Year In Review : 2001 National League

O ff the field...

For the second time in the nation's history, a president's son followed in his father's footsteps as George W. Bush (Jr.) was sworn in as the United State's 43rd leader.

On September 11 the world changed forever as two hijacked airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center's twin towers and a third airplane hit the Pentagon in Washington DC. A fourth plane was brought down before reaching its intended target by a heroic group of passengers in a field in western Pennsylvania. In the end, over 3,300 innocent people were killed and the United States along with a collalition of over sixty countries declared war on terrorism.

The New York Yankees weren't the only baseball team from the Bronx that played well in 2001, only to come up short in the end. The Little League team from the South Bronx stole the show at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, but was later disqualified after it was discovered that star pitcher Danny Almonte was actually a fifteen year-old ringer.

I n the American League...

Baltimore Orioles icon "Iron Man" Cal Ripken re-enacted the final scene from "The Natural" with a dramatic home run blast in the third inning off of Chan Ho Park during his final All-Star Game appearance.

Despite losing three of their greatest players (Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson and Alex Rodriguez) the resilient Seattle Mariners set the record for most wins in a season for an American League club, bettering the mark of one-hundred fourteen set by the already legendary 1998 Yankees. Japanese sensation Ichiro Suzuki sweetens the deal by winning Rookie of the Year as well as the Most Valuable Player.

The New York Yankees' Mike Mussina comes within one batter of perfection, but Carl Everett's two-out, ninth-inning single spoiled the Moose's bid for a perfect game. In the end, the right-handed veteran finished with a one-hitter and the Yankees swept the Boston Red Sox at Fenway.

I n the National League...

A new era of baseball in Pittsburgh began with the opening of PNC Park resembling the classic stadiums of old. The park served as the fifth home for the Buccos replacing Three Rivers Stadium, which had replaced the sacred grounds at Forbes Field. Unfortunately, Pirate legend Willie Stargell died the evening before its Opening Day casting a dark shadow over the debut festivities.

Barry Bonds of the Giants broke St. Louis Cardinals' slugger Mark McGwire's single-season home run record. Before an ecstatic throng at San Francisco's Pac Bell Park, the Hall-of-Fame-bound outfielder took Chan Ho Park deep for No. 71. He would later go on to reset the record at seventy-three.

In one of the most exciting editions of the World Series, the adolescent Arizona Diamondbacks beat the 3x defending champion New York Yankees after Luis Gonzalez lined a Series-winning single off closer Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning of Game 7.

A round the league...

Major League Baseball rose to the occasion as part of the post 9/11 healing process. After taking center stage with patriotic tributes throughout the remainder of the regular season, the national pastime returned to the Big Apple to host the World Series. With the city's emotions running high and the American flag pulled from the wreckage of the World Trade Center flying overhead, President George W. Bush threw out the first pitch symbolizing the unwavering strength of America.

The 1-2 pitching combination of Arizona Diamondbacks Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson results in the first World Series Co-Most Valuable Players.

The 2001 season ended bittersweet as fans say goodbye to two future hall-of-famers in Tony Gwynn of the San Diego Padres and Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles.

The Baseball Hall of Fame congratulated its newest inductees including Kirby Puckett, Dave Winfield, Hilton Smith and Bill Mazeroski (who finally opened the door for defensive players).

"People will come out to see great players, but you know you're looking at a very special player when they come out like this just to watch him (Mark McGwire) take batting practice." - Dave Parker
2001 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

San Francisco

177

Batting Average

Colorado

.350

Doubles

Houston

55

Hits

San Francisco

206

Home Runs

San Francisco

73

On Base Percentage

San Francisco

.515

RBI

Chicago

160

Runs

Chicago

146

Slugging Average

San Francisco

.863

Stolen Bases

Colorado

46

Philadelphia

Total Bases

Chicago

425

Triples

Philadelphia

12

2001 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Arizona

6

ERA

Arizona

2.49

Games

St. Louis

89

Saves

San Francisco

45

Shutouts

Atlanta

3

Montreal

Strikeouts

Arizona

372

Winning Percentage

Houston

.824

Wins

Arizona

22

St. Louis

2001 National League

Team Standings

Atlanta Braves

88 74 .543 0 $91,851,587

Philadelphia Phillies

86 76 .531 2 $41,664,167

New York Mets

82 80 .506 6 $93,174,428

Florida Marlins

76 86 .469 12 $35,504,167

Montreal Expos

68 94 .420 20 $34,774,500

Houston Astros

93 69 .574 0 $60,382,667

St. Louis Cardinals

93 69 .574 0 $77,270,855

Chicago Cubs

88 74 .543 5 $64,015,833

Milwaukee Brewers

68 94 .420 25 $43,089,333

Cincinnati Reds

66 96 .407 27 $45,227,882

Pittsburgh Pirates

62 100 .383 31 $52,698,333

Arizona Diamondbacks

92 70 .568 0 $81,206,513

San Francisco Giants

90 72 .556 2 $63,332,667

Los Angeles Dodgers

86 76 .531 6 $108,980,952

San Diego Padres

79 83 .488 13 $38,333,117

Colorado Rockies

73 89 .451 19 $71,068,000

2001 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

San Diego

678

Batting Average

Colorado

.292

Doubles

Florida

325

Hits

Colorado

1,663

Home Runs

San Francisco

235

On Base Percentage

Colorado

.354

Runs

Colorado

923

Slugging Average

Colorado

.483

Stolen Bases

Philadelphia

153

Triples

Colorado

61

2001 National League Team Review

Pitchin Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Arizona

12

ERA

Atlanta

3.59

Fewest Hits Allowed

Arizona

1,352

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

San Francisco

145

Fewest Walks Allowed

New York

438

Saves

Houston

48

New York

Shutouts

New York

14

Strikeouts

Chicago

1,344



The Chicago Cubs began playing National League baseball in 1876 and this particular pitching staff set the franchise record for most strikeouts during a single season with 1,344.

On October 4, 1999, the Cincinnati Reds were shutout 5-to-0 by the New York Mets in a one game playoff that cost them a postseason berth. The Reds were not shutout again, for a National League record 208 games, until May 24, 2001 when the Chicago Cubs beat them 3-to-0 behind a 1 hit / 1 walk Jon Leiber gem.

Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants had one of the most amazing seasons by any player in Major League history and Baseball Almanac is pleased to list a handful of his accomplishments in 2001: On April 17, 2001 , Bonds joined the 500 Home Runs Club and set new single season records for fastest to reach 30, 40, 50, 60, and 70 home runs before breaking the all-time single season mark . Bonds also broke Babe Ruth's record for slugging percentage in a season, Roger Maris' record for home runs in a season by a left-handed hitter, and at his age became the oldest player to reach 50, 60, and 70 as well as the oldest player to lead the Major Leagues in home runs.

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