2003 in baseball

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The following are the baseball events of the year 2003 throughout the world.  

Headline events of the year

  • The Florida Marlins become World Series champions, holding off a dynastic New York Yankees team, 4 games to 2.
  • The Detroit Tigers had one of the worst records in baseball history, going a dismal 43-119, a .265 winning percentage.
  • The Chicago Cubs just missed advancing to their first World Series since 1945, as they blew a 3 games to 1 lead against the Marlins in the 2003 NLCS.
  • The Oakland Athletics blew a 2 games to none lead against the Boston Red Sox in the 2003 ALDS, making it four straight years they lost the ALDS in 5 games, including an 0-9 mark in games in which they could have clinched the series.
  • The Yankees beat the Red Sox in 7 games in a thrilling ALCS, highlighted by Aaron Boone's walk-off home run in the 11th inning in game 7 off Tim Wakefield.

Champions

Major League Baseball

  • Regular Season Champions
League Eastern Division Champion Central Division Champion Western Division Champion Wild Card Qualifier
American League New York Yankees Minnesota Twins Oakland Athletics Boston Red Sox
National League Atlanta Braves Chicago Cubs San Francisco Giants Florida Marlins
  • World Series Champion - Florida Marlins
  • Postseason - September 30 to October 25
  Division Series
TV: ESPN/FOX
League Championship Series
TV: FOX
World Series
TV: FOX
                           
  1  New York Yankees 3  
3  Minnesota Twins 1  
  1  New York Yankees 4  
American League
  4  Boston Red Sox 3  
2  Oakland Athletics 2
  4  Boston Red Sox 3  
    AL1  New York Yankees 2
  NL4  Florida Marlins 4
  1  Atlanta Braves 2  
3  Chicago Cubs 3  
  3  Chicago Cubs 3
National League
  4  Florida Marlins 4  
2  San Francisco Giants 1
  4  Florida Marlins 3  

Click on any series score to link to that series' page.
Higher seed has home field advantage during Division Series and League Championship Series.
American League has home field advantage during World Series as a result of the American League victory in the 2003 All-Star Game.
American League is seeded 1-3/2-4 as a result of AL regular season champion (New York Yankees) and AL wild card (Boston Red Sox) coming from the same division.
National League is seeded 1-3/2-4 as a result of NL regular season champion (Atlanta Braves) and NL wild card (Florida Marlins) coming from the same division.

Other champions

Awards and honors

Statistical leaders

  American League National League
Type Name Stat Name Stat
AVG Bill Mueller BOS .326 Albert Pujols STL .359
HR Alex Rodriguez TEX 47 Jim Thome PHI 47
RBI Carlos Delgado TOR 145 Preston Wilson COL 141
Wins Roy Halladay TOR 22 Russ Ortiz ATL 21
ERA Pedro Martínez BOS 2.22 Jason Schmidt SFG 2.34
SO Esteban Loaiza CHW 207 Kerry Wood CHC 266
SV Keith Foulke OAK 43 Éric Gagné LAD 55
SB Carl Crawford TBD 55 Juan Pierre FLA 65

Major league baseball final standings

American League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
East Division
1st New York Yankees 101   61 .623    --
2nd Boston Red Sox *   95   67 .586   6.0
3rd Toronto Blue Jays   86   76 .531 15.0
4th Baltimore Orioles   71   91 .438 30.0
5th Tampa Bay Devil Rays   63   99 .389 38.0
Central Division
1st Minnesota Twins   90   72 .556    --
2nd Chicago White Sox   86   76 .531   4.0
3rd Kansas City Royals   83   79 .512   7.0
4th Cleveland Indians   68   94 .420 22.0
5th Detroit Tigers   43 119 .265 47.0
West Division
1st Oakland Athletics   96   66 .593    --
2nd Seattle Mariners   93   69 .574   3.0
3rd Anaheim Angels   77   85 .475 19.0
4th Texas Rangers   71   91 .438 25.0
National League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
East Division
1st Atlanta Braves 101   61 .623    --
2nd Florida Marlins *   91   71 .562 10.0
3rd Philadelphia Phillies   86   76 .531 15.0
4th Montreal Expos   83   79 .512 18.0
5th New York Mets   66   95 .410 34.5
Central Division
1st Chicago Cubs   88   74 .543    --
2nd Houston Astros   87   75 .537   1.0
3rd St. Louis Cardinals   85   77 .525   3.0
4th Pittsburgh Pirates   75   87 .463 13.0
5th Cincinnati Reds   69   93 .426 19.0
6th Milwaukee Brewers   68   94 .420 20.0
West Division
1st San Francisco Giants 100   61 .621    --
2nd Los Angeles Dodgers   85   77 .525 15.5
3rd Arizona Diamondbacks   84   78 .519 16.5
4th Colorado Rockies   74   88 .457 26.5
5th San Diego Padres   64   98 .395 36.5

 

  • The asterisk denotes the club that won the wild card for its respective league.

Events

January–April

May–August

  • July 29 - Against the Texas Rangers at The Ballpark in Arlington, Bill Mueller of the Boston Red Sox, in hitting three home runs, becomes the first player to hit a grand slam from each side of the plate in the same game. After hitting a solo home run off starter R. A. Dickey in the third, Mueller homers in the seventh with the bases loaded against left-hander Aaron Fultz. One inning later he hits his second grand slam, this time against right-hander Jay Powell. With the three home runs, Mueller drives in nine runs; the Red Sox defeat the Rangers 14-7. [2]

September–December

  • September 20 - Unlike this season when the Montreal Expos play 25% of their home games in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the players vote to play their entire 2004 home schedule in Montreal. MLB owners, who collectively own the franchise, are still considering moving the Expos permanently to Washington, D.C., Portland, Oregon or Monterrey, Mexico, or continuing the present format by having the team split home games between different locations (Puerto Rico or Mexico and Montreal).
  • October 14 - In Game 6 of the NLCS, with the Chicago Cubs just five outs away from eliminating the Florida Marlins, Cubs fan Steve Bartman deflects a foul fly ball away from Cubs left fielder Moisés Alou, allowing Florida's Luis Castillo to continue batting. The Cubs then proceed to fall apart, allowing eight runs in the inning to lose Game 6; they go on to lose Game 7, to continue the "Curse of the Billy Goat". The Marlins go on to win the World Series, and Bartman becomes a pariah in Chicago.
  • November 22 - 46–year old relief pitcher Jesse Orosco agrees to a minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks and earns an $800,000 salary if he is added to the big league roster. He retires before the start of the 2004 season.

Books

Deaths

January–March

  • January 9 - Don Landrum, 66, center fielder for four NL teams known for his speed
  • January 11 - Durwood Merrill, 64, American League umpire from 1977 to 1999 who worked in the 1988 World Series, five ALCS, and two All-Star games
  • January 14 - Earl Lawson, 79, sportswriter who covered the Cincinnati Reds from 1949 to 1985, often drawing criticism for his harsh commentary on players
  • January 17 - Claire Schillace, 76, All-Star center fielder for the Racine Belles of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
  • February 12 - Haywood Sullivan, 72, general manager of the Red Sox from 1977–84, previously a catcher and manager with the Kansas City Athletics
  • February 17 - Steve Bechler, 23, pitching prospect who made three relief appearances for the 2002 Orioles
  • February 27 -Edythe Perlick, 80, three-time AAGPBL All-Star outfielder
  • February 28 - Jim Fridley, 78, outfielder for the Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles and Cincinnati Redlegs between 1952 and 1958, and one of 17 players involved in the largest transaction in major league history
  • March 14 - Al Gionfriddo, 81, outfielder who in his last major league game, Game 6 of the 1947 World Series, robbed Joe DiMaggio of a home run to preserve the Brooklyn Dodgers' 8-6 victory over the Yankees. However, the Yankees went on to win the series the next day.
  • March 19 - Joe Buzas, 84, reserve shortstop for the 1945 Yankees who later operated 82 minor league franchises in his 47 years as an owner
  • March 28 - Sam Bowens, 64, an outfielder who played for the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Senators from 1963 through 1969

April–June

  • April 19 - Chris Zachary, 59, pitcher for five teams who posted a 1.41 ERA in relief for the 1972 Tigers
  • May 6 - Art Houtteman, 75, All-Star pitcher who won 19 games for the 1950 Tigers and 15 for the 1954 Indians
  • May 8 - Dorothy Ferguson, 80, Canadian infielder/outfielder in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League from 1945 to 1954
  • May 8 - Sam Lacy, 99, sportswriter for several decades in Washington, Chicago and Baltimore who championed the sport's integration and was one of the BBWAA's first black members
  • June 1 - Johnny Hopp, 86, All-Star outfielder and first baseman who batted .300 five times with the Cardinals, Braves and Pirates
  • June 18 - Larry Doby, 79, Hall of Fame center fielder for the Cleveland Indians, previously an All-Star second baseman in the Negro Leagues, who became AL's first black player in 1947; led AL in home runs twice, had five 100-RBI seasons; also a coach and scout
  • June 22 - Leonard Koppett, 79, sportswriter and author who worked both in New York and on the West Coast

July–September

  • July 1 - Bill Miller, 75, pitched from 1952 through 1955 for the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles
  • July 12 - Patricia Courtney, 71, infielder for the Grand Rapids Chicks and the Chicago Colleens of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
  • July 19 - Dorothy Stolze, 80, one of the most versatile utility players in All-American Girls Professional Baseball League history
  • July 27 - Bob Hope, 100, comedian and movie star who was part-owner of the Cleveland Indians in the 1950s; performed his signature song "Thanks for the Memory" in 1993 as the Indians ended 60 years of games at Municipal Stadium
  • August 7 - Mickey McDermott, 74, pitcher who won 18 games for the 1953 Red Sox, but whose colorful personal life overshadowed his play
  • August 9 - Billy Rogell, 98, shortstop for the Tigers' first World Series champions in 1935
  • August 21 - Ken Coleman, 78, voice of the Boston Red Sox for 20 years, also with the Indians and Reds
  • August 21 - Maddy English, 79, three-time All-Star in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, who played third base for the Racine Belles, championship team in 1943 and 1946
  • August 22 - Julie Dusanko, 81, infielder who played for the Minneapolis Millerettes and Racine Belles of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
  • August 23 - Bobby Bonds, 57, All-Star right fielder for eight teams who recorded five of the first ten instances of hitting 30 home runs and stealing 30 bases in a season, ending career with 332 HRs and 461 steals; father of Barry Bonds
  • August 30 - Claude Passeau, 94, 5-time All-Star pitcher for the Phillies and Cubs who led NL in strikeouts in 1939; pitched a one-hitter in Game 3 of the 1945 World Series
  • September 14 - Allen Lewis, 86, sportswriter for the Philadelphia Inquirer for thirty years who also served twelve years as chairman of baseball's scoring rules committee
  • September 18 - Pauline Crawley, 79, outfielder who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
  • September 25 - George Plimpton, 76, author whose forays into sports included pitching against the NL team prior to the second 1960 All-Star Game; wrote a fictitious story for Sports Illustrated in 1985 on "Sidd Finch", a phenomenal pitching prospect

October–December

  • October 10 - Johnny Klippstein, 75, pitcher for eight teams who led AL in saves with the 1960 Indians
  • October 12 - Joan B. Kroc, 75, owner of the Padres from 1984 to 1990 following the death of her husband, McDonald's founder Ray Kroc
  • November 5 - Dernell Stenson, 25, promising young outfielder who had played 37 games in 2003 with the Cincinnati Reds
  • November 6 - Spider Jorgensen, 84, third baseman who debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers on the same day that teammate Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier
  • November 15 - Earl Battey, 68, All-Star catcher and three-time Gold Glove winner for the White Sox, Senators and Twins who batted .302 in 1961
  • November 18 - Ken Brett, 55, All-Star pitcher for numerous teams who at age 19 became the youngest pitcher to appear in the World Series; brother of Hall of Famer George Brett
  • November 22 - Joe Just, 87, Cincinnati Reds player in 1944 and 1945
  • November 24 - Warren Spahn, 82, Hall of Fame pitcher for the Boston and Milwaukee Braves whose 363 victories made him the fifth-winningest pitcher (and the winningest left-hander) in history; thirteen 20-win seasons included Cy Young Award campaign in 1957 championship season; 14-time All-Star pitched two no-hitters, and led NL in wins eight times, in strikeouts, shutouts and innings four times each, and in ERA three times; 2583 strikeouts were record for left-handers until 1975, and 5244 innings remained top mark among southpaws
  • November 30 - Jack Brewer, 85, pitcher who played from 1944-46 for the New Giants
  • December 26 - Paul Owens, 79, general manager of the Phillies from 1972 to 1984 who also managed the team to the 1983 pennant
  • December 27 - Ivan Calderón, 41, Puerto Rican All-Star outfielder for four teams who had three multi-HR games for 1987 White Sox, batted .300 for 1991 Expos

See also









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