The Cubs post their 116th victory of the season when they beat Pittsburgh at Exposition Park, 4-0. Chicago, who sets a major league mark for wins, completes the season with an astounding .763 winning percentage.
Reds right-hander Christy Mathewson faces Mordecai Brown of the Cubs in the career finale for each pitcher, marking the first time that two future Hall of Famers have made their final appearance in the same game. Both Cooperstown-bound hurlers go the distance in Cincinnati's 10-8 victory at Chicago's Weeghman Park.
At Griffith Stadium, Calvin Coolidge becomes the first U.S. President to attend a World Series opener. The Giants edge the hometown Senators in 12 innings, 4-3.
For the first time in the 50-year history of the franchise, the Cubs end the season in last place. The team, managed by Bill Killefer (33-42), Rabbit Maranville (23-30), and George Gibson (12-14), compiles a 68-86 record and finishes 27.5 games behind the first-place Pirates.
On the final day of the season at Sportsman's Park, Tiger outfielder Ty Cobb and Browns first baseman George Sisler, the player-managers of their respective teams, face one another as mound opponents, making it the first time in which both teams use a position player to pitch in relief in the same game, an oddity that will not occur again until 2012. The Georgia Peach throws a perfect final frame in Detroit's 11-7 victory over St. Louis, with 'Gorgeous George' facing only seven batters in his two scoreless innings.
Senators owner Clark Griffith, hinting that he may name himself as the next skipper of the club, announces Walter Johnson will not be returning to manage the team next season. The Washington legend, after compiling a 350-264 (.570) record during his four seasons at the helm, will be replaced by Joe Cronin, who will lead the club to an American League pennant next year.
In a one-game playoff, the Indians, behind rookie Gene Bearden, beat the Red Sox for the AL flag, 8-3. It is the young knuckleballer's 20th victory of the season.
During Game 1, Giants outfielder Monte Irvin becomes the first player to steal home in a World Series contest since 1928. Twenty-three years ago, Bob Meusel of the Yankees swiped the dish in a 7-3 victory over the Cardinals during the sixth inning of Game 3.
In the opening game of the World Series‚ the first all-black outfield in major league history makes its appearance when Monte Irvin, Willie Mays, and Hank Thompson take the field for the Giants at Yankee Stadium. Leo Durocher, in a curious move, replaces the previously injured outfielder Don Mueller in right field with Hank Thompson, a third baseman by trade, and uses veteran outfielder Bobby Thomson at the hot corner.
In an eventual 11-7 victory in Game 5, Mickey Mantle sends a Russ Meyer pitch into the upper deck to become only the fourth player in World Series history to hit a grand slam. The Yankees slugger joins teammate Gil McDougald (1951), Elmer Smith (1920), and Tony Lazzeri (1936) in accomplishing the feat.
After more than half a century of futility, the Dodgers finally win a World Championship, thanks to Johnny Podres' 2-0 shutout of the Yankees in the Bronx. The turning point of the historic contest proves to be an outstanding catch by defensive replacement Sandy Amoros in the sixth inning that robs Yogi Berra of an extra base hit with two on, resulting in a rally-robbing double play.
With his 3-for-4 performance in Game 3, Hank Bauer establishes a major league record by collecting at least one hit in 17 consecutive World Series games. The Yankee outfielder sets the mark playing in three straight Fall Classics from 1956 to 1958.
Fred Haney, stating he wants to spend more time with his family, resigns as the Braves manager and will be replaced by Charlie Dressen. During his three-and-a-half year tenure in the Milwaukee dugout, the 64 year-old embattled skipper compiled a 341-231 (.596) record, resulting into two second-place finishes, two pennants, and a World Championship.
When Willie Mays scores on a surprise bunt by Jose Pagan in Game 1, Whitey Ford sees his World Series consecutive scoreless inning streak come to an end at 33 2/3 innings. Clete Boyer's seventh-inning home run, however, helps Ford win a record 10th and his final Fall Classic victory as the Yankees defeat the Giants, 6-2.
Thirty minutes after their 9-2 loss to Chicago on the last day of the season, the Giants fire manager Alvin Dark, and then name Herman Franks, a coach on the team, to be his successor. The former controversial skipper, rumored to be on the chopping block before the start of the season, is quoted complaining about the number of black and Hispanic players on his team in a Newsday article printed in August, telling Stan Issacs, "they are just not able to perform up to the white player when it comes to mental alertness".
In the first ever League Championship Series playoff game, the Mets beat the Braves 9-5 in Atlanta.
The Orioles defeat Minnesota in Game 2 of the ALCS, 1-0, with the game's lone run coming from a Mark Belanger single, two ground outs, and a bunt single by Paul Blair in the bottom of the 11th inning at Memorial Stadium. Dave McNally goes the distance in the longest complete-game shutout in postseason history.
At Montreal's Parc Jarry, the Mets end the 1972 campaign beating the Expos, 3-1. Although New York finishes ten games over .500, they will become the first club in baseball history to finish a season without any player collecting 100 hits.
The 17-1 trouncing of the of the Twins proves to be a very historic day for Willie Wilson. The Royals outfielder is the first big league player to be credited with 700 at-bats in one season, sets the American League record for singles in a season with 184, and joins Garry Templeton to become only the second switch-hitter in history to collect 100 hits from each side of the plate.
The Reds, who blank Atlanta, 3-0, finish with the best record in the National League strike-shortened season (66-42), but will not participate in the postseason. The team does not qualify because the Dodgers and Astros post better records, respectively, for the first half (pre-strike) and second half (post-strike) of play in the Western Division and will face one another in the first-ever 'NLDS', under a plan instituted mid-season by Giants executive Al Rosen to salvage the season.
New York sweeps a doubleheader from Boston at Fenway Park, 5-3 and 3-1. Yankee closer Dave Righetti saves both ends of the twin bill, bringing his major league record total to 46.
In a 7-3 victory over Chicago at the Metrodome, Greg Gagne hits two inside-the-park home runs in the same game, both off Floyd Bannister. The light-hitting Twins shortstop becomes just the 18th modern major leaguer to accomplish this rare feat.
Defeating the Blue Jays 1-0, the Tigers win the American League East title. Toronto loses their last seven games of the season, including three straight in the season-ending series at Tiger Stadium to complete one of the greatest collapses in baseball history.
On the last day of the season at Arlington Stadium, Charlie Hough and the Rangers lose to the Mariners, 7-4. The Texas knuckleballer is the last pitcher to start 40 games in a season.
At 22 years, 11 months, and 19 days, Rangers slugger Juan Gonzalez becomes the youngest home run champion in baseball history. 'Juan Gone', who goes deep 43 times during the season, is 46 days younger than Joe DiMaggio, who won the crown playing with the Yankees in 1937.
In the season finale, the Dodgers are beaten by the Astros, 3-0, to finish the season with a 63-99 record. It is the first time since 1905 the team has finished in last place.
On the last day of the season, Rey Ordonez extends the major league record to 100 errorless games at shortstop, handling 411 chances flawlessly during this span for the Mets. The New York infielder will add another game to the streak on Opening Day next season, before committing an error the next day at the Tokyo Dome.
In a one-game playoff for the NL wild card, the Mets beat the Reds at Cinergy Field, 5-0. New York southpaw Al Leiter goes the distance, limiting Cincinnati to only two hits.
Barry Bonds ties Mark McGwire's single-season home run record established three years ago as he hits his 70th round-tripper. The historic homer, a shot to right-center at Enron Field, is given up in the ninth inning by Astro rookie hurler Wilfredo Rodriguez in a Giant 10-2 victory.
With his third inning home run, 42 year-old Rickey Henderson breaks Ty Cobb's record to become the leading run-scorer in baseball history. To punctuate scoring his 2,246th run, the Padre outfielder slides into home.
Appearing in a game against the Red Sox at Camden Yards, Oriole outfielders Tim Raines and Tim Raines Jr. become the second father-son combination to play for the same team on the major league level. Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. both played for the Mariners in 1990.
Alex Rodriguez, scoring the lone run the Rangers'16-1 loss to Seattle, hits his 52nd home run, becoming only the fourth major leaguer to hit 50 home runs and 200 hits in the same season. The 26 year-old shortstop joins Hall of Famers Babe Ruth (1921), Hack Wilson (1930), and Jimmie Foxx (1932) in accomplishing the rare feat.
The A's become the first team in postseason history to hit consecutive home runs to start a game. The back-to-back homers are hit by leadoff man Ray Durham (an inside-the-park round tripper) and Scott Hatteberg.
Commissioner Bud Selig apologizes to St. Louis fans for the late playoff start time for the Cardinal and Diamondback Game 1 NLDS game, and promises it will not happen again. The 10 p.m. CDT start was due to many of the playoff teams coming from the west and baseball's desire not to have two games being played at the same time.
The Cubs win their first postseason series victory since 1908 when the franchise won the World Series. In front of a standing-room crowd of 54,357 at Turner Field, Chicago beat the Braves in the deciding Game 5 of the NLDS, 5-1.
At Pro Player Stadium, Jeff Conine's perfect peg to catcher Ivan Rodriguez, who holds onto the ball after a collision at home, advances the Marlins to the NLCS. The Florida outfielder's throw to the plate nails J.T. Snow trying to score on Jeffrey Hammonds' single for the final out of the team's 7-6 victory over the Giants in the deciding Game 4 of the NLDS.
The Red Sox avoid an 0-3 deficit in the ALDS when Trot Nixon's pinch-hit 11th inning walk-off homer beats Oakland, 3-1. It is the fifth time in postseason play that a round-tripper has ended a game, and the first by a pinch-hitter since Kirk Gibson's historic homer off Dennis Eckersley to win Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.
Two-time National League Manager of the Year (1990 and 1992 Pirates) Jim Leyland is named to replace Alan Trammell, who was fired as the Tigers’ manager yesterday. The sixty-year old, who guided the Marlins to a World Championship in 1997, has not managed since resigning as the Rockies skipper in 1999.
With John Hart’s resignation yesterday, the Rangers name his assistant Jon Daniels to be the team’s general manager. The 28 year-old, who is ten months younger than BoSox boss Theo Epstein, becomes the youngest GM in big league history.
Citing the need for a different kind of communicator in the dugout, Jon Daniels, one year after he becomes the youngest GM in big league history, fires veteran skipper Buck Showalter. The Ranger manager compiled a 319-329 record during his four-year tenure in Texas.
Russell Martin's double kills a promising two on and none out rally as both Dodgers runners are nailed at home. Jeff Kent and J.D. Drew both try to score, but the relay from right fielder Shawn Green to second baseman Jose Valentin to Paul Lo Duca gives the catcher an opportunity to tag each runner during their headfirst slides into the plate.
The Dodgers complete a three-game NLDS sweep of Chicago with a 3-1 victory, winning their first postseason series since 1998. The stunning loss in the playoffs extends the World Series drought for the Cubs into another century.
On the last day of the season in the team's 10-2 victory at Tampa Bay, the Yankees break a franchise record, thanks to Alex Rodriguez's three-run blast in the ten-run sixth inning, by hitting their 243rd homer of the season. In the same frame, A-Rod goes deep again, this time with the bases loaded, to extend the club's mark, and the third baseman sets a new American League record, collecting seven RBI's in one inning.
On the last day of the campaign, Miguel Tejada hits a fourth-inning double off Nelson Figueroa in the Astros' 4-0 loss in New York to finish the season with 46, the most in the National League. The Astros' shortstop, who also was tops the AL with 50 two-baggers playing for the Orioles in 2005, is the first player in baseball history to have led both leagues in doubles.
A day after the season ends, the last place Pirates fire John Russell, who equaled a franchise record for most losses by a manager in three seasons, compiling a 186-299 record. The other Buc skipper with as many defeats in the same time frame was Fred Haney, posting a 163-299 record from 1953-55.
The Mets fire manager Jerry Manuel and general manager Omar Minaya, a day after the team completes its fourth consecutive disappointing season. Assistant GM John Ricco will be the head of baseball operations on an interim basis until a new GM is hired, who in turn will select the team's next manager.
Major League Baseball approves a change in the ground rules for Tropicana Field, making a batted ball that caroms off the A- and B-ring catwalks a dead ball with the pitch not counting, instead of being in play as in the past. The Rays requested the change, which will be implemented in the upcoming ALDS, after Jason Kubel’s two-out, ninth-inning pop up hit off one of the catwalks, driving in the go-ahead run in Minnesota’s eventual 8-6 victory over the home team.
On a day three managers are sacked, the Reds give their skipper, Dusty Baker, a two-year contract extension through 2014. Cincinnati is making its first playoff appearance in 15 years.
The Indians name Chris Antonetti as the team's new general manager, with former GM Mark Shapiro moving into his new position as team president. The transition has been developing over the past few years with Antonetti gradually being given a bigger role in Cleveland's day-to-day operations, giving Shapiro more time to run the business side of the franchise.
Diamondbacks interim manager Kirk Gibson is given the permanent job, agreeing to a two-year deal with a team option for 2013. The former hard-nosed major leaguer compiled a 34-49 record for the last-place team, after being hired midseason to replace A.J. Hinch.
A day after the regular season comes to an end, the Red Sox fire Bobby Valentine, just ten months into his tenure as their manager. In their worst campaign since 1965, the team finishes in last place with a 69-93 record.
It takes the Giants six-hours and 23-minutes to defeat Washington at Nationals Park, 2-1, making Game 2 of the NLDS the longest contest in postseason history. San Francisco scores the eventual winning run in the top of the 18th thanks to Brandon Belt’s solo home run off Tanner Roark, hours after the team had sent the game into extra innings by scoring the tying run with two outs in the top of the ninth.
In an effort to add more drama to the final day of the regular season, MLB schedules all games to start simultaneously at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The scheduling, similar to the English Premier League’s "Survival Sunday”, also evens the playing field by limiting teams' ability to rest potential playoff starters based on the results of contests played earlier in the day.