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1991 in baseball: Wikis


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The following are the baseball events of the year 1991 throughout the world.  




Major League Baseball

  League Championship Series World Series
East  Toronto Blue Jays 1  
West  Minnesota Twins 4  
    AL  Minnesota Twins 4
  NL  Atlanta Braves 3
East  Pittsburgh Pirates 3
West  Atlanta Braves 4  

Other champions

Awards and honors

MLB statistical leaders

  American League National League
Type Name Stat Name Stat
AVG Julio Franco TEX .341 Terry Pendleton ATL .319
HR José Canseco OAK
Cecil Fielder DET
44 Howard Johnson NYM 38
RBI Cecil Fielder DET 133 Howard Johnson NYM 117
Wins Scott Erickson MIN
Bill Gullickson DET
20 Tom Glavine ATL
John Smiley PIT
ERA Roger Clemens BOS 2.62 Dennis Martinez MON 2.39

Major league baseball final standings

American League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
East Division
1st Toronto Blue Jays 91   71 .562    --
2nd Boston Red Sox 84   78 .519   7.0
2nd Detroit Tigers 84   78 .519   7.0
4th Milwaukee Brewers 83   79 .512   8.0
5th New York Yankees 71   91 .438 20.0
6th Baltimore Orioles 67   95 .414 24.0
7th Cleveland Indians 57 105 .352 34.0
West Division
1st Minnesota Twins 95   67 .586    --
2nd Chicago White Sox 87   75 .537   8.0
3rd Texas Rangers 85   77 .525 10.0
4th Oakland Athletics 84   78 .519 11.0
5th Seattle Mariners 83   79 .512 12.0
6th Kansas City Royals 82   80 .506 13.0
7th California Angels 81   81 .500 14.0
National League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
East Division
1st Pittsburgh Pirates 98 64 .605    --
2nd St. Louis Cardinals 84 78 .519 14.0
3rd Chicago Cubs 77 83 .481 20.0
4th Philadelphia Phillies 78 84 .481 20.0
5th New York Mets 77 84 .478 20.5
6th Montreal Expos 71 90 .441 26.5
West Division
1st Atlanta Braves 94 68 .580    --
2nd Los Angeles Dodgers 93 69 .574   1.0
3rd San Diego Padres 84 78 .519 10.0
4th San Francisco Giants 75 87 .463 19.0
5th Cincinnati Reds 74 88 .457 20.0
6th Houston Astros 65 97 .401 29.0


American League

Team Manager Comments
Baltimore Orioles Frank Robinson Replaced during the season by Johnny Oates
Boston Red Sox Joe Morgan
California Angels Doug Rader Replaced during the season by Buck Rodgers
Chicago White Sox Jeff Torborg
Cleveland Indians John McNamara Replaced during the season by Mike Hargrove
Detroit Tigers Sparky Anderson
Kansas City Royals John Wathan Replaced during the season by Hal McRae
Milwaukee Brewers Tom Trebelhorn
Minnesota Twins Tom Kelly Won the World Series
New York Yankees Stump Merrill
Oakland Athletics Tony La Russa
Seattle Mariners Jim Lefebvre
Texas Rangers Bobby Valentine
Toronto Blue Jays Cito Gaston Replaced temporarily by Gene Tenace while undergoing treatment for a herniated disc

National League

Team Manager Comments
Atlanta Braves Bobby Cox Won National League pennant
Chicago Cubs Don Zimmer Replaced during the season by Jim Essian
Cincinnati Reds Lou Piniella
Houston Astros Art Howe
Los Angeles Dodgers Tommy Lasorda
Montreal Expos Buck Rodgers Replaced during the season by Tom Runnels
New York Mets Bud Harrelson Replaced during the season by Mike Cubbage
Philadelphia Phillies Nick Leyva Replaced during the season by Jim Fregosi
Pittsburgh Pirates Jim Leyland
St. Louis Cardinals Joe Torre
San Diego Padres Greg Riddoch
San Francisco Giants Roger Craig (baseball)



  • January 6 – Alan Wiggins, former lead-off hitter for the San Diego Padres and a key member of their 1984 pennant run, becomes the first baseball player known to die of AIDS. He was 32.
  • January 7 – Pete Rose is released from Marion Federal Prison after serving a five-month sentence for tax evasion.
  • February 4 – The 12 members of the board of directors of the Hall of Fame vote unanimously to bar Pete Rose from the ballot. He will become eligible again only if the commissioner reinstates him by December 2005.


  • April 8 – Just hours before the first pitch of the baseball season, MLB averts an umpires strike by reaching agreement with the Major League Umpires' Association on a new four-year contract.
  • April 21 – The Chicago Cubs score five runs in the top of the eleventh inning, but the Pittsburgh Pirates comeback with six runs in the bottom of the inning for the victory; the greatest extra-innings comeback (in terms of runs) in Major League history.


  • July 7 – Outside a restaurant in Arlington, Texas, American League umpire Steve Palermo is shot and paralyzed from the waist down after aiding a woman who was being mugged. The assailant is later sentenced to 75 years in prison.
  • July 26 – Montreal Expos pitcher Mark Gardner throws a no-hitter through nine innings, but does not complete it when his team fails to score against Los Angeles Dodgers starter Orel Hershiser and reliever Kip Gross. Gardner loses the no-hitter and the game in the tenth inning when the Dodgers get three hits and score the only run of the game. The Expos only get two hits.
  • August 11 – In only his second Major League game, and first Major League start, Wilson Alvarez throws a no-hitter as the Chicago White Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles, 7–0. It is the fifth no-hitter of the 1991 season, not including Mark Gardner's nine inning no-hitter that was lost in the tenth on July 26.
  • September 4 – Removing an "asterisk" which was never universally recognized, the Statistical Accuracy Committee decides to put Roger Maris' 61 home run season of 1961 ahead of Babe Ruth's 60 mark of 1927. Regarding the expunging of the asterisk, historian Bill Deane later points out, "It was an easy job: the asterisk never existed. Maris' record was, from 1962 until 1991, listed separately from Ruth's and was never actually defined by 'some distinctive mark.'" The eight-man panel also re-defines a no-hit game as one which ends after nine or more innings with one team failing to get a hit, thereby removing 50 games from the list that had previously been considered hitless, including the 1959 performance of St. Louis Cardinals' Harvey Haddix, who pitched 12 perfect innings against the Milwaukee Braves, and Cincinnati Reds' Jim Maloney 1965 1–0 loss to the New York Mets in 11 innings. Another casualty is Boston Red Sox reliever Ernie Shore 27 straight outs on June 23, 1917, a game in which he relieved Babe Ruth after being ejected for protesting a walk to Ray Morgan, the first Washington Senators batter he faced. Morgan was thrown out trying to steal second, and Shore retired all 26 men he faces in a 4–0 win‚ getting credit in the books for a perfect game.
  • September 15 – Smokey Burgess, a former major leaguer and previous holder of the record for most pinch-hits, dies at age 64.
  • September 16 – Otis Nixon, the league's leading base stealer and catalyst on the Atlanta Braves' run from last to first, fails a drug test and is suspended for sixty days, consisting of the rest of the 1991 baseball season and the first six weeks of the 1992 season. The Braves lose the first two games without Nixon but rebound to win the National League pennant.
  • September 22 – The Pittsburgh Pirates become the first National League East team since the 1976-77-78 Philadelphia Phillies to win consecutive division titles when they beat the Phillies, 2–1.


  • October 2 – Atlanta Braves pitcher Tom Glavine becomes the first 20-game winner in the majors by beating the Cincinnati Reds. The win assures Glavine of the Cy Young Award when it is given in November.
  • October 3 – Chicago White Sox catcher Carlton Fisk hits two home runs, including a grand slam, to lead the White Sox to a 13–12 victory over the Minnesota Twins. In doing so, just nine months shy of his 44th birthday, Fisk becomes the oldest 20th-century player to collect a two-HR game. His 7th-inning grand slam off Steve Bedrosian also makes him the oldest major leaguer ever to hit a bases-loaded homer. Cap Anson, at 45, hit two home runs on this date in 1897, and is the oldest major league player to hit a pair.
  • October 5 – The Atlanta Braves become the second team in two weeks to go from last to first when they beat the Houston Astros, 5–2. Moments later, the San Francisco Giants eliminate their arch-rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, when Trevor Wilson pitches a 4–0 complete game shutout, handing the National League West division title to the Braves. John Smoltz gets his fourteenth win of the season as the Braves close out with eight consecutive wins after trailing the Dodgers by two with only ten games left to play.
  • October 7 – Leo Durocher, who is credited with the phrase 'nice guys finish last,' dies at the age of 86. The same day, the New York Yankees fire Stump Merrill, the ninth major league manager fired in 1991.
  • October 8 – Despite finishing in second, their lowest finish in his 3½ years as manager, the Boston Red Sox dismiss Joe Morgan and replace him with Butch Hobson. Morgan is the tenth manager fired in 1991.
  • October 9 – Tom Trebelhorn becomes the eleventh managerial casualty of 1991 despite a record of 40-19 and a finish over .500 with the Milwaukee Brewers.
  • October 18 – Jim Essian, who replaced Don Zimmer in May, is fired as manager of the Chicago Cubs, the thirteenth and last firing of a manager in 1991. The thirteen firings in a season set a majors record that still stands.




  • January 3 - Luke Appling, 83, Hall of Fame shortstop who played his entire career for the Chicago White Sox, setting career record for most games at his position while batting .310 lifetime and winning two AL batting titles; famous for his ability to foul off pitches, he retired with the 7th-most walks in history; his two years of World War II service deprived him of a chance to reach 3000 hits
  • January 4 - Bill Byrd, 83, 7-time All-Star pitcher for the Negro Leagues' Baltimore Elite Giants, among the last to throw the spitball
  • January 6 - Bobby Estalella, 79, Cuban outfielder for three AL teams who drew a three-year suspension for trying to jump to the Mexican League
  • January 6 - Alan Wiggins, 32, second baseman for the Padres and Orioles who batted .341 in the 1984 postseason
  • January 25 - Hoot Evers, 69, All-Star outfielder for the Tigers who led AL in triples in 1950
  • January 27 - Dale Long, 64, All-Star first baseman who hit home runs in a record eight consecutive games for the 1956 Pirates
  • February 24 - Joe Munson, 90, outfielder who played from 1925 to 1926 for the Chicago Cubs
  • March 1 - Ken Smith, 89, sportswriter who covered the New York Giants from 1925 until the team moved to San Francisco in 1958; later served as director of the Hall of Fame from 1963 to 1979
  • March 7 - Cool Papa Bell, 87, Hall of Fame center fielder of the Negro Leagues, prominently with the St. Louis Stars, who was legendary for his speed on the bases
  • March 9 - Jim Hardin, 18-game winning pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles. Was part of the 1970 World Series winning team. Also played for the New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves.


  • April 11 - Walker Cooper, 76, 9-time All-Star catcher for six NL teams who batted .300 five times; MVP runnerup for 1943 Cardinals
  • April 16 - Al Verdel, 69, pitcher for the 1944 Philadelphia Blue Jays, and one of many player who only appeared in the majors during World War II
  • April 20 - Bucky Walters, 82, 6-time All-Star pitcher whose 198 victories included three 20-win seasons for the Cincinnati Reds; the NL's 1939 MVP, he led league in ERA twice and had two wins in 1940 World Series
  • May 13 - Hal Gregg, 69, All-Star pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, and New York Giants from 1943 to 1952, who was the winning pitcher during the historic debut of Jackie Robinson
  • May 20 - Pete Runnels, 63, All-Star infielder for the Senators and Red Sox who won two AL batting titles with Boston
  • June 15 - Happy Chandler, 92, Hall of Fame executive who left the U.S. Senate to serve as baseball commissioner from 1945 to 1951, and presided over the integration of the major leagues
  • June 22 - Marv Owen, 85, third baseman for the Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, and Boston Red Sox from 1931 through 1940, who was one of the hard-hitting Tigers infield that included Hank Greenberg (1B), Charlie Gehringer (2B) and Billy Rogell (SS)
  • June 26 - Johnny Johnson, 76, pitcher for the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox in the 1940s


  • August 7 - Jimmy Cooney, 96, shortstop for the Boston Red Sox, New York Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Braves between 1917 and 1928, who turned an unassisted triple play in 1927
  • August 9 - Hank Majeski, 74, third baseman who set an AL record at his position with a .989 fielding percentage for the 1947 Athletics
  • September 15 - Smoky Burgess, 64, 6-time All-Star catcher for five teams who held the record for career pinch hits (145) until 1979


  • October 7 - Leo Durocher, 86, manager who led the Brooklyn Dodgers to their first pennant in 21 years in 1941, and drove the New York Giants to two pennants and an unexpected 4-0 sweep of the Cleveland Indians in the 1954 World Series; retired with 2008 victories, second most in NL history; previously an All-Star shortstop and captain of the Cardinals' "Gashouse Gang"
  • October 21 - Bobby Coombs, 83, relief pitcher for the 1933 Philadelphia Athletics and 1943 New York Giants
  • October 25 - George Brunet, 56, pitcher for nine teams who led AL in losses twice with the Angels and had over 3000 strikeouts in the minor leagues
  • November 11 - Heinz Becker, 75, German-born first baseman who was a key reserve on the last Cubs team to win a pennant (1945)
  • December 12 - Ken Keltner, 75, 7-time All-Star third baseman for the Cleveland Indians best known for his plays which ended Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak in 1941


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