February 23 – 2011 National League MVPRyan Braun wins his appeal against a 50-game suspension. The suspension was overturned by baseball arbitrator Shyam Das. The Braun case marks the first time a big leaguer has successfully challenged a drug-related penalty in a grievance. According to ESPN sources, Major League Baseball is weighing the possibility of suing in federal court to reverse the decision.
March 2 – Major League Baseball expands its playoff format to 10 teams for the 2012 season, adding a second wild card in each league. The decision establishes a new one-game, wild-card round in each league between the teams with the best records.
March 30 – At the age of 49, Jamie Moyer becomes the oldest starting pitcher ever on an Opening Day roster. Moyer joined the Colorado Rockies on this date, which was the 20th anniversary of his being released by the Chicago Cubs. At that time, he had been released three times in three years. He would turn 50 in November 2012.
April 8 – The Boston Red Sox lose to the Detroit Tigers, 13–12, while the New York Yankees are defeated by the Tampa Bay Rays, 3–0. These results mark the second time in Major League history that both the Red Sox and Yankees started with a 0-3 record. The other was in the 1966 season, in which Boston started 0-5 and finished next-to-last with a 72-90 record, and New York started 0-3 and finished last with a 70-89 record.
Bartolo Colón of the Oakland A's pitches eight shutout innings in a 6-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels. The game includes a stretch, from the fifth to the eight inning, in which Colon pitches 38 consecutive strikes, the longest such streak since major league baseball began recording the statistic in 1988.
Cliff Lee of the Philadelphia Phillies scatters seven hits over 10 innings against the San Francisco Giants to become the first starting pitcher to throw ten shutout innings since Mark Mulder of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2005. Giants starter Matt Cain, meanwhile, allows only two hits until being lifted for a pinch-hitter after 9 innings. The two become the first pair of starting pitchers to combine for at least 19 shutout innings since 1999. The Giants win the game 1-0 in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the 11th inning.
April 19 – José Altuve, Brian Bogusevic, and Matt Downs of the Houston Astros each hit a triple in the top of the first inning in an 11–4 victory over the Washington Nationals. This was the first time in Astros history that they hit 3 triples in an inning and also tied the club record for most in a game. 1995 was the last time a team had 3 triples in the first inning.
April 20 – Fenway Park celebrates its 100th birthday, with about 200 former Boston Red Sox players, managers and coaches coming out for the pre-game introduction. The New York Yankees, however, spoil the party and defeat the Red Sox 6-2 on five home runs, all off starter Clay Buchholz. One of the home runs is Alex Rodriguez' 631st and puts him past former teammate Ken Griffey, Jr. for fifth place on the all-time list. In the first game at Fenway exactly 100 years earlier, the Red Sox had defeated the Yankees' forerunner, the New York Highlanders, 7-6 in 11 innings.
At Fenway Park, the New York Yankees tie a franchise record by overcoming a nine-run deficit to defeat the Boston Red Sox, 15–9. Trailing 9–0 after five innings, the Yankees begin their comeback in the sixth inning on the first of Mark Teixeira's two home runs, which come from both sides of the plate, the 13th time he has done so. The Yankees score seven runs in the seventh on a Nick Swisher grand slam, followed by Teixeira's second home run; then another seven runs in the eighth inning, with the tying and go-ahead runs scored by Eduardo Núñez and Derek Jeter on a Swisher double. Teixeira and Swisher each drive in six runs for the Yankees, who last overcame a nine-run deficit to win on June 26, 1987, also against the Red Sox.
The New York Mets field an entire starting line-up of home-grown talent for the first time since September 19, 1971. With former Mets farmhand José Reyes batting lead-off for the Miami Marlins, all ten players on the field at the game's start began their careers with the Mets.
Cincinnati Reds starter Homer Bailey celebrates his 26th birthday and Chicago Cubs starter Ryan Dempster celebrates his 35th birthday, marking the first time in Major League history that opposing starting pitchers both celebrated birthdays. The Reds go on to win 4-3 in 10 innings in Cincinnati.
Class-A Greenville Drive (Boston) makes history as three pitchers combine to toss the club's first ever no-hitter. Miguel Pena (six innings), Hunter Cervenka (two) and Tyler Lockwood (one) join forces to defeat the Rome Braves (Atlanta), 1–0. A solo home run by Keury De La Cruz off David Filak in the sixth inning counts for the only run of the game.
May 13 – Joey Votto hits three home runs, including a walk-off grand slam with two outs in the 9th inning, in the Cincinnati Reds' 9-6 victory over the Washington Nationals. Votto, who racks up six RBI and 14 total bases in the game, is the first player ever to have hit three home runs which include a walk-off grand slam, in a game.
May 14 – Major League Baseball drops its 100-game suspension of Colorado Rockies catcher Eliezer Alfonzo for a positive drug test because of the same procedural issues that came up in the Ryan Braun case. Alfonzo became the first player suspended twice for performance-enhancing drugs under the MLB testing program when the commissioner's office announced a 100-game penalty in September 2011. Alfonzo appealed, culminating in today's decision. The reversal comes about because the storage and shipment of his urine sample was similar to those leading to Braun's 50-game drug penalty getting overturned by an arbitrator in February.
May 29 – Hideki Matsui becomes the first player in baseball history to play 10 seasons in Nippon Professional Baseball and 10 seasons in the Major Leagues when he debuts for the Tampa Bay Rays against the Chicago White Sox. Matsui breaks a scoreless tie with a two-run home run in his second at-bat in an eventual loss for the Rays. He also homered in his major league debuts with the Anaheim Angels and the New York Yankees.
May 30 – Carlos González hits three home runs in his last three at-bats, en route to a Colorado Rockies 13–5 victory over the Houston Astros. González breaks a 5-all tie with a solo shot leading off the bottom of the fifth inning, adds a two-run drive in the sixth, and then has another solo shot in the eighth. Michael Cuddyer contributes a grand slam in the first frame and Dexter Fowler adds a three-run homer in the sixth.
Major League Baseball announces the introduction of a new qualifying round for the 2013 World Baseball Classic which will expand the competitive field from 16 to 28 countries. The new round will feature 16 teams divided into four pools of four teams each. The teams invited to participate will include the four World Baseball Classic teams from 2009 that did not win a game.
June 3 – Magglio Ordóñez officially announces his retirement at Comerica Park. A six-time All-Star, the 38-year-old Ordóñez finishes his career with a .309 batting average over 15 seasons with the Detroit Tigers and the Chicago White Sox. His 294 career home runs are the second-most by a Venezuela-born player, trailing only Andrés Galarraga's 399. His highlights include the pennant-winning home run in Game 4 of the 2006 AL Championship Series. Then, in 2007 he became the first Tiger to win the batting crown in 46 years. Ordóñez posted a .363 average to claim the American League title, including 28 home runs, 139 runs batted in and a league-best 54 doubles, while his .363 average was the highest by a Detroit player since 1937, when Charlie Gehringer finished with a .371 mark.
At Tropicana Field, R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets breaks Jerry Koosman's 39-year franchise record for consecutive scoreless innings, pitching a one-hitter in defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 9-1. He strikes out a career high 12 batters and allows a ninth-inning unearned run, which ends his consecutive scoreless inning streak at 322⁄3. Koosman had held the previous franchise record, pitching 312⁄3 consecutive scoreless innings in 1973.
June 30 – The Texas Rangers (50-29) become the first major league team to reach 50 victories with a 7–2 win, its 17th in 21 games. Josh Hamilton homers and drives in four runs to help make 21-year-old Martín Pérez a winner in his first career start.
Jarrod Parker allows one run on six hits in 62⁄3 innings of work as the Oakland Athletics pass the Boston Red Sox 6–1 at O.co Coliseum. Parker matches an old record by allowing one run or fewer for the 10th time in 14 career starts, becoming the second pitcher in major league history since Ferdie Schupp to accomplish the feat. Schupp, primarily a reliever, allowed no more than one run in 10 of his first 14 starts for the New York Giants, but he needed five seasons to accomplish it, from 1913 to 1917. Entering the day, Parker had been the second starter since Dwight Gooden to allow no more than one run in nine of his first 13 starts. It is also the seventh time in Parker's past eight starts he has held the opposition to one run or fewer.
Billy Hamilton of the High-A Bakersfield Blaze steals his 100th base of the season in just his 78th game of the season. Last year, the Cincinnati Reds minor leaguer became the first player to steal 100 bases in a minor-league season since 2001, ending with 103 in 135 games. According to Baseball America, by this point in the season, only 14 of the 119 full-season minor-league teams (not including Bakersfield) have 100 steals. The record for the most stolen bases at any level of professional baseball is 145, which was set by Vince Coleman in 1983 while playing for the Class-A Macon Redbirds.
Wil Myers drives in one run and scores another to lead the Pacific Coast League to a 3–0 victory over the International League in the Triple-A All-Star Game. Myers is selected Top Star for the PCL team, which snaps a three-game losing streak. It is the second impressive All-Star showing in four days for the 21-year-old Kansas City Royals outfield prospect. Previously, Myers collected three RBIs in the All-Star Futures Game played during the MLB All-Star festivities.
In the top third inning of a game at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants hits a home run off Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies. In the bottom of that same inning, Hamels hits a home run off of Cain. Cain and Hamels become the first pair of starting pitchers to hit home runs off one another in the same game since 2002, and the first pair to do so in the same inning since 1990. San Francisco wins, 6–5, in 10 innings.
Matt Harvey of the New York Mets limits the Arizona Diamondbacks to three hits in his major league debut, while striking out 11 over 51⁄3 innings of shutout ball to lead the Mets to a 3–1 victory at Chase Field. Harvey, the Mets' top pick in the 2010 draft, sets a franchise record for strikeouts in a debut. He also doubles and singles to become the first major league pitcher since 1900 to strike out more than 10 and collect a pair of hits in his first game.
Pedro Ciriaco turns out to be the hero once again, this time punching an RBI single in the top of the 10th inning, and the Boston Red Sox defeat the New York Yankees, 3–2, to take the weekend series. Called up July 6 from Triple-A Pawtucket, Ciriaco has go-ahead hits in all three Red Sox victories over the Yankees in nine meetings this season. He is now 11-for-22 with six RBIs in five games against New York, including a ninth-inning, RBI-triple the previous day in an 8–6 comeback victory.
August 10 – Manny Machado hits two home runs and drives in four runs in his second career MLB game to carry the Baltimore Orioles past the visiting Kansas City Royals, 7–1, at Camden Yards. At 20 years, 35 days old, Machado becomes the youngest player in major league history to have a multiple home run game in either his first or second career game. The previous youngest player to do this was Manny Ramírez (21 years, 96 days old), who belted two homers in his second career game, at Yankee Stadium on September 3, 1993, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 7–3 win. Machado also becomes the youngest player in Orioles franchise history, which includes the St. Louis Browns from 1902 to 1953, to hit two or more homers in a game. The previous youngest was Boog Powell (20 years, 258 days old), who did it on May 2, 1962, at Metropolitan Stadium.
Melky Cabrera of the San Francisco Giants is suspended for 50 games after testing positive for Testosterone. With 45 games remaining in the Giants' regular season, the suspension ends Cabrera's season and will carry over into the postseason should the Giants qualify. Cabrera finishes the year leading the National League with a .346 batting average, but his 501 plate appearances are one short of what he will need to qualify for the batting title.
Billy Hamilton of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos collects four stolen bases in the first game of a double-header, to eclipse Vince Coleman's 30-year-old record for the most steals in a single season in minor league baseball history. Hamilton, a highly touted prospect of the Cincinnati Reds organization, now has 147 stolen bases in the season. He stole 104 in the first half of the season with Class-A Bakersfield Blaze before being promoted to Double-A Pensacola. The previous record was set by Coleman in 1983, with 145, while playing for Single-A Macon Redbirds. The modern major league record was set by Rickey Henderson with 130 in 1982. Hamilton will eventually end the season with 155 steals.
Michael Weiner, who succeeded Donald Fehr as head of the baseball players' union three years before and negotiated a labor deal the prior fall in a seamless transition, undergoes treatment for a brain tumor. The 50-year-old Weiner succeeded Fehr in December 2009 to become just the fourth head of the union since 1966.
The Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers complete a nine-player blockbuster deal, which is considered the largest player transaction in major league baseball history after the non-waiver trade deadline. Boston sends first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, pitcher Josh Beckett, outfielder Carl Crawford, infielder Nick Punto, and about $11 million in cash to Los Angeles in the nine-player trade, while the Dodgers absorb approximately a quarter-billion dollars while acquiring the four players. In return, the Red Sox will receive first baseman James Loney, pitcher Allen Webster, infielder Iván DeJesús, Jr. and two players to be named, while shedding more than $250 million in salaries through 2018. Pitcher Rubby De La Rosa and outfielder Jerry Sands are the players to be named later because they did not clear waivers. They will officially change organizations once the regular season concludes.
August 27 – Adrián Beltré of the Texas Rangers is named the American League Player of the Week. Beltré makes history, after hitting .433 with three doubles, one triple, five home runs, nine RBI and seven runs scored in seven games. He belted three home runs in his first three at-bats on August 22 against the Baltimore Orioles, including a pair of two-run blasts as part of a nine-run fourth inning. He also homered against the Minnesota Twins the next day, marking the first time he had homered in back-to-back games this season. A day later, he became the sixth Rangers player to hit for the cycle, going 4-for-4 with three RBI. It was his second career cycle (September 1, 2008, with the Seattle Mariners – also in Rangers Ballpark – was the other), so Beltré became the first player in the modern era to cycle in the same ballpark as a home and visiting player, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Beltré, who joins Joe DiMaggio (1948) as the only other player in Major League Baseball history to hit for the cycle and hit three homers in the same week, earns his first AL Player of the Week honor after being recognized three times while in the National League with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
August 30 – Jonathan Lucroy hits a grand slam and drove in seven runs for the Milwaukee Brewers in their loss to the Chicago Cubs, 12–11, at Wrigley Field. In a slugfest featuring a combined 31 hits, including 15 extra-bases, Lucroy becomes the first catcher to have two games in a single season with 7 or more RBI since Major League Baseball began officially tracking the RBI statistic in 1920 (he first did it on May 20 against the Minnesota Twins). In addition, Lucroy becomes the first Brewer to collect a pair of seven-RBI games in team history.
September 5 – For the second consecutive game, the Washington Nationals tie a franchise record with six home runs in a 9–1 rout of the Chicago Cubs. The Nationals become just the third team in major league history to hit at least six home runs in consecutive games, joining the 1996 Los Angeles Dodgers and the 2003 Anaheim Angels. Two of those six homers were hit by 19-year-old rookie Bryce Harper. With it being his second multihomer game of the season, Harper becomes the third player ever with more than one multihomer game in a season as a teenager, joining Mel Ott (1928) and Ken Griffey, Jr. (1989). Harper also is the third teenager with at least 17 homers in a season, trailing only Tony Conigliaro (24, 1964) and Mel Ott (18, 1928).
September 14 – At Yankee Stadium, Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees moves into the top 10 on the all-time hits list, beating out an infield single in the fifth inning of the Yankees' 6-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. The hit gives him 3,284 for his career, passing Willie Mays for 10th place. In the eighth inning of the same game, Alex Rodriguez hits his 647th career home run, which gives him 1,889 career runs scored, passing Lou Gehrig for ninth place on the all-time list.
Melky Cabrera is disqualified from the National League batting champion honor at his own request when Major League Baseball and the Players Association agree to a one-season-only change in the rule governing the individual batting, slugging and on-base percentage champions. Cabrera, the All-Star Game MVP, was suspended on August 15 for violating the Joint Drug Program and was missing the final 45 games of the regular season. Entering the day with a league-leading .346 batting average, he had 501 plate appearances, one short of the required minimum, but would have won the title under section 10.22(a) of the Official Baseball Rules if an extra hitless at-bat were added to his average and he still finished ahead. Cabrera took the initiative in sending a letter to MLB and the PA. "To be plain, I personally have no wish to win an award that would widely be seen as tainted, and I believe that it would be far better for the remaining contenders to compete for that distinction", Cabrera wrote.
The Tampa Bay Rays maul the Toronto Blue Jays, 12–1, as their pitching staff sets a new league record for combined strikeouts in a single season when James Shields strikes out J. P. Arencibia leading off the second inning. With 1,267 strikeouts, the combined efforts of the starting pitchers and the bullpen surpasses the previous record of 1,266, held by the 2011 New York Yankees. The Rays have 11 games remaining to extend the mark. The major league record is 1,404, which was set by the 2003 Chicago Cubs.
September 25 – The Los Angeles Angels tie a major league record by striking out 20 opposing batters in a 9-inning game in a victory over the Seattle Mariners. The Angels are the first to do so using multiple pitchers.
The Houston Astros name Bo Porter as their new manager for the upcoming season. Porter, who is, at the time, the Washington Nationals third base coach, replaces Brad Mills, who was dismissed the prior month. Porter would remain with the postseason-bound Nationals for the remainder of their season. In other managerial movements, Manny Acta is dismissed as manager of the Cleveland Indians after the team collapsed from contention. Bench coach Sandy Alomar, a former Indians catcher and fanatic-favorite, would replace Acta for the last six games of the season.
On the last day of the regular season, Oakland Athletics defeat the Texas Rangers 12-5 at O.co Coliseum to win the AL West championship. The A's complete a 3-game sweep of the Rangers, who had entered the series 2 games ahead in first place. The A's win the division despite being 13 games out of first place at one point in the season, and despite being 5 games out with 9 games to play. With the conclusion of the game and the regular season, the A's claim sole possession of first place for the first time all season. The Rangers were in first place from April 9 to October 2; earn one of two AL Wild Card berths.
The St. Louis Cardinals defeat the Washington Nationals 9-7 at Nationals Park to win the NLDS 3 games to 2. The Cardinals come back from a six-run deficit, including a two-run deficit with two outs and two strikes in the top of the ninth, to rally past the Nationals and win Game 5 and the series.
October 22 – The San Francisco Giants defeat the St. Louis Cardinals 9-0 at AT&T Park in Game 7 of the NLCS to win the National League pennant. The result also eliminates the Cardinals from defending their 2011 World Series title, the twelfth consecutive year a team has failed to defend its World Championship. The Giants outscore the Cardinals 20-1 over the final three games in coming back from a 3-1 series deficit, becoming the first team since the 1985 Kansas City Royals to win six consecutive games when facing elimination in the same postseason. Marco Scutaro ties an LCS record with 14 base hits in the series, and is named NLCS MVP.
November 28 – The Hall of Fame announces the players' ballot from which Baseball Writers' Association of America members will vote on candidates for the induction class of 2013. It consists of 13 returning and 24 new candidates, with results to be announced on January 9, 2013.
December 5 – The Hall of Fame announces Tom Cheek, who was the lead radio play-by-play announcer for the Toronto Blue Jays from the team's establishment in 1977 until his retirement in 2004, as the 2013 recipient of its Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting. Cheek, who died in 2005, would formally receive the honor at the Hall of Fame Awards Presentation.
January 2 – Howie Koplitz, 73, pitcher for the Tigers and Senators in parts of five seasons spanning 1961–1966, who also was named Southern Association MVP and TSN Minor League Player of the Year in 1961.
January 8 – Glenn Cox, 80, pitcher for the Kansas City Athletics from 1955 to 1958.
January 17 – Marty Springstead, 74, former American League umpire from 1966 to 1985, who at the age of 36 in 1973 became the youngest umpire crew chief in World Series history, and also worked in three Series, three All-Star Games and five AL championship series.
January 21 – Cliff Chambers, 90, pitcher for the Cubs, Pirates and Cardinals from 1948 to 1953.
January 21 – Troy Herriage, 81, pitcher for the 1956 Kansas City Athletics.
January 22 – Andy Musser, 74, play-by-play broadcaster for the Philadelphia Phillies during 26 seasons from 1976 through 2001.
January 26 – Bud Byerly, 91, pitcher who played for the Cardinals, Reds, Senators, Red Sox and Giants for parts of 11 seasons spanning 1943–1960.
January 31 – Rick Behenna, 51, pitcher for the Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians in parts of three seasons from 1983 through 1985.
February 1 – Herb Adams, 83, backup outfielder who played from 1948 to 1950 with the Chicago White Sox.
February 7 – Danny Clyburn, 37, outfielder who played parts of three seasons with the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the late 1990s.
February 11 – Gene Crumling, 89, catcher for the 1945 St. Louis Cardinals, one of many ballplayers who only appeared in the majors during World War II.
February 16 – Gary Carter, 57, Hall of Fame catcher, principally with the Montreal Expos and New York Mets, whose two-out, tenth-inning single for the Mets in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series started one of the most improbable rallies in postseason history.
February 17 – Howie Nunn, 76, relief pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds in parts of three seasons from 1959 to 1962.
February 19 – Dick Smith, 72, outfielder and first baseman who played from 1963 through 1965 for the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers.
February 24 – Agnes Allen, 81, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League pitcher.
February 24 – Terry Mathews, 47, relief pitcher for the Florida Marlins, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals in part of eight seasons spanning 1991–1999.
February 24 – Jay Ward, 73, pitcher for the Minnesota Twins and Cincinnati Reds during three seasons between 1963 and 1970, who later managed several successful minor league teams.
February 25 – Dave Cheadle, 60, relief pitcher for the 1973 Atlanta Braves.
March 3 – Lloyd Hittle, 88, pitcher for the Washington Senators from 1949 to 1950.
March 3 – Jim Obradovich, 62, first baseman who played briefly for the Houston Astros in 1978.
March 4 – Don Mincher, 73, two-time All-Star first baseman and member of the 1972 Oakland Athletics World Series champions, who also has the distinction of being the only major leaguer to play with the Washington Senators franchise that became the Minnesota Twins, and then play with a second incarnation of the Senators which became the Texas Rangers.
March 6 – Helen Walulik, 82, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League pitcher and outfield/infield utility.
March 9 – Harry Wendelstedt, 73, National League umpire who worked five World Series and four All-Star games during his 33-year career from 1966 through 1998.
March 11 – Hub Andrews, 89, relief pitcher for the New York Giants from 1947 to 1948.
March 15 – Dave Philley, 91, outfielder and pinch-hitting specialist for eight different teams between 1941 and 1962, who still holds the major league records for most consecutive pinch-hits in a season (nine, 1958) and for most at-bats in an 18-inning double-header (13, 1951), while also holding an American League record for the most pinch-hits in a season (24, 1961).
March 18 – Furman Bisher, 93, sportswriter who authored several books, including co-writing an autobiography of Hank Aaron.
March 20 – Mel Parnell, 89, two-time All-Star pitcher and the winningest left-hander in Boston Red Sox history with 123 wins from 1947 to 1956, who also posted a 25-7 record in 1949 and hurled a no-hitter in 1956.
March 24 – Dennis Bennett, 72, pitcher for the Phillies, Red Sox, Mets and Angels between 1962 and 1968.
June 4 – Pedro Borbón, 65, Dominican reliever for the Cincinnati Reds during 10 seasons, and a key member on the bullpen of the Big Red Machine that won back-to-back World Series titles in 1975 and 1976.
June 5 – Hal Keller, 84, backup catcher for the Washington Senators between 1949 and 1952, and later a front office executive for the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners in a 25-year career from 1961 through 1985.
June 9 – Hawk Taylor, 73, backup catcher for the Milwaukee Braves, New York Mets, California Angels and Kansas City Royals in parts of 11 seasons spanning 1959–1970.
June 11 – Dave Boswell, 67, pitcher who posted a 68-56 record and a 3.52 ERA for the Twins, Tigers and Orioles from 1964 through 1971, while leading the American League with a .706 winning percentage in 1966.
June 14 – Al Brancato, 93, shortstop for the Philadelphia Athletics in part of four seasons spanning 1939–45.
June 24 – Darrel Akerfelds, 50, pitcher for the Athletics, Indians, Rangers and Phillies from 1986 through 1991, and later a bullpen coach for the San Diego Padres from 2001 to 2011.
June 28 – Doris Sams, 85, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League outfielder/pitcher; a five-time All-Star and two-time Player of the Year Award winner, who won a batting crown and one home run title, while throwing a perfect game and one no-hitter in a career that spanned from 1946 through 1953.
July 1 – Mike Hershberger, 72, Kansas City Athletics right fielder, who led all American League outfielders in assists both in 1965 and 1967.
July 2 – Ed Stroud, 72, outfielder for the Chicago White Sox and the Washington Senators from 1966 to 1971.
July 7 – Doris Neal, 83, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League infielder/outfielder from 1948 to 1949.
July 8 – Chick King, 81, backup outfielder for the Tigers, Cubs and Cardinals in five seasons between 1954 and 1959.
July 11 – Art Ceccarelli, 82, pitcher for the Kansas City A's, Cubs and Orioles in part of five seasons spanning 1955-60.
July 24 – Nancy Mudge Cato, 82, All-Star infielder who played for five different teams of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
August 1 – Don Erickson, 80, relief pitcher for the 1958 Philadelphia Phillies.
August 13 – Johnny Pesky, 92, a 61-year member of the Boston Red Sox spanning 1940–2012, while serving them as a player, manager, coach, broadcaster, and well-esteemed team ambassador.
August 22 – Bob Myrick, 59, relief pitcher who played from 1976 through 1978 for the New York Mets.
August 29 – Les Moss, 87, catcher who played from 1946 through 1958 for the St. Louis Browns, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox, and later managed in the minor leagues in 11 seasons spanning 1963–1980.
September 8 – Bob Hale, 78, first baseman who played from 1955 through 1961 with the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees.
September 10 – Tom Saffell, 91, backup outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Athletics in parts of four seasons spanning 1949–1955, who later served as President of the Gulf Coast League from 1979 to 2009.
September 11 – Bruce Von Hoff, 68, relief pitcher for the Houston Astros in the 1965 and 1967 seasons.
September 13 – Bob DiPietro, 85, backup outfielder for the 1951 Boston Red Sox.
September 13 – Jack Pierce, 64, first baseman for the Atlanta Braves and Detroit Tigers in parts of three seasons spanning 1973-75, who also played in Japan with the 1977 Nankai Hawks.
September 17 – Pauline Dennert, 86, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player.
September 18 – Jack Kralick, 77, All-Star pitcher and one of the original Minnesota Twins, who posted a 67-65 record and a 3.56 ERA in eight seasons which included stints with the Washington Senators and the Cleveland Indians, while hurling a no-hitter against the Kansas City Athletics in 1962.
September 21 – Tom Umphlett, 82, outfielder for the Boston Red Sox and Washington Senators from 1953 through 1955, and later a minor league manager from 1967 to 1970.
September 23 – Roberto Muñoz Rodríguez, 70, Venezuelan pitcher who played for the Kansas City/Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres and Chicago Cubs between the 1967 and 1970 seasons.
September 25 – Audrey Deemer, 81, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player.
October 6 – Irene DeLaby, 90, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player.
October 11 – Champ Summers, 66, outfielder who played 10 seasons in the majors for six different teams, mainly for the Detroit Tigers from 1979 to 1981, and also a hitting coach for the New York Yankees.
October 12 – Jim Kremmel, 63, relief pitcher who played from 1973 to 1974 for the Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs.
October 16 – Eddie Yost, 86, All-Star third baseman who led the American League in walks six times during an 18-year career, 14 of them with the Washington Senators spanning 1944–1958.
October 20 – Dave May, 68, All-Star outfielder who spent 12 seasons in the majors with the Baltimore Orioles, Milwaukee Brewers, Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates from 1967–78, and also the player that was sent by Milwaukee to Atlanta in exchange for Hank Aaron.
October 25 – Les Mueller, 93, starting pitcher for the Detroit Tigers 1945 World Series championship team, who hurled 19 2/3 innings in a regular game against the Philadelphia Athletics, which remains the longest outing since 1929 when another Tigers pitcher, George Uhle, logged 20 innings against the Chicago White Sox.
November 1 – Pascual Pérez, 55, Dominican All-Star pitcher who compiled a lifetime record of 67-68 and a 3.44 ERA with the Braves, Pirates, Expos and Yankees over an 11-season span from 1980–1991.
November 2 – Joe Ginsberg, 86, catcher for the original 1962 New York Mets, who also had stops with the Indians, Kansas City A's, Orioles and White Sox during a 13-year career.
November 9 – Harold Gould, 88, Minor league pitcher who had a seven-season career between 1942 and 1949, most prominently for the Negro League Philadelphia Stars in 1946 and 1948.
November 9 – Lee MacPhail, 95, longtime Major League Baseball executive and the oldest living Hall of Fame member, who also was part of the only father-son duo in the hall along with his father, Larry MacPhail, the man credited with bringing night games to the majors in 1935.
November 14 – Gail Harris, 81, first baseman for the New York Giants and Detroit Tigers from 1955–1960, who holds the distinction of being the last player to hit a home run for the Giants before they moved to San Francisco.
November 17 – Freddy Schmidt, 96, pitcher who played 15 seasons of professional ball, four of them for the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs spanning 1944-47, also a member of the World Champion Cardinals in 1946 and the Phillies' oldest alumnus.
November 22 – Ken Rowe, 78, who pitched professionally for 15 seasons, appearing in the majors from 1963 through 1965 with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Baltimore Orioles, and later working during 21 years in the Cleveland Indians organization at virtually every level of the Indians’ minor-league system.
November 23 – Chuck Diering, 89, outfielder in part of nine seasons from 1947-56 for the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Giants and Baltimore Orioles, who was named Orioles Most Valuable Player in their first year in Baltimore after the St. Louis Browns moved there.
November 23 – Hal Trosky, 76, who pitched briefly for the Chicago White Sox during the 1958 season.
November 24 – Jimmy Stewart, 73, utility man who played every position except pitcher in parts of ten seasons spanning 1963-73, which included stints with the Cubs, Reds, Astros and White Sox.
November 27 – Marvin Miller, 95, executive director of the MLB Players Association from 1966 to 1982, who turned the union into one of the most powerful in the country, after negotiating the first collective bargaining agreement in sports history in 1968.
November 30 – Rogelio Álvarez, 74, Cuban-born American first baseman for the Cincinnati Reds in parts of the 1960 and 1962 seasons.
December 17 – Frank Pastore, 55, middle reliever who posted a 48-58 record with a 4.29 ERA and six saves in 220 games for the Reds and Twins from 1979 to 1986.
The 2011–12 Cuban National Series was the 51st edition of the tournament. It began on Sunday, November 28 with a game between Ciego de Avila and Pinar del Río, with Villa Clara winning 6-5. The All-Star Game was played on February 24, 2011. The regular season finished on March 24.
The 2012 Asia Series was the sixth time the Asia Series was held. The tournament was held in Busan, South Korea, and began on 8 November 2012 with the Final held on 12 November.The tournament included six teams, a two team increase from the previous tournament. As has been the case in previous tournaments, the winners of NPB's 2012 Japan Series, Korea Baseball Organization's (KBO) 2012 Korean Series, Chinese Professional Baseball League's (CPBL) 2012 Taiwan Series and the Australian Baseball League's 2012 Championship Series qualified. The China Baseball League (CBL) returned to the Asia Series, with the 2012 Champion representing the country, and the host team, Busan's Lotte Giants, also participated in the tournament.
The 2012 Asian Baseball Championship is an international baseball competition to be held in Taiwan from November 28 to December 2, 2012. It will be the 26th edition of the tournament. Qualification will not begin until after the completion of the 2012 London Olympics.
Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 2012 proceeded according to rules most recently revised in July 2010. As in the past, the Baseball Writers' Association of America voted by mail to select from a ballot of recently retired players, with results announced on January 9, 2012. The Golden Era Committee, the second of three new era committees established by the July 2010 rules change, replacing the Veterans Committee, convened early in December 2011 to select from a Golden Era ballot of retired players and non-playing personnel who made their greatest contributions to the sport between 1947 and 1972, called the "Golden Era" by the Hall of Fame.The induction class consists of Ron Santo, elected by the Golden Era Committee, and Barry Larkin, elected by the BBWAA.The induction ceremonies were held on July 22, 2012 at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. On July 21, the Hall presented two awards for media excellence—its own Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasters and the BBWAA's J. G. Taylor Spink Award for writers.
The fifty-fourth edition of the Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) baseball competition was played in 2012. It was held from February 2 through February 7 with the champions teams from Dominican Republic (Leones del Escogido), Puerto Rico (Indios de Mayagüez), Venezuela (Tigres de Aragua) and Mexico (Yaquis de Obregón). The format consisted of twelve games, in a double round-robin format with each team facing each other twice. The games were played at Estadio Quisqueya in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
The 2012 European Baseball Championship was an international baseball tournament being held from September 7 to September 16, 2012. The Confederation of European Baseball selected the Netherlands to host the tournament.
The 2012 FCBL season was the second season of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, a wood bat collegiate summer baseball league. The FCBL expanded from the original four teams to nine teams. The Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide and the North Shore Navigators were recruited from the New England Collegiate Baseball League; the Brockton Rox were originally in the Can-Am League; and the Pittsfield Suns and Wachusett Dirt Dawgs were expansion teams. The Nashua Silver Knights repeated as FCBL Champions, defeating the North Shore Navigators in the FCBL Championship Series, 2 games to 0.
The 2012 Junior League World Series took place from August 12–18 in Taylor, Michigan, United States. Rockledge, Florida defeated Oranjestad, Aruba in the championship game. It was Florida's second straight championship.
The Best-of-7 2012 Korean Series began on Tuesday, October 24, at the Daegu Baseball Stadium in Daegu, South Korea. It featured the Samsung Lions, who had claimed homefield advantage by finishing in first place at the end of the regular season, and the SK Wyverns, who finished second during the regular season and defeated the Lotte Giants in a best-of-5 playoff series (3 games to 2) to advance to the Finals. The Samsung Lions won the series in six games to collect their fifth Korean Series championship.
The 2012 Little League World Series started in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, on August 16 and ended on August 26. Eight teams from the United States and eight from throughout the world competed in the 66th edition of this tournament. Tokyo Kitasuna Little League of Tokyo, Japan, defeated Goodlettsville Baseball Little League of Goodlettsville, Tennessee, 12–2 in the World Championship game. For the country of Japan, it was the eighth LLWS championship overall, and the second in three years. This was the last World Series to feature players born in the 1900s.
The 2012 NECBL season was the 19th season of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, a wood bat collegiate summer baseball league. Changes for 2012 included two of the league's East Division franchises from the 2011 season, the Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide and one of the NECBL's charter franchises, the North Shore Navigators leaving the NECBL to join the Futures Collegiate Baseball League. As a result, the league has been reduced to 10 teams, with the Mystic Schooners moving to the East Division.
In the postseason, eight teams (4 from the NECBL East and West Divisions) qualified for the playoffs. In the quarterfinals, Newport defeated Sanford (2 games to 1), New Bedford defeated Laconia (2 games to 0), Keene defeated Vermont (2 games to 0), and Danbury defeated North Adams. In the semifinals, Newport defeated New Bedford (2 games to 0) to advance to their eighth championship series in Newport (9 overall). Also, the Danbury Westerners defeated the Keene Swamp Bats (2 games to 0) to advance to their fourth championship series. In 2 games, the Newport Gulls defeated the Westerners (G1: 9-2, G2: 8-1) to win their fifth Fay Vincent Sr. Cup.
The Qualifying Round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic was held from September 19 to November 19, 2012. Although the 2006 and 2009 editions of the World Baseball Classic were contested by the same pre-selected field of 16 teams, for the 2013 tournament only the 12 teams that won at least one game in 2009 were guaranteed a berth in the main tournament. The other four (Canada, Chinese Taipei, Panama, and South Africa) contested the qualifying round along with 12 additional teams invited by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF).The qualifiers were organized as four independent modified double-elimination tournaments featuring four teams each. The final game was winner-take-all, even if won by the team emerging from the loser's bracket. That is, the team emerging from the winner's bracket might be eliminated despite losing only one game (as, in fact, happened to Israel in Qualifier 1).
Canada and Chinese Taipei dominated in Qualifiers 2 and 4 to advance easily. In Qualifier 1, Spain and Israel both won in the first round, then Israel beat Spain in the winner's bracket. Spain then eliminated South Africa (the only team in the qualifier to have previously contested the WBC) to earn a rematch with Israel, which was without its several Major League players due to the qualifier taking place during the MLB season. Spain won the winner-take-all final game, 9–7 in 10 innings, to advance to the main tournament.
In Qualifier 3, favorites Panama and Nicaragua lost in the first round, and Panama then eliminated Nicaragua. After both teams defeated Colombia, underdog Brazil defeated Panama 1–0 to advance to the main tournament.
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