1997 Baseball Season Highlights
The 1997 baseball season saw the upstart Florida Marlins making a big splash. The unlikely Florida team won the 1997 World Series. Mark McGwire had 58 home runs -- the most since Roger Maris in 1961. Below, you will find the highlights from the 1997 baseball season:
- Florida wins the National League wildcard berth, edging Los Angeles by four games.
- The Marlins plow through playoff opponents San Francisco and Atlanta to advance to the 1997 World Series in just their fifth season.
- The Indians win the American League Central by six games, then outlast the Yankees and Orioles to win the pennant.
- The Marlins win a thrilling World Series, sliding by Cleveland 3-2 in an 11-inning game seven on Edgar Renteria's RBI single.
- Sandy Alomar of the Indians bats .367 and knocks in ten runs against Florida in the 1997 World Series.
- Tony Gwynn of the Padres wins his eighth National League bat crown, hitting .372.
- Marlins right-hander Livan Hernandez wins twice in the NLCS and twice more in the 1997 World Series, winning both LCS and Series MVP honors.
- Atlanta wins 19 times in April to set a major league record for the season's first month.
- Giants improve 22 games and win the National League West.
- Florida's Kevin Brown no-hits the Giants 9-0 at Candlestick Park on June 10.
- In the first-ever combined ten-inning no-hitter, Pittsburgh's Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon blank the Astros 3-0 on July 12.
- In the 50th year since Jackie Robinson broke the color line, baseball announces plans to retire his No. 42 permanently.
- The major leagues institute interleague play. On June 12, the Giants beat Texas 4-3 in the first interleague game.
- Marlins sign outfielder Gary Sheffield to a six-year contract extension worth $61 million.
- Seattle's Ken Griffey Jr. leads the American League with 56 homers, 120 runs scored, and 147 RBI.
- Griffey is the unanimous American League MVP and takes home his fourth Gold Glove.
- Frank Thomas of the White Sox leads the American League with a .347 average and a .461 on-base percentage.
- Colorado's Larry Walker paces the National League in on-base percentage (.452) and slugging percentage (.720).
- Walker wins National League MVP honors and snags his first Gold Glove.
- Montreal's Mark Grudzielanek hits 54 doubles.
- Indians catcher Sandy Alomar's two-run homer carries the American League to a 3-1 All-Star Game win in Cleveland.
- Knuckleballer Phil Niekro is the only player inducted by the writers into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
- Boston shortstop Nomar Garciaparra is the unanimous choice for American League ROTY.
- Scott Rolen of the Phillies is a unanimous National League ROTY.
- Juan Gonzalez of Texas hits 42 homers despite missing the first month with a thumb injury.
- Labor-relations trailblazer Curt Flood dies at age 59.
- Expo pitcher Pedro Martinez's 13 complete games are the most by an National League pitcher since 1988.
- Martinez cops the National League's Cy Young Award.
- Barry Bonds of the Giants amasses 40 homers and 145 walks.
- Mark McGwire hits 34 homers for the Athletics-despite being traded to St. Louis on July 31.
- McGwire's 58 homers tie the mark set by Jimmie Foxx for most ever by a righthanded batter.
- Randy Myers of Baltimore blows just one save in 46 chances.
- Roger Clemens of Toronto wins his fourth American League Cy Young.
- Clemens leads the American League in wins, strikeouts, ERA, innings pitched, complete games, and shutouts.
For more highlights of the 1997 baseball season, see the next page.