2002 Baseball Season Highlights
The 2002 baseball season featured the climatic rise of a little-known team. The Anaheim Angels, who had no superstars, faced off against Barry Bonds and the Giants in the 2002 World Series. Much to everyone's surprise, they won. Below, you will find the highlights from the 2002 baseball season:
- The wildcard Angels roll over the Yankees in their American League Division Series, scoring 31 runs in the four games.
- Minnesota edges the Athletics in five games to advance to the ALCS.
- Anaheim blows away the Twins in a five-game ALCS, outscoring Minnesota 29-12. Anaheim's Adam Kennedy clubs three homers.
- San Francisco beats the Braves in a five-game National League Division Series. Russ Ortiz goes 2-0 for the Giants and Barry Bonds hits three home runs.
- St. Louis sweeps Arizona in its Division Series, outscoring the Diamondbacks 20-6.
- Toronto third baseman Eric Hinske is voted American League 2002 Rookie of the Year after batting .279 with 24 homers.
- It takes the Giants just five games to win the National League title from the exhausted Cardinals. The final three games of the series are one-run affairs.
- Giants, up three games to two in the 2002 World Series, lead game six 5-0 in the seventh inning but lose 6-5.
- Angels win game seven of the World Series 4-1, clinching their first world title in their 42-year history.
- Shortstop Miguel Tejada of Oakland wins the American League MVP Award after batting .308 with 34 homers and 131 RBI.
- Oakland's Barry Zito wins 23 games to pace the junior circuit and cop the 2002 American League Cy Young Award.
- Bonds is the unanimous 2002 National League MVP after winning the bat crown (.370), belting 46 homers, and setting major league records for walks (198) and OBP (.582). He also leads the majors with a .799 slugging percentage.
- Bonds slugs his 600th career homer on August 9.
- Randy Johnson of the Diamondbacks, the unanimous 2002 National League Cy Young Award winner, leads the senior circuit in wins (24), ERA (2.32), and strikeouts (334).
- Pitcher Jason Jennings of the Rockies, 16-8 in 32 Starts, wins National League 2002 ROTY honors.
- MLB takes over the operations of the Expos and names Frank Robinson manager.
- Padres outfielder Mike Darr is killed in a spring training auto accident.
- The Florida organization is gutted during spring training as Montreal owner Jeffrey Loria buys the club and replaces most Marlins employees.
- Yankees second baseman Alfonso Soriano leads the American League in runs (128), hits (209), and steals (41) while batting .300 with 51 doubles, 39 homers, and 102 RBI.
- Alex Rodriguez of Texas paces the American League with 57 homers, 142 RBI, and 389 total bases. He finishes second in MVP voting.
- Manny Ramirez of the Red Sox wins his first batting title, hitting .349 and kicking in 33 homers in 120 games. He also leads the American League with a .450 OBP.
- In his final year with Cleveland, Jim Thome racks up American League bests in slugging (.677) and walks (122) while belting 52 homers.
- Anaheim wins a team-record 99 games with just three pitchers in double figures in victories and three refugees from independent minor leagues.
- Rookie reliever Francisco Rodriguez of the Angels pitches just six innings in the regular season, then goes 5-1 in the playoffs and World Series.
- The A's win an American League-record 20 games in a row beginning on August 13 and finish with 103 wins.
- Zito, Tim Hudson, and Mark Mulder of the Athletics each finish in the American League's top ten in ERA.
- Despite no household names, the Twins become baseball's darlings, running away with the American League Central.
- Pedro Martinez of the Red Sox goes 20-4 and paces the American League in strikeouts (239) and ERA (2.26).
- Derek Lowe of the Red Sox goes 21-8 with a 2.58 ERA and throws a no-hitter.
For more highlights of the 2002 baseball season, see the next page.