Year In Review : 2001 American 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).

"The amazing thing about baseball is that no matter how many games you win, unless you win a World Series, you're going to feel disappointment." - Seattle Mariners Manager Lou Piniella
2001 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Oakland

129

Batting Average

Seattle

.350

Doubles

Oakland

47

Hits

Seattle

242

Home Runs

Texas

52

On Base Percentage

Oakland

.477

RBI

Seattle

141

Runs

Texas

133

Slugging Average

Oakland

.660

Stolen Bases

Seattle

56

Total Bases

Texas

393

Triples

Minnesota

14

2001 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Detroit

8

ERA

Seattle

3.05

Games

Toronto

80

Saves

New York

50

Shutouts

Oakland

4

Strikeouts

Boston

220

Winning Percentage

New York

.870

Wins

Oakland

21

2001 American League

Team Standings

New York Yankees

95 65 .594 0 $109,791,893

Boston Red Sox

82 79 .509 $109,558,908

Toronto Blue Jays

80 82 .494 16 $75,798,500

Baltimore Orioles

63 98 .391 32½ $72,426,328

Tampa Bay Devil Rays

62 100 .383 34 $54,798,500

Cleveland Indians

91 71 .562 0 $91,974,979

Minnesota Twins

85 77 .525 6 $24,350,000

Chicago White Sox

83 79 .512 8 $62,363,000

Detroit Tigers

66 96 .407 25 $49,831,167

Kansas City Royals

65 97 .401 26 $35,643,000

Seattle Mariners

116 46 .716 0 $75,652,500

Oakland Athletics

102 60 .630 13 $33,810,750

Anaheim Angels

75 87 .463 41 $46,568,180

Texas Rangers

73 89 .451 43 $88,504,421

2001 American League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Oakland

640

Batting Average

Seattle

.288

Doubles

Oakland

334

Hits

Seattle

1,637

Home Runs

Texas

246

On Base Percentage

Seattle

.360

Runs

Seattle

927

Slugging Average

Texas

.471

Stolen Bases

Seattle

174

Triples

Detroit

60

2001 American League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Detroit

16

ERA

Seattle

3.54

Fewest Hits Allowed

Seattle

1,293

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Boston

146

Fewest Walks Allowed

Oakland

440

Saves

New York

57

Shutouts

Seattle

14

Strikeouts

New York

1,266



The 2001 Seattle Mariners set several records this season including most wins by any American League team during a season and they tied the Major League record for most wins by any team during a single season!

Did you know that in 2001 Corey Koskie of the Minnesota Twins became the first American League third baseman with at least 20 home runs, 100 runs batted in, and 20 stolen bases during the same season?

Trivia alert: Name the only three pitchers in Major League history with 20 win seasons in three separate decades. The answer is Bob Feller , Warren Spahn and their newest member Roger Clemens !

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