1998 Major League Baseball season

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This article is about the 1998 Major League Baseball season only. For information on all of baseball, see 1998 in baseball.

The 1998 Major League Baseball season ended with the New York Yankees defeating the San Diego Padres in Game 4 of the World Series.

The 1998 season was also marked by an expansion to 30 teams (16 in the NL, 14 in the AL), with two new teams–the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League, and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the American League–added to the MLB. To keep the leagues with even numbers of teams[1] while allowing both leagues to have a new team, the Milwaukee Brewers were moved from the American League Central Division to the National League Central Division. The Detroit Tigers were shifted from the American League East to the American League Central, while the Devil Rays were added to the American League East. The Diamondbacks were added to the National League West, making the NL have more teams than the AL for the first time .

The biggest story of the season was the historic chase of the single-season home run record held at the time by Roger Maris. Initially, the St. Louis Cardinals' Mark McGwire and Ken Griffey, Jr. of the Seattle Mariners started the season on a pace to both break Maris' record. In June, the chase was joined by the Chicago Cubs' Sammy Sosa, who broke the decades-old record of Rudy York for most home runs in a calendar month with 20 that month. Eventually, Griffey fell off the record pace, but still ended with 56 homers. Both McGwire and Sosa broke the record in September, with McGwire ultimately finishing with 70 homers to Sosa's 66. McGwire's record would last only three years, with Barry Bonds hitting 73 in 2001. The 1998 season was also the first in MLB history with four players hitting 50 or more homers, with Greg Vaughn of the San Diego Padres hitting 50. In a postscript to the record chase, both McGwire and Sosa have since been widely accused of having used performance-enhancing drugs during that period, and McGwire would admit in 2010 that he had used steroids during the record-setting season.[2]

Contents

[edit] Major league baseball final standings

AL East W L Pct. GB
New York Yankees 114 48 .704    --
Boston Red Sox   92 70 .568 22.0
Toronto Blue Jays   88 74 .543 26.0
Baltimore Orioles   79 83 .488 35.0
Tampa Bay Devil Rays   63 99 .389 51.0
AL Central W L Pct. GB
Cleveland Indians 89 73 .549 --
Chicago White Sox 80 82 .494 9.0
Kansas City Royals 72 89 .447 16.5
Minnesota Twins 70 92 .432 19.0
Detroit Tigers 65 97 .401 24.0
AL West W L Pct. GB
Texas Rangers 88 74 .543 --
Anaheim Angels 85 77 .525 3
Seattle Mariners 76 85 .472 11½
Oakland Athletics 74 88 .457 14
NL East W L Pct. GB
Atlanta Braves 106 56 .654 --
New York Mets 88 74 .543 18
Philadelphia Phillies 75 87 .463 31
Montreal Expos 65 97 .401 41
Florida Marlins 54 108 .333 52
Central Division W L GB Pct.
Houston Astros 102 60 .630 --
Chicago Cubs 90 73 .552 12.5
St. Louis Cardinals 83 79 .512 19.0
Cincinnati Reds 77 85 .475 25.0
Milwaukee Brewers 74 88 .457 28.0
Pittsburgh Pirates 69 93 .426 33.0
NL West W L GB Pct.
San Diego Padres 98 64 -- .605
San Francisco Giants 89 74 9.5 .546
Los Angeles Dodgers 83 79 15.0 .512
Colorado Rockies 77 85 21.0 .475
Arizona Diamondbacks 65 97 33.0 .401

 

[edit] Postseason

  Division Series
NBC/Fox/ESPN
League Championship Series
NBC/Fox
World Series
Fox
                           
  East  New York Yankees 3  
West  Texas Rangers 0  
  East  New York Yankees 4  
American League
  Cent.  Cleveland Indians 2  
Cent.  Cleveland Indians 3
  WC  Boston Red Sox 1  
    AL  New York Yankees 4
  NL  San Diego Padres 0
  East  Atlanta Braves 3  
WC  Chicago Cubs 0  
  East  Atlanta Braves 2
National League
  West  San Diego Padres 4  
Cent.  Houston Astros 1
  West  San Diego Padres 3  

[edit] Awards and honors

[edit] MLB statistical leaders

  American League National League
Type Name Stat Name Stat
AVG Bernie Williams NYY .339 Larry Walker COL .363
HR Ken Griffey, Jr. SEA 56 Mark McGwire STL 70
RBI Juan González TEX 157 Sammy Sosa CHC 158
Wins Roger Clemens1 TOR
David Cone NYY
Rick Helling TEX
20 Tom Glavine ATL 20
ERA Roger Clemens1 TOR 2.65 Greg Maddux ATL 2.22
SO Roger Clemens1 TOR 271 Curt Schilling PHI 300
SV Tom Gordon BOS 46 Trevor Hoffman SDP 53
SB Rickey Henderson OAK 66 Tony Womack PIT 58

1 American League Triple Crown Pitching Winner

[edit] Events

[edit] January-March

[edit] April-June

[edit] July-September

[edit] October-December

[edit] Deaths

[edit] January-April

[edit] May-August

[edit] September-December

[edit] References

  1. ^ With an odd number of teams (15), only seven games would be able to be scheduled in each league on any given day during the intra-league portion of the regular season. Thus, one team in each league would have had to be idle on any given day. This would have made it difficult for scheduling, in terms of travel days and the need to end the regular season before October. See Major League Baseball#League organization. If each league had wished to remain at fifteen teams, the schedule would have had to include one inter-league game during each day of intra-league play. Instead, with each league now having an even number of teams, interleague games occur only in certain parts of the regular season.
  2. ^ "McGwire apologizes to La Russa, Selig". ESPN.com. 2010-01-11. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4816607. Retrieved 2010-01-11. 
  3. ^ [1]
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