2001 in baseball

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The following are the baseball events of the year 2001 throughout the world.


Major League Baseball[edit]

  • Regular Season Champions
League Eastern Division Champion Central Division Champion Western Division Champion Wild Card Qualifier
American League New York Yankees Cleveland Indians Seattle Mariners Oakland Athletics
National League Atlanta Braves Houston Astros Arizona Diamondbacks St. Louis Cardinals
  Division Series
League Championship Series
World Series
  1  Seattle Mariners 3  
3  Cleveland Indians 2  
  1  Seattle Mariners 1  
American League
  2  New York Yankees 4  
2  New York Yankees 3
  4  Oakland Athletics 2  
    AL  New York Yankees 3
  NL  Arizona Diamondbacks 4
  1  Houston Astros 0  
3  Atlanta Braves 3  
  3  Atlanta Braves 1
National League
  2  Arizona Diamondbacks 4  
2  Arizona Diamondbacks 3
  4  St. Louis Cardinals 2  

Click on any series score to link to that series' page.
Higher seed has home field advantage during Division Series and League Championship Series.
The National League Champion has home field advantage during the World Series as a result of the pre-2003 "alternating years" rule.
American League is seeded 1-3/2-4 as a result of the AL regular season champion (Seattle Mariners) and the AL wild card (Oakland Athletics) coming from the same division.
National League is seeded 1-3/2-4 as a result of the NL regular season champion (Houston Astros) and the NL wild card (St. Louis Cardinals) coming from the same division.

Other champions[edit]

Awards and honors[edit]

MLB statistical leaders[edit]

  American League National League
Type Name Stat Name Stat
AVG Ichiro Suzuki SEA .350 Larry Walker COL .350
HR Alex Rodriguez TEX 52 Barry Bonds1 SFG 73
RBI Bret Boone SEA 141 Sammy Sosa CHC 160
Wins Mark Mulder OAK 21 Matt Morris STL
Curt Schilling ARI
ERA Freddy García SEA 3.05 Randy Johnson ARI 2.49
Ks Hideo Nomo BOS 220 Randy Johnson ARI 372

1Major League single season home run record

Major league baseball final standings[edit]

  • The asterisk denotes the club that won the wild card for its respective league.
  • Note: St. Louis and Houston finished the season tied, and Houston was awarded the division title due to winning their season series.
  • ** The Seattle Mariners break the single season record for most wins in the AL with 116.



  • January 16 - Outfielders Dave Winfield and Kirby Puckett are elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in their first year on the ballot.
  • January 22 - World Series standout Tommie Agee dies of a cardiac arrest in Manhattan at the age of 58. As the New York Mets center fielder, the 1966 AL Rookie of the Year makes two memorable catches (saving possibly five runs) and hits a home run in a 5–0 Game Three victory over the Baltimore Orioles in the 1969 Fall Classic.
  • January 23 - The Northern League announced that it had awarded a franchise to Northwest Sports Ventures, later to be named the Gary SouthShore RailCats
  • January 26 - Alex Rodriguez signs as a free agent with the Texas Rangers. The ten-year contract worth $252 million is the most lucrative contract in sports history. The deal is worth $63 million more than the second-richest baseball deal.



  • March 6 - Second baseman Bill Mazeroski and Negro League pitcher Hilton Smith are elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee.
  • March 8 - The Baltimore Orioles announce that Albert Belle is "totally disabled and unable to perform as a major league baseball player" due to a severe case of degenerative arthritis of the right hip.
  • March 23 - A panel of veteran baseball writers, historians and executives selects a roster of the 100 Greatest Cleveland Indians Players,[1] as part of the club's 100th Anniversary Celebration.
  • March 24 - One of Major League Baseball's more bizarre moments occurs in a Spring Training game between the San Francisco Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Randy Johnson is on the mound and pitches as a bird flies between the mound and the plate. The ball hits the bird in an "explosion of feathers" that kills the bird. The official call is a "no pitch".









  • November 1 - The New York Yankees pull off 2 incredible comebacks. With the Arizona Diamondbacks leading 3-1 with 2 outs in the 9th inning of Game 4 of the 2001 World Series, Tino Martinez hits a game tying 2 run home run. One inning later (at 12:04 ET) Derek Jeter hits a walk-off home run to win Game 4, while fans wave a banner which says "Mr. November". Later that night in Game 5, with the Yankees trailing 2-0 in the 9th inning with 2 outs, Scott Brosius hits a 2 run game tying home run to tie that game at 2. The Yankees win 3-2 and take a 3-2 series lead.
  • November 4 - The Arizona Diamondbacks win the first World Series of their four-year existence with a come-from-behind 3–2 win over the New York Yankees. Mariano Rivera, considered by many to be the best closer in postseason history, begins the bottom of the 9th inning with a 1-run lead, but is unable to protect it, allowing two runs, including a game-winning RBI single by Luis González. Randy Johnson gets the win in relief and shares World Series MVP honors with Curt Schilling.
  • November 11 - Mark McGwire announces his retirement. His 583 career home runs place him fifth on the all-time list.
  • November 12:
    • Albert Pujols, just one year after playing Class-A baseball, hits a .329 batting average with 37 home runs and 130 RBI and is named the National League Rookie of the Year by the BBWAA. The St. Louis Cardinals freshman sets NL rookie marks in RBI, total bases (360) and extra base hits (88), and falls one home run shy of tying the NL rookie record of 38 established by Frank Robinson in 1956 as a member of the Cincinnati Reds.
    • Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who leads the American League with a .350 batting average, is named Rookie of the Year by the BBWAA.
  • November 27 - The major league owners vote unanimously to extend baseball commissioner Bud Selig's contract through 2006.
  • November 30 - Major League Baseball's plan to contract by two teams next season is put into jeopardy by Minnesota courts. The state's Supreme Court refuses to grant the request for a speedy review of the appeal of the injunction which forces the Twins to play in 2001, and the appellate court sets the hearing for December 27, a date many believe is too late to make the elimination of two teams a reality. Unsure of their future, the Expos sign a one-year lease to play their home games of the 2002 season at Olympic Stadium. Due to the threat of being eliminated because of the proposed contraction, the agreement gives the Expos the right to unilaterally cancel the contract.





  • January   3 - Alex Sabo, 90, backup catcher for the Washington Senators in the 1936 and 1937 seasons.
  • January   6 - Tom Poholsky, 71, pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs between 1950 and 1957.
  • January   6 - Tot Pressnell, 94, who pitched from 1938 through 1942 for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Chicago Cubs.
  • January   8 - Bert Hodges, 83, third baseman for the 1942 Philadelphia Phillies.
  • January 14 - Joe Zapustas, 93, backup outfielder for the 1933 Philadelphia Athletics.
  • January 19 - Johnny Babich, 87, pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Boston Bees and Philadelphia Athletics between 1934 and 1941.
  • January 22 - Tommie Agee, 58, All-Star center fielder who was the 1966 AL Rookie of the Year with the Chicago White Sox, best remembered for two outstanding catches in Game 3 of the 1969 World Series that helped the New York Mets win the world championship.
  • January 28 - Curt Blefary, 57, outfielder who earned the 1965 AL Rookie of the Year Award with the Baltimore Orioles.


  • February   1 - Sam Harshaney, 90, backup catcher for the St. Louis Browns from 1937 to 1940.
  • February   5 - Jerry McQuaig, 89, outfielder for the 1934 Philadelphia Athletics.
  • February 16 - Bob Buhl, 72, All-Star pitcher for the Milwaukee Braves, Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies from 1953 to 1967, who posted a 166-133 record and a 3.52 ERA in 457 games, while leading NL pitchers with a .720 winning percentage in 1957.
  • February 18 - Eddie Mathews, 69, Hall of Fame third baseman for the Braves in Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta, who retired with 512 home runs, sixth most in history, hitting 40 homers four times and leading NL twice; batted .300 three times, scored 100 runs eight times and had five 100-RBI seasons. A fine defensive player, he set major league records with 2181 games and 4323 assists at third base, setting a NL mark with 369 double plays. He also appeared on first cover of Sports Illustrated in 1954, was manager of the Braves in 1974 when former teammate Hank Aaron broke all-time career home run record.
  • February 18 - Butch Wensloff, 85, pitcher for the 1943-1947 New York Yankees and the 1948 Cleveland Indians.
  • February 20 - Bill Rigney, 83, manager of the Giants when team moved to San Francisco, later managed Angels, and led Twins to 1970 division title; previously an All-Star infielder for Giants in New York.
  • February 24 - Phil Collier, 75, sportswriter for the San Diego Union-Tribune who covered the Dodgers, Angels and Padres from 1958 to 1999.
  • February 25 - Bitsy Mott, 82, backup infielder for the 1946 Philadelphia Phillies, who also worked later as the personal security guard for rock-and-roll star Elvis Presley.


  • March   5 - Leo Thomas, 77, first baseman who played from 1950 to 1952 with the St. Louis Browns and Chicago White Sox.
  • March   7 - Janice O'Hara, 82, one of the original players to join the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League for its inaugural season in 1943.
  • March 12 - Bill Reeder, 79, pitcher for the 1949 St. Louis Cardinals.
  • March 15 - Fern Battaglia, 70, infielder for the Battle Creek Belles of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
  • March 20 - Luis Alvarado, 52, Puerto Rican infielder for six teams, most notably for the Chicago White Sox.
  • March 22 - Newt Kimball, 85, relief pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies between 1937 and 1943.


  • April 1 - Nelson Burbrink, 79, a catcher for the 1955 St. Louis Cardinals and later a scout for the New York Mets
  • April 2 - Lloyd Gearhart, 77, first baseman for the 1947 New York Giants, and a longtime player-manager for the Atlanta Crackers minor league team
  • April 9 - Willie Stargell, 61, Hall of Fame left fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates who hit 475 home runs, leading NL twice; was MVP of the regular season, NLCS and World Series in 1979, the only player to do so; batted .300 three times and had five 100-RBI seasons
  • April 16 - Hank Riebe, 79, catcher for the Detroit Tigers in the 1940s, and a highly decorated World War II veteran
  • April 21 - Sandy Ullrich, 79, Cuban pitcher for the Washington Senators from 1944 to 1945
  • April 21 - Hal White, 82, pitcher for the Tigers who eaned shutouts in his first two major league starts; later a coach and scout
  • May 19 - Joe Lovitto, 50, the Texas Rangers' first center fielder, from 1972–75
  • May 21 - Mel Hoderlein, 77, utility infielder for the Boston Red Sox and Washington Senators in the 1950s
  • June 1 - Nancy Warren, 79, AAGPBL All-Star pitcher and member of the 1954 champion team
  • June 2 - Gene Woodling, 78, All-Star left fielder who batted .318 in five World Series with the Yankees
  • June 16 - Sam Jethroe, 84, All-Star outfielder in the Negro Leagues, later the 1950 NL Rookie of the Year with the Braves at age 32
  • June 20 - Bob Keegan, 80, All-Star pitcher who won 40 games, including a no-hitter, for the White Sox


  • July 17 - Chief Hogsett, 97, pitcher for the Tigers who made a critical relief appearance in the 1935 World Series
  • August 10 - Lou Boudreau, 84, Hall of Fame shortstop for the Cleveland Indians who won 1948 MVP award after leading team to World Series title as a player-manager, the last person to do so; won 1944 batting title and led AL in doubles three times, later a broadcaster
  • August 24 - Hank Sauer, 84, All-Star left fielder for four NL teams after rookie season at age 31; won 1952 MVP award with the Cubs after leading league in home runs and RBI
  • August 29 - Dick Selma, 57, pitcher who won the San Diego Padres' first game in 1969 and saved 22 games for 1970 Phillies
  • August 31 - Crash Davis, 82, infielder for the Philadelphia Athletics from 1940-42 whose name was given to Kevin Costner's character in Bull Durham
  • September 11 - Clem Dreisewerd, 85, pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Browns and New York Giants between 1944 and 1948, who also enjoyed a long and successfully minor league career
  • September 17 - Bubba Church, 77, pitcher who won 15 games for 1951 Phillies, also played for the Reds and Cubs
  • September 19 - Bill Stafford, 62, In 1961, Stafford had the second best ERA in the American League with 2.68. On October 1 of that season, he was the winning pitcher when Roger Maris hit his 61st home run of the season, breaking Babe Ruth's single-season record of 60 in 1927.
  • September 20 - Joe Stephenson, 80, backup catcher for three teams who gained renown as a scout for the Red Sox
  • September 25 - Ritter Collett, 80, sportswriter who covered the Cincinnati Reds for various Dayton newspapers since 1946


  • October 5 - Woody Jensen, 94, left fielder for the Pirates who batted .324 in 1935 and set a record with 696 at bats in 1936
  • October 18 - Ferris Fain, 80, five-time All-Star first baseman for the Athletics and White Sox who won consecutive batting titles in 1951-52
  • October 19 - Joe Murray, 80, pitcher for the 1950 Philadelphia Athletics
  • November 4 - Bob Gillespie, 82, pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox between 1944 and 1950
  • November 16 - Red Steiner, 86, catcher for the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox during the 1945 season
  • November 18 - Mel Deutsch, 86, pitched for the 1946 Boston Red Sox
  • November 23 - Bo Belinsky, 64, pitcher who enjoyed a 10-win rookie season in 1962 with the Angels, including the first no-hitter on the West Coast, but whose raucous personal life derailed his career
  • November 29 - Marcelino López, 58, Cuban pitcher who won 14 games as a 1965 rookie with the Angels but never recaptured the same form
  • December 21 - Karl Winsch, 86, Philadelphia Phillies minor league pitcher and a successful manager in the AAGPBL
  • December 24 - Hank Soar, 87, American League umpire from 1950 to 1971 who worked in five World Series and the 1971 ALCS before becoming a league supervisor; former football player with the New York Giants
  • December 25 - Ramón García, 77, Cuban pitcher for the 1948 Washington Senators
  • December 26 - Tom McBride, 87, outfielder who batted .305 for the 1945 Red Sox, getting six RBI in one inning in August