Tom Glavine Cops the Cy
Lefty Tom Glavine picked up his second Cy Young Award in 1998, posting a 20-6 record and a fine 2.47 ERA to help the Braves win the National League East once again. Glavine's Cy was the sixth won by Atlanta pitchers during the 1990s, and his 20 wins were his fourth league-leading total. A complete athlete, Glavine also batted .239 with seven RBI in 1998.
Greg Vaughn's 50 Go Unnoticed
Launching "just" 50 home runs in the year of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, San Diego left fielder Greg Vaughn was seemingly forgotten by everyone but his Padres teammates and the club's fans, who knew just how critical his big bat was to the Friars' success. Playing his first injury-free season since 1993, Vaughn drove in 119 runs and finished fourth in league MVP voting.
Cal Ripken Streak Ends at 2,632
Baltimore third baseman Cal Ripken voluntarily ended his consecutive-games streak on September 20, 1998. It was the first time he took a day off from the Orioles since May 29, 1982. His all-time consecutive games played mark, which stands at 2,632, will be a tall order for anyone to match. Even batting just .271 with 14 homers, the legendary Ripken was an All-Star starter again in '98.
Albert Belle Blasts 49 Homers, 48 Doubles
Playing in relative obscurity for a White Sox club far removed from the pennant race, controversial slugger Albert Belle whacked 99 extra-base hits in 1998, the second-highest total in American League history and just four behind his own record, set in 1995. He hit .328 with 49 homers and 48 doubles for the Sox, then signed as a free agent with Baltimore.
Kevin Brown Carries Padres to WS
Righthander Kevin Brown helped lift the Padres into the World Series in 1998. With an 18-7 record, 2.38 ERA, and 257 whiffs and only 49 walks in 257 innings, Brown finished third in National League Cy Young balloting. He also fanned 46 men in the playoffs and 1998 World Series to set a record for strikeouts in postseason play. Following the season, Brown inked a seven-year, $105 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Big Unit Revs It Up in Houston
After spending nine years with the Mariners, dominating lefthander Randy Johnson was dealt to Houston on July 31. Johnson was an amazing 10-1 with a minuscule 1.26 ERA in 11 starts for his new club, tossing shutouts in each of his first four Astrodome starts. In Houston's Division Series loss to San Diego, the "Big Unit" was 0-2 despite allowing just three earned runs in 14 innings.
San Diego Topples Atlanta
Despite Padres Ken Caminiti's two-run homer, in the first inning of game five of the NLCS, the Braves won 7-6. However, San Diego whipped the Braves 5-0 in game six to complete a surprising series triumph.
1998 Yanks Erase Pads in Four
New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter eludes the slide of San Diego's Greg Vaughn to complete a double play in the decisive game four of the 1998 World Series. Jeter scored two runs in the 3-0 win, giving the Yankees their 24th World Series trophy. New York's finest have more championships to their credit than any other professional sports franchise.
Scott Brosius Slugs Key Homer
Yankees third baseman Scott Brosius , the eventual 1998 World Series MVP, batted .471 with two homers and six RBI in the Yankees' four-game sweep of San Diego.
The next page highlights key events and details from the 1998 baseball season.
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