January 22 – Detroit Tigers team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski announces that the club will retire former manager Sparky Anderson's number 11. The team will wear a blue patch on the right sleeve of their uniforms, bearing "Sparky" and number 11.
Irving Picard's lawsuit seeking up to about $1 billion against Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon, Saul Katz and various entities affiliated with the New York Mets and Sterling Equities Associates to recover money for the victims of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme is unsealed by a Manhattan court. The civil suit alleges that the partners in Sterling knew or should have known that Madoff's investment operation was a fraud.
February 17 – Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera is arrested in the early morning hours for a DUI. Cabrera's car is discovered parked on the side of a road in Fort Pierce, Florida with Cabrera inside, allegedly intoxicated with a .26 blood alcohol level. When police arrive, he begins drinking from a bottle of Scotch he has on the front seat, and later resists arrest. He issues an apology upon arrival at training camp on February 24, and announces that he is undergoing treatment set up by doctors administered by management and the players' union.
February 24 – St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak announces that Cy Young Award candidate Adam Wainwright requires Tommy John surgery to replace the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, and thus will miss the entire 2011 season and part of 2012.
March 2 – Following a three-error first inning, including one by third basemanAramis Ramírez, Chicago Cubs starter Carlos Silva and Ramirez get into a dugout skirmish. According to Silva, he says "We need to start making plays here" as he leaves the mound and enters the dugout, and Ramírez takes it personally. Silva also gives up two home runs to the Milwaukee Brewers in the inning.
It is announced that the Hall of Fame will honor "Talkin' Baseball" composer and singer Terry Cashman this summer as part of induction weekend, 30 years after his song paying homage to Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle and Duke Snider became a ballpark favorite. The 69-year-old Cashman performs his ballpark anthem once again during ceremonies on July 23, the day before Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven and Pat Gillick are inducted.
All-time home runs leader and seven-time National League Most Valuable Player Barry Bonds' perjury trial begins. Bonds faces four charges of perjury and one charge of obstruction of justice.
The New York Mets release Óliver Pérez, and absorb the remaining $12 million on the three-year, $36 million deal he signs with the Mets back in 2009.
March 29 – Major League Baseball and its players' union announce a new set of protocols for dealing with concussions, including the creation of a new seven-day disabled list for players with the injury.
March 31 – San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow is beaten in the Dodger Stadium parking lot by two men in Los Angeles Dodgers gear after the Dodgers defeat the Giants 2-1 in the season opener. Stow is left with brain damage, prompting an outpouring of support for the victim that includes rewards totaling more than $200,000 for information leading to the suspects' arrests.
April 3 – In the Texas Rangers' 5–1 victory over the Boston Red Sox, Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz combine to become the first set of teammates to hit home runs in each of the first three games in a Major League season. Kinsler also becomes the first leadoff hitter to hit home runs in each of his team's first two games, bringing his career total of leadoff homers with the Rangers to fifteen, a team's record.
April 6 – The defense in the Barry Bonds perjury case rests without calling a single witness to the stand. After prosecutors drop one of the five charges against Bonds, and call 25 witnesses to the stand over 21⁄2 weeks, the defense takes just one minute to present its side. Prosecutors drop the count accusing Bonds of lying to a grand jury in 2003 when he said prior to that season he never took anything other than vitamins from trainer Greg Anderson.
April 13 – The jury deciding the federal case against Barry Bonds finds him guilty of obstruction of justice. The jury is hung on the three counts of making false declarations during his 2003 testimony before the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) grand jury, resulting in a mistrial.
April 15 – Lenny Dykstra is arrested by Los Angeles police at his Encino, California home on suspicion of trying to buy a stolen car. Prosecutors later decline to file charges; however, he is transferred to federal authorities on unrelated charges of illegally removing and selling personal property from his $18 million mansion without permission of a bankruptcy trustee, according to a federal criminal complaint filed on April 22. He is released on $150,000 bond on April 20, and ordered to seek outpatient substance abuse treatment, as authorities say he has cocaine and ecstasy in his possession when he is originally arrested.
April 16 – The Inland Empire 66ers come back from a 16-7 deficit, scoring 17 combined runs, en route to a 24-19 victory over the Bakersfield Blaze. Every player in the 66ers starting lineup has multiple hits, and all ten who bat in the ballgame score at least once. The game takes four hours and 55 minutes, the longest in California League history.
Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier set a major league record for the month of April with a 26-game hitting streak
April 20 – Commissioner Bud Selig announces that Major League Baseball will take over operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers from owner Frank McCourt.
Pursuant to my authority as Commissioner, I informed Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt today that I will appoint a representative to oversee all aspects of the business and the day to day operations of the club. I have taken this action because of my deep concerns regarding the finances and operations of the Dodgers and to protect the best interests of the club, its great fans and all of Major League Baseball. My office will continue its thorough investigation into the operations and finances of the Dodgers and related entities during the period of Mr. McCourt's ownership. I will announce the name of my representative in the next several days. The Dodgers have been one of the most prestigious franchises in all of sports, and we owe it to their legion of loyal fans to ensure that this club is being operated properly now and will be guided appropriately in the future.
April 23 – Atlanta Bravespitching coachRoger McDowell is accused of making homophobic comments and crude gestures toward fans during batting practice before a game against the Giants in San Francisco. The Braves place McDowell on administrative leave on April 29. Pitching coach duties are taken over by Braves Minor League pitching coordinator Dave Wallace.
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig appoints former Texas Rangers president Tom Schieffer to oversee the Los Angeles Dodgers' business and financial operations.
Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro commits three errors in the second inning of the Cubs' 5-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
Los Angeles Angels pitcher Jered Weaver pitches a complete game shutout of the Oakland A's to improve his record to 6-0 with a 0.99 ERA and 49 strikeouts. He is the first pitcher to go 6-0 by April 25, and is the fourth player in Major League history to go 6-0 in March and April, the last being Brandon Webb with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2008. It is the fifth time a pitcher does this, with Randy Johnson having done it twice.
April 26 – Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier establishes a major league record for the month of April by extending his hitting streak to 23 games, surpassing former manager Joe Torre's 1971 record for the longest hitting streak during the month of April. The streak would ultimately last thirty games, ending on May 7 against the New York Mets.
This one is going to cost me a lot of money this is patetic.
Today a tough guy show up at Yankee Stadium.
Guillen is fined $50,000 and receives a two-game suspension. According to MLB rules, all social media messages must stop thirty minutes prior to the first pitch, and they can resume after the game at the individual club's discretion. His fine is later reduced to $20,000.
In a sweep of a doubleheader with the Minnesota Twins, the Tampa Bay Rays' Ben Zobrist goes seven-for-ten, collecting ten RBIs. He sets a club record with eight RBIs in the opener, on a home run and two doubles, and hits a two-run home run in the second game. Zobrist is just the fourth player to record at least seven hits and ten RBIs in a single day since RBIs become an official statistic in 1920. The other three are Jim Bottomley (1929 Cardinals), Pete Fox (1935 Tigers) and Nate Colbert (1972 Padres).
Atlanta Braves pitcher Derek Lowe is charged with drunken driving. A Georgia State Patrolman stops Lowe's vehicle upon seeing it race another car down an Atlanta street. The trooper detects the odor of an alcoholic beverage and administers a field sobriety test, which Lowe fails.
May 7 – At Rogers Centre, the Detroit Tigers' Justin Verlander no-hits the Toronto Blue Jays 9-0, the second no-hitter of the season. Verlander's no-hitter occurs just four days after Francisco Liriano (see above) pitched a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox. Verlander retires the first 22 batters he faces before a walk to J. P. Arencibia spoils his bid for a perfect game. Arencibia is then erased on Edwin Encarnación's double play ground ball, allowing Verlander to face the minimum 27 batters. The no-hitter is the second in Verlander's career; he also no-hit the Milwaukee Brewers on June 12, 2007. Verlander becomes the second Tigers pitcher since Virgil Trucks, and the thirtieth pitcher in the history of baseball, to throw multiple no-hitters. Like the White Sox, victims of Liriano's no-hitter four days earlier, the Blue Jays were also no-hit in 1991, on May 1 by Nolan Ryan—the seventh and last no-hitter of Ryan's career.
May 13 – Minnesota Twins legend Harmon Killebrew announces that his esophageal cancer has progressed to the point where he is no longer able to fight the disease, and that he will settle into hospice care for the final days of his life. He dies at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona on May 17, with his wife, Nita, and their family at his side.
It is with profound sadness that I share with you that my continued battle with esophageal cancer is coming to an end. With the continued love and support of my wife, Nita, I have exhausted all options with respect to controlling this awful disease. My illness has progressed beyond my doctors' expectation of cure.
May 14 – Alex Cabrera of the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks hits his 350th career home run in Japanese baseball. At 1,169 games, Cabrera is the quickest player in NPB history to 350 homers. Previously, he was also the quickest to hit 150 homers (380th game); 200 homers (538th game); 250 homers (733rd game; tied with Ralph Bryant), and 300 homers (934th game). Cabrera also missed being the quickest to 100 homers by one game (Bryant holds the record at 246 games).
May 20 – Four "very small" tumors are discovered on the brain of Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter during an MRI. Preliminary results from biopsies performed on a single tumor on May 27 at Duke University determine that it appears to be malignant. He dies in 2012, at the age of 57.
The New York Yankees' Mariano Rivera becomes the first pitcher in MLB history to make 1,000 appearances with one team, reaching the milestone by retiring the side in the ninth inning of the Yankees' 7–3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. Rivera also becomes the 15th pitcher in MLB history with 1,000 career appearances.
The Philadelphia Phillies defeat the Cincinnati Reds 5-4 in nineteen innings. Phillies second baseman Wilson Valdez (who joins the Reds the following year) pitches the nineteenth inning for Philadelphia to pick up his first career win. Raúl Ibañez hits a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning with one out and the bases loaded to drive in Jimmy Rollins.
May 26 – The New York Mets agree to sell a minority, non-operating investment in the team to David Einhorn, president of Greenlight Capital Inc., for $200 million, pending the completion of exclusive negotiations and approval by Major League Baseball owners. The deal gives him a one-third stake in the team and has an option to own sixty percent in three years.
June 2 – On the first anniversary of Armando Galarraga's near-perfect game, Major League Baseball puts a rule into effect that Jim Joyce, the first-base umpire whose incorrect call cost Galarraga the perfect game, cannot umpire any games in which Galarraga's team plays. The two had become business partners after releasing a book on the game, and this relationship was seen to affect Joyce's impartiality while umpiring Galarraga's team. This rule is similar to the one that prevents Jim Wolf from being the home plate umpire in games in which his younger brother Randy pitches.
June 6 – The hard-throwing UCLA tandem of Gerrit Cole (1) and Trevor Bauer (3), respectively selected by Pittsburgh and Arizona, marks the first time since 1978 that two college teammates are taken in the top three picks of the annual Draft. Arizona State had earned the honor last time, with Bob Horner and Hubie Brooks taken first and third overall.
June 7 – Yuma Scorpions player/manager Jose Canseco enters a game against the Lake County Fielders at pitcher. He faces four batters, striking out one. It is the first time Canseco pitches in a professional game since he famously pitched an inning for the Texas Rangers on May 29, 1993, injured his arm, and was shut down for the remainder of the season. The Fielders defeat the Scorpions 10-4.
June 19 – With the Florida Marlins on a nine-game losing streak, and having won only one game in the month of June (June 10 against the Arizona Diamondbacks), manager Edwin Rodríguez resigns. Marlins bench coach Brandon Hyde replaces Rodriguez for the evening's game (a 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays that brought the team's losing streak to ten games). The following day, the Marlins name Jack McKeon interim manager. At 80 years old, he is the oldest manager in National League history, and second-oldest in Major League history after only Connie Mack, who managed the Philadelphia Athletics in 1950 at age 87.
June 20 – In his return to managing, Florida Marlins manager Jack McKeon benches star shortstop Hanley Ramírez for being late to a team meeting.
June 23 – Following a 1-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners at Nationals Park, Washington Nationals manager Jim Riggleman steps down as manager of the team. After the team had won eleven of its last twelve games, Riggleman discusses picking up his option for 2012 with general manager Mike Rizzo. When Rizzo refuses, the team accepts his resignation. On the topic, Rizzo states the following:
The timing of it, that he resigned at this time when we're playing so well and coming off a homestand that we should be celebrating ... I'm disappointed that this is a distraction. This is not thinking of the team first, it's thinking of personal things first. That's what disappoints me the most.
June 24 – Washington Nationals interim manager John McLaren is ejected in the eighth inning of his only game at the helm. The Nats go on to defeat the Chicago White Sox 9-5 in fourteen innings. Davey Johnson is named manager of the Washington Nationals the following day.
June 27 – Unable to make their $40 million payroll obligations for the week, the Los Angeles Dodgers file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a Delaware court. Chapter 11 filings are also made for LA Real Estate LLC, an affiliated entity that owns Dodger Stadium, and three other related holding companies. Meanwhile, on the field, the Dodgers put up fifteen runs and collect 25 hits while shutting out the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The 25 hits are the most by any team in the Majors this season and match a Dodgers club record, last reached on May 19, 2006 against the Los Angeles Angels. It is the first time in Los Angeles Dodgers history that every player in the lineup has at least one hit, one run and one RBI.
June 29 – The Detroit Tigers hit five home runs against the New York Mets, yet lose despite the fact that the Mets hit none. It is the first time since August 8 2007 a team wins despite being out-homered by at least five (Tampa Bay Rays over the Baltimore Orioles). With their 16-9 victory, the Mets set a team record with 52 runs scored in a four-game span. They have 69 hits during this stretch.
June 30 – Second baseman Mark Ellis is dealt from the Oakland A's to the Colorado Rockies for right-handed pitcher Bruce Billings and a player to be named later.
Texas Rangers left fielder Josh Hamilton tosses a foul ball to Shannon Stone, a fan in the stands at Rangers Ballpark, during the second inning of their 6-0 victory over the Oakland A's. After reaching over the railing and catching the ball, Stone falls approximately twenty feet head first from section 5 in the left field lower reserved seats into the opening behind the out-of-town scoreboard. He is immediately attended to by emergency personnel and taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. Witnesses say Stone is conscious after landing and speaks about his six-year-old son, Cooper, being left alone. Stone goes into full arrest on the way, and is pronounced dead at the hospital; an autopsy rules the cause as blunt force trauma from the fall.
The Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox are embroiled in a bench clearing brawl when Orioles closer Kevin Gregg throws three inside pitches, then says something and makes a gesture to Red Sox slugger David Ortiz to run out his sacrifice fly. Both are immediately ejected, along with Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Orioles reliever Jim Johnson. The following day, Red Sox pitcher John Lackey hits Nick Markakis and Derrek Lee with pitches in his team's 4-0 victory. Red Sox manager Terry Francona and rookie starter Kyle Weiland are ejected from the game on the 10th after Weiland throws at two Orioles batters. Orioles reliever Mike Gonzalez later throws a pitch behind Ortiz, and is immediately ejected along with O's manager Buck Showalter. Gregg and Ortiz are given four game suspensions, with Gregg fined $2,500 as well. Gonzalez is fined $1,500 and suspended three games, and Showalter is suspended one game, which he served in the Orioles' series opener against the Cleveland Indians on the 14th. Johnson also receives a $500 fine, and Lackey is fined an undisclosed amount.
July 9 – At Yankee Stadium, Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees becomes the 28th member of the 3,000 hit club, homering off David Price in the third inning of the Yankees' 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. Jeter becomes the first player to reach the milestone exclusively as a Yankee, and only the second to do so with a home run, joining Wade Boggs in 1999. He also becomes the first player to go 5-for-5 the day of achieving his 3000th hit and only the second to collect five hits in the game, joining Craig Biggio in 2007. In the eighth inning, his fifth hit scores Eduardo Núñez with the winning run.
July 12 – Prince Fielder's fourth inning three-run home run leads the NL past the AL in the 82nd All-Star Game at Chase Field. Shortly after Fielder is named the All-Star Game MVP, his team, the Milwaukee Brewers, announces that they have acquired reliever Francisco Rodríguez from the New York Mets for two players to be named later.
July 14 – The Roger Clemens perjury trial is declared a mistrial by Judge Reggie Walton on just the second day of testimony after the government introduces evidence before the jury that Walton rules inadmissible.
July 26–27 – The Atlanta Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates play a nineteen-inning marathon (the longest game in either franchise's history) that ends in the early morning hours. The winning run scores when, with one out and runners on second and third, Braves pitcher Scott Proctor grounds to shortstop Ronny Cedeño. Cedeño throws home to attempt to retire Julio Lugo and it appears that his throw reaches catcher Michael McKenry and the tag is made well short of home plate. Lugo, however, gets up from his slide, touches home, and is called safe by home plate umpire Jerry Meals, ending the game.
The San Francisco Giants acquire outfielder Carlos Beltrán from the New York Mets for minor league pitching prospect Zack Wheeler.
The Los Angeles Angels' Ervin Santana no-hits the Cleveland Indians. Despite not giving up a hit, his team is down 1-0 until a fifth inning sacrifice fly by Mike Trout, as Ezequiel Carrera reaches base on an error by shortstop Erick Aybar in the first, proceeds to steal second, reaches third on Asdrúbal Cabrera's ground out, and scores on a wild pitch. The Angels win by a final score of 3-1.
July 28 – Three-RBI games by Lucas Duda and Jason Bay give the New York Mets a 10-9 win over the Cincinnati Reds to complete a four-game sweep at Great American Ball Park. It is the first sweep of a four-game series against the Reds in their history.
July 29 – The Philadelphia Phillies acquire outfielder Hunter Pence from the Houston Astros for minor league pitchers Jarred Cosart and Josh Zeid, first baseman Jonathan Singleton and a player to be named later. Both Cosart and Singleton are with the Class A Clearwater Threshers and both are ranked on Baseball America's Midseason Top 50 prospects list, with Singleton placing at number 41 and Cosart at number 43.
In the second game of a doubleheader, the New York Yankees set a franchise record for most runs in the first inning of a game with twelve in their 17-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
The Pittsburgh Pirates acquire first baseman Derrek Lee from the Baltimore Orioles for minor league first baseman Aaron Baker.
After he believes he is being taunted after home runs by Magglio Ordóñez and Carlos Guillén of the Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels pitcher Jered Weaver intentionally throws at Alex Avila's head and is ejected – immediately after both sides are warned. Angels manager Mike Scioscia is also ejected for permitting Weaver to do so. Two days later, Weaver is suspended six games and fined an undisclosed amount, while Scioscia is suspended one game. Weaver appeals the decision.
Thome joined the 600 home run on 8/15/11, then rejoined his original franchise on 8/25
August 2 – Mark Teixeira hits home runs from both sides of the plate for a major league-record 12th time, helping the New York Yankees beat the Chicago White Sox 6-0 in a game shortened to 6.5 innings by rain.
August 4 – The New York Yankees complete a four-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. It is their first four-game sweep against the White Sox in Chicago since 1976. Yankees pitching also does not allow a base on balls in any of the four games. The last time such a feat was accomplished was by the Boston Red Sox in 1968, also against the White Sox.
After having given up six earned runs to the Atlanta Braves in the first four innings, Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano gives up back-to-back home runs to Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla (who extends his hitting streak to 32 games) with one out in the fifth. Zambrano is then ejected after throwing two consecutive inside pitches to Atlanta third baseman Chipper Jones (who also hits one of the Braves' five home runs off Zambrano earlier in the game). Following his ejection, Zambrano cleans out his locker at Wrigley Field, and announces his retirement. He later recants, but the Cubs suspend him for 30 games, effectively ending his season. During the off-season, the Cubs trade Zambrano to the Miami Marlins.
August 15 – At Comerica Park, Jim Thome hits two home runs in the Minnesota Twins' 9-6 victory over the Detroit Tigers, the second of which makes Thome the eighth player with 600 career home runs. After homering off Rick Porcello in the sixth inning, Thome hits his milestone home run off Daniel Schlereth one inning later. Thome becomes the second-fastest player to hit 600 home runs, doing so in his 8,167th at bat; only Babe Ruth needed fewer at-bats with 6,921. He also becomes, at age 40, the oldest player to reach this milestone. Sammy Sosa is previously the oldest, at 38 years, 220 days.
August 18 – The Colorado Rockies release minor league first baseman Mike Jacobs after he receives a fifty-game suspension for testing positive for human growth hormone. Jacobs becomes the first athlete in any North American professional sport to be suspended for testing positive for HGH.
August 19 – The Chicago Cubs announce that they have dismissed general managerJim Hendry and have named assistant GM Randy Bush interim GM. Hendry was promoted to the GM job in the summer of 2002 and was under contract through 2012.
August 21 – With both Alex Rodriguez and Jim Thome in the line-ups for their respective ball clubs in the final game of a four-game set between the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins, it is the first match-up of 600 home run club members since Willie Mays and Hank Aaron face off as members of the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves, respectively, on July 17, 1973. Rodriguez and Thome share a handshake at homeplate prior to the game to a huge ovation.
August 22 – Clinton County, Pennsylvania's Landon Breon and Brandon Miller combine for a no-hitter over Lafayette, Louisiana in the 2011 Little League World Series. The game ends after the top of the fourth due to Little League's ten-run "mercy" rule. Breon pitched the first 3.1 with Miller getting the final two outs. Miller also scored Clinton County's first run with a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning.
The Minnesota Twins send Jim Thome to the Cleveland Indians for a player to be named later.
August 26 – Barry Bonds' obstruction of justice conviction is upheld by U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco, who denies the former baseball star's motion for a new trial or acquittal on the charge. Meanwhile, Roger Clemens files a motion in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., for sanctions against the prosecutors of his perjury trial for their "egregious error" resulting in a mistrial; the motion seeks dismissal of the case.
August 27 – Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers wins his 20th game of the season, the only pitcher to do so before the end of August since Curt Schilling did so in 2002. He is the first Tigers 20-game winner since Bill Gullickson in 1991, and it marks the 44th time in Tigers history that a pitcher has reached 20 wins in a season. Verlander wins his 20th game in the Tigers' 132nd game of the season, making him the fastest Detroit pitcher to 20 wins since Mickey Lolich got his 20th win in Game No. 131 of the 1972 season.
August 28 – Derek Jeter plays his 2,402nd game as a Yankee, passing Mickey Mantle as the team's all-time leader in games played.
September 2 – U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton rules that Roger Clemens will face another trial on charges of lying under oath to a House committee about using performance-enhancing drugs. The new date is set for April 17, 2012.
At Fenway Park, Tim Wakefield of the Boston Red Sox wins his 200th game on his eighth try. He survives a shaky outing, giving up five runs in six innings, and exits with his team leading 6–5. His teammates assure him of the victory by scoring 12 runs in their last three half-innings, in an 18–6 victory against the Toronto Blue Jays. Wakefield's last victory was on July 24 against the Seattle Mariners.
September 22 – Upon finding out that he is not able to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic because he is on MLB's inactive list, Manny Ramírez tells ESPN Deportes that he formally requests reinstatement to the major leagues.
September 25 – At Yankee Stadium, Jacoby Ellsbury crashes two solo home runs off A. J. Burnett in the first half of a day-night doubleheader, to become the first player in Boston Red Sox history to reach the 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases plateaus in the same season. New York takes the opening match, 7–2. In the nightcap, Ellsbury hits a three-run homer off Scott Proctor in the top of the 14th inning, lifting Boston to a 7–4 win over the Yankees.
Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter holds the Houston Astros to just two hits to lead his team to an 8-0 victory, and into the postseason. The Cards had trailed the Atlanta Braves by 10.5 games in the Wild Card race on August 25, but they went on a 23-9 tear since. Meanwhile, the Braves went 11-20, capped off by a thirteen-inning 4-3 loss to the National League Eastern division-winning Philadelphia Phillies in Atlanta to end their season.
In the final game of the season, the Tampa Bay Rays rally from a 7-0 deficit against the New York Yankees to tie the game at seven, and head into extra innings. Evan Longoria hits a home run in a six-run eighth, while Dan Johnson hits a solo shot in the ninth to tie it. Longoria's second home run in the 12th wins it for the Rays.
Robert Andino's single off Jonathan Papelbon caps off a two-run, two-out rally in the ninth to give the Baltimore Orioles a 4-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox went 7-20 in the month of September, to go from leading the Wild Card standings by nine games when the month starts to missing the playoffs entirely. They are the first team in history to miss the postseason after having that big a lead in September.
The Florida Marlins play their final regular season game at Sun Life Stadium, which was their home since their inaugural 1993 season, and move to Marlins Park the following season.
The Texas Rangers score five runs in the fifth to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-6 in Game 2 of the ALDS. Rays starter James Shields had allowed just one run in twenty innings against the Rangers all season up to that point.
Yovani Gallardo ties a Milwaukee Brewers postseason club record with nine strikeouts to lead his team to a 4-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Max Scherzer holds the New York Yankees hitless until the sixth inning, as the Detroit Tigers cruise to a 5-3 victory in Game 2 of the ALDS.
Despite having been spotted a four-run lead, Cliff Lee is unable to contain the St. Louis Cardinals as they charge back to win Game 2 of the NLDS, 5-4.
On the strength of a five-run sixth inning, the Milwaukee Brewers defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-4 in Game 2 of the NLDS.
Delmon Young breaks a 4-4 tie in the seventh inning with a home run off Rafael Soriano to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 5-4 victory over the New York Yankees in Game 3 of the ALDS.
Josh Hamilton's two-run single highlights a four-run seventh inning as the Texas Rangers defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 to take a two-games-to-one lead in the ALDS.
Adrián Beltré clubs three home runs to lead the Texas Rangers to a 4-3 victory in the fourth and decisive game of the ALDS.
Paul Goldschmidt clubs a grand slam in the fifth inning to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to their first victory of the 2011 postseason.
Ben Francisco breaks a scoreless tie in the seventh inning with a three-run homer off Jaime García to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 3 of the NLDS.
Curtis Granderson's diving catch in the first inning helps Yankees starter A. J. Burnett escape a bases-loaded jam. From there, Burnett is nearly flawless in the next 4.2 innings as the New York Yankees cruise to a 10-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers in Game 4 of the ALDS.
David Freese hits a two-run double and a two-run home run to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, and tie the NLDS at two games apiece.
The Arizona Diamondbacks also even their series with the Milwaukee Brewers as Chris Young hits two home runs and Ryan Roberts hits a grand slam.
Would-be Game 2 starters Doug Fister and Iván Nova face off again, this time with Fister emerging on top as the Tigers win the fifth and decisive game of the ALDS, 3-2. The Yankees use seven pitchers in the game, including CC Sabathia, who gives up the Tigers' third run of the game. Alex Rodriguez becomes the only player in major league history to strike out in his team's final postseason at-bat two seasons in a row.
The Chicago White Sox name Robin Ventura their new manager. Ventura had been working with the club as a special advisor to director of player development Buddy Bell for the past year.
Andy MacPhail announces he will not return as the Baltimore Orioles' president of baseball operations for the 2012 season.
Nyjer Morgan's RBI single in the tenth inning scores Carlos Gómez to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 3-2 victory in the fifth and decisive game of the NLDS.
Roy Halladay allows hits to the first two St. Louis Cardinals batters he faces, as Skip Schumaker's double drives in Rafael Furcal to give the Cards the early 1-0 lead. It turns out to be the only scoring of the game as game five of the NLDS lives up to its billing as a pitchers' duel. Halladay holds St. Louis scoreless the rest of the way, while Chris Carpenter holds the Philadelphia Phillies to just three hits in a complete game victory to send the Cardinals to the National League Championship Series.
Nelson Cruz hits the first walk-off grand slam home run in postseason history and the Texas Rangers win 7-3 in Game 2 of the ALCS.
Albert Pujols goes four-for-five with a home run and five RBIs to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 12-3 victory in Game 2 of the NLCS.
San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow, the victim of the March 31 beating in the Dodger Stadium parking lot by two Los Angeles Dodgers fans, is transferred to a rehabilitation facility after nearly seven months in hospitals.
The St. Louis Cardinals score four runs in the first inning, and hold on for a 4-3 victory in Game 3 of the NLCS. It is the fifth time in a row that the Cardinals score in the first inning this postseason.
A run-scoring single by Mike Napoli is followed by a three-run home run by Nelson Cruz, as the Texas Rangers win Game 4 of the ALCS 7-3 in eleven innings.
Despite being named National League Comeback Player of the Year, Lance Berkman is not in the lineup for Game 4 of the NLCS, as his St. Louis Cardinals lose, 4-2. Jacoby Ellsbury brings home American League honors.
October 14 – Four errors by the Milwaukee Brewers lead to three unearned runs as the St. Louis Cardinals win Game 5 of the NLCS, 7-1. The four errors are the most in a playoff game since the Atlanta Braves committed four in Game 4 of the 2001 National League Championship Series.
October 22 – Albert Pujols joins Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson as the only players to hit three home runs in a World Series game as the St. Louis Cardinals win Game 3 of the series, 16-7. Pujols collects a record 14 total bases, while tying World Series records for most hits in a game (5) and RBIs (6). He also becomes the first player in World Series history to get hits in four consecutive innings. The Cards put two runs or more on the board in a record four straight innings (4th through 7th), while also scoring in six consecutive innings (4th through 9th).
October 25 – The Chicago Cubs introduce former Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein as their new president, while the Red Sox name Ben Cherington the team's executive vice president/general manager.
October 27 – The St. Louis Cardinals win a memorable Game 6 of the 2011 World Series in 11 innings. They trailed twice by two runs, in both the 9th and 10th innings, yet came back to tie the game, and then win it in the 11th inning on a David Freese solo home run leading off the inning, to dead centerfield.
October 31 – Tony La Russa retires as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, three days after winning a dramatic, seven-game World Series against the Texas Rangers. La Russa retires third on the all-time wins list (2,728), trailing only Connie Mack (3,731) and John McGraw (2,763). In addition to this season, LaRussa won World Championships in Oakland in 1989 and St. Louis in 2006.
Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt agrees to sell the team. The sale not only includes the club and Dodger Stadium, but also the media rights.
November 2 – The Chicago Cubs fire manager Mike Quade after just one full season at the helm in which he leads the team to a 71-91 record in 2011. His overall record is 95-104.
November 6 – The Baltimore Orioles sign Dan Duquette to a three-year deal to become the general manager. Duquette, 53, is out of baseball since being dismissed by the Boston Red Sox in 2002.
November 7 – The Kansas City Royals trade outfielder Melky Cabrera to the San Francisco Giants for pitcher Jonathan Sánchez, upgrading their starting rotation and clearing the way for prospect Lorenzo Cain to get a chance in center field.
November 9 – Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos is kidnapped by four gunmen from the front yard of his mother's home in Valencia in his native Venezuela. He is rescued by Venezuelan authorities on November 11 during an air operation in the mountains in the state of Carabobo, roughly forty miles northwest of where he is abducted.
November 11 – At 9:00 pm, the Florida Marlins are officially renamed the Miami Marlins. They move to Marlins Park the next year.
The Los Angeles Dodgers sign Matt Kemp to an eight-year extension worth $160 million.
November 17 – Major League Baseball owners approve the sale of the Houston Astros to a group led by private equity fund company CEO Jim Crane, with the sale conditional on the team moving to the American League beginning in 2013.
December 5 – The Hall of Fame announces the results of voting by the Golden Era Committee, a component of the Veterans Committee. After considering 10 nominees whose greatest contributions to the sport came from 1947 to 1972, the panel elects Ron Santo to the Hall. He will be formally inducted on July 22, 2012.
Major league baseball owners ratify a new five-year collective bargaining agreement with the players' union. The MLBPA previously gave its own assent. The agreement provides for testing of human growth hormone, limits signing bonuses for draft picks, and institutes a second wild-card team for each league beginning in 2013.
January 6 – Ryne Duren, 81, All-Star relief pitcher who played with seven MLB teams from 1954 to 1965, and a key contributor for New York Yankees teams that won the American League Championship in the 1958 and 1960 seasons.
January 7 – Red Borom, 95, the oldest living former Detroit Tigers player, who was on the Tigers' 1945 World Series champion team.
January 7 – José Vidal, 70, Dominican outfielder for the Cleveland Indians, Seattle Pilots and Nishitetsu Lions from 1966 to 1971, and a California League MVP winner in 1963.
January 9 – Dave Sisler, 79, pitcher who posted a 38-24 record with a 4.33 ERA in 247 games while playing for the Red Sox, Tigers, Senators and Reds.
January 15 – Roy Hartsfield, 85, manager of the Toronto Blue Jays during their first three Major League seasons (1977–79).
January 18 – George Crowe, 89, first baseman who spent nine seasons in the majors with the Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee/Boston Braves, being selected to the National League All-Star team in 1958.
January 18 – Jerre DeNoble, 87, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League outfielder.
February 3 – Ron Piché, 75, Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, who posted a 10-16 record and a 4.19 ERA in 134 games for the Milwaukee Braves, California Angels and St. Louis Cardinals from 1960 to 1966.
February 4 – Woodie Fryman, 70, All-Star pitcher who posted a 141-155 record and a 3.77 ERA for the Pirates, Phillies, Tigers, Reds and Expos from 1966 to 1983.
February 11 – Chuck Tanner, 81, who managed the Pittsburgh Pirates to the World Series championship in 1979.
February 12 – Gino Cimoli, 81, first player to bat for the Dodgers after their move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958; later an outfielder on the Pittsburgh Pirates' 1960 World Series championship team.
February 14 – Cecil Kaiser, 94, oldest living Negro Leagues star.
February 15 – Joe Frazier, 88, outfielder who spent parts of four seasons in the majors and later managed the New York Mets.
March 7 – Frank Dezelan, 80, National League umpire, who was behind home plate when Willie Mays hit his 600th career home run in 1969, and also worked at the 1970 All-Star Game that ended with Pete Rose colliding with catcher Ray Fosse at home plate.
April 16 – Bill Kinnamon, 91, American League umpire who worked in the 1962 and 1968 All-Star Games, the 1968 World Series, and umpired at home plate when Roger Maris hit his 61st home run in 1961 to break Babe Ruth's single-season record.
May 13 – Mel Queen, 69, major league player, coach and executive, and a principal architect of the Toronto Blue Jays' farm system in the 1980s and 1990s.
May 17 – Harmon Killebrew, 74, Hall of Famer who hit 573 home runs during his 22-year career, most of them with the Senators and Twins for the 11th most in major league history.
May 20 – Randy Poffo, 58, professional wrestler better known as Randy Savage, who spent four years in the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds minor league systems before embarking upon his legendary wrestling career.
May 21 – Jim Pyburn, 78, backup outfielder and third baseman who played from 1955 through 1957 for the Baltimore Orioles.
May 25 – Paul Splittorff, 64, the winningest pitcher in Kansas City Royals history and a popular broadcaster for the team.
May 25 – Gene Smith, 94, pitcher who hurled three no-hitters during his eight-year career in the Negro Leagues.
May 28 – Bill Harris, 79, Canadian-born pitcher who played in part of two seasons for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers.
May 28 – Martha Rommelaere, 88, Canadian-born outfielder in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
June 6 – Eleanor Dapkus, 87, outfielder and pitcher, one of the original players of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in its inaugural season of 1943.
June 7 – José Pagán, 76, Puerto Rican infielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who drove in the winning run in Game 7 of the 1971 World Series.
June 8 – Jim Northrup, 71, hero of the 1968 World Champion Detroit Tigers, after hitting a grand slam in Game 6 and a tie-breaking two-run triple in Game 7.
June 10 – John Braun, 71, relief pitcher for the 1964 Milwaukee Braves.
June 15 – Ted Gray, 86, All-Star pitcher who played all but one season of his nine-year major league career with the Detroit Tigers.
June 16 – José Bracho, 82, Venezuelan pitcher and member of two Hall of Fames, who set several records in the Venezuelan League during a 26-year career, while also pitching in Minor league baseball and the Dominican league.
June 24 – Richie Myers, 81, utility infielder for the 1956 Chicago Cubs.
July 7 – Dick Williams, 82, Hall of Fame manager who posted a 1,571–1,451 record in 21 seasons, while leading the Oakland Athletics to a pair of World Series titles in 1972 and 1973, and the San Diego Padres to a National League title in 1984.
August 1 – Joe Caffie, 80, backup catcher for the Cleveland Indians between 1956 and 1957.
August 1 – Alex Pitko, 96, outfielder for the 1938 Philadelphia Phillies and the 1939 Washington Senators.
August 2 – Al Federoff, 87, who spent 25 years in the Detroit Tigers organization as a player, manager and scout, including a major league stint with the Tigers as their second baseman from 1951 to 1952.
August 11 – Joe Trimble, 80, pitcher who played with the Boston Red Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates in the mid-1950s.
August 11 – Bob Will, 80, outfielder who played from 1957 through 1963 for the Chicago Cubs.
August 12 – Ernie Johnson, 87, pitcher who played with the Boston and Milwaukee Braves teams before becoming the voice of the Braves on radio and television.
September 7 – Jang Hyo-Jo, 56, Korean outfielder for the Samsung Lions and the Lotte Giants from 1983 to 1992, who set KPB all-time career records with a .331 average and four batting titles that are still intact today.
September 8 – Jesse Jefferson, 62, pitcher for the Orioles, White Sox, Blue Jays, Pirates and Angels between 1973 and 1981.
September 12 – Bill Cash, 92, Negro league baseball catcher who also played in the Dominican, Mexican and Venezuelan baseball leagues.
September 14 – Choi Dong-Won, 63, South Korean pitcher who played for the Lotte Giants and the Samsung Lions between 1983 and 1990, and the first pitcher to earn four wins in Korean Series history.
September 15 – Dorothy Harrell, 87, one of the premier shortstops of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in its twelve-year history.
September 15 – Bill Taylor, 81, part-time outfielder for the Giants and Tigers in the 1950s and a prolific hitter in eleven minor league seasons, who set two records while playing in the Venezuelan Winter League in the 1953–1954 season, when he became the first player in the league's history to hit three home runs in a single game, and for setting a new season mark with 16 home runs.
September 23 – Danny Litwhiler, 95, All-Star left fielder who hit .281 in 1057 games for the Phillies, Reds, Cardinals and Braves between 1940 and 1951, who, during the 1941 season, batted at least one home run in every National League ballpark, and became the first outfielder in major league history to play an entire season without committing an error.
October 1 – Johnny Schmitz, 90, two-time All-Star pitcher who posted a 93-114 record and a 3.55 ERA for the Cubs, Dodgers, Yankees, Reds, Senators, Red Sox and Orioles between 1941 and 1956, while leading the National League in strikeouts in 1946.
October 2 – John Romonosky, 82, pitcher who played in the 1950s for the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Senators.
October 4 – Martha Haines, 87, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player.
October 4 – Ralph Hodgin, 96, outfielder/third baseman who hit .285 in 530 games for the 1940s Chicago White Sox.
October 11 – Cy Buker, 92, relief pitcher for the 1945 Brooklyn Dodgers.
October 11 – Paul Martin, 79, relief pitcher for the 1955 Pittsburgh Pirates, one of few big leaguers who played their entire careers at the majors level without spending any time in the minor leagues.
October 16 – Don Williams, 80, relief pitcher for the 1958-59 Pittsburgh Pirates and the 1962 Kansas City Athletics.
October 17 – Carl Lindner, Jr., 92, financier and former chief executive officer of the Cincinnati Reds.
October 18 – Merritt Ranew, 73, catcher who played between 1962 and 1969 for the Colt .45s, Cubs, Braves, Angels and Pilots.
October 22 – Roy Smalley, Jr., 85, shortstop who played eleven seasons in the majors, mostly with the Chicago Cubs from 1948 to 1953.
October 25 – Bert Cueto, 74, Cuban pitcher for the 1961 Minnesota Twins.
October 26 – Dave Cole, 81, pitcher who played from 1950 to 1955 with the Boston/Milwaukee Braves, Cubs and Phillies.
October 28 – Ricky Adams, 52, infielder who played for the California Angels and San Francisco Giants between the 1982 and 1985 seasons.
October 30 – Mickey Scott, 64, German reliever for the Orioles, Expos and Angels between 1972 and 1977, who also was elected to the Rochester Red Wings Hall of Fame in 1998.
November 1 – Eilaine Roth, 82, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player.
November 3 – Matty Alou, 72, Dominican outfielder for the San Francisco Giants, who made history in 1963 when he joined his brothers Felipe and Jesús to form the only all-brother outfield in major league history. Each brother batted in the same half-inning in a game against the New York Mets, on September 10, and five days later, all three Alou brothers made the start in each of the three spots in the Giants' outfield. The three Alou brothers would collect 5,094 combined hits over their careers, beating out the 4,853 hits of Joe, Dom and Vince DiMaggio for the best three-brother total of all time.
November 9 – Benny McCoy, 96, second baseman for the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Athletics from 1938 through 1941, who was among 91 Detroit minor league players declared free agents in 1939 by baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis.
November 11 – Charlie Lea, 54, French pitcher for the Montreal Expos and Minnesota Twins from 1980 to 1988, who was a two-time All-Star and hurled a no-hitter in 1981.
November 11 – Nick Strincevich, 96, pitcher for the Boston Bees/Braves, Pirates and Phillies in the 1940s, who was selected for the 1945 All-Star Game, but, due to wartime restrictions, the game was never played.
November 19 – Sonny Dixon, 87, pitcher for the Senators, Athletics and Yankees from 1953 to 1956.
December 18 – Andrés Fleitas, 95, Cuban minor league baseball catcher and member of two Hall of Fames, who batted several .300 seasons, won two MVP awards, and is the only catcher ever to have caught a no-hitter in the Caribbean Series.
December 19 – Kathleen Malach, 85, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player.
December 21 – Bud Bloomfield, 75, backup infielder who played from 1963 to 1964 for the St. Louis Cardinals and Minnesota Twins.
December 28 – Don Mueller, 84, two-time All-Star right fielder, and a member of the 1954 World Champion New York Giants.
December 29 – Rosman García, 32, Venezuelan reliever for the Texas Rangers from 2003 to 2004.
December 30 – Ted Beard, 90, outfielder who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago White Sox for parts of seven seasons spanning 1948–1958.