Year In Review : 1991 American League

O ff the field...

In February, the Gulf War conflict between Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and a coalition of thirty-two nations including the United States, Britain, Egypt, France, and Saudi Arabia took place. The main coalition forces invaded southern Iraq on February 24 and, over the next four days, encircled and defeated the Iraqis while liberating Kuwait. By the time U.S. President George Bush Sr. declared a cease-fire on February 28, most of Hussein's forces had either surrendered or fled.

The "Cold War" between the United States and Russia finally came to an end as Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was ousted by a group of communist radicals. The ill-planned coup soon faltered as infuriated citizens took to the streets of Moscow and other cities in support of Russian President Boris Yeltsin. After Gorbachev reluctantly resigned, the Soviet Union was officially dissolved and fourteen regions became independent nations ending seventy-four years of communist rule.

Basketball icon Magic Johnson stunned the world shortly before the start of the 1991 season after announcing his retirement due to testing positive to the HIV Virus. He later accepted an invitation by the NBA players to his twelfth All-Star Game in which he won the MVP honors.

I n the American League...

The Detroit Tigers' Cecil Fielder hit a 502-foot home run out of the Milwaukee Brewers' County Stadium, for what was believed to be the first ball ever truly knocked "out of the park". The tape measure blast traveled even further after it landed in the back of a truck that didn't stop until it reached Madison.

On June 6th, the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers combined for eighteen-innings to tie a Major League mark by leaving forty-five stranded runners on base. The Royals also set an American League record with twenty-five of the "castaways" belonging to them.

Thirty-nine year-old Dave Winfield went five-for-five and hit for the cycle as the California Angels defeated the Kansas City Royals 9-4. He completed the sequence in the eighth with a triple becoming the oldest player ever to accomplish the feat.

I n the National League...

Darryl Strawberry tied a National League record by striking out five times in a single game as his Los Angeles Dodgers fell 9-3 to the Montreal Expos. The struggling slugger also stumbled in the outfield dropping a fly ball for a three-base error.

Deion Sanders, who hit .304 in ninety-seven games with the Atlanta Braves made the conversion from baseball to football after practicing with the Atlanta Falcons. Despite the crossover, Sanders led the majors with fourteen triples.

Fellow Brave Otis Nixon set a new National League record by stealing six bases during a 7-6 loss to the Montreal Expos and tied the major league record previously set by Eddie Collins, who did it twice in 1912.

A round the league...

Pete Rose continued to make headlines when he was released from a federal prison after serving five months for tax evasion. He was also required to provide 1,000 hours of community service at several of Cincinnati's inner-city schools.

The Major League's Umpires Union voted to sit out Opening Day resulting in amateur officials reporting as replacements. The arbiters, whose contract had expired on December 31st, returned to work the following day with better benefits and an increased starting salary.

During a straw vote held at the owner's meetings in California, the National League voted unanimously to admit Denver, Colorado and Miami, Florida into the league as expansion teams in 1993.

The Committee for Statistical Accuracy righted a thirty year wrong after officially removing the asterisk attached to Roger Maris' single-season homerun record of 61 in 1961. The committee also defined a no-hit game as one; which ends after nine or more innings with one team failing to get a hit. The decision erased fifty games (mostly shortened) from the list that had previously been considered no-hitters.

" - Nolan Ryan
1991 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Chicago

138

Batting Average

Texas

.341

Doubles

Texas

49

Hits

Milwaukee

216

Home Runs

Oakland

44

Detroit

On Base Percentage

Chicago

.454

RBI

Detroit

133

Runs

Milwaukee

133

Slugging Average

Kansas City

.593

Stolen Bases

Oakland

58

Total Bases

Baltimore

368

Triples

Chicago

12

1991 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Chicago

15

ERA

Boston

2.62

Games

Toronto

81

Saves

California

46

Shutouts

Boston

4

Strikeouts

Boston

241

Winning Percentage

Minnesota

.714

Wins

Minnesota

20

Detroit

1991 American League

Team Standings

Toronto Blue Jays

91 71 .562 0

$31,016,809

Detroit Tigers

84 78 .519 7

$24,169,179

Boston Red Sox

84 78 .519 7

$35,501,537

Milwaukee Brewers

83 79 .512 8

$23,771,616

New York Yankees

71 91 .438 20

$31,390,000

Baltimore Orioles

67 95 .414 24

$14,396,669

Cleveland Indians

57 105 .352 34

$13,133,428

Minnesota Twins

95 67 .586 0

$22,514,814

Chicago White Sox

87 75 .537 8

$16,694,979

Texas Rangers

85 77 .525 10

$22,525,314

Oakland Athletics

84 78 .519 11

$39,906,167

Seattle Mariners

83 79 .512 12

$16,431,833

Kansas City Royals

82 80 .506 13

$31,117,661

California Angels

81 81 .500 14

$31,996,561

1991 American League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Detroit

699

Batting Average

Minnesota

.280

Doubles

Boston

305

Hits

Minnesota

1,557

Home Runs

Detroit

209

On Base Percentage

Minnesota

.347

Runs

Texas

829

Slugging Average

Texas

.424

Stolen Bases

Oakland

151

Triples

Milwaukee

53

1991 American League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Chicago

28

ERA

Toronto

3.50

Fewest Hits Allowed

Toronto

1,301

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Kansas City

105

Fewest Walks Allowed

Cleveland

441

Saves

Toronto

60

Shutouts

Toronto

16

Strikeouts

Texas

1,022



On May 1, 1991, Rickey Henderson stole third base during the fourth inning for career theft nine-hundred thirty-nine breaking Lou Brock's all time record .

Also on May 1st, the ageless Nolan Ryan , now only forty-four years old, pitched his record seventh no-hitter against the Blue Jays and strikes out sixteen batters.

On June 6, 1991, slugging sensation Albert Belle of Cleveland was sent down to the Minor Leagues for failing to run out a ground ball.

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