Year In Review : 1997 National League

Off the field...

Lady Diana, the Princess of Wales, and her male companion Dodi Fayed died in a fatal car accident near the River Seine in Paris France. As a fitting tribute at Diana's funeral Sir Elton John sang "Goodbye England's Rose," a reworking of the tune "Candle In the Wind" which he had written earlier about Marilyn Monroe.

Convicted domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh was sentenced to death for the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building. The former U.S. soldier and Gulf War veteran had turned anti-government in response to the controversial ATF raids at Waco Texas and Ruby Ridge.

Scottish scientists announced that they had successfully cloned the first mammal, a sheep named Dolly, igniting a global debate over the advancement of cell research and the moral dilemmas of creating "artificial" life.

In the American League...

In Milwaukee, the Cleveland Indians connected for eight home runs against the Brewers, setting a franchise record, on the way to an 11-4 victory. Matt Williams homered three times, David Justice hit two and Sandy Alomar, Manny Ramirez and Chad Curtis added one apiece. The hometeam answered back with three of their own by Dave Nilsson, Jeromy Burnitz and John Jaha tying a Major League record for most round-trippers in a regulation game.

The Toronto Blue Jays hosted the Montreal Expos in an "all Canadian affair", as part of the new inter-league schedule, marking the first time since World War II that the U.S. National Anthem was not heard before a Major League ball game.

New York Yankee David Wells took the mound against the Cleveland Indians apparently wearing a hat that belonged to the late Babe Ruth. The eccentric pitcher was reported as paying $35,000 for the Bambino's cap and wore the heirloom for — an inning in which he surrendered no hits. After manager Joe Torre ordered him to remove the hat, in compliance with Major League uniform regulations, the lefthander was shelled for eight hits and four runs en route to 12-8 loss.

In the National League...

Deion Sanders, of the Cincinnati Reds; was reprimanded by National League Vice President Katy Feeney for altering his uniform as a tribute to Jackie Robinson. Sanders wore his pants at knee length and trimmed the sleeves off of his jersey after seeing a photograph of the late Brooklyn Dodger on a Wheaties box. The following day his teammates mimicked his alterations circumventing the league official's decree by promoting team uniformity.

The Colorado Rockies' Andres Galarraga launched a 529-foot grand slam off of the Florida Marlins' Kevin Brown for what is considered to be one of the longest homeruns ever; second only to Mickey Mantle's 565-foot tape-measure blast.

The Florida Marlins became the first expansion team to win the World Series after only five years of existence. Although the victory was over the American League powerhouse Cleveland Indians, most fans did not grant the Marlins the respect they deserved citing the team's $89 million dollar payroll as the determining factor. The accusations eventually proved true as the financially strapped owners were forced to dismantle the majority of the franchise in the post-season expansion draft.

Around the League...

In the 50 th anniversary year of Jackie Robinson's debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, a special commemorative baseball was issued to every team for use in their opener. Throughout the season many tributes were held to honor Robinson who's number 42 was permanently retired by all Major League teams.

Curt Flood, the player whose lawsuit changed the business of baseball forever and resulted in free agency, died of cancer on January 20 th . Earlier in the year, Congressman John Conyers paid tribute to the former Red, Cardinal and Senator by using his number 21 on the proposed bill that was intended to remove baseball's antitrust exemption.

The novel concept of inter-league play proved a success as attendance for those games went up 35 percent with records set in Chicago, New York and Seattle. Cumulatively, the 84 American vs. National League match-ups attracted almost three million fans with the A.L. winning forty-eight games and the N.L. topping thirty-six.

Ila Borders became the first female pitcher in history to start a Minor League baseball game as the Duluth-Superior Dukes challenged the Sioux Falls Canaries in the Northern League. Borders was credited with two strikeouts while surrendering five hits, three runs and two walks in the 8-3 loss.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"The groan is audible. It can also be heard." - Harry Caray

1997 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls
San Francisco
145
Batting Average
San Diego
.372
Doubles
Montreal
54
Hits
San Diego
220
Home Runs
Colorado
49
On Base Percentage
Colorado
.455
RBI
Colorado
140
Runs
Houston
146
Slugging Average
Colorado
.720
Stolen Bases
Pittsburgh
60
Total Bases
Colorado
409
Triples
St. Louis
14

1997 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games
Montreal
13
ERA
Montreal
1.90
Games
San Francisco
89
Saves
Cincinnati
42
Shutouts
Montreal
5
Strikeouts
Philadelphia
319
Winning Percentage
Atlanta
.826
Wins
Atlanta
20

1997 National League

Team Standings

Atlanta Braves 101 61 .623 0 $53,111,000
Florida Marlins 92 70 .568 9 $52,465,000
New York Mets 88 74 .543 13 $34,985,330
Montreal Expos 78 84 .481 23 $18,010,500
Philadelphia Phillies 68 94 .420 33 $31,102,439
Houston Astros 84 78 .519 0 $34,932,500
Pittsburgh Pirates 79 83 .488 5 $15,124,166
Cincinnati Reds 76 86 .469 8 $38,206,000
St. Louis Cardinals 73 89 .451 11 $50,224,167
Chicago Cubs 68 94 .420 16 $30,791,000
San Francisco Giants 90 72 .556 0 $43,067,378
Los Angeles Dodgers 88 74 .543 2 $48,472,321
Colorado Rockies 83 79 .512 7 $46,093,301
San Diego Padres 76 86 .469 21 $32,765,172
National League Team Standings

1997 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls
Florida
686
Batting Average
Colorado
.288
Doubles
Montreal
339
Hits
Colorado
1,611
Home Runs
Colorado
239
On Base Percentage
Colorado
.359
Runs
Colorado
923
Slugging Average
Colorado
.478
Stolen Bases
Cincinnatti
190
Triples
Pittsburgh
52

1997 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games
Montreal
27
ERA
Atlanta
3.18
Fewest Hits Allowed
Atlanta
1,319
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
Atlanta
111
Fewest Walks Allowed
Atlanta
450
Saves
New York
49
Shutouts
Atlanta
17
Strikeouts
Los Angeles
1,232
Seasonal Events: All-Star Game | Draft | Home Run Derby | World Series
Navigation: Year in Review Menu | Previous Season | Next Season
Miscellaneous: A.L. Leaderboard | Retirements | Rookies List
Average Salary: $1,383,578.00
Minimum Salary: $150,000.00
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baseball almanac fast facts

On June 10, 1997 , Kevin Brown , from the Florida Marlins, no-hit the Giants 9-0 and missed a perfect game by one hit batter.

On September 16, 1997, Curt Schilling struck out batter number three-hundred and became only the thirteenth player in history with more than three-hundred strikeouts in a season.

On October 14, 1997, the Florida Marlins defeated the Atlanta Braves and became the first expansion team to advance to the World Series in only five seasons.

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