Cal Ripken's Great Ride Comes to an End
On October 6, 2001, Orioles fans waved goodbye to Cal Ripken. Actually, several American League teams threw farewell parties for the veteran infielder, who at one point had played in 2,632 consecutive games. Ripken retired among history’s Top 20 in games, at-bats, hits, doubles, total bases, and RBI. Though he hit just .239 in his final season, Ripken did enjoy one last hurrah in the All-Star Game, belting a home run and earning the MVP Award.
Baseball Honors America
Fans at Chicago’s Comiskey Park honored America and the visiting Yankees on September 18, 2001, the first day of action for American League teams since the September 11 terrorist attacks. Each major league club saluted the heroes and remembered the victims with special pregame ceremonies. At Comiskey, players and firefighters lined the infield for the national anthem and a moment of silence. For the rest of the season, all major league players wore American flag patches, which were sewn on both their jerseys and caps.
Bret Boone’s 141 RBI Power Mets
Bret Boone put together one of the top hitting campaigns ever by a second baseman. He paced the American League with 141 RBI while cracking .331 with 37 homers and 37 doubles.
Barry Bonds Breaks Homer Mark, Blasts 73!
Barry Bonds clubbed his 71st home run at home off L.A.’s Chan Ho Park on October 5, 2001. While breaking Mark McGwire’s longball record, Bonds posted a .515 on-base percentage and surpassed Babe Ruth’s marks for walks and slugging percentage in a season, finishing with 177 and .863. Barry became the first man to win his fourth league MVP Award.
2001 Yankees Bomb M’s in ALCS
Bernie Williams took Jamie Moyer deep in game three of the 2001 ALCS. The two-run, first-inning shot seemed to doom the Mariners, who had already lost the first two games on their own turf. Seattle rallied to win this affair 14-3, but New York eliminated the 116-game winners in just five games. Williams homered in each of the last three contests.
Tino Martinez’s HR Stuns the Diamondbacks
Arizona reliever Byung-Hyun Kim served up a homer in the bottom of the ninth of game four of the 2001 World Series. In the first major league game ever played on Halloween, Tino Martinez treated New Yorkers with a stunning two-out, two-run homer to tie the game, 3-3. As the game stretched into November, Yankee Derek Jeter climaxed the drama with a walk-off homer in the tenth.
Deja Vu! Scott Brosius HR Rocks Byung-Hyun Kim
Scott Brosius launches another Yankee miracle homer, this one in game five of the 2001 World Series. Helping New Yorkers heal after the September 11 attacks, Brosius cracked a two-out, two-run clout in the bottom of the ninth to tie Arizona, 2-2. D’Backs submariner Byung-Hyun Kim again served up the tying blast. New York won in 12 innings on an Alfonso Soriano RBI single, giving them a 3-2 Series lead.
Luis Gonzalez Wins Thrilling Game Seven
Victimized by Yankee Comebacks in games four and five, the D’Backs turned the tables in the finale with Arizona’s Luis Gonzalez's historic game-seven hit. After Alfonso Soriano’s homer gave New York a 2-1 lead in the eighth, Tony Womack tied it in the bottom of the ninth with an RBI double. With the bases juiced, Gonzalez blooped a single over second base, scoring Jay Bell for a 3-2 triumph.
The next page highlights key events and details from the 2001 baseball season.
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