Year In Review : 1991 National 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.

"This is another record, most wins, but the perfect game, nobody will ever take that away from me." - Dennis Martinez
1991 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Los Angeles

108

Batting Average

Atlanta

.319

Doubles

Pittsburgh

44

Hits

Atlanta

187

Home Runs

New York

38

On Base Percentage

Pittsburgh

.419

RBI

New York

117

Runs

Los Angeles

112

Slugging Average

San Francisco

.536

Stolen Bases

Montreal

76

Total Bases

San Francisco

303

Atlanta

Triples

St. Louis

15

1991 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Atlanta

9

Montreal

ERA

Montreal

2.39

Games

Montreal

77

Saves

St. Louis

47

Shutouts

Montreal

5

Strikeouts

New York

241

Winning Percentage

Cincinnati

.714

Pittsburgh

Wins

Atlanta

20

Pittsburgh

1991 National League

Team Standings

Pittsburgh Pirates

98 64 .605 0

$25,288,666

St. Louis Cardinals

84 78 .519 14

$22,327,087

Philadelphia Phillies

78 84 .481 20

$20,414,332

Chicago Cubs

77 83 .481 20

$26,568,867

New York Mets

77 84 .478

$32,417,502

Montreal Expos

71 90 .441 26½

$16,702,984

Atlanta Braves

94 68 .580 0

$21,223,830

Los Angeles Dodgers

93 69 .574 1

$35,557,927

San Diego Padres

84 78 .519 10

$23,323,558

San Francisco Giants

75 87 .463 19

$32,111,053

Cincinnati Reds

74 88 .457 20

$26,224,166

Houston Astros

65 97 .401 29

$12,009,514

1991 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Pittsburgh

620

Batting Average

Pittsburgh

.263

Doubles

Pittsburgh

259

Hits

Pitsburgh

1,433

Home Runs

Cincinnati

164

On Base Percentage

Pittsburgh

.342

Runs

Pittsburgh

768

Slugging Average

Cincinnati

.403

Stolen Bases

Montreal

221

Triples

St. Louis

53

1991 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Atlanta

18

Pittsburgh

ERA

Los Angeles

3.06

Fewest Hits Allowed

Atlanta

1,304

Montreal

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Los Angeles

96

Fewest Walks Allowed

Pittsburgh

401

Saves

Pittsburgh

51

St. Louis

Shutouts

Los Angeles

14

Montreal

Strikeouts

Houston

1,033



On April 21, 1991, Andre Dawson of the Chicago Cubs hit a grand slam during the eleventh inning. The Pittsburgh Pirates rallied back and scored six to set a record for largest extra-inning comeback.

On July 28, 1991, Dennis Martinez shut down the Los Angeles Dodgers in a perfect game that was simply a masterpiece. However, did you know that the catcher was Ron Hassey who also caught Len Barker's perfect game ?

On September 13, 1991, the last place Montreal Expos take it to the road after a fifty-ton concrete block falls in their ballpark making home play impossible.

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