In 2000, Ken Griffey Jr. went to Cincinnati to play for the Reds, and Carlos Delgado was voted Major League Player of the Year. Here are some of the headlines from the 2000 baseball season:
MLB Takes Its Show to Tokyo
The Cubs and Mets opened the regular season with two games in Tokyo -- the first major-league regular-season games ever played outside of North America. It was part of MLB’s efforts to globalize America’s game.
Giants Open With a Splash at Pac Bell
On April 11, 2000, the Giants christened Pacific Bell Park against their longtime rivals, the Dodgers. The spectacular new stadium, built on a small parcel of land on the San Francisco Bay, has a right-field waterfront porch that allows “splashdown” home runs to land in the water. Barry Bonds belted six such big flys into “McCovey Cove” during 2000.
Darin Erstad Rips 144 Hits -- in First Half
Angels outfielder Darin Erstad’s sweet left-handed swing produced 240 hits in 2000, the most by any major league player since 1985 (and unsurpassed since 1930). Erstad, who batted .355 with 25 homers and 100 RBI, laced 144 hits before the All-Star break -- an American League record. Darin bore down in 2000 after saying he “stunk” in 1999 (.253 average).
Ken Griffey Jr. Goes Home to Cincy
Star center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. plays for the Reds, who acquired him from Seattle in a five-player deal before the 2000 season. Griffey, a Cincy native whose dad coached for the Reds in 2000, hit .271 with 40 homers, 118 RBI, and 94 walks. However, his production fell short of the perhaps inflated expectations of pennant-starved Queen City fanatics.
Troy Glaus Tops American League with 47 Home Runs
In just his second full big-league season, hulking third baseman Troy Glaus enjoyed his breakout campaign in 2000. At his best swinging for the fences, he connected for 47 home runs to pace the American League. Glaus and teammates Garret Anderson, Tim Salmon, and Mo Vaughn were the first American League foursome ever to homer more than 30 times each. Their heroics, however, couldn’t get the Angels any higher than third place in the American League West.
Jeff Kent Plates 125, Wins MVP Award
Heretofore a steady but never superstar-quality player, San Francisco second baseman Jeff Kent exploded in 2000, batting a career-best .334 with 41 doubles, 33 homers, and 125 RBI. He was voted National League MVP -- beating out teammate Barry Bonds -- as the Giants won the National League West. Kent ranked in the top ten among National League hitters in 11 offensive categories, though he didn’t lead in any.
Carlos Delgado Named Major League’s Top Player
Toronto’s Carlos Delgado wreaked havoc on American League pitchers in 2000. The 28-year-old first sacker made a run at the Triple Crown before finishing at .344-41-137. He led the league with 57 doubles and rated second with 123 walks, a .470 on-base percentage, and a .664 slugging percentage. His fellow players voted him Major League Player of the Year.
2000 Tigers: New Ballpark, Same Old Team
The overcast skies that greeted the Tigers for the first game ever at Comerica Park served as an uncomfortable metaphor for the team’s future. Unlike in Baltimore and Cleveland, the new park did not rejuvenate fans or the ballclub as much as management had hoped. After the season, the Tigers pared their payroll to help offset the cost of the stadium.
John Rocker Suspended
Braves reliever John Rocker holds a press conference at New York’s Shea Stadium on June 29. Prior to the season, Rocker had made negative comments in the national press concerning his disdain for New Yorkers and minorities, drawing fire from some teammates and opponents as well as millions of fans. MLB suspended him for two weeks.
Check out more headlines from the 2000 baseball season on the next page.