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 American League Champion has home field advantage during World Series as a result of the pre-2003 "alternating years" rule.
January 8 – Ozzie Smith is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Smith, named on 91.7 percent of the ballots, is the 37th player to be elected in his first year.
February 11 – Major league owners approve the sales of the Florida Marlins and Montreal Expos. Florida owner John Henry is selling the Marlins to Jeffrey Loria for $158.5 million, while Loria is selling the Expos to "Baseball Expos LP", a limited partnership owned by the other 29 teams, for $120 million.
February 12 – Mets assistant general manager Omar Minaya becomes the first Hispanic GM by accepting the position with the Montreal Expos. Frank Robinson is also announced as the manager of the team, which will be run by Major League Baseball for the 2002 season.
February 27 – The sale of the Boston Red Sox to a group headed by John Henry becomes official.
March 1 – The Red Sox fire GM Dan Duquette and hire Mike Port on an interim basis.
March 11 – The Red Sox hire Grady Little as their new manager.
The Giants defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 12–0, as Barry Bonds hits a pair of home runs for the second day in a row. He becomes only the second player in history to begin a season with a pair of 2–HR games; Eddie Mathews was the other.
At home, the Oakland Athletics lose to the Texas Rangers 9–6, as the Rangers score three in the 8th. The loss snaps the A's string of 20 straight wins at home stretching back to August 24. The A's move past the 1974–75 Cincinnati Reds for most consecutive home wins over two seasons; the Reds' mark was 17.
April 5 – The Giants defeat the Padres 3–1 in 10 innings on Barry Bonds' 5th home run of the year. In doing so, Bonds ties the mark for most home runs in the first four games of the season, set by Lou Brock in 1967.
The Diamondbacks trounce the Rockies 7–1, as Randy Johnson strikes out 17 batters in becoming the first pitcher this year to win five games. It is the 6th time he has fanned 17 or more in a game.
Making his first start in almost seven years, the Cincinnati Reds' José Rijo allows one unearned run in five innings as the Reds defeat the Cubs 5–3. It is Rijo's first win since July 13, 1995.
April 27 – Boston pitcher Derek Lowe hurls Fenway Park's first no-hitter since 1965 (Dave Morehead), shutting out Tampa Bay 10–0. It is the first career complete game for Lowe, who began last season as the Red Sox closer. In his first start this year, he hurled seven hitless innings against the Orioles.
April 29 – former major league outfielder Darryl Strawberry is sentenced to 18 months in prison for violating the terms of his probation six times.
May 2 – The Seattle Mariners rout the Chicago White Sox, 15–4, as outfielder Mike Cameron becomes the thirteenth player in Major League history to slug four home runs in a single game, all solo shots. In doing so, he becomes the first American League player in 43 years to accomplish the feat. Cameron is also hit by a pitch and flies out to deep right field in a bid for a 5th homer. Cameron and second baseman Bret Boone also become the first teammates in history to hit back–to–back home runs twice in the same inning, performing the feat in Seattle's 10–run 1st inning. The Mariners also tie a team record with seven homers in the game. James Baldwin is the easy winner, with seven innings pitched. There had only been 39 previous occasions of a player hitting two home runs in an inning, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Eric Karros was last to do it, on August 22, 2000, for the Dodgers. Mark McGwire was the previous AL player to do it, on September 22, 1996 for Oakland.
May 4 – Barry Bonds hits his 400th home run as a Giant, leading his team to a 3–0 win over Cincinnati. Bonds is the first player to hit 400 homers for one team and 100 with another.
May 10 – The Anaheim Angels crush the White Sox 19–0. The Angels join the 1923 Indians, 1939 Yankees and 1950 Red Sox as the only teams to beat two opponents by 19 or more runs in the same season. Earlier this year, the Angels beat the Indians 21–2. The Anaheim victory over Chicago is just the 11th since 1901 in which a team scored 19 or more runs while shutting out its opponent, and the first such shutout in the AL since 1955 when Cleveland beat Boston 19–0.
May 18 — During a rehab start with the triple A Pawtucket Red Sox, Manny Ramirez loses his $15,000 diamond earring while sliding into third base. About half his teammates on their hands and knees, along with the Syracuse grounds crew, are unable to recover it despite combing the third base area after the game.
At Miller Park, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Shawn Green becomes the 14th man in major league history to hit four home runs in a game and sets a big league record with 19 total bases. He goes 6-for-6, scores six runs (both Dodgers records), and gets seven RBI in a 16-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. Green is the second player this year to hit four home runs in a game. He also surpasses Joe Adcock's former mark of 18 total bases, set in 1954. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, six players have produced 17 or more total bases in a game, with the last being Mike Schmidt in 1976. Green also is the first major league player to collect six hits while hitting four homers, and his four homers plus a double ties the NL mark for extra base hits. The Dodgers hit eight homers in the game, another franchise record. Before today's power display, Green had gone 0-for-15, and had been benched May 18.
June 2 – Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Robert Person puts on one of the best offensive displays by a pitcher in Major League history. In his team's 18-2 victory over the Montreal Expos at Veterans Stadium, he hits two home runs and drives in seven runs. The first home run is a grand slam and comes off Bruce Chen in the first inning; the second comes in the fifth off Masato Yoshii with two men on base. In between, in the third inning; he barely misses joining Tony Cloninger in 1966 as the only pitchers to hit two grand slams in the same game; he strikes out to end the inning. With the second grand slam, Person, the first Phillie pitcher to hit two home runs in one game since Randy Lerch in 1978, would also have broken Cloninger's record of nine RBIs in one game by a pitcher, as well as become only the second pitcher to hit three home runs in one game, joining Jim Tobin in 1942.
June 4 – The Minnesota Twins score 10 runs in the 7th inning to close out the scoring in a 23–2 win over the Indians, the largest margin of victory in Twins history. They stroke a franchise-record 25 hits (the team hit 24 five times while playing as the Washington Senators) in the contest, and tie their club record for total RBI with 22. They also tie the AL record as four players have four or more hits – Jacque Jones, Dustan Mohr, A. J. Pierzynski and Luis Rivas. Rivas scores five times to tie a club record. The Indians tie their team record for biggest loss, tying the mark set in a 21-0 loss to the Tigers on September 15, 1901. Cleveland also becomes the first team since the 1969San Diego Padres to lose two games in the same season by 19 or more runs.
June 18 – Jack Buck, Hall of Fame Broadcaster for the St. Louis Cardinals, passes away after months of hospitalization. He worked football games and playoff games as well—noted for his call in the 1988 World Series following the game-winning home run by Kirk Gibson and the 1991 World Series game winning "And we'll see you tomorrow night" home run by Kirby Puckett. On the date of his death, Darryl Kile pitched the Cardinals into a tie for first place, their first time at the top of the division since early April. It would be his final start before his sudden death.
June 22 – St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile dies suddenly in his hotel room in downtown Chicago. When he didn't arrive at the ballpark, his room was checked. Kile had died in his sleep from 90% blockage of his arteries. He was 33. The game was postponed after the fans waited in the dark for an hour. Chicago Cubs catcher Joe Girardi (who later played for the Cardinals) made the announcement to the crowd that the game was canceled due to a "tragedy in the Cardinal family." The game was rescheduled for August 31 with the Cardinals winning 10–4.
July 2 – A combined total of 62 home runs are hit in today's games, breaking the old major league mark on 57 set on April 7, 2000. A record 9 players have multiple home run games, breaking the previous mark of 8 set on May 19, 1999.
July 23 – Nomar Garciaparra hits three home runs with eight RBI on his birthday as the Boston Red Sox defeat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 22–4, in the opener of a day–night doubleheader. The round–trippers give him five in two games to tie a major league record. Garciaparra also becomes the only player in major league history to hit three home runs in two back-to-back innings.
August 7 – In a historic movement, major league players end their long-held opposition to mandatory drug testing by agreeing to be tested for illegal steroids beginning in 2003.
August 8 – Braves pitcher John Smoltz reaches 40 saves in a season faster than any pitcher in major league history.
August 9 – The Giants' Barry Bonds hits the 600th home run of his career, but his team still falls to the Pirates by a score of 4–3. Bonds joins Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays in the exclusive 600-HR club.
August 11 – Sammy Sosa hit a grand slam and drove in five runs in the Chicago Cubs' 12-9 victory over Colorado to set an NL record for RBIs in consecutive games with 14.
August 17 – The Yankees defeat the Mariners 8–3, as Alfonso Soriano hits a home run to become the first second baseman ever to join the 30–30 club.
August 26 – New York shortstop Derek Jeter scored his 100th run of the season, joining Ted Williams (1939–49) and Earle Combs (1925–32) as the only players in modern history to score at least 100 runs in their first seven seasons. Jeter scored again in the bottom of the eighth as the Yankees routed the visiting Texas rangrs 10-3.
August 29 – First baseman Mark Bellhorn becomes the first player in NL history to homer from both sides of the plate in the same inning, doing so in the Cubs' 10–run 4th inning at Miller Park in Milwaukee. Chicago wins 13–10 over the Brewers. Bellhorn also ties a team record with five RBI in the inning.
August 30 – Major league players and owners agree to a historic contract that prevents the players from going out on strike, marking the first time in over 30 years that a collective bargaining negotiation in baseball was met without a work stoppage.
August 31 – The New York Mets are shut out by the Philadelphia Phillies 1–0, to mark their 13th consecutive home defeat. In doing so, they become the first NL team to lose all their home games over the course of a month.
Miguel Tejada of the Oakland Athletics hits his 30th home run of the season as Oakland beats the Minnesota Twins 7–5. Tejada is only the third shortstop in history with at least three seasons with 30 or more home runs and with 30 HR in three consecutive seasons. Alex Rodriguez leads in both categories with six such seasons, five in a row.
The Mets lose the first game of their doubleheader against the Marlins 3–2, but bounce back to take the nightcap 11–5. The loss in the opener sets a new NL record for consecutive home losses with 15.
Texas Rangers reliever Joaquín Benoit pitches seven innings of one-hit ball against the Baltimore Orioles to record the longest save in Major League history.
The St. Louis Cardinals defeat the Chicago Cubs 11–2, as brothers Andy Benes and Alan Benes oppose each other in the seventh matchup of brothers in major league history. Andy gets the win while Alan takes the loss. The Cardinals score all 11 of their runs in the third inning.
The Texas Rangers set a major league record by homering in their 26th consecutive game as Texas falls to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6–3. Rafael Palmeiro's solo shot in the sixth inning is the record–breaker. The streak will be ended at 27 games two days later.
September 9 – Pitcher Randy Johnson reaches 300 strikeouts for the fifth consecutive season, extending his major league record.
Pitcher Derek Lowe gets his 20th victory as the Red Sox beat the Orioles 6–4. Lowe becomes the first pitcher in major league history to win 20 games the season after saving 20. He is also the first pitcher to record at least 40 saves and later win 20. Dennis Eckersley and John Smoltz did it the other way around.
September 29 – Albert Pujols becomes the fourth hitter in the major leagues, and the first batter since Ted Williams in 1939–40, to collect more than 250 runs batted in his first two seasons in the majors. Pujols has driven in 257 runs in his first two campaigns. Joe DiMaggio holds the record with 292 RBI, Dale Alexander is second with 272, and Williams is third with 258.
October 26 – The Anaheim Angels stage one of the great comebacks in World Series history to force a seventh game. With one out in the 7th inning, the Giants are leading 5-0 and are just 8 outs from their first World Series title since moving to San Francisco. But after two singles, Scott Spezio fouls off several pitches before hitting a 3 run homer to get the Angels close. In the bottom of the 8th, Darin Erstad led off with a home run to make it 5-4. After two singles, the Giants brought in their ace reliever Rob Nen. Series MVP Troy Glaus greeted him with a 2 run double to give the Angels a 6-5 lead. Reliever Troy Percival pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for the save.
In support of a national strike, the Venezuelan professional league suspends its games. Many of the eight teams in the league belong to news media owners opposed to President Hugo Chávez. When the strike continues, the league will cancel its season on January 13, 2004.
January 2 – Bob Stevens, 85, sportswriter for the San Francisco Chronicle for over 40 years
January 24 – Irene Kotowicz, 82, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League pitcher
January 31 – Harry Chiti, 69, catcher for the Cubs and Kansas City Athletics who was adept at handling the knuckleball
February 3 – Mel McGaha, 75, manager for the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Athletics between 1962 and 1965 and coach with the Houston Astros from 1968–70
February 11 – Frankie Crosetti, 91, All-Star shortstop and later a longtime coach for the New York Yankees, who spent a record 37 seasons with the team; scored 100 runs four times and led AL in steals in 1938
February 15 – Mike Darr, 26, outfielder for the San Diego Padres (from 1999 until his death), was killed in a car accident during spring training in Arizona
March 9 – Jack Baer, 87, coach who led Oklahoma to the 1951 College World Series title
March 11 – Al Cowens, 50, right fielder for four AL teams who batted .312 and won a Gold Glove for the 1977 Royals, and was MVP runnerup
March 12 – Steve Gromek, 82, All-Star pitcher who won 19 games for the 1945 Indians and hurled 2-1 victory in 1948 World Series
March 23 – Minnie Rojas, 68, Cuban relief pitcher for the Angels who led AL in saves in 1967, was paralyzed in spring 1970 accident
April 3 – Karl Swanson, 101, reserve second baseman for the 1928-29 White Sox who at the time of his death was the oldest living major leaguer
April 21 – Sam Dente, 79, shortstop for the Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Browns, Washington Senators, Chicago White Sox, and the 1954 AL Champions Cleveland Indians
April 26 – John Davis, 86, reserve third baseman for the 1941 New York Giants; minor league manager for 27 years
May 17 – Joe Black, 78, pitcher who was NL Rookie of the Year in 1952, and became first black pitcher to win a World Series game
May 22 – Joe Cascarella, 94, pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics, Boston Red Sox, Washington Senators, and Cincinnati Reds in the 1930s, and the last surviving member of the 1934 U.S. All-Star team which toured Japan
July 5 – Ted Williams, 83, Hall of Fame left fielder for the Boston Red Sox widely regarded as the greatest hitter in the sport's history, who won two Triple Crowns (1942, 1947), two MVP awards (1946, 1949) and six batting titles, including a .406 season in 1941, the last .400 mark in the major leagues; 17-time All-Star had .344 lifetime average (7th highest ever) and .634 slugging mark (2nd to Babe Ruth); 521 home runs were 3rd highest total upon retirement, with four AL titles; .482 on-base percentage is all-time record
July 17 – Lee Maye, 67, outfielder who led the major leagues with 44 doubles in 1964
July 24 – Pete Coscarart, 87, All-Star second baseman who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates between 1938 and 1946
July 25 – Izzy León, 91, Cuban pitcher for the 1945 Philadlephia Phillies, and one of many ballplayers who only appeared in the majors during World War II
July 26 – Ed Runge, 87, American League umpire from 1954 to 1970 who worked in three World Series; son Paul and grandson Brian also became umpires
August 5 – Darrell Porter, 50, All-Star catcher who had 100 runs and 100 RBI with 1979 Royals, and was MVP of the 1982 NLCS and World Series with the Cardinals
August 12 – Enos Slaughter, 86, Hall of Fame right fielder for the Cardinals who batted .300 lifetime; led NL in triples twice and in doubles, hits and RBI once each, and was 1942 MVP runnerup; famed for his "mad dash" to score from first base to win the 1946 World Series
August 23 – Hoyt Wilhelm, 80, Hall of Fame pitcher who became the first reliever so honored (1985); knuckleballer set records for career games (1,070) and saves (227) over 21 seasons, despite ending rookie year at age 30; pitched no-hitter in rare 1958 start, led NL in ERA and games in rookie season with New York Giants, and led AL in ERA in 1959; career 2.52 ERA was lowest of any modern pitcher with 2000 innings
September 14 – Jim McKee, 55, pitcher for the 1972 and 1973 Pittsburgh Pirates
September 25 – Ray Hayworth, 98, catcher for the Tigers who hit .301 as a backup for the 1934-35 pennant winners; at the time of his death, was the oldest living major league player
September 30 – Eddie McGah, 81, catcher for the Boston Red Sox from 1946 to 1947; later a minority owner of the AFL-NFL Oakland Raiders from 1959 to 2002
October 4 – Edgar Munzel, 95, sportswriter for the Chicago Herald-Examiner and Sun-Times from 1929 to 1973
October 8 – Jodie Beeler, 81, infielder for the 1944 Cincinnati Reds
October 10 – Joe Wood, 86, who was the son of legendary Smoky Joe Wood and pitched briefly for the 1944 Boston Red Sox
October 20 – Mel Harder, 93, All-Star pitcher who won 223 games for the Indians and pitched 13 shutout innings in All-Star competition, later a highly regarded pitching coach for five teams
November 10 – Ken Raffensberger, 85, All-Star pitcher for four NL teams, noted for his control, who threw four one-hitters and led league in shutouts twice
December 1 – Dave McNally, 60, All-Star pitcher for the Orioles who had four consecutive 20-win seasons (1968–71) and won 1-0 shutout in 1966 World Series clincher; refused to sign a 1975 contract for 1975, paving the way for free agency
December 15 – Dick Stuart, 70, All-Star first baseman for Pirates noted for his poor defense; first player with 30 HRs and 100 RBI in both leagues, led AL in RBI with 1963 Red Sox
December 19 – Claude Crocker, 78, pitcher for the 1944 Brooklyn Dodgers, and one of several players who only appeared in the major leagues during World War II