The National Football League crowns a new champion, the Pittsburgh Steelers, who beat the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 and became the first team in NFL history to win six Super Bowls.
The passing of pop superstar Michael Jackson triggers an outpouring of worldwide grief, so large in fact Internet traffic cripples several major websites and services.
Golf legend Tiger Woods does his part to cripple websites after he is involved in a car accident the day after Thanksgiving, triggering media coverage that the married father of two has had affairs with about one dozen women, and ultimately the loss of many of Woods' corporate sponsors.
When the Angels clinched the West Division title they celebrated with champagne, but not just inside the clubhouse. As a team they took the celebration out onto the field where they poured bubbly over the center-field picture of Nick Adenhart's baseball cap - their 22-year old friend and teammate who lost his life earlier during the season.
The Iron Horse, Lou Gehrig, played a prominent role in 2009, as Derek Jeter toppled the all-time hits mark for pinstriped players set nearly 70 years earlier. A sad day in history, September 11, gave Other Yankees who did pretty good in 2009, Mariano Rivera who notched the 500th career save of his career.
Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners collected his 2,000th hit with a double in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics on September 6. Ichiro reached this mark in 1,402 games, which is the second fastest in history. (Al Simmons reached the mark in 1,390 games.) He then broke Willie Keeler's record of eight consecutive 200-hit seasons (1894-1901) with a single in the second inning of the nightcap of a make-up doubleheader on September 13 against the Texas Rangers.
Some historians think 2009 might see the last 300 game winner in history as Randy Johnson reached the plateau pitching with the San Francisco Giants and all but guaranteed his future plaque in Cooperstown. The Big Unit was the twenty-fourth member of the 300 Wins Club and the sixth southpaw to reach the milestone.
Pudge passed Pudge in 09. Ivan Rodriguez caught his 2,228th game on June 28th passing Carlton Fisk for the all-time games caught mark.
Mark Reynolds, the third baseman of the Arizona Diamondbacks, broke his own record for most strikeouts in a season by fanning for the 205th time against the San Francisco Giants on September 22 at Chase Field. He finished the season striking out 223 times.
Harry Kalas, play by play announcer for the Philadelphia Phillies, passed away on April 13th after collapsing in the press box at National Park.
The Big Apple added two sparkly new jewels in the form of ballparks, one for each team from each league; in the American League a new Yankee Stadium for the New York Yankees (who played their first game there on April 16, losing 10-2 to the Cleveland Indians) and in the National League, Citi Field for the crosstown New York Mets (who played their first game there on April 13, losing 6-5 to the San Diego Padres).
Tony La Russa passed John McGraw for second-most games managed in baseball with his 4,770th game managed (2,552-2,214-4) on October 1. La Russa gets three more games (October 4) to extend his managed games to 4,773 (2,552-2,217-4) by the end of 2009.
"The Angels family has suffered a tremendous loss today. We are deeply saddened and shocked by this tragic loss. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Nick's family, friends, loved ones and fans." - Angels General Manager Tony Reagins on SI.com - (Rosalina Nieves and Irving Last, 04/09/2009, 'Angels rookie pitcher Adenhart killed in car crash' Link )
Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard
Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard
Did you know Ichirio Suzuki reached the 200 hit plateau for the 9th time in his career and on September 6, 2009 , he hit his 2000th career hit? It occurred during his 1,402nd game, second all-time fastest to the plateau, behind only Al Simmons who made it there in 1,390 games.