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.
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.
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.
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.
Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard
Base on Balls
On Base Percentage
Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard
2002 National League
|East||Team [Click for roster]||Wins||Losses||WP||GB||Payroll|
|Central||Team [Click for roster]||Wins||Losses||WP||GB||Payroll|
|West||Team [Click for roster]||Wins||Losses||WP||GB||Payroll|
Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard
Pitchin Statistics League Leaderboard
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.