1991 Baseball Season Headlines
Frank Thomas of the
Chicago White Sox topped
the major league with 138
walks and a .453 on-base
In his first full major league season, Frank Thomas hit .318, the best mark by a White Sox regular since Chet Lemon hit .318 in 1979. Thomas also paced the American League with a .453 on-base percentage and set a new Sox club record when he drew 138 walks. Thomas banged 32 homers and tallied 109 RBI. He also walked a league-leading 138 times. Big Frank is one of very few players in White Sox history to showcase power, patience, and the talent to hit for a high average.
Injured Bo Jackson Joins 1991 White Sox
Bo Jackson was released by Kansas City in the spring after he suffered an apparent career-ending hip injury in an NFL playoff game. However, Jackson vowed to return to the majors in '91. Bo needed a stint in the minors to regain his playing skills. He fulfilled his prophecy when he joined the White Sox for a few games late in the campaign.
Cal Ripken Rises to New Heights
Cal Ripken earned the American League MVP Award by posting some of the greatest stats ever by an American League shortstop. He became the only shortstop in history other than Ernie Banks to bat .300 with at least 30 homers and 100 RBI. Ripken played in all of Baltimore's games, keeping him on course to break Lou Gehrig's consecutive-games played record in 1995.
Chuck Knoblauch Named ROTY
In 1989, Chuck Knoblauch was a defensive whiz at shortstop for Texas A&M. In 1990, while playing for Double-A Orlando, he made a successful conversion to second base, though he was still considered a long shot to make the Twins in the spring of 1991. Knoblauch not only won the Minnesota keystone slot but achieved every freshman's dream when he won the American League Rookie of the Year Award and a 1991 World Championship ring.
Fred McGriff: Major League's Top Slugger
At the end of the 1991 season, San Diego first sacker Fred McGriff's .522 career slugging average led all active players with over 2,000 at-bats. McGriff provided the Padres with 31 homers and 106 RBI in his first year with the team after being acquired in a trade with Toronto. Few sluggers are more consistent or more feared than McGriff.
Bryan Harvey: 46 Halo Saves
Bryan Harvey set a new Angels franchise record in 1991 when he logged 46 saves. With Harvey in the bullpen to bail them out of trouble, California's three top starters -- Jim Abbott, Mark Langston, and Chuck Finley -- had an aggregate 55-27 record. Nevertheless, the Angels finished in the American League West cellar when the team's other hurlers could combine for only a 26-54 mark. Kirk McCaskill went 10-19.
Hefty Cecil Fielder Hits a Ton
In 1991, Detroit heavyweight Cecil Fielder became the first American League player since Jimmie Foxx in 1933 to repeat as both the loop's home run and RBI king. Fielder knocked home 133 runs and pounded 44 dingers in 1991. Both figures were major league highs. But to Fielder's disappointment, he once again finished second in MVP voting, this time to the more well-rounded Cal Ripken.
Montreal's Dennis Martinez Perfects LA
Montreal pitcher and National League ERA leader Dennis Martinez hurled a perfect game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 28, 1991, winning 2-0. Two days earlier, another Montreal pitcher, Mark Gardner, was less fortunate. Despite tossing a no-hitter through nine innings against those same Dodgers, Gardner lost 1-0 in the tenth frame.
Ruben Sierra, Mates Crack 200
In 1991, Ruben Sierra joined with Julio Franco and Rafael Palmeiro to give the Texas Rangers three 200-hit men. The trio also combined with five other Rangers to give the team eight players with at least 15 home runs. Texas topped the majors in runs with 829 and was second only to the Detroit Tigers in homers. Nevertheless, the Rangers were able to finish no better than a distant third in the American League West.
Check out more headlines from the 1991 baseball season on the next page.
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