2002 in baseball
The following are the baseball events of the year 2002 throughout the world.
Major League Baseball
- World Series Champion – Anaheim Angels
- Postseason – October 1 to October 27
TV: ESPN/ABC Family/FOX
||League Championship Series
|| New York Yankees
|| Anaheim Angels
|| Anaheim Angels
|| American League|
|| Minnesota Twins
|| Oakland Athletics
|| Minnesota Twins
|| Anaheim Angels
|| San Francisco Giants
|| Atlanta Braves
|| San Francisco Giants
|| San Francisco Giants
|| National League|
|| St. Louis Cardinals
|| Arizona Diamondbacks
|| St. Louis Cardinals
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.
Awards and honors
MLB statistical leaders
Major league baseball final standings
- The asterisk denotes the club that won the wild card for its respective league.
- April 2 – In beating the San Diego Padres 9–0, the Arizona Diamondbacks become the first defending World Champions to open the season with back-to-back shutouts since the 1918-19 Red Sox; the Red Sox shutouts were thrown by Carl Mays and Sad Sam Jones. The last team to start the year with consecutive shutouts was the 1994 San Francisco Giants. Curt Schilling is the winner today, following Randy Johnson's 2–0 two–hitter yesterday over the Padres.
- April 3
- 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.
- April 7 – Arizona defeats the Milwaukee Brewers 2–0, as Curt Schilling strikes out 17 batters in hurling a one–hitter. Raul Casanova's 2nd–inning single is the only Milwaukee hit.
- April 11 – The Baltimore Orioles pound the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 15–6, scoring a franchise–high 12 runs in the 6th inning. They also collect a club–high 11 hits in 16 at-bats.
- April 16 – The Detroit Tigers win for the first time this season, defeating Tampa Bay 9–3. The Tigers had lost its first 11 games for the 5th-worst start by a major league team.
- April 21
- Rafael Furcal hits three triples to tie the modern major league record as the Atlanta Braves defeat the Florida Marlins 4–2. The last player to accomplish the feat was Lance Johnson of the Chicago White Sox in 1995.
- 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.
- April 30 – Al Leiter of the New York Mets earns a win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is the first pitcher in history to record wins over all 30 Major League franchises that have existed since 1901.
- 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 11 – Rafael Palmeiro records his 500th career home run. David Elder of the visiting Cleveland Indians give up the home run.
- May 17 – With the New York Yankees trailing the Minnesota Twins by three runs in the bottom of the 14th inning, Jason Giambi hits a walk-off grand slam to give the Yankees a 13-12 victory.
- 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.
- May 23
- 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.
- The Gary SouthShore RailCats played their first Northern League game on the road versus the Sioux Falls Canaries.
- May 24 – The Los Angeles Dodgers lose to the Arizona Diamondbacks, 14–3, despite Shawn Green's fifth home run in two games, tying a major league record. Green also hits two singles to tie another mark with 25 total bases in the two games.
- May 25
- May 29 – In an article in Sports Illustrated, former National League MVP Ken Caminiti says that about 50 percent of current major league players use some form of steroids.
- May 31 – Carlos Beltrán, Mike Sweeney and Joe Randa hit consecutive home runs in the top of the 11th inning to pace the Kansas City Royals to a 10–7 victory over the Texas Rangers. The Royals became just the second team in MLB history to hit at least three consecutive home runs in extra innings. On May 2, 1964, the Minnesota Twins hit four consecutive home runs, also in the top of the 11th inning, as Tony Oliva, Bob Allison, Jimmie Hall and Harmon Killebrew went deep in a 7–3 victory against the Kansas City Athletics.
- 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 1969 San Diego Padres to lose two games in the same season by 19 or more runs.
- June 10 – In an interleague game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Yankee Stadium, Marcus Thames of the New York Yankees becomes the first player ever to hit a home run off a defending Cy Young Award winner in his very first Major League at-bat. The home run comes in the third inning off defending National League Cy Young Award winner Randy Johnson in the Yankees' 7-5 victory.
- 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 20
- 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.
- June 27 – In one of the worst transactions in major league history, Montreal Expos GM Omar Minaya send P Cliff Lee, 2B Brandon Phillips, OF Grady Sizemore and 1B Lee Stevens to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Ps Bartolo Colón and Tim Drew. Colón will win 10 of 17 starts for Montreal, but Lee and Sizemore with Cleveland and Phillips in Cincinnati will have solid careers for the rest of the decade.
- June 28
- 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 6 – Daryle Ward of the Houston Astros hits the first home run ever to exit PNC Park and land into the Allegheny River on the fly. The shot comes off Pittsburgh Pirate pitcher Kip Wells in the fifth inning of a 10-2 Astro victory.
- July 9 – In a controversial finish, the 2002 All-Star Game held at Miller Park ends in a 7–7 tie after 11 innings as both the National and American leagues run out of pitchers. Both managers discuss it with commissioner Bud Selig, who calls the game.
- 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 10 – Sammy Sosa hits 3 home runs helping Chicago Cubs beat Colorado Rockies 15-1.
- 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 Yankees 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 28 – Éric Gagné earns a save in the Los Angeles victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. It is the first of his Major League record 84 consecutive save opportunities that he will convert.
- 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.
- September 1
- September 3
- 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.
- September 4
- September 5
- September 6
- September 8
- September 9 – Pitcher Randy Johnson reaches 300 strikeouts for the fifth consecutive season, extending his major league record.
- September 14
- September 15 – Sammy Sosa joins Mel Ott and Willie Mays as the only NL players to post eight consecutive 100-RBI seasons.
- September 17 – Minnesota Twins outfielder Jacque Jones hits a lead-off home run against the Detroit Tigers, his eleventh of the season. That season total will place Jones second in AL history, only behind the twelve hit by Baltimore's Brady Anderson in 1996.
- September 18 – Arizona defeats San Diego 10-3, as Greg Colbrunn is the first player to hit two home runs in a game while hitting for the cycle since George Brett (May 28, 1979).
- September 20 – Shortstop Mike Bordick sets a major league record with his 102nd consecutive errorless game at shortstop. He also extends his major league mark of errorless chances at SS to 504.
- September 22
- 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.
- November 12 – Oakland Athletics shortstop Miguel Tejada, who receives 356 points from the BBWAA, including 21 first-place votes of the 28 cast, is selected as the American League MVP. Tejada joins countrymen George Bell (1987) and Sammy Sosa (1998) as Dominican Republic natives to win the award.
- November 22 – Houston Astros right fielder Richard Hidalgo is shot in the left forearm during a carjacking in Venezuela. He is released from the hospital and is expected to go to Houston for more tests.
- November 25 – The Boston Red Sox sign 28-year–old Theo Epstein as their new general manager. He becomes the youngest GM in major league history.
- November 26 – Prior to playing two regular-season games against the Oakland Athletics to open the major league season in Japan, the Seattle Mariners will face the Seibu Lions and Yomiuri Giants in exhibition contests on March 22 and 23 of spring training.
- December 2
- 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.
- In the biggest free agent signing this year, the Philadelphia Phillies sign Cleveland Indians first baseman Jim Thome to a 6-year contract.
- December 29 – Riverfront Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Reds since 1970, is imploded. The team will start playing in Great American Ball Park next season.
- 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 10 – Jim Spencer, 54, All-Star first baseman for five AL teams who won 2 Gold Gloves with the Angels in 1970 and with the White Sox in 1977, while winning a 1978 World Series ring with the Yankees
- 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, 25, 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
- March 24 – Mace Brown, 92, a middle relief pitcher who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1935–1941), Brooklyn Dodgers (1941) and Boston Red Sox (1942–1946).
- 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
- May 22 – Faye Dancer, 78, AAGPBL center fielder, who served as inspiration for the character portrayed by Madonna in the 1992 film A League of Their Own
- May 22 – Warren Hacker, 77, pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox from 1948 to 1961
- May 28 – Wes Westrum, 79, All-Star catcher for the New York Giants who later managed the Mets and San Francisco Giants
- June 18 – Jack Buck, 77, broadcaster for the St. Louis Cardinals for nearly 50 years
- June 22 – Darryl Kile, 33, All-Star pitcher, with the Cardinals since 2000 when he won 20 games; also threw a no-hitter for the Astros
- June 22 – Ron Kline, 70, pitcher for nine teams, primarily the Pirates, who led AL in saves with 1965 Senators
- June 24 – June Schofield, 76, Canadian infielder who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League from 1948 to 1949
- June 27 – Ralph Erickson, 100, relief pitcher with the 1929-30 Pirates who upon the April 3 death of Karl Swanson became baseball's oldest living player; died two days after 100th birthday
- June 30 – Pete Gray, 87, outfielder who played in the major leagues for the St. Louis Browns despite having lost his right arm in a childhood accident
- June 30 – Raúl Sánchez, 71, Cuban pitcher for the Washington Senators and Cincinnati Redlegs/Reds in the 1950s, who also played for the IL Havana Sugar Kings
- 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 16 – Johnny Roseboro, 69, All-Star catcher who won two Gold Gloves, and was noted for his 1965 scuffle with Juan Marichal
- 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.