and Dodgers, known as the "Mad Monk" for his fiery temper
  • November 20 - Dick Sisler, 78, All-Star first baseman and left fielder for three NL teams whose closing day home run brought the Phillies the 1950 pennant
  • November 23 - Bob Betts, 70, public announcer at Milwaukee County Stadium for 23 seasons

See also[edit]