1997 Major League Baseball season

The 1997 Major League Baseball season was the inaugural season for Interleague play, as well as the final season in the American League for the Milwaukee Brewers before moving to the NL the following season. The California Angels changed their name to the Anaheim Angels. The Florida Marlins ended the season (their fifth season in the majors) as the World Champions defeating the Cleveland Indians in a seven-game World Series, four games to three.

1997 MLB season
LeagueMajor League Baseball
DurationApril 1 – October 26, 1997
Top draft pickMatt Anderson
Picked byDetroit Tigers
Regular Season
Season MVPAL: Ken Griffey, Jr. (SEA)
NL: Larry Walker (COL)
League Postseason
AL championsCleveland Indians
  AL runners-upBaltimore Orioles
NL championsFlorida Marlins
  NL runners-upAtlanta Braves
World Series
ChampionsFlorida Marlins
  Runners-upCleveland Indians
World Series MVPLiván Hernández (FLA)

Major league baseball final standings

American League

AL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
Baltimore Orioles 98 64 0.605 46–35 52–29
New York Yankees 96 66 0.593 2 47–33 49–33
Detroit Tigers 79 83 0.488 19 42–39 37–44
Boston Red Sox 78 84 0.481 20 39–42 39–42
Toronto Blue Jays 76 86 0.469 22 42–39 34–47
AL Central W L Pct. GB Home Road
Cleveland Indians 86 75 0.534 44–37 42–38
Chicago White Sox 80 81 0.497 6 45–36 35–45
Milwaukee Brewers 78 83 0.484 8 47–33 31–50
Minnesota Twins 68 94 0.420 18½ 35–46 33–48
Kansas City Royals 67 94 0.416 19 33–47 34–47
AL West W L Pct. GB Home Road
Seattle Mariners 90 72 0.556 45–36 45–36
Anaheim Angels 84 78 0.519 6 46–36 38–42
Texas Rangers 77 85 0.475 13 39–42 38–43
Oakland Athletics 65 97 0.401 25 35–46 30–51

National League

NL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
Atlanta Braves 101 61 0.623 50–31 51–30
Florida Marlins 92 70 0.568 9 52–29 40–41
New York Mets 88 74 0.543 13 50–31 38–43
Montreal Expos 78 84 0.481 23 45–36 33–48
Philadelphia Phillies 68 94 0.420 33 38–43 30–51
NL Central W L Pct. GB Home Road
Houston Astros 84 78 0.519 46–35 38–43
Pittsburgh Pirates 79 83 0.488 5 43–38 36–45
Cincinnati Reds 76 86 0.469 8 40–41 36–45
St. Louis Cardinals 73 89 0.451 11 41–40 32–49
Chicago Cubs 68 94 0.420 16 42–39 26–55
NL West W L Pct. GB Home Road
San Francisco Giants 90 72 0.556 48–33 42–39
Los Angeles Dodgers 88 74 0.543 2 47–34 41–40
Colorado Rockies 83 79 0.512 7 47–34 36–45
San Diego Padres 76 86 0.469 14 39–42 37–44


  Division Series
League Championship Series
World Series
  Central Cleveland 3  
WC NY Yankees 2  
  Central Cleveland 4  
American League
  East Baltimore 2  
East Baltimore 3
  West Seattle 1  
    AL Cleveland 3
  NL Florida 4
  East Atlanta 3  
Central Houston 0  
  East Atlanta 2
National League
  WC Florida 4  
West San Francisco 0
  WC Florida 3  

Awards and honors

Baseball Writers' Association of America Awards
BBWAA Award National League American League
Rookie of the Year
Cy Young Award
Manager of the Year
Most Valuable Player
Gold Glove Awards
Position National League American League
First Baseman
Second Baseman
Third Baseman
Silver Slugger Awards
Pitcher/Designated Hitter
First Baseman
Second Baseman
Third Baseman

MLB statistical leaders

Statistic American League National League
AVG Frank Thomas CHW .347 Tony Gwynn SD .372
HR Ken Griffey, Jr. SEA 56 Larry Walker COL 49
RBI Ken Griffey, Jr. SEA 147 Andrés Galarraga COL 140
Wins Roger Clemens1 TOR 21 Denny Neagle ATL 20
ERA Roger Clemens1 TOR 2.05 Pedro Martínez MTL 1.90
SO Roger Clemens1 TOR 292 Curt Schilling PHI 319
SV Randy Myers BAL 45 Jeff Shaw CIN 42
SB Brian Hunter DET 74 Tony Womack PIT 60

1 American League Triple Crown Pitching Winner


American League

Team Manager Notes
Anaheim Angels Terry Collins
Baltimore Orioles Davey Johnson
Boston Red Sox Jimy Williams
Chicago White Sox Terry Bevington
Cleveland Indians Mike Hargrove Won American League Pennant
Detroit Tigers Buddy Bell
Kansas City Royals Bob Boone, Tony Muser
Milwaukee Brewers Phil Garner
Minnesota Twins Tom Kelly
New York Yankees Joe Torre
Oakland Athletics Art Howe
Seattle Mariners Lou Piniella
Texas Rangers Johnny Oates
Toronto Blue Jays Cito Gaston, Mel Queen, Jr.

National League

Team Manager Notes
Atlanta Braves Bobby Cox
Chicago Cubs Jim Riggleman
Cincinnati Reds Ray Knight, Jack McKeon
Colorado Rockies Don Baylor
Florida Marlins Jim Leyland Won World Series
Houston Astros Larry Dierker
Los Angeles Dodgers Bill Russell
Montreal Expos Felipe Alou
New York Mets Bobby Valentine
Philadelphia Phillies Terry Francona
Pittsburgh Pirates Gene Lamont
St. Louis Cardinals Tony La Russa
San Diego Padres Bruce Bochy
San Francisco Giants Dusty Baker



  • January 5 – Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield escapes serious injury when he is hit by a car while out jogging. He is released from the hospital after being treated for bruises.
  • January 6 – Knuckleballer Phil Niekro is elected to the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Niekro receives 80.34% of the vote. Pitcher Don Sutton falls nine votes short of election.
  • February 20 – The Philadelphia Phillies sign free agent outfielder Danny Tartabull. Tartabull broke his foot on Opening Day and sat out the year before retiring.
  • March 5 – Nellie Fox, Tommy Lasorda and Negro Leaguer Willie Wells are elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee.






  • January 6 – Dick Donovan, 69, All-Star pitcher, mainly with the White Sox and Indians, who led AL in ERA in 1961 and won 20 games in 1962
  • January 20 – Curt Flood, 59, All-Star center fielder who won seven Gold Gloves and batted .300 six times; challenged baseball's reserve clause all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, unsuccessfully, after refusing a trade
  • February 7 – Manny Salvo, 83, Boston pitcher who tied for the National League lead in shutouts in 1940
  • February 13 – Bobby Adams, 75, third baseman for the Cincinnati Reds/Redlegs, Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles and Chicago Cubs between 1946 and 1959
  • June 1 – Mickey Rocco, 81, Cleveland first baseman who led the American League in fielding percentage at his position in 1943 and 1945
  • June 9 – Thornton Lee, 90, All-Star pitcher who won over 100 games for the White Sox; won 22 games and led AL in ERA in 1941
  • July 31 – Eddie Miller, 80, 7-time All-Star shortstop for four NL teams who led league in fielding five times
  • August 23 – Guy Curtright, 84, White Sox outfielder who finished sixth in 1943 American League batting race with a .291 average
  • September 9 – Richie Ashburn, 70, Hall of Fame center fielder for the Phillies who batted .308 lifetime, winning two batting titles, and led NL in putouts nine times, hits three times, triples twice and steals once; retired with six of the top eight single-season putout totals in history
  • September 22 – Eddie Sawyer, 87, manager who led the Phillies' "Whiz Kids" to the 1950 pennant, later a scout
  • September 26 – Woody English, 91, All-Star infielder for the Cubs who batted .300 twice
  • October 6 – Johnny Vander Meer, 82, All-Star pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds who in 1938 became the only player to pitch two consecutive no-hitters; led NL in strikeouts three times
  • October 21 – Dolph Camilli, 90, All-Star first baseman who was the NL's MVP in 1941, leading the Brooklyn Dodgers to the pennant; had five 100-RBI seasons
  • November 2 – Roy McMillan, 68, All-Star shortstop for the Reds, Braves and Mets who won the NL's first three Gold Gloves; minor league manager, coach and scout
  • November 20 – Dick Littlefield, 71, well-traveled pitcher who played for nine teams, earning 15 of his 33 wins with the Pirates
  • November 27 – Buck Leonard, 90, Hall of Fame first baseman of the Negro Leagues regularly among the league leaders in batting average and home runs

External links

1997 American League Championship Series

The 1997 American League Championship Series (ALCS) pitted the Cleveland Indians, who won coming back against the defending World Series champion New York Yankees in the AL Division Series, and the Baltimore Orioles, who went wire-to-wire and beat the Seattle Mariners in the Division Series. The Indians stunned the Orioles, winning on bizarre plays or remarkable comebacks, and won the Series four games to two, but went on to lose to the Florida Marlins in the well-fought, seesaw, seven-game battle of the 1997 World Series. The Orioles had home field advantage, which was predetermined and assigned to either the East Division champions or their opponents in the Division Series.

1997 Anaheim Angels season

The Anaheim Angels 1997 season involved the Angels finishing 2nd in the American League West with a record of 84 wins and 78 losses. It was the first season for the franchise as the "Anaheim Angels", after playing under the name of the "California Angels" for the previous 31 seasons, plus part of another.

1997 Atlanta Braves season

The 1997 Atlanta Braves season marked the franchise's 32nd season in Atlanta and 127th overall. The Braves won their sixth consecutive division title, taking the National League East title by 9 games over the second place Florida Marlins. However, the Marlins would later defeat the Braves in the 1997 National League Championship Series. 1997 was the first year that the Braves played their home games in Turner Field, which originally served as a venue for the 1996 Summer Olympics.

1997 Boston Red Sox season

The 1997 Boston Red Sox season was the 97th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished fourth in the American League East with a record of 78 wins and 84 losses, 20 games behind the Baltimore Orioles. It was the last time the Red Sox had a losing record until 2012. The Red Sox had 5,781 at bats, a single season major league record.

1997 Chicago Cubs season

The 1997 Chicago Cubs season was the 126th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 122nd in the National League and the 82nd at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished fifth and last in the National League Central with a record of 68–94. The team never had a record above .500 at any point during the season.

The season is perhaps best remembered for the miserable way in which the team began the season, losing their first 14 games before finally winning the second game of a double-header against the New York Mets. The 0-14 start brought the superstition of the "billy goat curse" to the forefront, and at one point a goat was actually led around Wrigley Field in an effort to end the curse.

This was also Harry Caray's final season as broadcaster for the team, and in MLB. He died just prior to the following season.

1997 Florida Marlins season

The Florida Marlins' 1997 season was the 5th season for the Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise in the National League. It would begin with the team attempting to improve on their season from 1996. Their manager was Jim Leyland. They played home games at Pro Player Stadium. They finished with a record of 92-70, posting the first winning season in franchise history and winning the NL Wild Card. They got through the National League playoffs and won the World Series over the Cleveland Indians.

1997 Houston Astros season

The 1997 Houston Astros season was a season in American baseball. The Houston Astros won their first-ever National League Central division title, giving them their first playoff berth in 11 years.

1997 Kansas City Royals season

The 1997 Kansas City Royals season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Royals finishing 5th in the American League Central with a record of 67 wins and 94 losses.

1997 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1997 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 68th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 8, 1997, at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, the home of the Cleveland Indians of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 3-1. The game marked the fifth time the All-Star Game was held in Cleveland and first since 1981. It was also the first All-Star game held at Jacobs Field, which opened three years earlier.

1997 Major League Baseball draft

The 1997 First-Year Player Draft, Major League Baseball's annual amateur draft of high school and college baseball players, was held on June 2 and 3, 1997. A total of 1607 players were drafted over the course of 92 rounds.

1997 Milwaukee Brewers season

The 1997 Milwaukee Brewers season involved the Brewers finishing third in the American League Central, eight games behind the Cleveland Indians, with a record of 78 wins and 83 losses. 1997 was the Brewers' final season in the American League, before moving to the National League for the following season.

1997 National League Championship Series

The 1997 National League Championship Series (NLCS) pitted the Florida Marlins against the Atlanta Braves. The Marlins won the series, 4–2, and went on to defeat the Cleveland Indians in the 1997 World Series.

1997 New York Mets season

The New York Mets' 1997 season was the 36th regular season for the Mets. They went 88-74 and finished 3rd in the NL East. They were managed by Bobby Valentine. They played home games at Shea Stadium.

1997 San Diego Padres season

The 1997 San Diego Padres season was the 29th season in franchise history. The Padres finished last in the National League West. Right fielder (and future Hall of Famer) Tony Gwynn had the highest batting average in the majors, at .372.

In April, the Padres played three home games at the Aloha Stadium in Hawaii against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals won the opening two games (a double header) on April 19, winning the first 1-0 and the second 2-1 before the Padres won game 3 on Sunday April 20 by a score of 8-2. Reported attendances were 37,382 (game 2) and 40,050 (game 3).

1997 San Francisco Giants season

The 1997 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 115th season in Major League Baseball, their 40th season in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season, and their 38th at 3Com Park at Candlestick Point. The Giants finished in first place in the National League West with a record of 90 wins and 72 losses. They lost the National League Division Series in three games to the Florida Marlins.

1997 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals 1997 season was the team's 116th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 106th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 73-89 during the season and finished 4th in the National League Central division, eleven games behind the Houston Astros.

1997 Texas Rangers season

The Texas Rangers 1997 season involved the Rangers finishing 3rd in the American League West with a record of 77 wins and 85 losses. Despite not making the playoffs the club would set an all-time attendance record of over 2.945 million fans, which would be the franchise's best until 2011.

On a somber note, the club would lose long-time radio broadcaster Mark Holtz to leukemia during the season; however, in his final game in May the Rangers won, allowing him to sign off one final time with his trademark "Hello Win Column!".

Major League Baseball All-Time Team

The Major League Baseball All-Time Team was chosen in 1997 to comprise the top manager and top player in each of 13 positional categories across Major League Baseball history. The team, announced by Classic Sports Network in conjunction with the events celebrated around the 1997 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, were chosen by a panel of 36 members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America in a first- and second-place Borda count voting system.

White Flag Trade

The White Flag Trade was a trade made between two Major League Baseball teams in 1997. On July 31, 1997, the Chicago White Sox traded three major players to the San Francisco Giants for six minor leaguers. At the time, the trade was maligned by the vast majority of White Sox fans as Jerry Reinsdorf giving up on the team, as they were only ​3 1⁄2 games behind the Cleveland Indians for the American League Central Division lead. "Anyone who thinks we can catch Cleveland is crazy," stated Reinsdorf. In 2000, however, the White Sox won the Central Division title, receiving large contributions from two of the players received in this trade (Keith Foulke and Bob Howry).

1997 MLB season by team
Pre-modern era
Modern era
See also

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