1996 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 1996 throughout the world.

List of years in baseball

Champions

Major League Baseball

  Division Series
Fox/NBC/ESPN
League Championship Series
Fox/NBC
World Series
Fox
                           
  East New York Yankees 3  
West Texas Rangers 1  
  East New York Yankees 4  
American League
  WC Baltimore Orioles 1  
WC Baltimore Orioles 3
  Cent. Cleveland Indians 1  
    AL New York Yankees 4
  NL Atlanta Braves 2
  East Atlanta Braves 3  
WC Los Angeles Dodgers 0  
  East Atlanta Braves 4
National League
  Cent St. Louis Cardinals 3  
West San Diego Padres 0
  Cent. St. Louis Cardinals 3  

Other champions

Awards and honors

MLB statistical leaders

  American League National League
Type Name Stat Name Stat
AVG Alex Rodriguez SEA .358 Tony Gwynn SDP .353
HR Mark McGwire OAK 52 Andrés Galarraga COL 47
RBI Albert Belle CLE 148 Andrés Galarraga COL 150
Wins Andy Pettitte NYY 21 John Smoltz ATL 24
ERA Juan Guzmán TOR 2.93 Kevin Brown FLA 1.89
Ks Roger Clemens BOS 257 John Smoltz ATL 276

Major league baseball final standings

American League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
East Division
1st New York Yankees 92 70 .568    --
2nd Baltimore Orioles * 88 74 .543   4.0
3rd Boston Red Sox 85 77 .525   7.0
4th Toronto Blue Jays 74 88 .457 18.0
5th Detroit Tigers 53 109 .327 39.0
Central Division
1st Cleveland Indians 99 62 .615    --
2nd Chicago White Sox 85 77 .525 14.5
3rd Milwaukee Brewers 80 82 .494 19.5
4th Minnesota Twins 78 84 .481 21.5
5th Kansas City Royals 75 86 .466 24.0
West Division
1st Texas Rangers 90 72 .556    --
2nd Seattle Mariners 85 76 .528   4.5
3rd Oakland Athletics 78 84 .481 12.5
4th California Angels 70 91 .435 19.5
National League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
East Division
1st Atlanta Braves 96 66 .593    --
2nd Montreal Expos 88 74 .543   8.0
3rd Florida Marlins 80 82 .494 16.0
4th New York Mets 71 91 .438 25.0
5th Philadelphia Phillies 67 95 .414 29.0
Central Division
1st St. Louis Cardinals 88 74 .543    --
2nd Houston Astros 82 80 .506   6.0
3rd Cincinnati Reds 81 81 .500   7.0
4th Chicago Cubs 76 86 .469 12.0
5th Pittsburgh Pirates 73 89 .451 15.0
West Division
1st San Diego Padres 91 71 .562    --
2nd Los Angeles Dodgers * 90 72 .556   1.0
3rd Colorado Rockies 83 79 .512   8.0
4th San Francisco Giants 68 94 .420 23.0
  • The asterisk denotes the club that won the wild card for its respective league.

Events

January–April

May–August

September–December

Movies

Births

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Deaths

January

  • January   3 – Connie Ryan, 75, All-Star second baseman who played for five different clubs in span of 12 seasons from 1942–1954, spending much of his baseball career with the Braves franchise, working as a player in Boston for the 1948 National League champions, later as a coach in Milwaukee for the 1957 World Series champion team, while managing the Atlanta team in 1975, before joining the Texas Rangers as a manager in 1997 and as their coach through 1979.
  • January   5 – Elmer Singleton, 77, relief pitcher for the Boston Braves, Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Senators in all or part of eight seasons spanning 1945–1959.
  • January   8 – Dutch McCall, 75, pitcher for the 1948 Chicago Cubs.
  • January   9 – Roger Freed, 49, outfielder who played from 1970 through 1979 with the Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds, Montreal Expos and St. Louis Cardinals.
  • January   9 – Overton Tremper, 89, outfielder for the Brooklyn Robins in the 1927 and 1928 seasons.
  • January 10 – Joe Schultz, 77, backup catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Browns in eight seasons between 1939 and 1948, who in 1969 became the manager for the American League expansion franchise Seattle Pilots in their inaugural and only season.
  • January 21 – Dan Monzon, 49, middle infielder and third baseman for the Minnesota Twins during the 1972 and 1973 seasons.
  • January 22 – Dick Rand, 64, backup catcher who played with the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1953 and 1955 seasons and for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1957.
  • January 25 – Mike Clark, 73, a highly touted pitching prospect in the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system in the 1940s, whose career was interrupted by three years of service during World War II, finally joining the Cardinals as a relief pitcher from 1952 to 1953, being undefeated in three decisions while recording one save in 35 relief appearances.
  • January 25 – Chuck Coles, 64, left fielder who played with the Cincinnati Redlegs in 1958.

February

  • February   7 – Red Webb, 71, pitcher for the New York Giants in the 1948 and 1949 seasons.
  • February   8 – Del Ennis, 70, three-time All-Star outfielder who finished in the top-20 in hits in the National League eight times with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1946–1956, as well in the top-10 in home runs, nine times, leading the league with 126 RBI in 1956 while batting .311 and hitting 31 home runs.
  • February 16 – Hank Gornicki, 86, pitcher who played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates in a span of four seasons from 1941–1946.
  • February 17 – Andy Lapihuska, 73, pitcher who played from 1942 to 1943 for the Philadelphia Phillies.
  • February 19 – Charles O. Finley, 77, controversial and colorful owner of the Oakland Athletics, who brought innovations to Major League Baseball likes the night time games at the World Series, the designated hitter rule, and the brightly-colored uniforms and white spikes for his players, while pushing the Athletics to three straight World Series titles from 1972–1974.
  • February 20 – Carolyn Morris, 70, All-Star female pitcher who hurled a perfect game and two no-hitters in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
  • February 23 – Gordon Goldsberry, 68, first baseman who spent three seasons with the Chicago White Sox from 1949 through 1951 before being traded to the St. Louis Browns in 1952.
  • February 27 – Vic Janowicz, 66, backup catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1953–1954.

March

  • March   8 – Bill Nicholson, 81, five-time All-Star slugging right fielder for the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies, who twice led the National League in home runs and RBI, finished 3rd in the MVP voting in 1943 and 2nd the next year, and collected 20 or more home runs seven times, including a career-high 30 homers in 1944.
  • March 13 – Dick West, 80, catcher over parts of six seasons from 1938–1943 with the Cincinnati Reds.
  • March 20 – Jim Pendleton, 72, Negro American League and Double-A American Association outfielder, who later enjoyed a 10-year major league career from 1953-1962 with the Milwaukee Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds and Houston Colt .45s, becoming just the second rookie to hit three homers in a major league game, as Eddie Mathews did it in 1952.
  • March 21 – Ruby Stephens, 71, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League pitcher who posted a 61-53 record in six seasons and hurled a no-hitter in 1950.
  • March 22 – Pete Whisenant, 66, outfielder and utility man who played for eight teams in eight seasons spanning 1952–1961, primarily with the Cincinnati Reds and Redlegs.
  • March 24 – Ray Pepper, 90, outfielder who played from 1932 through 1936 for the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Browns.
  • March 24 – Jerry Robertson, 52, pitcher who played with the Montreal Expos in 1969 and for the Detroit Tigers in 1970.
  • March 28 – Don Ross, 81, versatile infield-outfield utility who played for the Detroit Tigers, Brooklyn Dodgers and Cleveland Indians during eight seasons spanning 1938–1946.

April

  • April   1 – John McSherry, 51, National League umpire from 1971 until the time of his death, who umpired in the World Series in 1977 and 1987, and also officiated in eight NL Championship Series, two NL Division Games, and three All-Star Games, for which the umpiring crew consisted of three AL umpires and three NL umpires between 1949 and 1999.
  • April 14 – Clyde McNeal, 67, shortstop in the Negro leagues.
  • April 17 – Bill Serena, 71, third baseman who played from 1949 through 1954 for the Chicago Cubs.
  • April 20 – Hank Biasatti, 74, Italian first baseman for the 1949 Philadelphia Athletics.
  • April 21 – Walker Cress, 79, pitcher who played for the Cincinnati Reds in 1948 and 1949.
  • April 22 – Bob Brady, 73, catcher who played from 1946 to 1947 for the 1946 Boston Braves.
  • April 24 – Gary Geiger, 59, outfielder for the Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros in twelve seasons between 1958 and 1970.
  • April 25 – Tommy Irwin, 83, shortstop for the Cleveland Indians in 1938.
  • April 26 – Milt Gaston, 100, pitcher for five American League clubs in eleven seasons from 1924 through 1934, who had 18 Hall of Fame teammates and managers, more than any player in Major League Baseball history.
  • April 28 – Johnny Bucha, 71, backup catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers in part of three seasons spanning 1948–1953.
  • April 28 – Al Hollingsworth, 88, pitcher who played with the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, Brooklyn Dodgers, Washington Senators, St. Louis Browns and the Chicago White Sox between 1935 and 1946, also a member of the Browns team that faced the Cardinals in the All-St. Louis 1944 World Series.

May

  • May   1 – Jim Gleeson, 84, outfielder for the Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds in five seasons between 1936 and 1942, who later managed in the minor leagues, coached for the New York Yankees, and worked as a coach and scout for the Kansas City Athletics.
  • May   2 – Pinky Jorgensen, 81, outfielder for the 1937 Cincinnati Reds.
  • May   3 – Alex Kellner, 71, an All-Star pitcher who played for the Athletics, Reds and Cardinals between 1948 and 1959.
  • May   4 – Gus Keriazakos, 64, pitcher who played for the Chicago White Sox, Washington Senators and Kansas City Athletics in a span of three seasons from 1950–1955.
  • May 10 – Joe Holden, 82, catcher who played from 1934 through 1936 for the Philadelphia Phillies.
  • May 19 – Johnny Berardino, 79, middle infielder and third baseman for the St. Louis Browns, Cleveland Indians and Pittsburgh Pirates in eleven seasons spanning 1939–1952, who later became a prolific actor, being best known for his role of Dr. Steve Hardy on the soap opera General Hospital.
  • May 26 – Don Bollweg, 75, first baseman and member of the 1953 World Series Champion New York Yankees, who also played with the St. Louis Cardinals and for the Philadelphia and Kansas City Athletics.
  • May 26 – Mike Sharperson, 34, versatile infield/outfield utility man mostly used at third base and second, who was selected for the 1992 All Star Game and won World Series rings with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988 and for the Atlanta Braves in 1995.

June

  • June   2 – Gene Snyder, 65. pitcher for the 1959 Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • June   7 – Buddy Blair, 85, third baseman for the Philadelphia Athletics during the 1942 season.
  • June 13 – Al Piechota, 82, pitcher who played from 1940 to 1941 for the Boston Bees and Braves.
  • June 16 – Mel Allen, 83, legendary broadcaster who spent over 35 years with the New York Yankees, still promoted as having been The Voice of the Yankees, while in his later years he gained a second professional life as the first host of the syndicated TV series This Week in Baseball.
  • June 26 – Buck Frierson, 78, outfielder for the 1941 Cleveland Indians.
  • June 30 – Jerry May, 52, catcher who played from 1964 through 1973 for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals and New York Mets.

July

  • July   8 – Jim Baumer, 65, second baseman who played with the Chicago White Sox in the 1949 season and for the Cincinnati Reds in 1961, working later as a general manager for the Seattle Pilots and the Milwaukee Brewers.
  • July   8 – Jim Busby, 69, All-Star and speedy center fielder who played from 1950 through 1962 for the Chicago White Sox, Washington Senators, Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox and Houston Colt .45's, ranking among the top five in stolen bases four times and leading the American League in putouts twice, while recording three of the top 20 single-season outfield putout totals in major league history.
  • July 14 – Hank Camelli, 81, backup catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Braves in part of three seasons from 1943–1947, who later spent 16 seasons in the minor leagues as a player and playing/manager.
  • July 19 – Dan Lewandowski, 68, pitcher who played for the 1951 St. Louis Cardinals.
  • July 21 – Walt Moryn, 70, All-Star corner outfielder who played from 1954 through 1961 for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates, also a member of the 1955 World Series Champion Dodgers.
  • July 23 – Clara Cook, 75, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League pitcher, member of the 1944 Milwaukee Chicks champion team.
  • July 23 – Red Munger, 77, three time All-Star pitcher who played for the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates during ten seasons spanning 1943–1956, while helping the Cardinals clinch two National League pennants and the 1946 World Series.
  • July 23 – Ed Wineapple, 90, pitcher for the 1929 Washington Senators.
  • July 31 – Howie Goss, 61, center fielder who played with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Houston Colt .45s from 1962 to 1963.

August

  • August   4 – Willard Brown, 81, Hall of Fame Negro League outfielder, one of the greatest power hitters of his generation, who later became the first African American ballplayer to hit a home run in the American League, while playing for the St. Louis Browns in 1947.
  • August 13 – Ray Shore, 75, pitcher for the St. Louis Browns in a span of three seasons between 1946 and 1949, who later became one of the most respected scouts in baseball while working for the Cincinnati Reds, serving as both the advance scout analyzing upcoming opponents and as a special assignment scout who evaluated playing talent at the Major League level for potential acquisition in trades.
  • August 24 – Ethel Boyce, 79, Canadian ballplayer who performed in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
  • August 28 – Al Zarilla, 77, All-Star right fielder who played for the St. Louis Browns, Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox in all or part of ten seasons from 1943–1953, being also a member of the Browns team that won the 1944 American League pennant.
  • August 31 – Gil English, 87, third baseman who played for the New York Giants, Detroit Tigers, Boston Bees and Brooklyn Dodgers during six seasons spanning 1931–1944.

September

  • September   2 – Wes Livengood, 88, pitcher for the 1939 Cincinnati Reds.
  • September   4 – Babe Dahlgren, 84, All-Star and slick fielding first baseman who played for eight teams in a 12-year career from 1939–1953, best remembered for replacing Lou Gehrig in the New York Yankees roster in 1939, ending his 14-year consecutive games streak at 2,130.
  • September   6 – Barney McCosky, 79, outfielder who posted a .312 average for four teams in an 11-season career, leading the American League with 200 hits and 19 triples while helping the Detroit Tigers to the 1940 pennant.
  • September   7 – Willy Miranda, 70, Cuban slick fielding shortstop who played from 1951 through 1959 for the Washington Senators, Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Browns and Baltimore Orioles.
  • September   9 – Harry Hanebrink, 68, backup second baseman and left fielder who played for the Milwaukee Braves and Philadelphia Phillies in four seasons spanning 1953–1959, also a member of the Braves team that lost the 1958 World Series to the New York Yankees in seven games.
  • September 22 – Joanne Winter, 71, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League All-Star pitcher and later a master teacher of golf for 30 years.
  • September   9 – Johnny Pramesa, 71, catcher who played from 1949 to 1952 for the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds.
  • September 15 – Andy Pilney, 83, who made three appearances as a pinch hitter for the Boston Bees in 1936.
  • September 17 – Billy Bowers, 74, outfielder for the 1949 Chicago White Sox.
  • September 19 – Nanny Fernandez, 77, third baseman who played with the Boston Braves in 1942 and for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1946-1947.
  • September 24 – Red Embree, 79, pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees and St. Louis Browns in a span of eight seasons from 1941–1949.
  • September 27 – Bruce Konopka, 77, first baseman who played for the Philadelphia Athletics over part of three seasons from 1942–1946.

October

  • October   2 – Tom Hafey, 83, third baseman who played with the New York Giants in the 1939 season and for the St. Louis Browns in 1944.
  • October   2 – Les Tietje, 86, pitcher who played with the Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Browns in six seasons between 1933 and 1938.
  • October   4 – Joe Hoerner, 59, All-Star left handed reliever who played for seven teams in a span of 14 seasons from 1963-1977, most prominently for the 1967 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals.
  • October   5 – Joe Walsh, 79, backup infielder for the 1938 Boston Bees.
  • October 15 – Mike Balas, 86, pitcher who played for the Boston Bees in the 1938 season.
  • October 15 – Tom Ferrick, 81, relief pitcher who played for five clubs in a span of nine seasons from 1941–1952, as well as a member of the New York Yankees team that won the World Series championship in 1950.
  • October 17 – Bob Adams, 95, pitcher for the 1925 Boston Red Sox.
  • October 18 – Elmer Klumpp, 90, catcher who played with the Washington Senators in 1934 and for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1937.
  • October 23 – Bob Grim, 66, All-Star pitcher who played for five teams in eight seasons from 1954–1962, the last American League rookie to win 20 games, after going 20-6 with a 3.26 ERA for the New York Yankees en route to winning the 1954 AL Rookie of the Year Award; also a member of the 1956 World Series champion Yankees, as well as earning a save after retiring the final out of the 1957 MLB All-Star Game, with the American League leading 6–5, and getting pinch-hitter Gil Hodges on a game-ending fly out to left field.
  • October 25 – Harry Shuman, 81, pitcher who played from 1942 through 1944 for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies.
  • October 28 – Joe Samuels, 91, pitcher for the 1930 Detroit Tigers.
  • October 29 – Ewell Blackwell, 74, six-time All-Star with the Cincinnati Reds and also the starting pitcher in the 1947 MLB All-Star Game, who posted in that season a 22-8 record with a National League-high 193 strikeouts and 2.47 ERA, winning 16 consecutive games and pitching a no-hitter against the Boston Braves on June 18, coming within two outs of the ninth inning of throwing consecutive no-hitters, earning a two-hit shutout win over the Brooklyn Dodgers, as he came close to matching Johnny Vander Meer's feat of back-to-back no-no's.
  • October 30 – Bob Thorpe, 69, right fielder who played with the Boston Braves in 1951 and for the Milwaukee Braves from 1952 to 1953.

November

  • November   7 – Eddie Lukon, 76, outfielder who played for the Cincinnati Reds during four seasons between 1941 and 1947.
  • November 11 – Luman Harris, 81, pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics and Washington Senators in all or part of six seasons spanning 1941–1946, who later coached for the Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles and Houston Colt .45's, serving also as the interim manager for the Orioles in 1961 and for the Colts .45's in 1962, while managing the Atlanta Braves in 1968 and leading the club to the postseason for the first time in Atlanta history in 1969.
  • November 13 – Roger McCardell, 64. catcher for the 1959 San Francisco Giants.
  • November 14 – Jim Baxes, 68, third baseman who spent the 1959 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cleveland Indians.
  • November 16 – Joe Gonzales, 81, pitcher for the 1937 Boston Red Sox.
  • November 18 – Charlie Neal, 65, three-time All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner at second base, whose career included stints with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds in a span of eight seasons from 1956–1963, while hitting .370 for the Dodgers in their 1959 World Series victory over the Chicago White Sox, and driving in the first Met run in their inaugural season of 1962.
  • November 18 – John Michaels, 89, pitcher for the Boston Red Sox in the 1932 season.
  • November 20 – Bill Sayles, 79, pitcher who played with the Boston Red Sox in the 1939 season, and for the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers in 1943.
  • November 21 – Earl Cook, 87, Canadian pitcher who played for the 1941 Detroit Tigers.
  • November 24 – Loren Bain, 74, pitcher for the 1945 New York Giants.
  • November 30 – Ted Petoskey, 85, three-sport All-American athlete and coach at the University of Michigan, who also played in the majors as an outfielder for the Cincinnati Reds from 1934 to 1935.

December

External links

1995–96 Cuban National Series

The 35th Cuban National Series was dominated by Villa Clara, seeking to match Industriales' record of four straight titles from the early 1960s. However, the Leones were able to defend their record by upending the Naranjas in the final.

1996 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1996 followed the system in use since 1995. The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players but no one tallied the necessary 75% support.

The BBWAA had petitioned the Hall of Fame Board of Directors on January 5, 1995, to reconsider the eligibility of Larry Bowa, Bill Madlock, Al Oliver and Ted Simmons, each of whom had failed to receive at least 5% of ballots cast in each of their first years of eligibility (Bowa and Oliver in 1991, Maddlock in 1993 and Simmons in 1994). The Board approved, but before the ballot was released, the BBWAA decided not to include them on the ballot after all.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions and selected four people from multiple classified ballots: Jim Bunning, Bill Foster, Ned Hanlon, and Earl Weaver.

1996 Big League World Series

The 1996 Big League World Series took place from August 9–17 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States. Kaohsiung, Taiwan defeated Burbank, Illinois in the championship game. It was Taiwan's fourth straight championship,

1996 Caribbean Series

The thirty-eighth edition of the Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) was held from February 3 through February 8 of 1996 with the champion baseball teams of the Dominican Republic, Águilas Cibaeñas; Mexico, Tomateros de Culiacán; Puerto Rico, Lobos de Arecibo, and Venezuela, Navegantes del Magallanes. The format consisted of 12 games, each team facing the other teams twice, and the games were played at Estadio Quisqueya in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

1996 Detroit Tigers season

The 1996 Detroit Tigers had a record of 53–109 for the third worst winning percentage (.327) in team history. With a number of capable batters (Cecil Fielder, Tony Clark, Bobby Higginson, Alan Trammell, Rubén Sierra, and Damion Easley), the team scored a respectable 783 runs. However, the 1996 Tigers lacked pitching and allowed their opponents to score 1,103 runs. No team in American League history and only one in major league history (the 1930 Philadelphia Phillies) has given up more runs. No pitcher on the team had more than 7 wins. Of the games the Tigers lost, 58 were by four or more runs, a record for the number of games lost by such a margin. The Tigers made more unwanted history when they were swept 12–0 by the Cleveland Indians in the regular season series, losing all twelve games played while being outscored, 79–28.

1996 International League season

The 1996 International League season took place from April to September 1996.

The Columbus Clippers defeated the Rochester Red Wings to win the league championship.

1996 Junior League World Series

The 1996 Junior League World Series took place from August 12–17 in Taylor, Michigan, United States. Spring, Texas defeated Aiea, Hawaii in the championship game.

1996 Little League World Series

The 1996 Little League World Series took place between August 19 and August 24 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The Fu-Hsing Little League of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, defeated Cranston Western Little League of Cranston, Rhode Island, in the championship game of the 50th Little League World Series.

1996 MLB Japan All-Star Series

The 1996 MLB Japan All-Star Series was the fifth edition of the championship, a best-of-eight series between the All-Star teams from Major League Baseball (MLB) and Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), then-called All-Japan.

MLB won the series by 4–2–2 and Steve Finley was named MVP.

1996 NECBL season

The 1996 NECBL season was the third season of the New England Collegiate Baseball League. The league added a franchise in West Warwick, Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Reds. The league's Bristol, Connecticut franchise, the Bristol Nighthawks, dropped out of the league after two seasons.

In the semifinal playoff rounds, Danbury defeated Rhode Island 2-0 and Central Mass defeated Middletown 2-1. In the championship round, Central Mass defeated Danbury 2-1 to win their second consecutive NECBL championship.

1996 Nippon Professional Baseball season

The 1996 Nippon Professional Baseball season was the 47th season of operation for the league.

1996 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1996 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 115th season of the franchise; the 110th in the National League. This was their 27th season at Three Rivers Stadium. The Pirates finished fifth and last in the National League Central with a record of 73–89.

1996 San Diego Padres season

The 1996 San Diego Padres season was the 28th season in franchise history.

1996 Senior League World Series

The 1996 Senior League World Series took place from August 11–17 in Kissimmee, Florida, United States. Maracaibo, Venezuela defeated Thousand Oaks, California in the championship game. This would be the final year that 17-time champion Taiwan competed in Senior League Baseball.

1996 Topps

This is a list with brief descriptions of Topps trading card products for 1996. All cards listed are standard size (2½ × 3½ inches). Exceptions are noted.

1996–97 Cuban National Series

Pinar del Río dominated the 1996–97 Cuban National Series, posting the league's best regular season record. In the playoffs, the Vegueros, led by Omar Linares, went undefeated, sweeping both best-of-seven series.

Baseball at the 1996 Summer Olympics

Baseball had its second appearance as an official medal sport at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, United States, with games played at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium. Eight nations competed, with the preliminary phase consisting of each team playing every other team. Playoffs were then held, with the four highest ranked teams advancing. For the semifinals, the 1st place team played the 4th place team and the 2nd place team played against the 3rd place team. The winners of those semifinals competed against each other for the gold medal, with the loser getting the silver medal. The teams defeated in the semifinal played a match for the bronze medal.

Baseball was an event open only to amateurs for the second and last time.

Don Grate

Donald Grate (August 27, 1923 – November 22, 2014) was an American former professional baseball and pro basketball player. He played both Major League Baseball as a right-handed pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies (seven games pitched over two seasons, 1945–1946) and NBA basketball as a small forward/shooting guard for the Sheboygan Redskins (two games played during the 1949–1950 season). Grate was listed at 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall and 180 pounds (82 kg).

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