March 10 – Former New York Giants shortstop Travis Jackson and former baseball commissioner Happy Chandler are elected to the Hall of Fame by the Special Veterans Committee. Jackson hit .291 in 15 seasons between the 1920s and 1930s, while Chandler was the second commissioner and oversaw – and encouraged – the dismantling of the color barrier in 1947.
April 20 – Before a crowd of 37,268—the largest crowd to see a game at Fulton County Stadium this season—the Atlanta Braves beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-2 to go 12–0, the best start ever by any Major League team. Steve Bedrosian was the winning pitcher. The streak would reach 13 the next day as the Braves beat the Reds 4-3.
May 30 – Cal Ripken, Jr. starts at third base for the Baltimore Orioles against the Toronto Blue Jays. It is the first game of his record breaking 2,632 consecutive games played streak. Coincidentally, tomorrow, May 31, will be the fifty-seventh anniversary of the start of Lou Gehrig's streak, which Ripken will break.
June 2 – The Milwaukee Brewers, 23–24 on the season and 7 games out of first place, fire Buck Rodgers as their manager. Harvey Kuenn replaces him and will guide the Brewers to victory in 20 of their next 27 games, the Brewers taking over first place on July 11. The team soon to be known as "Harvey's Wallbangers" will go on to win the American League East title and their only American League pennant.
June 6 – While crossing a street in Arlington, Texas, umpire Lou DiMuro is struck by a car; he dies early the next day. Major League Baseball later retires his uniform number 16.
June 20 – Pete Rose becomes only the fifth player in history to play in 3,000 Major League baseball games.
July 13 – At Montreal's Olympic Stadium, in the first All-Star Game held outside the United States, Cincinnati Reds shortstop Dave Concepción hits a two-run home run in the second inning to spark the National League to a 4–1 win over the American League. It's the NL's 11th straight victory and 19th in the last 20 contests. Concepción wins the MVP honors.
July 29 – The Atlanta Braves were in first place in the National League West, 9 games ahead of the San Diego Padres when owner Ted Turner decides to remove the elevated tipi of mascot Chief Noc-A-Homa from the stands to allow more seats to be sold for the Braves' run at the division title. The Braves, however, lose 19 of their next 21 games, falling into third place before the tipi is restored.
August 10 – For the first time this season, the Atlanta Braves are out of first place in the National League West. They lose to the San Francisco Giants 3-2 at Candlestick Park as the Giants' Milt May hits the game-winning home run off Al Hrabosky in the seventh inning; the loss is Atlanta's eighth consecutive and 12th in their last 13 games. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had trailed the Braves by 10 games less than two weeks earlier, defeat the Cincinnati Reds at Dodger Stadium 11-3 as Rick Monday and Steve Garvey both homer. The victory is the eighth consecutive and 12th in the last 13 games for the Dodgers, who had swept two four-game series from the Braves during this comeback—one at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium at the beginning and another at Dodger Stadium (the first three coming in extra innings) just prior to the Cincinnati series. The Braves had been in first place since winning their first 12 games of the season.
August 23 – Even though he has made no secret that he occasionally employs the spitball, Gaylord Perry is ejected from a game versus the Boston Red Sox for throwing the illegal pitch—the only such ejection in his career.
August 27 – Rickey Henderson steals four bases, breaking the record he had shared with Lou Brock at 118 stolen bases for the season. He will steal eight more to end the season with a record of 130.
September 6 – Veteran first baseman Willie Stargell, whose jersey #8 is retired, is saluted by 38,000 fans on his day at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium. The 41-year-old slugger delivers a pinch single in the Pirates' 6–1 win over the Mets.
September 12 – Minnesota Twins pitcher Terry Felton takes the loss today, his thirteenth of the year against no wins. He'll not pitch for a decision again. Coupled with his 1980 record of 0-3, Felton's 0-16 major league career sets a futility record for the most losses without a big league win.
At Baltimore's Memorial Stadium, The American League East Title was decided before an ABC television audience. Robin Yount hit two home runs and Don Sutton outdueled Jim Palmer as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Baltimore Orioles 11-2 to capture the AL East Title. It was also to have been Earl Weaver's last game as an Orioles manager, but he would come out of retirement to manage the O's again from 1985 to 1986.
At San Francisco's Candlestick Park, a 3-run home run by Joe Morgan helped the San Francisco Giants beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 and knocked the Dodgers out of the postseason and the Atlanta Braves became NL West Champions.
October 6 – The Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals play four innings of Game 1 of the 1982 NLCS when rain halts play in the bottom of the fifth with the Cardinals batting, three outs away from being an official game, and the Braves ahead, 1-0. The rain does not subside and the game is called. The Cardinals would go on to sweep the Braves and reach the 1982 World Series.
The Montreal Expos' Tim Raines enters treatment for drug abuse. Raines claims to have spent a fifth of his salary on cocaine when he stole a National League-leading 78 bases during the regular season, and says he started sliding head first to avoid breaking the vial of cocaine he kept in his back pocket.
October 17 – In Game 5 of the 1982 World Series, a 6-4 Brewers victory, Robin Yount powers the Brewers with four hits, including a home run and a double. Along with his four-hit effort in Game 1, Yount becomes the first player ever to have two four-hit games in a single World Series.
November 17 – Center fielder Dale Murphy wins the National League MVP Award, becoming the first Braves player to be so honored since Hank Aaron in 1957. Murphy hit .281 with 36 home runs, 109 RBI, 113 runs, and 23 stolen bases.
November 22 – Second baseman Steve Sax of the Los Angeles Dodgers is named National League Rookie of the Year, becoming the fourth consecutive player from the Dodgers to win the award. Sax hit .282 and stole 49 bases as the replacement for Davey Lopes in the Dodgers infield.
January 6 – Wally Post, 52, right fielder, most notably with the Cincinnati Reds, known for his home run power
January 15 – Red Smith, 76, sportswriter who won a Pulitzer Prize and was described by Ernest Hemingway as "the most important force in American sportswriting"
January 18 – Bob Addie, 71, sportswriter for Washington, D.C. newspapers for nearly 40 years who covered both Senators franchises
January 18 – Johnny Tobin, 61, third baseman for the 1945 Boston Red Sox
January 24 – Ben Shields, 78, pitcher who played from 1924 to 1931 for the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies
February 12 – Dale Alderson, 63, pitcher for the Chicago Cubs in the mid-1940s
February 17 – Nestor Chylak, 59, American League umpire from 1954 to 1978 who worked in five World Series and six All-Star games
May 9 – John Smith, 75, first baseman for the 1931 Boston Red Sox
May 11 – Dave Malarcher, 87, infielder and manager in the Negro Leagues who led the Chicago American Giants to World Series titles in 1926–27 and the Indianapolis ABC's to a 1933 pennant
May 17 – Dixie Walker, 71, five-time All-Star outfielder who batted .306 lifetime and gained his greatest popularity with the Dodgers; NL batting champion in 1944
June 7 – Lou DiMuro, 51, AL umpire since 1963 who worked two World Series, three ALCS and four All-Star Games
June 8 – Satchel Paige, 75, Hall of Fame pitcher in the Negro Leagues, mainly with the Kansas City Monarchs, who was black baseball's biggest star for much of his career; won 28 major league games after debuting at age 42; in 1971 became the second Negro Leaguer elected to Hall of Fame, behind Jackie Robinson who was elected in 1962
June 27 – Eddie Morgan, 77, outfielder/first baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals and Brooklyn Dodgers, who hit a pinch-hit home run in his first major league at-bat
July 6 – Indian Bob Johnson, 76, 8-time All-Star left fielder with the Philadelphia Athletics who had eight 100-RBI seasons and scored 100 runs six times
July 14 – Jackie Jensen, 55, All-Star right fielder who starred for the Boston Red Sox, winning the AL's 1958 MVP award and leading the league in RBI three times, but retired at 32 due to an intense fear of flying
July 22 – Lloyd Waner, 76, Hall of Fame center fielder who played in the Pittsburgh Pirates outfield next to his brother Paul; a career .316 hitter who led the NL in hits, runs and triples once each, his 1967 Hall election made them the first brothers to be inducted