2003 Baseball Season Highlights
The 2003 baseball season was a year of dashed hopes for teams that had been left out of the World Series for decades. While it looked like the Red Sox and the Cubs had a shot, the all-too-familiar Yankees and surprising Marlins were the feature at the 2003 World Series. Below, you will find the highlights from the 2003 baseball season:
- Wildcard winner Boston defeats Oakland in a nail-biting five game ALDS.
- New York beats Minnesota easily in a four-game ALDS. The Twins score just three times in the final three games.
- Florida upsets San Francisco to win their NLDS in four games.
- The Cubs upend the favored Braves in a five-game NLDS.
- The Marlins, down three games to one, come back to defeat the Cubs in the NLCS.
- The Yankees win a thrilling seven-game ALCS over the luckless Red Sox, as Aaron Boone ends it with an 11th-inning homer.
- The Marlins capture their second World Series title in their 11-year history, defeating the Yankees in six games.
- The Marlins take the title despite hitting just .232 and being outscored 21-17 by New York.
- Philadelphia's Kevin Millwood throws the year's only individual no-hitter, on April 27 against San Francisco.
- Brad Penny wins two games for Florida in the fall classic, and Josh Beckett throws a five-hit shutout in the clincher.
- Jack McKeon, who takes over the Marlins' helm in May, is at age 72 the oldest manager ever to win a World Series.
- Barry Bonds of the Giants is named National League MVP for the sixth time -- and the third year in a row.
- Bonds leads the National League in both SA (.749) and OBP (.529) for the third consecutive season. He logs 148 walks (61 intentional) in 130 games.
- Bonds's father, Bobby Bonds, a former Giants star, dies of cancer on August 23.
- Cubs righty Kerry Wood leads the National League with 266 strikeouts.
- Wood's 21 hit batsmen are the most by a major league pitcher since 1969.
- Atlanta's Russ Ortiz (21-7) is the National League's only 20-game winner.
- San Francisco's Jason Schmidt leads the National League in ERA (2.34) and win pct. (.773).
- Alex Rodriguez of the Rangers becomes the first American League player to win the MVP Award while playing for a last-place club.
- A-Rod tops the American League in homers (47), runs (124), and slugging (.600).
- Dodgers closer Eric Gagne saves 55 games in 55 chances and takes National League Cy Young honors.
- Gagne blows the save in the All-Star Game, allowing Ranger Hank Blalock's game-winning homer.
- Roy Halladay of the Blue Jays wins 15 consecutive decisions en route to a 22-7 record and the American League Cy Young Award.
- Albert Pujols of St. Louis wins the 2003 National League batting title, edging Colorado's Todd Helton by one point, .359 to .358.
- Pujols also leads the National League in hits (212), runs (137), doubles (51), and TBs (394). He amasses 43 homers and 124 RBI.
- Preston Wilson of the Rockies paces the National League with 141 RBI.
- Houston first baseman Jeff Bagwell cracks his 400th homer on July 20.
- Jim Thome of the Phillies clubs a National League-high 47 homers but fans a league-high 182 times.
- Switch-hitting Bill Mueller of the Red Sox cops the 2003 American League bat crown at .326.
- Mueller clouts grand slams from both sides of the plate at Texas on July 29, becoming the first major league player ever to do so.
- Boston's Pedro Martinez leads the American League in ERA (2.22).
- Oakland's Keith Foulke paces American League relievers with 43 saves.
- Toronto's Vernon Wells leads the American League in hits (215), doubles (49), and total bases (373).
For more 2003 baseball season highlights, see the next page.