2003 in baseball
- 1 Headline events of the year
- 2 Champions
- 3 Awards and honors
- 4 Statistical leaders
- 5 Major league baseball final standings
- 6 Events
- 7 Books
- 8 Deaths
- 9 See also
Headline events of the year
- The Florida Marlins become World Series champions, holding off a dynastic New York Yankees team, 4 games to 2.
- The Detroit Tigers had one of the worst records in baseball history, going a dismal 43-119, a .265 winning percentage.
- The Chicago Cubs just missed advancing to their first World Series since 1945, as they blew a 3 games to 1 lead against the Marlins in the 2003 NLCS.
- The Oakland Athletics blew a 2 games to none lead against the Boston Red Sox in the 2003 ALDS, making it four straight years they lost the ALDS in 5 games, including an 0-9 mark in games in which they could have clinched the series.
- The Yankees beat the Red Sox in 7 games in a thrilling ALCS, highlighted by Aaron Boone's walk-off home run in the 11th inning in game 7 off Tim Wakefield.
Major League Baseball
- Regular Season Champions
|League||Eastern Division Champion||Central Division Champion||Western Division Champion||Wild Card Qualifier|
|American League||New York Yankees||Minnesota Twins||Oakland Athletics||Boston Red Sox|
|National League||Atlanta Braves||Chicago Cubs||San Francisco Giants||Florida Marlins|
- World Series Champion - Florida Marlins
- Postseason - September 30 to October 25
|League Championship Series
|1||New York Yankees||3|
|1||New York Yankees||4|
|4||Boston Red Sox||3|
|4||Boston Red Sox||3|
|AL1||New York Yankees||2|
|2||San Francisco Giants||1|
Click on any series score to link to that series' page.
Higher seed has home field advantage during Division Series and League Championship Series.
American League has home field advantage during World Series as a result of the American League victory in the 2003 All-Star Game.
American League is seeded 1-3/2-4 as a result of AL regular season champion (New York Yankees) and AL wild card (Boston Red Sox) coming from the same division.
National League is seeded 1-3/2-4 as a result of NL regular season champion (Atlanta Braves) and NL wild card (Florida Marlins) coming from the same division.
- Postseason MVPs
- All-Star Game, July 15 at U.S. Cellular Field - American League, 7-6; Garret Anderson, MVP
- Canadian Baseball League: Calgary Outlaws by virtue of having best record at the All-Star break (truncated season)
- Caribbean World Series: Águilas Cibaeñas (Dominican Republic)
- College World Series: Rice
- Cuban National Series: Industriales def. Villa Clara
- European Championship: Netherlands over Greece (2-0)
- European Cup: Neptunus (Netherlands) over Rimini (Italy)
- Japan Series: Fukuoka Daiei Hawks over Hanshin Tigers (4-3)
- Korean Series: Hyundai Unicorns over SK Wyverns (4-3)
- Little League World Series: Musashi-Fuchu, Tokyo, Japan
- Mexican League: Diablos Rojos del México
- Pan American Games: Cuba over USA (3-1)
- Taiwan Series: Brother Elephants over Sinon Bulls （4-2）
Awards and honors
- Most Valuable Player
- Cy Young Award
- Rookie of the Year
- Manager of the Year Award
Major league baseball final standings
|1st||New York Yankees||101||61||.623||--|
|2nd||Boston Red Sox *||95||67||.586||6.0|
|3rd||Toronto Blue Jays||86||76||.531||15.0|
|5th||Tampa Bay Devil Rays||63||99||.389||38.0|
|2nd||Chicago White Sox||86||76||.531||4.0|
|3rd||Kansas City Royals||83||79||.512||7.0|
|2nd||Florida Marlins *||91||71||.562||10.0|
|5th||New York Mets||66||95||.410||34.5|
|3rd||St. Louis Cardinals||85||77||.525||3.0|
|1st||San Francisco Giants||100||61||.621||--|
|2nd||Los Angeles Dodgers||85||77||.525||15.5|
|5th||San Diego Padres||64||98||.395||36.5|
- The asterisk denotes the club that won the wild card for its respective league.
- January 22 - After having been released by the Minnesota Twins at the close of the 2002 season, David Ortiz signs with the Boston Red Sox.
- March 31 - In the first-ever game at the Great American Ball Park the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates defeat the Cincinnati Reds 10-1. Ken Griffey, Jr. collects the first hit in the stadium's history.
- April 3 - At 27 years, 249 days of age, Alex Rodriguez becomes the youngest player in major league history to hit 300 home runs. The Texas Rangers shortstop's fifth inning three-run blast surpasses Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx's mark who accomplishes the feat at 27 years, 328 days of age.
- April 4 - Sammy Sosa hits his 500th career home run off Cincinnati Reds pitcher Scott Sullivan in the seventh inning at Great American Ball Park, becoming only the 18th player in major league history to hit 500 or more home runs, as well as the first Hispanic to do so.
- April 11 - The Montreal Expos defeat the New York Mets‚ 10–0‚ in their first of 22 home games they play in Puerto Rico this season.
- April 27 - Kevin Millwood of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches a no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants, striking out ten while walking three. Ricky Ledée's first-inning solo home run provides the game's only scoring.
- May 5 - Matt Stairs' home run off Houston Astros pitcher Wade Miller is estimated at 461 feet, making it the longest home run in the history of Minute Maid Park.
- May 10 - Jeff Torborg is fired as manager of the Florida Marlins after a 16-22 start. Jack McKeon is hired as his replacement.
- May 11 - Rafael Palmeiro hits his 500th career home run off Cleveland Indians pitcher David Elder, becoming only the 19th player in major league history to reach the 500 mark.
- May 23 - Jeremi González earns his first major league victory in nearly five years as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays beat the Anaheim Angels 3-1. González wins for the first time since June 28, 1998, while with the Chicago Cubs. He has elbow surgery in 1998 and '99 before the Cubs release him in 2001.
- May 26 - The Gary SouthShore RailCats play their inaugural home opener at the U.S. Steel Yard versus the Schaumburg Flyers.
- May 28 - Rafael Furcal, Mark DeRosa and Gary Sheffield hit home runs off Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jeff Austin in the bottom of the first inning, as the Atlanta Braves become only the second team in big league history to begin a game with three consecutive home runs. On April 13, 1987, the San Diego Padres' Marvell Wynne, Tony Gwynn and John Kruk do the same in the bottom of the first inning off San Francisco Giants starter Roger Mason.
- June 11 - The Houston Astros set a major league record for combined pitchers in a no-hitter with six, against the New York Yankees. The pitchers are Roy Oswalt, Pete Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner.
- June 13 - New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens becomes the 21st pitcher in major league history to win 300 games and only the 3rd pitcher to record 4,000 career strikeouts as he defeats the St. Louis Cardinals 5-2.
- June 23 - At Pacific Bell Park, Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants becomes the first Major Leaguer with 500 career home runs and 500 career steals. After drawing a base on balls leading off the 11th inning, Bonds steals second, then eventually scores on Benito Santiago's single for the winning run in a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. 
- June 27
- Gary Carter and Eddie Murray are inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
- The Boston Red Sox score a record-setting 10 runs in the first inning against the Florida Marlins before recording an out. Two Marlins pitchers, starter Carl Pavano and reliever Michael Tejera, pitch to a combined 11 batters and would not record an out. The Red Sox score 14 runs in the first inning which ties the American League record. Johnny Damon ties the modern-day record for hits in an inning with three.
- July 15 - At U.S. Cellular Field, the American League wins the All-Star Game, beating the National League 7-6. Hank Blalock connects for a two-run, pinch-hit home run off Éric Gagné in the eighth inning to lead the rally. Garret Anderson is named the MVP, coming just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle in going 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. Brendan Donnelly is the winning pitcher, while Keith Foulke gets the save.
- July 29 - Against the Texas Rangers at The Ballpark in Arlington, Bill Mueller of the Boston Red Sox, in hitting three home runs, becomes the first player to hit a grand slam from each side of the plate in the same game. After hitting a solo home run off starter R. A. Dickey in the third, Mueller homers in the seventh with the bases loaded against left-hander Aaron Fultz. One inning later he hits his second grand slam, this time against right-hander Jay Powell. With the three home runs, Mueller drives in nine runs; the Red Sox defeat the Rangers 14-7. 
- August 10 - Atlanta Braves SS Rafael Furcal becomes the twelfth player to turn an unassisted triple play in the fifth inning of a 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
- September 5 - The Detroit Tigers' Mike Maroth becomes the first major league pitcher in 23 years to lose 20 games in a season when Detroit loses to the Toronto Blue Jays 8-6. Maroth (6-20) allows eight runs and nine hits in three-plus innings. The Oakland Athletics' Brian Kingman goes 8-20 in 1980.
- September 10 - The St. Louis Cardinals' Tony La Russa becomes the eighth manager in major league history to reach 2,000 wins as the Cardinals beat the Colorado Rockies 10–2. The 58-year-old La Russa posts a 2,000-1,782 record in 25 seasons with the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics and St. Louis.
- September 14 - At Comerica Park, the Detroit Tigers set a franchise record for losses as they drop their 110th loss to the Kansas City Royals, 7-2.
- September 17 - In the Boston Red Sox' 7-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Todd Walker's ninth-inning double is the Red Sox's 608th extra base hit of the season, breaking the major league record set by the 1996 Seattle Mariners.
- September 20 - Unlike this season when the Montreal Expos play 25% of their home games in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the players vote to play their entire 2004 home schedule in Montreal. MLB owners, who collectively own the franchise, are still considering moving the Expos permanently to Washington, D.C., Portland, Oregon or Monterrey, Mexico, or continuing the present format by having the team split home games between different locations (Puerto Rico or Mexico and Montreal).
- Second baseman Marcus Giles hits a home run off Brad Penny's 3-2 pitch, as the Atlanta Braves tie the NL record by having six players hit at least 20 home runs in a season. Along with Giles, Javy López, Gary Sheffield, Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones and Vinny Castilla equal the mark established by Eddie Mathews (32), Hank Aaron (32), Joe Torre (27), Felipe Alou (23), Mack Jones (31) and Gene Oliver (21) of the 1965 Milwaukee Braves.
- September 22 - The Detroit Tigers set an AL record with their 118th loss, falling 12-6 to the Kansas City Royals. The Philadelphia Athletics (36-117) hold the record. The Tigers finish the season with a 43-119 record. The 1962 Mets are the only team in history with a record worse than the 2003 Tigers.
- Second baseman Alfonso Soriano breaks a major league season record by hitting his 13th leadoff home run of the year in the New York Yankees' 10-inning loss to the Chicago White Sox.
- September 25 - First baseman Carlos Delgado of the Toronto Blue Jays becomes the fifteenth player in Major League history to hit four home runs, including his 300th career home run, in one game helping Toronto beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 10-8.
- September 28
- October 14 - In Game 6 of the NLCS, with the Chicago Cubs just five outs away from eliminating the Florida Marlins, Cubs fan Steve Bartman deflects a foul fly ball away from Cubs left fielder Moisés Alou, allowing Florida's Luis Castillo to continue batting. The Cubs then proceed to fall apart, allowing eight runs in the inning to lose Game 6; they go on to lose Game 7, to continue the "Curse of the Billy Goat". The Marlins go on to win the World Series, and Bartman becomes a pariah in Chicago.
- October 16 - In Game 7 of the ALCS, Aaron Boone's walk-off home run off Tim Wakefield in the 11th inning ends a thrilling series between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. Boston blows a three-run 8th inning lead when Grady Little keeps ace Pedro Martínez in the game arguably too long instead of going to relief help from Alan Embree or Mike Timlin. The loss, which turns out to be the last manifestation of the "Curse of the Bambino", costs Little his job.
- October 25 - In Game 6 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium, Josh Beckett, on three days' rest, pitches a 2–0, five-hit shutout over the favored New York Yankees, to give the Florida Marlins their second championship in 11 seasons. Beckett receives Series MVP honors.
- November 22 - 46–year old relief pitcher Jesse Orosco agrees to a minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks and earns an $800,000 salary if he is added to the big league roster. He retires before the start of the 2004 season.
- November 26 - Hoping to add punch to their lineup, the Oakland Athletics trade catcher Ramón Hernández and disgruntled outfielder Terrence Long to the San Diego Padres in exchange for outfielder Mark Kotsay.
- November 28 - The Boston Red Sox send minor leaguer Michael Goss and pitchers Casey Fossum, Brandon Lyon & Jorge de la Rosa to the Arizona Diamondbacks for starting pitcher Curt Schilling.
- Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, written by Michael Lewis, is an examination of the present-day Oakland Athletics as run by their general manager Billy Beane, and how the application of sabermetric principles has allowed the A's to be competitive despite having one of the lowest payrolls in baseball.
- January 9 - Don Landrum, 66, center fielder for four NL teams known for his speed
- January 11 - Durwood Merrill, 64, American League umpire from 1977 to 1999 who worked in the 1988 World Series, five ALCS, and two All-Star games
- January 14 - Earl Lawson, 79, sportswriter who covered the Cincinnati Reds from 1949 to 1985, often drawing criticism for his harsh commentary on players
- January 17 - Claire Schillace, 76, All-Star center fielder for the Racine Belles of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
- February 12 - Haywood Sullivan, 72, general manager of the Red Sox from 1977–84, previously a catcher and manager with the Kansas City Athletics
- February 17 - Steve Bechler, 23, pitching prospect who made three relief appearances for the 2002 Orioles
- February 27 -Edythe Perlick, 80, three-time AAGPBL All-Star outfielder
- February 28 - Jim Fridley, 78, outfielder for the Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles and Cincinnati Redlegs between 1952 and 1958, and one of 17 players involved in the largest transaction in major league history
- March 14 - Al Gionfriddo, 81, outfielder who in his last major league game, Game 6 of the 1947 World Series, robbed Joe DiMaggio of a home run to preserve the Brooklyn Dodgers' 8-6 victory over the Yankees. However, the Yankees went on to win the series the next day.
- March 19 - Joe Buzas, 84, reserve shortstop for the 1945 Yankees who later operated 82 minor league franchises in his 47 years as an owner
- March 28 - Sam Bowens, 64, an outfielder who played for the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Senators from 1963 through 1969
- April 19 - Chris Zachary, 59, pitcher for five teams who posted a 1.41 ERA in relief for the 1972 Tigers
- May 6 - Art Houtteman, 75, All-Star pitcher who won 19 games for the 1950 Tigers and 15 for the 1954 Indians
- May 8 - Dorothy Ferguson, 80, Canadian infielder/outfielder in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League from 1945 to 1954
- May 8 - Sam Lacy, 99, sportswriter for several decades in Washington, Chicago and Baltimore who championed the sport's integration and was one of the BBWAA's first black members
- June 1 - Johnny Hopp, 86, All-Star outfielder and first baseman who batted .300 five times with the Cardinals, Braves and Pirates
- June 18 - Larry Doby, 79, Hall of Fame center fielder for the Cleveland Indians, previously an All-Star second baseman in the Negro Leagues, who became AL's first black player in 1947; led AL in home runs twice, had five 100-RBI seasons; also a coach and scout
- June 22 - Leonard Koppett, 79, sportswriter and author who worked both in New York and on the West Coast
- July 1 - Bill Miller, 75, pitched from 1952 through 1955 for the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles
- July 12 - Patricia Courtney, 71, infielder for the Grand Rapids Chicks and the Chicago Colleens of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
- July 19 - Dorothy Stolze, 80, one of the most versatile utility players in All-American Girls Professional Baseball League history
- July 27 - Bob Hope, 100, comedian and movie star who was part-owner of the Cleveland Indians in the 1950s; performed his signature song "Thanks for the Memory" in 1993 as the Indians ended 60 years of games at Municipal Stadium
- August 7 - Mickey McDermott, 74, pitcher who won 18 games for the 1953 Red Sox, but whose colorful personal life overshadowed his play
- August 9 - Billy Rogell, 98, shortstop for the Tigers' first World Series champions in 1935
- August 21 - Ken Coleman, 78, voice of the Boston Red Sox for 20 years, also with the Indians and Reds
- August 21 - Maddy English, 79, three-time All-Star in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, who played third base for the Racine Belles, championship team in 1943 and 1946
- August 22 - Julie Dusanko, 81, infielder who played for the Minneapolis Millerettes and Racine Belles of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
- August 23 - Bobby Bonds, 57, All-Star right fielder for eight teams who recorded five of the first ten instances of hitting 30 home runs and stealing 30 bases in a season, ending career with 332 HRs and 461 steals; father of Barry Bonds
- August 30 - Claude Passeau, 94, 5-time All-Star pitcher for the Phillies and Cubs who led NL in strikeouts in 1939; pitched a one-hitter in Game 3 of the 1945 World Series
- September 14 - Allen Lewis, 86, sportswriter for the Philadelphia Inquirer for thirty years who also served twelve years as chairman of baseball's scoring rules committee
- September 18 - Pauline Crawley, 79, outfielder who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
- September 25 - George Plimpton, 76, author whose forays into sports included pitching against the NL team prior to the second 1960 All-Star Game; wrote a fictitious story for Sports Illustrated in 1985 on "Sidd Finch", a phenomenal pitching prospect
- October 10 - Johnny Klippstein, 75, pitcher for eight teams who led AL in saves with the 1960 Indians
- October 12 - Joan B. Kroc, 75, owner of the Padres from 1984 to 1990 following the death of her husband, McDonald's founder Ray Kroc
- October 30 - Lillian Jackson, 84, outfielder, one of the original founding members of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in its 1943 inaugural season
- November 5 - Dernell Stenson, 25, promising young outfielder who had played 37 games in 2003 with the Cincinnati Reds
- November 6 - Spider Jorgensen, 84, third baseman who debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers on the same day that teammate Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier
- November 15 - Earl Battey, 68, All-Star catcher and three-time Gold Glove winner for the White Sox, Senators and Twins who batted .302 in 1961
- November 18 - Ken Brett, 55, All-Star pitcher for numerous teams who at age 19 became the youngest pitcher to appear in the World Series; brother of Hall of Famer George Brett
- November 22 - Joe Just, 87, Cincinnati Reds player in 1944 and 1945
- November 24 - Warren Spahn, 82, Hall of Fame pitcher for the Boston and Milwaukee Braves whose 363 victories made him the fifth-winningest pitcher (and the winningest left-hander) in history; thirteen 20-win seasons included Cy Young Award campaign in 1957 championship season; 14-time All-Star pitched two no-hitters, and led NL in wins eight times, in strikeouts, shutouts and innings four times each, and in ERA three times; 2583 strikeouts were record for left-handers until 1975, and 5244 innings remained top mark among southpaws
- November 30 - Jack Brewer, 85, pitcher who played from 1944-46 for the New Giants
- December 26 - Paul Owens, 79, general manager of the Phillies from 1972 to 1984 who also managed the team to the 1983 pennant
- December 27 - Ivan Calderón, 41, Puerto Rican All-Star outfielder for four teams who had three multi-HR games for 1987 White Sox, batted .300 for 1991 Expos
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