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1983 in Baseball
The following are the baseball events of the year 1983 throughout the world.
Major League Baseball
Awards and honors
MLB statistical leaders
Major league baseball final standings
- January 10 - New York Supreme Court Justice Richard Lane issues a preliminary injunction barring the Yankees from playing their season-opening series with the Detroit Tigers in Denver. The club had sought to move the games because it feared off-season renovations to Yankee Stadium would not be completed for the series April 11-13.
- January 11 - For the third time in eight years, New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner hired Billy Martin as manager. Martin replaces Clyde King who will move to the front office.
- January 12 - Brooks Robinson and Juan Marichal are elected to the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Robinson becomes the 14th player to be elected in his first year of eligibility.
- January 19 - The Los Angeles Dodgers trade Ron Cey to the Chicago Cubs for two minor leaguers, leaving Bill Russell as the last remaining member of an infield tandem that had been together since 1974. Russell would remain with the Dodgers until retiring after the 1986 season.
- February 5 - The Kansas City Royals traded minor league prospect Cecil Fielder to the Toronto Blue Jays for 32-year old outfielder Leon Roberts, who will retire after two mediocre seasons in Kansas City. "Big Daddy" will go on to enjoy several MVP like caliber seasons during his 13-year tenure in the Major Leagues, having his best years playing with The Detroit Tigers.
- April 5 - Tom Seaver pitches six scoreless innings in his return to the New York Mets in front of 46,687 fans at Shea Stadium. He does not, however, factor in the decision, as he is matched by Philadelphia Phillies ace Steve Carlton until the Mets break through for two runs in the seventh to make Doug Sisk the winner of their season opener.
- April 7 - Major League Baseball, ABC, and NBC agree to terms of a six-year television package worth $1.2 billion. The two networks will continue alternative coverage of the All-Star Game, the playoffs and the World Series through the 1989 season with each of the 26 clubs receiving $7 million per year in return. The last package gave each club $1.9 billion per year.
- April 13 - Philadelphia Phillies catcher Bo Díaz accomplishes something that only 11 other Major League players have in the 150-plus year history of the sport: a "Sayonara Slam" (a walk off Grand Slam in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs and his team trailing by three runs). With the New York Mets leading the Phillies, 9-6, and the Phillies down to their last out, Díaz drives a 2-1 Neil Allen pitch out of Veterans Stadium to win the game for the Phillies, 10-9.
- April 15
- Against the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park, Milt Wilcox of the Detroit Tigers has his bid for a perfect game broken up with two out in the ninth by a Jerry Hairston single. The hit is the only one Wilcox allows in defeating the White Sox 6-0. Wilcox was also bidding to pitch the first no-hitter by a Tiger since Jim Bunning in 1958. The perfect game would also have made the White Sox and Tigers the first teams to record perfect games against each other; the Tigers were on the losing end of Charlie Robertson's perfect game on April 30, 1922.
- Steve Garvey came back to Dodger Stadium as a Padre and earned lots of cheers before 53,392 fans as he tied Billy Williams N.L. record for most consecutive games played with his 1,117th consecutive game.
- April 16 - Padres first baseman Steve Garvey played in his 1,118th consecutive game, breaking Billy Williams N.L record. Garvey goes 2 for 4 in the Padres 8-5 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
- April 17 - Nolan Ryan fans seven Expos in a 6-3 Houston win. Ryan became the second pitcher with 3,500 strikeouts.
- April 27 - Nolan Ryan strikes out Brad Mills of the Montréal Expos. It is the 3,509th strikeout of Ryan's career, breaking the long time record established by Walter Johnson.
- July 4 - Left-handed pitcher Dave Righetti throws the Yankees' first no-hitter since Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series, handcuffing the Boston Red Sox 4-0 before a holiday crowd of 41,077 at Yankee Stadium. It is the first no-hitter by a Yankee left-handed pitcher since George Mogridge in 1917.
- July 6 - In the 50th anniversary All-Star Game at Chicago's Comiskey Park, the American League routs the National League 13-3 for its first win since 1971. The AL breaks the game open with seven runs in the 4th inning, highlighted by Fred Lynn's grand slam -- the first ever in an All-Star competition. It is Lynn's 4th All-Star homer, tying him with Ted Williams for the AL record.
- July 18 - Philadelphia Phillies' general manager Paul Owens fires manager Pat Corrales (even though his team is in first place) and takes over as manager himself.
- July 24 - In the game now known as the Pine Tar Game, George Brett hits an apparent go-ahead 2-run home run off of Goose Gossage in the ninth inning of a game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. However, Yankees manager Billy Martin challenges that Brett's bat has more than the 18 inches (460 mm) of pine tar allowed, and home plate umpire Tim McClelland upholds Martin's challenge. After being called out and having the home run nullified, Brett goes ballistic and charges out of the dugout after McClelland. The AL president's office later upholds the Kansas City Royals protest, restoring the home run, and the game is completed on August 18, with the Royals winning 5-4.
- July 29 - Steve Garvey, first baseman for the San Diego Padres dislocates his thumb, and ends his streak of 1,207 consecutive games played. It is still the National League record for consecutive games played.
- August 6 - Kansas City Royals starter Eric Rasmussen tosses a 4-0 shutout against the Boston Red Sox in his first ever start in the American League. Having already shut out the San Diego Padres in his major league debut for the St. Louis Cardinals on July 21, 1975, Rasmussen becomes the only major league pitcher to ever pitch a shutout in his first National League start and his first American League start.
- August 24 - Against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field, Chuck Rainey of the Chicago Cubs has a no-hitter broken up with two out in the ninth on an Eddie Milner single. The hit is the only one Rainey allows in defeating the Reds 3-0. A no-hitter would not only have been the first by a Cub, but the first one the Cubs are involved in, since Milt Pappas in 1972.
- September 13 - Dan Quisenberry the famed Kansas City Royals relief pitcher breaks John Hiller for most saves in a season with his 39th save. The submariner pitcher record the final two outs in a 4-3 victory over The California Angels.
- September 17 - The Chicago White Sox defeat the Seattle Mariners 4-3 at old Comiskey Park, clinching their first division title. It secures their first post season berth since 1959, and the last the team has at old Comiskey.
- September 19 - Steve Howe misses a Dodgers' team flight to Atlanta and refuses a drug test. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn convenes an investigation and it is revealed that Howe was being treated by a doctor but not in drug rehab. Howe sits out the remainder of the season.
- September 20 - In the first inning of a 14-1 rain-shortened five-inning victory over The Baltimore Orioles. The Detroit Tigers stroke 10 consecutive hits on 11 runs. Detroit's opening offense ties the American League record for runs scored to start the game, which was established by the Boston Americans in 1901.
- September 23 - Steve Carlton of the Philadelphia Phillies records his 300th career win; a 6-2 defeat of the St. Louis Cardinals at old Busch Stadium.
- September 26 - Bob Forsch of the St. Louis Cardinals no-hits the Montreal Expos 3-0 at Busch Memorial Stadium. The no-hitter is the second of his career; he pitches his first in 1978.
- September 27 - Tim Raines becomes the first player since Ty Cobb to steal 70 bases and drive in 70 runs in the same season.
- September 28 - The Philadelphia Phillies clinch the National League East championship with the 7000th win in their history, 13-6, over the Chicago Cubs.
- September 29 - Rookie Mike Warren of the Oakland Athletics no-hits the Chicago White Sox 3-0 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
- October 1 - Carl Yastrzemski played his last MLB game at Fenway Park. During his farewell appearance, he lapped the entire field to say thanks to his illustrious 23-year career all with The Red Sox.
- October 2 - Inspired by the outpouring of tributes lavished on retiring Boston Red Sox star Carl Yastrzemski, the producers of Boston phone-in radio show The Sports Huddle on radio station WHDH, decide to do a satirical tribute to Vern Rapp, who also plans to retire at the end of the season after five years as first-base coach of the Montreal Expos (1979-1983). On the last day of the regular season, they proceeded with their tongue in cheek tribute to Rapp, including a mock telethon in which phone callers were invited to pledge money to Rapp's retirement fund (a substantial sum was actually pledged, though no money was collected), and a song to the tune of Bye Bye Birdie ("Bye Bye Vern Rapp"). The program turned out to be anything but a spoof, though. St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster Mike Shannon spoke admiringly of the man, and Rapp, reached by telephone in Montreal, was choked up by the whole affair. WHDH also conducted a telephone interview with Sheldon Bender, vice-president of player personnel for the Cincinnati Reds. Until the station called, Bender was unaware that Rapp was leaving the Expos. Bender suggested Rapp at a meeting the next day at which the Reds' bosses were discussing whether to fire Manager Russ Nixon. One thing led to another, and Rapp received a surprise phone call from Bob Howsam, who had returned from his own retirement to try to arrest the declining fortunes of the Reds. Rapp decided that becoming the Reds' skipper was worth unretiring for, and accepted the job on October 5. WHDH sent Rapp the cassette recording of what turned out to be a most momentous broadcast. Bender admitted "Vern wasn't a candidate for the job until the station called."
- October 6 - In the second game of the American League Championship Series, Oriole hurler Mike Boddicker throws a five-hitter and beat The Chicago White Sox at Memorial Stadium, 4-0. The Baltimore right hander, whose performance even the series, establish s new LCS record by striking out 14 batters.
- October 8 - In front of 64,494 fans at Veterans Stadium, The Phillies win the NLCS behind the pitching of Steve Carlton and the power of Gary Matthews 3-run homer 7-2. The Phillies made the World Series for only the fourth time in franchise history (1915, 1950, 1980 and now 1983)
- October 16 - Eddie Murray slams a pair of home runs and Scott McGregor pitches a five-hitter as the Baltimore Orioles beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-0 and win the 1983 World Series in Game Five. Baltimore catcher Rick Dempsey, who hits .385 with four doubles and a home run, is the Series MVP.
- October 30 - Boston Red Sox farmhands John Mitchell, Anthony Latham and Scott Skripko, are deep-sea fishing off the coast of Florida when their boat capsizes. Boat owner Mark Zastrowmy and Latham drown. Skripko and Mitchell survive over 20 hours in the water by clinging to debris; Skripko holds onto a cooler for 20 hours and Mitchell a bucket for 22 hours.
- November 2 - John Denny who tallied 20 of the 24 writers' first-place votes to win The National League Cy Young Award, easily out-distancing runners-up Mario Soto and Jessie Orosco. The Prescott, Arizona native posted a 19-6 record and a 2.37 ERA for The National League Champion Phillies.
- November 8:
- Mets reliever Jessie Orosco received four votes for the National League Most Valuable Player Award, ending a six-year drought in which not one player on the team received a single vote for the award. The last time a writer cast an MVP vote for a New York National Leaguer was on the 1976 ballot when Tom Seaver was given consideration.
- Dale Murphy (.302, 36 homers and 121 RBIs) joins Ernie Banks, Joe Morgan and Mike Schmidt as one of the four players to wim the National League MVP in consecutive years. The soft-spoken Atlanta Braves outfielder receives 21 of the 24 votes cast by the writers.
- November 16 - Cal Ripken Jr. of the World Champions of 1983 Baltimore Orioles was named American League MVP. He got 322 votes to earn that award.
- November 17 - Three current Kansas City Royals players (Willie Wilson, Willie Aikens, Jerry Martin) and former Royal Vida Blue are convicted of attempting to purchase cocaine, and sentence to short prison terms. It is a foreshadowing of the coming drug scandal that rocks the sport throughout the 1980s.
- November 21 - Darryl Strawberry of the New York Mets was named the National League Rookie of the Year award. That season he hit 26 home runs, stole 19 bases and had 74 RBIs while hitting .257.
- November 22:
- December 16:
- January 9 - Stan Spence, 67, four-time All-Star outfielder who played for the Boston Red Sox, Washington Senators and St. Louis Browns for nine seasons between 1940 and 1949.
- January 10 - Gil Torres, 67, shortstop and third baseman who played in 346 games for the Senators (1940 and 1944-1946).
- January 23 - Phil Piton, 80, president of the Minor Leagues from 1964 through 1971.
- January 26 - Chet Laabs, 70, All-Star outfielder for the St. Louis Browns who hit two home runs in 1944's final game to clinch the Browns' only American League pennant; his 11-season (1937-1947) career also included service with the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Athletics.
- January 26 - Del Rice, 60, catcher who appeared in 1,309 games over 17 MLB seasons (1945-1961) for five clubs, principally the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Braves; coach for Los Angeles/California Angels (1962-1966) who managed 1972 Angels to a 75-80 record.
- February 3 - Trader Horne, 83, relief pitcher for the 1929 Chicago Cubs.
- February 6 - Mal Moss, left-handed pitcher who worked in 12 games for 1930 Cubs.
- February 9 - Jackie Hayes, 76, second baseman who played in 1,091 games in 14 seasons for the Washington Senators and Chicago White Sox from 1927 to 1940.
- February 16 - Melba Alspaugh, 58, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League outfielder.
- February 19 - Frank Colman, 64, outfielder who appeared in 271 career games for Pittsburgh Pirates (1942-1946) and New York Yankees (1946-1947); member of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.
- March 3 - Jennings Poindexter, 72, pitcher for the Red Sox and Cardinals in the 1930s.
- March 10 - Connie Desmond, 75, play-by-play broadcaster for the New York Yankees and Giants (1942) and Brooklyn Dodgers (1943-1956).
- March 12 - Bob Hall, 59, pitcher for the Boston Braves (1949-50) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1953).
- March 18 - Frank Oceak, 70, longtime minor-league infielder and manager who spent 11 years in MLB as a coach for the Pirates (1958-1964 and 1970-1972) and Cincinnati Reds (1965); third-base coach of 1960 and 1971 World Series champions.
- March 30 - Joe Cicero, 72, shortstop who played for the 1929-1930 Boston Red Sox as a teenager, disappeared into the minor leagues for over a decade, then returned to the majors at age 34 for the 1945 Philadelphia Athletics during the World War II manpower shortage.
- April 1 - Calvin Chapman, 72, outfielder, second baseman and shortstop who appeared in 111 games for the 1934-1935 Cincinnati Reds.
- April 9 - Bill Kennedy, 62, southpaw pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns, Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox and Cincinnati Redlegs over eight seasons between from 1948 and 1957.
- April 10 - Chet Johnson, 65, left-handed pitcher who appeared in 586 games during an 18-year minor-league career, but only five contests for 1946 St. Louis Browns; brother of fellow southpaw pitcher Earl Johnson.
- April 11 - Mike Menosky, 88, outfielder for the Pittsburgh Rebels, Washington Senators and Boston Red Sox between 1914 and 1923.
- April 12 - Carl Morton, 39, pitcher with the Montréal Expos and Atlanta Braves, who was named the National League Rookie of the Year in 1970.
- April 17 - Emil "Dutch" Leonard, 74, five-time All-Star pitcher who employed the knuckleball in earning 191 wins over 20 seasons between 1933 and 1953 with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Washington Senators, Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs; one of four flutter-ball artists who were regular starting pitchers for the 1945 Senators.
- April 18 - Woody Rich, 77, pitcher for the Red Sox and Braves Boston teams between 1939 and 1944.
- April 22 - Mike Schemer, 65, first baseman who played 32 games for 1945-1946 New York Giants.
- April 25 - Carlos Paula, 55, Cuban outfielder, first black player in Washington Senators history (September 6, 1954); batted .271 in 157 games over all or part of three seasons through June 1956.
- May 16 - Mel Wright, 55, relief pitcher in 58 career games for St. Louis Cardinals (1954-1955) and Chicago Cubs (1960-1961), then a coach for five MLB clubs for 13 seasons between 1962 and 1983; member of Montreal Expos' staff at the time of his death.
- May 20 - Fred Schulte, 82, center fielder for St. Louis Browns, Washington Senators and Pittsburgh Pirates from 1927 to 1937 who batted .291 in 1,179 games.
- July 7 - Vic Wertz, 58, All-Star right fielder and first baseman for five AL teams over 17 years (1947-1963) who had five 100-RBI seasons, but was best remembered for his long fly ball caught spectacularly by Willie Mays in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series.
- July 19 - Joe Beggs, 72, pitcher who led National League in saves in 1940 as standout reliever for the World Series champion Cincinnati Reds; also hurled for New York Yankees and New York Giants during his nine-year (1938, 1940-1944, 1946-1948) MLB career.
- August 6 - Jimmy Wasdell, 69, outfielder/first baseman who appeared in 888 games for five MLB teams over 11 seasons (1937-1947).
- August 13 - Charlie Gilbert, 64, outfielder for three NL clubs over six seasons (1940-1943 and 1946-1947); son and brother of big leaguers.
- August 16 - Earl Averill, 81, Hall of Fame center fielder for the Cleveland Indians who batted .318 lifetime and had five 100-RBI seasons; his line drive off Dizzy Dean's foot in the 1937 All-Star game led to the end of Dean's career; his son had a seven-year MLB career in 1950s and 1960s.
- October 12 - Charlie Engle, 80, infielder who played in 87 games for the Philadelphia Athletics (1925-1926) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1930).
- October 18 - Willie "Puddin' Head" Jones, 58, "Whiz Kid" and All-Star third baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies (1947-1959), who led the National League in fielding percentage five times and in putouts seven times.
- October 23 - Buck Crouse, 86, lefty-swinging backup catcher who appeared in 470 games over eight years (1923-1930) with Chicago White Sox.
- October 28 - Ray Sanders, 66, first baseman for St. Louis Cardinals (1942-1945) and Boston Braves (1946 and 1948-1949); member of 1942 and 1944 world champion Redbirds, and 1943 and 1948 NL champs in St. Louis and Boston respectively.
- November 2 - Hal Wiltse, 80, pitcher for the Boston Red Sox (1926-28), St. Louis Browns (1928) and Philadelphia Phillies (1931).
- November 15 - Charlie Grimm, known as "Jolly Cholly," 85, good-natured first baseman (1925-1936) and manager (all or parts of 14 years over three terms between 1932 and 1960) of the Chicago Cubs who batted .300 five times and led the Cubs to three National League pennants (1932, 1935 and 1945); also played for Philadelphia Athletics, St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates, and managed Boston and Milwaukee Braves; in addition, served Cubs as a coach, broadcaster and front-office executive.
- November 18 - Hilton Smith, 76, pitcher for the Negro leagues' Kansas City Monarchs who was known for his outstanding curveball.
- November 22 - Dave Short, 66, outfielder who played seven games for Chicago White Sox in 1940 and 1941.
- November 30 - Bill Evans, 69, relief pitcher for the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox between 1949 and 1951.
- December 14 - Roy Hamey, 81, longtime executive; general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees for 12 seasons between 1947 and 1963.
- December 25 - Babe Young, 68, first baseman who appeared in 728 games for the New York Giants (1936, 1939-1942 and 1946-1947), Cincinnati Reds (1947-1948) and St. Louis Cardinals (1948); twice topped 100-RBI mark.
- December 29 - Bob Neal, 77, Cleveland play-by-play announcer who called Indians' games on radio or television for 18 seasons spanning 1952 to 1972.