Year In Review : 2002 National League

O ff the field...

Big business took the witness stand in 2002 as Enron, WorldCom and Xerox were all exposed in major accounting scandals. The total cost of corporate fraud in the United States was estimated at more than five trillion dollars, coming in plunging stocks, loss of investments and tax revenue.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed with U.S. President George W. Bush in Moscow a nuclear disarmament treaty and a strategic partnership agreement. Under the treaty, the two countries pledged to slash their nuclear arsenals by two-thirds.

On September 11, tributes around the nation showcased American emotion and patriotic pride on the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States. Major League Baseball held special opening ceremonies in every ballpark operating that day.

I n the American League...

The Anaheim Angels dethroned the perennial American League Champion New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins to face the San Francisco Giants in their first Fall Classic since entering the league forty-two years earlier. The victory was sweetened by overcoming a 5-0 seventh-inning deficit in Game 6, fittingly the greatest elimination-game comeback in Classic history. The Angels went on to win the contest four games to three.

From August 13th to September 4th, Most Valuable Player Miguel Tejada and the Oakland Athletics set an American League record of twenty straight wins.

Seattle's Mike Cameron hit four homers in Comiskey Park on May 2nd, becoming the first Major Leaguer in nine years (Mark Whiten, 1993) to manage the feat. He was outdone twenty-one days later in Milwaukee as the Los Angeles Dodgers' Shawn Green totaled a six-for-six, nineteen total base spectacle and finished the week with nine home runs of his own.

I n the National League...

Barry Bonds continued to chase Babe Ruth as the most dominant player in MLB history. The San Francisco Giants outfielder tallied his 600th home run off the Pittsburgh Pirates' Kip Wells on August 9th and won his first batting title (.370) before falling to the Anaheim Angels in Game 7 of the World Series.

The Arizona Diamondbacks continued to dominate on the mound as Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling went 47-12 and ranked 1-2 in the Majors with a combined total of six-hundred fifty strikeouts. The lethal 1-2 combination also boasted thirteen complete games, more than any other big-league team.

No one demonstrated more resolve than the Cardinals, who experienced the untimely deaths of longtime announcer Jack Buck and pitcher Darryl Kile. The team, though mourning, went on to dominate the National League Central dedicating the season in the memory of their departed comrades.

A round the league...

Major League owners and players, inevitably heading toward a ninth play stoppage over labor issues, reached accord virtually minutes before the first feared cancellation. It was the first time a new Collective Bargaining Agreement was struck without the loss of a single inning.

For only the second time in the History of the Midsummer Classic, the 2002 All-Star Game was called at a 7-7 tie after eleven innings due to both teams running out of available pitchers.

The West was the best as six of the nine West Division teams won ninety-two-plus games (more teams than the other four divisions combined) and West players dominated the individual awards including the Cy Young, Most Valuable Player and eight of the nine American League Gold Gloves.

Baseball bid farewell to some of the greatest ever to lace up a pair of cleats including Ted Williams, Jim Spencer, Al Cowens, Minnie Rojas, Joe Black, Wes Westrum, Darrell Porter, Enos Slaughter, John Roseboro, Hoyt Wilhelm and Darryl Kile.

"I'd rather win the World Series, but this (winning the MVP Award) is great. I'm very happy about it, very excited. I'm trying to figure out why a 38-year-old player is still playing like this. Forget the historical part about MVPs. I'm overjoyed, very happy, very pleased, especially coming off the 73-home-run year, to be able to pretty much stay consistent." - Barry Bonds (2002)
2002 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

San Francisco

198

Batting Average

San Francisco

.370

Doubles

Philadelphia

50

Hits

Montreal

206

Home Runs

Chicago

49

On Base Percentage

San Francisco

.582

RBI

Houston

128

Runs

Chicago

122

Slugging Average

San Francisco

.799

Stolen Bases

Florida

48

Total Bases

Montreal

364

Triples

Philadelphia

10

2002 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Arizona

8

ERA

Arizona

2.32

Games

Los Angeles

86

Saves

Atlanta

55

Shutouts

Florida

5

Strikeouts

Arizona

334

Winning Percentage

Arizona

.828

Wins

Arizona

24

2002 National League

Team Standings

Atlanta Braves

101 59 .631 -- $93,470,367

Montreal Expos

83 79 .512 19 $38,670,500

Philadelphia Phillies

80 81 .497 $57,955,000

Florida Marlins

79 83 .488 23 $41,979,917

New York Mets

75 86 .466 26½ $94,633,593

St. Louis Cardinals

97 65 .599 -- $74,098,267

Houston Astros

84 78 .519 13 $63,448,417

Cincinnati Reds

78 84 .481 19 $45,050,390

Pittsburgh Pirates

72 89 .447 24½ $42,323,598

Chicago Cubs

67 95 .414 30 $75,690,833

Milwaukee Brewers

56 106 .346 41 $50,287,833

Arizona Diamondbacks

98 64 .605 -- $102,820,000

San Francisco Giants

95 66 .590 $78,299,835

Los Angeles Dodgers

92 70 .568 6 $94,850,952

Colorado Rockies

73 89 .451 25 $56,851,043

San Diego Padres

66 96 .407 32 $41,425,000

2002 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

162
5,508
819
1,471
283
41
165
783
2,331
643

1,016

92

46
.346
.423
.267
161
5,495
708
1,428
280
25
164
669
2,250
558

1,028

76

39
.331
.409
.260
162
5,496
706
1,351
259
29
200
676
2,268
585

1,269

63

21
.321
.413
.246
162
5,470
709
1,386
297
21
169
678
2,232
583

1,188

116

52
.330
.408
.253
162
5,512
778
1,508
283
41
152
726
2,329
497

1,043

103

53
.337
.423
.274
162
5,496
699
1,433
280
32
146
653
2,215
595

1,130

177

73
.337
.403
.261
162
5,503
749
1,441
291
32
167
719
2,297
589

1,120

71

27
.338
.417
.262
162
5,554
713
1,464
286
29
155
693
2,273
428

940

96

37
.320
.409
.264
162
5,415
627
1,369
269
29
139
597
2,113
500

1,125

94

50
.320
.390
.253
162
5,479
735
1,432
300
36
162
695
2,290
575

1,104

118

64
.334
.418
.261
161
5,496
690
1,409
238
22
160
650
2,171
486

1,044

87

42
.322
.395
.256
161
5,523
710
1,428
325
41
165
676
2,330
640

1,095

104

43
.339
.422
.259
161
5,330
641
1,300
263
20
142
610
2,029
537

1,109

86

49
.319
.381
.244
162
5,515
662
1,393
243
29
136
627
2,102
547

1,062

71

44
.321
.381
.253
162
5,497
783
1,465
300
35
198
751
2,429
616

961

74

21
.344
.442
.267
162
5,505
787
1,475
285
26
175
758
2,337
542

927

86

42
.338
.425
.268

2002 National League Team Review

Pitchin Statistics League Leaderboard

98

64

3.92

14

10

40
59
1,446.2
1,361
674
630
170
54
421

1,303

101

59

3.13

3

15

57
71
1,467.1
1,302
565
511
123
42
554

1,058

67

95

4.29

11

9

23
48
1,441.1
1,373
759
687
167
58
606

1,333

78

84

4.27

2

8

42
57
1,453.2
1,502
774
690
173
56
550

980

73

89

5.20

1

8

43
59
1,426.2
1,554
898
825
225
64
582

920

79

83

4.36

11

12

36
55
1,456.1
1,449
763
706
151
58
631

1,104

84

78

4.00

2

11

43
58
1,445.0
1,423
695
643
151
55
546

1,219

92

70

3.69

4

15

56
71
1,457.2
1,311
643
598
165
46
555

1,132

56

106

4.73

7

4

32
42
1,432.1
1,468
821
752
199
62
666

1,026

83

79

3.97

9

3

39
59
1,453.0
1,475
718
641
165
46
508

1,088

75

86

3.89

9

10

36
51
1,442.2
1,408
703
624
163
55
543

1,107

80

81

4.17

5

9

47
71
1,449.2
1,381
724
671
153
70
570

1,075

72

89

4.23

2

7

47
66
1,412.2
1,447
730
664
163
55
572

920

66

96

4.62

5

10

40
62
1,436.1
1,522
815
737
177
66
582

1,108

95

66

3.54

10

13

43
60
1,437.1
1,349
616
566
116
36
523

992

97

65

3.70

4

9

42
63
1,446.1
1,355
648
595
141
60
547

1,009



Why did Barry Bonds win the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 2002? Perhaps it was due to list of records: highest on-base percentage in a single season, highest on base percentage in a single season by a lefthanded batter, most consecutive seasons with thirty (or more) home runs (this was his eleventh), most seasons leading the league in base on balls (this was his eighth), and many others.

On July 15, 2002, Chris Reitsma pitched a 2-0 complete game victory for his Cincinnati Reds - the first complete game tossed by a Reds' pitcher since July 28, 2001 (a National League record one-hundred fifty game span).

The New York Mets had the highest payroll in the National League East, the third highest payroll overall in the National league, and might be best remembered for breaking the National League record for most consecutive games lost at home during a single season with fifteen.

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