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Timeline of American and National League Baseball for the Year In Review section. Project expanded to include the National League (1900-1876), Federal League (1915-1914), Players League (1890), Union Association (1884) and American Association (1891-1882).

MLB Timeline by Michael Aubrecht
Written for's Year In Review section.
Sources: Baseball-Almanac, The Baseball Timeline, The Baseball Library, The Baseball Chronicle,,

Off the field…

President Bill Clinton was acquitted of impeachment charges and remained in office despite originally denying that he had improper relations with a White House intern. After a thorough investigation it was later discovered that the president had lied under oath and he eventually confessed and apologized to the American people.

The disturbing trend of violence in American schools reached an all-time high as 2 students entered Columbine High School with an arsenal of weapons and explosives killing 13 of their classmates before taking their own lives.

John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife and sister in-law were killed as their plane, piloted by JFK Jr., crashed en route to a Kennedy cousin's wedding ceremony.

In the American League…

In a surprise move, the New York Yankees traded pitcher David Wells to the Toronto Blue Jays for 5-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens. Both are later reunited in pinstripes on the same Yankee rotation.

Texas Ranger Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez tied the highest batting average for a catcher since Bill Dickey batted .332 in 1937. He also added 35 homers, 25 stolen bases and 113 runs batted in to his cumulative stats.

The Baltimore Orioles traveled to Havana Cuba to play the national team in an exhibition game witnessed by the attending Fidel Castro. The Blackbirds defeated the Cubans 3-2 in an 11-inning affair. Two months later, the tables were turned though as the national team traveled to Camden Yards and crushed the home team 12-6 in the first game ever played between the two countries on American soil.

In the National League…

"The Big Unit", Randy Johnson of the Arizona Diamondbacks, continued to dominate on the hill winning the National League Cy Young with a 17-9 record, 2.48 ERA, 12 complete games and an astonishing 364 strike outs.

On April 23rd, St. Louis Cardinal Fernando Tatis set a major league record as the only player ever to hit 2 grand slams in a single inning as well as the only player ever to hit 8 RBIs in a single frame. Both slams are off of the Los Angeles Dodgers' Chan Ho Park who had certainly seen better days on the mound.

Another Cardinal, Mark McGwire continued to set a new standard at the plate by following up his record-breaking 70-homerun season with 65 more. The St. Louis slugger now held the #1 and #2 spots for single-season performances and belted his 500th career homer only a year after slamming number 400.

Around the league…

Commissioner Bud Selig announced baseball's newest annual award created for the leading hitter in each respective league. Named after Hank Aaron, the citation recognizes the leader in hits, home runs and runs batted in.

The Associated Press reported that the average salary for a major-league ball player had grown to an astonishing $1.7 million dollars a year. The New York Times later printed that the average salary for a New York Yankee was $3 million much to the dismay of the rest of the league.

Baseball announced its 25-man All-Century Team as selected by fan balloting. The line-up included: Lou Gehrig (1B), Jackie Robinson (2B), Cal Ripken Jr. (SS), Mike Schmidt (3B), Babe Ruth (OF), Hank Aaron (OF), Ted Williams (OF), Johnny Bench (C), Nolan Ryan (RHP) and Sandy Koufax (LHP).

Baseball and the world bid farewell to Joe DiMaggio who passed away on May 8th. During his fabled 13-year career, "The Yankee Clipper" captured 13 Most Valuable Player trophies and became one of the most revered players ever to lace up a pair of cleats.

Off the field…

Senator John Glenn blasted off for the second time at age 77 to participate in a study of the effects of weightlessness and space stress on the elderly. The veteran astronaut had no difficulties performing his duties aboard the Space Shuttle and returned to earth with flying colors.

President Bill Clinton was accused of having improper relations with a young, White House intern. Despite denying the allegations, a thorough investigation is conducted and the house proposes the possibility of impeachment.

76 million people tuned in to view the last installment of a "show about nothing" as Seinfeld broadcasted its farewell performance. The series is still the most widely viewed sitcom ever in syndication and has made creator Jerry Seinfeld one of the wealthiest royalty recipients in the history of television.

In the American League…

The Oakland Athletics Rickey Henderson scored the 2,000th run of his career in the A's 15-6 loss to the Cleveland Indians. In doing so, he joined Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Pete Rose, and Willie Mays as the only players to reach the milestone.

Cal Ripken started his 2,500th consecutive game as the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Oakland A's, 8-2. In perspective, the subsequent 22 longest active streaks (combined) add up to less than the "Iron Man's" own total.

Manager Joe Torre's Yankees outplayed the 1927 team and finished the season with an astonishing one hundred, fourteen regular-season wins and eleven postseason victories. The Bombers win column represented the most "Ws" by any team in one hundred, twenty-three years of Major League baseball.

In the National League…

Montreal Expos skipper Felipe Alou tallied his 521st career-win as manager thanks to veteran pitcher Dustin Hermanson who was also the starter in Alou's 400th, 450th, and 500th wins.

On September 8th, St. Louis Cardinal Mark McGwire topped Roger Maris' single-season home run mark by slugging his 62nd of the year off the Chicago Cubs' Steve Trachsel. Fittingly, Sammy Sosa, McGwire's closest running mate in the race to break 61, was in attendance on the field.

San Francisco Giant Barry Bonds hit his 400th home run, off the Florida Marlins' Kirt Ojala and became the first player in major league history to boast 400 homeruns and 400 steals in a career.

Around the league…

Chicago Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray died at the age of 84, four days after collapsing at a Valentine's Day dinner. The Wrigley Field icon, known best for leading the fans in the traditional rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" left behind countless memories from a career that spanned half a century.

In an effort to secure financial stability, the Cleveland Indians requested permission from the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell four million shares of the team to the public.

Congress finally passed a bill that removed part of baseball's 76-year antitrust exemption. The groundbreaking citation was supported by both the owners and the players union and was later signed by President Bill Clinton.

In November, Yankee and A's icon Jim "Catfish" Hunter was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, an ultimately fatal neurological condition better known as "Lou Gehrig's disease."

Off the field…

Lady Diana, the Princess of Wales, and her male companion Dodi Fayed died in a fatal car accident near the River Seine in Paris France. As a fitting tribute at Diana's funeral Sir Elton John sang "Goodbye England's Rose," a reworking of the tune "Candle In the Wind" which he had written earlier about Marilyn Monroe.

Convicted domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh was sentenced to death for the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building. The former U.S. soldier and Gulf War veteran had turned anti-government in response to the controversial ATF raids at Waco Texas and Ruby Ridge.

Scottish scientists announced that they had successfully cloned the first mammal, a sheep named Dolly, igniting a global debate over the advancement of cell research and the moral dilemmas of creating "artificial" life.

In the American League…

In Milwaukee, the Cleveland Indians connected for 8 home runs against the Brewers, setting a franchise record, on the way to an 11-4 victory. Matt Williams homered 3 times, David Justice hit 2 and Sandy Alomar, Manny Ramirez and Chad Curtis added one apiece. The hometeam answered back with 3 of their own by Dave Nilsson, Jeromy Burnitz and John Jaha tying a major league record for most round-trippers in a regulation game.

The Toronto Blue Jays hosted the Montreal Expos in an "all Canadian affair", as part of the new inter-league schedule, marking the first time since World War II that the U.S. National Anthem was not heard before a major league ball game.

New York Yankee David Wells took the mound against the Cleveland Indians apparently wearing a hat that belonged to the late Babe Ruth. The eccentric pitcher was reported as paying $35,000 for the Bambino's cap and wore the heirloom for ½ an inning in which he surrendered no hits. After manager Joe Torre ordered him to remove the hat, in compliance with major league uniform regulations, the lefthander was shelled for 8 hits and 4 runs en route to 12-8 loss.

In the National League…

Deion Sanders, of the Cincinnati Reds; was reprimanded by National League VP Katy Feeney for altering his uniform as a tribute to Jackie Robinson. Sanders wore his pants at knee length and trimmed the sleeves off of his jersey after seeing a photograph of the late Brooklyn Dodger on a Wheaties box. The following day his teammates mimicked his alterations circumventing the league official's decree by promoting team uniformity.

The Colorado Rockies' Andres Galarraga launched a 529-foot grand slam off of the Florida Marlins' Kevin Brown for what is considered to be one of the longest homeruns ever; second only to Mickey Mantle's 565-foot tape-measure blast.

The Florida Marlins became the first expansion team to win the World Series after only 5 years of existence. Although the victory was over the American League powerhouse Cleveland Indians, most fans did not grant the Nationals the respect they deserved citing the team's $89 million dollar payroll as the determining factor. The accusations eventually proved true as the financially strapped owners were forced to dismantle the majority of the franchise in the post-season expansion draft.

Around the league…

In the 50th anniversary year of Jackie Robinson's debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, a special commemorative baseball was issued to every team for use in their opener. Throughout the season many tributes were held to honor Robinson who's number 42 was permanently retired on all major league teams.

Curt Flood, the player whose lawsuit changed the business of baseball forever and resulted in free agency, died of cancer on January 20th. Earlier in the year, Congressman John Conyers paid tribute to the former Red, Cardinal and Senator by using his number 21 on the proposed bill that was intended to remove baseball's antitrust exemption.

The novel concept of inter-league play proved a success as attendance for those games went up 35 percent with records set in Chicago, New York and Seattle. Cumulatively, the 84 American vs. National League match-ups attracted almost 3 million fans with the A.L. winning 48 games and the N.L. topping 36.

Ila Borders became the first female pitcher in history to start a minor league baseball game as the Duluth-Superior Dukes challenged the Sioux Falls Canaries in the Northern League. Borders was credited with two strikeouts while surrendering five hits, three runs and two walks in the 8-3 loss.

Off the field…

After years of investigation, federal law enforcement officials finally captured the Unabomber otherwise known as Ted Kaczynski. The anti-social academic, who developed mail bombs, was captured in a remote cabin after his own brother recognized his writing style in a lengthy manifesto that he anonymously submitted to the Washington Post.

The Summer Olympic Games celebrated its Centenary in Atlanta Georgia as a record-setting 79 nations won medals and 53 won gold. Unfortunately, the festivities were interrupted after a terrorist bomb was detonated in Centennial Olympic Park killing one person and injuring 110 more.

After capturing an unprecedented third straight U.S. Amateur in August, 20 year-old Tiger Woods turned pro and promptly won two tourneys for $790,594. Sports Illustrated selected Woods as the 1996 Sportsman of the Year and he was only getting started.

In the American League…

The Texas Rangers showed no mercy in running up the largest score in the American League in 41 years while massacring the league-leading Baltimore Orioles, 26-7. Sixteen of the runs came in the 56-minute 8th resulting in the largest 8th inning tally in baseball history.

As the Seattle Mariners hosted the Cleveland Indians on May 2nd, an earthquake, measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale, rattled the Kingdome causing the officials to suspend the game. The incident occurred in the 7th inning as the Tribe led 6-3 and after the stadium's structure was thoroughly inspected, play resumed the following day.

The Oakland Athletics' Pedro Munoz hit the longest home run in the 5-year history of Camden Yards on the way to a 6-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles. The 463-foot blast to dead center field came in the 6th inning (with two on) breaking through a 2-2 tie.

In the National League…

New York Mets closer John Franco recorded his 300th save in a 3-2 win over the division-leading Montreal Expos. The left-handed reliever became the first to reach the 300-save mark exactly 12 years to the day (April 29th) after his 1st one, for the Cincinnati Reds, in 1984.

Los Angeles Dodger, Chan Ho Park became the first South Korean pitcher to win in the majors. The right-handed sensation from Kongju tossed four scoreless innings in relief of injured starter Ramon Martinez for the 3-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Eric Davis belted his second grand slam in as many games leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 12-6 triumph over the home team San Francisco Giants. In doing so, the outfielder became the 15th player in major league history to slam round-trippers in back-to-back outings and he went on to add a third slam later in the month.

Around the league…

Prior to the start of the season, major league baseball's Rules Committee announced that the strike zone would be enlarged, dropping it from the top of the knees to just below them. The change came in response to a series of recommendations to help speed up play and increase the television viewing audience that was rapidly depleting.

Popular umpire John McSherry died of a massive heart attack after calling time from behind home plate seven pitches into a Reds-Expos game at Riverfront Stadium. The 21-year veteran had been suffering from a series of medical problems that was aggravated by his obesity.

Roberto Alomar set off a national debate after spitting in the face of umpire John Hirschbeck following an argument and ejection over a called strike in the 1st inning of Baltimore's game against the Toronto Blue Jays. U.S. District Judge Edmund W. Ludwig later prevented other umpires from sitting out the playoffs in protest of the incident, citing a no-strike clause in their contract.

Milt Gaston, a former American League pitcher who played for five teams in the 1920s and 1930s (Yankees, Browns, Nationals, Red Sox, White Sox) died at age 100. Gaston boasted 18 Hall of Fame teammates and managers, more than any player in history of the game.

Off the field…

A massive bomb inside a rental truck exploded outside the Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, demolishing half of the nine-story structure and killing 168 people. Timothy McVeigh, a former U.S. soldier turned domestic terrorist, was later convicted and sentenced to death for the crime in 1997.

Big business got even bigger in 1995 as several mega-media companies merged including ABC and Disney, Westinghouse and CBS and Turner Broadcasting and Time Warner.

Pro Football Hall of Famer and television celebrity O. J. Simpson went on trial for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. The media circus surrounding the event as well as 133 days of televised courtroom testimony turned countless viewers into Simpson trial junkies.

In the American League…

The "Iron Man" finally roped the "Iron Horse" as Baltimore Oriole Cal Ripken Jr. matched Yankee great Lou Gehrig by appearing in his 2,130th consecutive game. The amazing record spanned 16 ½ years and validated the shortstop as modern baseball's most durable, hard-working and determined player.

On September 8th, the Cleveland Indians clinched the American League Central Division after their 123rd game of the season. The feat marked the fastest that any team had ever won a title and moved the Tribe ahead in the AL race by a staggering 23 1/2 games over their closest competitor, the Kansas City Royals.

The Boston Red Sox defeated the New York Yankees, 8-0 as the Beantown Bombers scored all 8 of their runs on grand slams in back-to-back innings (John Valentin and Mo Vaughn). According to a SABR statistician, it was the only game ever to finish with two grand slams accounting for all of the runs scored.

In the National League…

Hideo Nomo became the first Japanese player to appear in the major leagues since 1964 when he tossed five innings for the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 13-inning, 4-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants.

On May 6th, seven National League games resulted in a combined 118 runs that tied the record for the highest-scoring day in NL history. Seven of the fourteen teams scored at least 10 runs, led by the LA Dodgers who totaled 17 in their win over the Colorado Rockies. Ten days later, the Chicago Cubs, New York Mets, San Diego Padres, and Pittsburgh Pirates all tossed shutouts.

The St. Louis Cardinals were awarded the first forfeit victory in the major leagues since July 12, 1979 after fans bombard the field with more than 200 balls that they had received as souvenirs for August 10th's "Ball Day" at Dodger Stadium. The near riot was in reaction to the ejections of Raul Mondesi and manager Tommy Lasorda in the bottom of the 9th.

Around the league…

The '94 strike continued into the '95 season as the players' union chief Donald Fehr declared all 835 unsigned major league players to be free agents in response to unilateral contract changes made by the owners. Five bills aimed at ending the baseball strike were introduced into Congress and both players and owners were ordered by President Clinton to resume bargaining and reach an agreement by February 6. After the deadline passed with no compromises, the use of replacement players for spring training and regular season games was approved by baseball's executive council. Finally on April 25th, the 234-day strike ended although the opening games were played with replacement umpires. The regular officials continued to be locked out until May 3rd.

In September, a three-judge panel in New York voted unanimously to uphold the injunction that brought the end to the strike. Although the owners had appealed the decision, the panel determined that the Players Relations Committee had illegally attempted to eliminate free agency and salary arbitration.

The Commerce Comet, baseball legend Mickey Mantle died at age 63 in Dallas, Texas. The Mick had recently received a liver transplant at Baylor University Hospital and during the surgical procedure doctor's discovered that he had contracted an inoperable form of liver cancer.

In September major league baseball signed a $1.7 billion, 5-year deal with Fox, NBC, ESPN, and Liberty Media.

Off the field…

A major earthquake, measuring 6.7 on the Richter Scale, struck the densely populated San Fernando Valley in northern Los Angeles. In the aftermath, 57 people were killed, 1,500 were injured and over 12,500 building were damaged.

Richard M. Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, who won a record landslide and resigned in disgrace 21 months later died after suffering a stroke at the age of 81.

U.S. national champion figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, a 1992 Olympic bronze medalist and one of the favorites to win the gold medal, was attacked after a practice at the U.S. Olympic trials. It was later discovered that one of her rivals, Tonya Harding and here husband were behind the plot.

In the American League…

Cleveland Indians pitcher Paul Shuey went 4(K's) for 4 in the 9th inning of the Tribe's 9-3 win over the Detroit Tigers. In doing so he became only the 10th pitcher in American League history, (and the first rookie) to strike out four batters in a single inning.

The Twins' Pedro Munoz drove in seven runs to defeat the Detroit Tigers 21-7 as Minnesota became the first team since the 1950 Red Sox to score more than 20 runs in a game, two times in the same season. Their previous rally was a 21-2 homerun derby over the Boston Red Sox.

Kevin Appier, of the Kansas City Royals, set an all-time record (traced back to 1986) after striking out 13 Texas Rangers in only five and 2/3 innings of work. To date, no pitcher, in the history of baseball had ever pitched less than six innings in a game with that many strikeouts.

In the National League…

The Chicago Cubs' Tuffy Rhodes became the first National League player to tally 3 homeruns (all consecutive) on opening day at Wrigley Field. Despite the setback, Dwight Gooden and the New York Mets held on to beat the home team 12-8.

The St. Louis Cardinals set a new major-league record by stranding 16 base runners in a 4-0 shutout by the Philadelphia Phillies. After eight innings, the game remained scoreless, but reliever Mike Perez stumbled in the ninth surrendering two hits, one walk and a 3-run homer.

Jeff Bagwell became the 28th player in major league history to homer twice in the same inning as Houston rallied for nine runs in the sixth during a 16-4 massacre over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Around the league…

The Major League Players Association rejected an owner's salary cap proposal, asking players to split all revenues 50-50. In addition, the citation stated that salary arbitration would be eliminated and free agency for players could be reached after four years in the majors instead of six.

As negotiations continued to heat up, the owners decided to withhold $7.8 million that they were obligated to pay into the players' pension and benefit plans. The final straw fell after the Senate Judiciary Committee failed to approve an antitrust legislation that left the players with little choice but to strike.

On September 14th, the remainder of the baseball season was canceled 34 days into the players' strike. As a result, the World Series was also called off for the first time since 1904. Three months later, the owners unilaterally implemented a salary cap as negotiations remained at a standstill.

Off the field…

On February 26, 1993 more than 1,000 lb. of explosives shook the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York leaving 6 people dead and over 1,000 injured. The incident marked the first time in modern history that a terrorist attack was launched on American soil. Unfortunately, it would not be the last.

After an unsuccessful raid by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms on David Koresh's Branch Davidian compound at Waco, Texas, the FBI and U.S. Army took over, mounting a 51-day siege. The standoff ended in tragedy when a fire broke out as government agents attempted to storm the compound. In the end, all seventy four cult members inside perished.

An attempt by a U.S. Special Forces team (including Delta Force and Army Rangers) to abduct two top lieutenants of a Somali warlord in Mogadishu, Somalia resulted in the downing of two Black Hawk helicopters and the longest sustained firefight involving American troops since the Vietnam War. The following morning, eighteen Americans were dead and more than seventy were badly injured.

In the American League…

Carlos Baerga became the first switch-hitter in major league history to homer from both sides of the plate in the same inning as the Cleveland Indians topped the New York Yankees 15-5.

Kansas City's Greg Gagne belted the 10,000th hit in the history of Detroit's Tiger Stadium, making it the first ballpark to reach that figure. The Royals went on to defeat the home team 12-6.

Carlton Fisk, then with the Chicago White Sox, played in his 2,226 and final major league game, surpassing Bob Boone's record for the most games caught. Following the historical outing, Fisk reluctantly retired with 3,999 total bases, the most ever for a catcher.

In the National League…

The Pittsburgh Pirate's Tim Wakefield set the record for the most pitches thrown in a single game in the 1990s. The Bucco's knuckler tossed 172 en route to a 6-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves. The last pitcher to match Wakefield was the Los Angeles Dodgers' Fernando Valenzuela in 1987.

On July 7th, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies went head-to-head in a twenty-inning marathon that lasted six hours and ten minutes. The grueling contest finally ended after Lenny Dykstra hit a clutch, bases-loaded 2-run double off Rod Nichols for the 7-6 finale.

The San Diego Padres appointed a 29-year-old named Randy Smith as their new Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager, making him the youngest GM in the history of major league baseball.

Around the league…

The Reveran Jesse Jackson accused baseball owners of discrimination practices and threatened to start a selective boycott unless a plan to hire more minorities for front-office jobs was in place by April 5.

Marge Schott, the Cincinnati Reds owner, was fined $25,000 by the commissioner's office and banned for an entire season after several complaints were filed accusing her of using of ethnic and racial slurs.

George Steinbrenner was finally able to resume his role as general partner of the New York Yankees after a suspension from baseball due to questionable dealings with renowned gambler Howard Spira.

In an effort to broaden both leagues and expand post-season opportunities, a vote was cast to divide both the American and National into three divisions and add another round of playoffs featuring two additional wild-card teams.

Off the field…

South-Central Los Angeles burned amidst several days of rioting, following a jury's acquittal of white L.A. police officers that had been videotaped beating a black motorist named Rodney King. The violent protest was the worst civil disobedience incident since the Watts Riots of 1964 and resulted in $785 million in property damage.

America's most notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, was sentenced to fifteen life terms (957 years) in prison for the vicious torture and murder of 17 young men. He himself was murdered in prison by a fellow inmate on November 28, 1994.

Hurricane Andrew, the most destructive United States hurricane of record (a category 4), caused twenty-three deaths in the U.S. and three more in the Bahamas. The massive storm had a peak gust of 164 mph and caused $26.5 billion in damage.

In the American League…

Oakland Athletics outfielder and perennial base thief Rickey Henderson snatched the 1,000th base of his career in the 1st inning of the A's 7-6 win over the Detroit Tigers.

Nolan Ryan, of the Texas Rangers, struck out his 100th batter for a record 23rd year in a row. In doing so, he passed Phil Niekro as number 12 on the all-time win list with 319 victories.

Milwaukee Brewer Robin Yount reached the 3,000th hit of his career as his team lost 5-4 against the Cleveland Indians. He also became the 2nd player in major league history (behind Willie Mays) to record 200 home runs, 200 stolen bases and 100 triples.

In the National League…

Pittsburgh's Andy Van Slyke became the first outfielder in nearly 18 years to record an unassisted double play. As the Pirates took on the Houston Astros, Van Slyke made a running catch in shallow center followed by a tag on Ken Caminiti, who was running from 2nd base on the play.

Los Angeles Dodger Kevin Gross dominated the mound after tossing 99 pitches (71 for strikes) in a no-hitter, 2-0 triumph over the San Francisco Giants.

Eddie Murray topped the New York Yankees' Mickey Mantle for the most RBIs ever by a switch-hitter (1,510) after blasting two home two runs in the Mets 15-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Around the league…

Tom Seaver and Rollie Fingers were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame while Pete Rose, ineligible because of his ban from baseball for allegedly betting on games, surprisingly received 41 write-in votes.

Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi of Japan petitioned the baseball owners for permission to purchase the Seattle Mariners. The owners approved the request 25-1 marking the first non-North American ownership of a major league team.

Commissioner Fay Vincent ordered the realignment of the National League moving the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals into the Western Division. Later in the season, the owners voted 18-9 (with one abstention) calling for Vincent's resignation and the Commissioner obliged them three days after failing to receive a vote of confidence. Baseball's executive council rescinded the National League realignment following Vincent's departure.

In November, baseball held an expansion draft, resulting in 72 selections, to fill the rosters of the National League's two newest teams, the Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies.

Off the field…

In February, the Gulf War conflict between Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and a coalition of 32 nations including the United States, Britain, Egypt, France, and Saudi Arabia took place. The main coalition forces invaded southern Iraq on Feb. 24 and, over the next four days, encircled and defeated the Iraqis while liberating Kuwait. By the time U.S. President George Bush Sr. declared a cease-fire on Feb. 28, most of Hussein's forces had either surrendered or fled.

The "Cold War" between the United States and Russia finally came to an end as Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was ousted by a group of communist radicals. The ill-planned coup soon faltered as infuriated citizens took to the streets of Moscow and other cities in support of Russian President Boris Yeltsin. After Gorbachev reluctantly resigned, the Soviet Union was officially dissolved and 14 regions became independent nations ending 74 years of communist rule.

Basketball icon Magic Johnson stunned the world shortly before the start of the 1991 season after announcing his retirement due to testing positive to the HIV Virus. He later accepted an invitation by the NBA players to his 12th All-Star Game in which he won the MVP honors.

In the American League…

The Detroit Tigers' Cecil Fielder hit a 502-foot home run out of the Milwaukee Brewers' County Stadium, for what was believed to be the first ball ever truly knocked "out of the park". The tape measure blast traveled even further after it landed in the back of a truck that didn't stop until it reached Madison.

On June 6th, the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers combined for 18-innings to tie a major league mark by leaving 45 stranded runners on base. The Royals also set an American League record with 25 of the "castaways" belonging to them.

39 year-old Dave Winfield went 5-for-5 and hit for the cycle as the California Angels defeated the Kansas City Royals 9-4. He completed the sequence in the 8th with a triple becoming the oldest player ever to accomplish the feat.

In the National League…

Darryl Strawberry tied a National League record by striking out five times in a single game as his Los Angeles Dodgers fell 9-3 to the Montreal Expos. The struggling slugger also stumbled in the outfield dropping a fly ball for a 3-base error.

Deion Sanders, who hit .304 in 97 games with the Atlanta Braves made the conversion from baseball to football after practicing with the Atlanta Falcons. Despite the crossover, Sanders led the majors with 14 triples.

Fellow Brave Otis Nixon set a new National League record by stealing six bases during a 7-6 loss to the Montreal Expos and tied the major league record previously set by Eddie Collins, who did it twice in 1912.

Around the league…

Pete Rose continued to make headlines when he was released from a federal prison after serving five months for tax evasion. He was also required to provide 1,000 hours of community service at several of Cincinnati's inner-city schools.

The major league's umpires union voted to sit out Opening Day resulting in amateur officials reporting as replacements. The arbiters, whose contract had expired on December 31st, returned to work the following day with better benefits and an increased starting salary.

During a straw vote held at the owner's meetings in California, the National League voted unanimously to admit Denver Colorado and Miami Florida into the league as expansion teams in 1993.

The Committee for Statistical Accuracy righted a 30-year wrong after officially removing the asterisk attached to Roger Maris' single-season homerun record of 61 in 1961. The committee also defined a no-hit game as one; which ends after nine or more innings with one team failing to get a hit. The decision erased 50 games (mostly shortened) from the list that had previously been considered no-hitters.

Off the field…

The Hubble Space Telescope was originally due to be launched in 1986, but the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger delayed the launch until April of 1990. The twelve-ton telescope was equipped with a 94-inch mirror and was sent into orbit by the astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. Within two months, a flaw in the mirror was discovered, placing in jeopardy the largest investment ever in astronomy. Three years later, the defect was finally repaired by specialists aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor who restored the telescope to its full optical capabilities.

Microsoft Corporation introduced their new operating system Windows 3.0 which featured a graphical user interface similar to the Macintosh platform from Apple. The PC version of the software was geared towards the novice home user and forever changed the world of personal computers. Some of the new features included the use of a mouse, which allowed the user to navigate the screen with a pointer and manipulate data with one hand.

America's favorite dysfunctional cartoon family, The Simpsons debuted as a half hour-comedy on the FOX Network. Created by Matt Groening in 1987, the characters of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie were featured as 30 second spots on The Tracey Ullman Show before going solo in 1990. The controversial series had been repeatedly confirmed by fans and critics to be one of the most humorous and lifelike portraits of the average American family and it received the 1990 and 1991 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Animated Program.

In the American League…

The Seattle Mariner's Randy Johnson tossed the franchise's first no-hitter with a 2-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers. The "Big Unit", who earned his nickname as the tallest pitcher in major league history at six feet ten inches, struck out eight batters and walked six with fifty of his pitches clocked at ninety-four miles per hour or above.

As a tribute to days gone by, the Chicago White Sox held a throwback tribute to honor their 1917 World Championship team. The players donned old-fashioned uniforms and the promoters at Comiskey Park scaled all concessions back to World War I prices. The home team went on to lose 12-9 at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers in a thirteen inning nail-biter.

The Minnesota Twins set a major league record by pulling off 2 triple plays in the same game, one in the fourth and another in the eighth. Both were started on grounders to third baseman Gary Gaetti who had started five of the Twins' last six triple efforts. Despite the record, the Red Sox went on to win 1-0. The following day both teams combined to set yet another major league mark for defensive plays when Boston hit into six double plays and Minnesota grounded into four. The previous mark of nine DPs was last accomplished on April 15, 1961.

In the National League…

The National League announced it plans to expand from 12 to 14 teams for the 1993 season opening the doors for expansion franchises in Denver and Miami. The price of admission into the NL was set at a whopping 95 million dollars.

Eddie Murray of the Los Angeles Dodgers homered from both sides of the plate during a 6-2 win over the San Francisco Giants. In doing so he became the first major leaguer to pull the feat in both the National and American Leagues.

Chicago Cubs' ace Greg Maddux set a major-league record for pitchers when he recorded seven putouts in a 4-0 win over the LA Dodgers. Over the course of the season he recorded 39 putouts for the year to tie Vic Willis for the National League mark set in 1904. Maddux went on to match it again both in 1991 and 1993.

Around the league…

The Boston Red Sox hired Elaine Weddington as their newest assistant General Manager, making her the highest-ranking black female in the major leagues.

The major league owners unanimously refused to open Spring Training camps without a new Basic Agreement with the Players' Association. The standoff resulted in a 32 day lockout that postponed the start of the regular season by one week.

Both players and owners eventually reached a collective-bargaining agreement that increased the clubs' contributions to the players' pension fund, raised the minimum major league salary to $100,000 and also set a compromise on salary arbitration that left 17 percent of the players with two and three years experience eligible.

On April 10th, President George Bush Sr. became the first US president to throw out a first pitch on foreign soil after he was invited to the Toronto home opener by the Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. The Blue Jays later went on to beat the Texas Rangers (who were owned by a group led by George Bush Jr.) by a score of 2-1.

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All essays researched and written by Michael Aubrecht.
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