1996 Major League Baseball season

1996 Major League Baseball season

This article is about the 1996 Major League Baseball season only. For information on all of baseball, see 1996 in baseball.
1996 MLB season
League Major League Baseball
Sport Baseball
Duration March 31, 1996 – October 26, 1996
Regular Season
Season MVP AL: Juan Gonzalez (TEX)
NL: Ken Caminiti (SDG)
League Postseason
AL champions New York Yankees
  AL runners-up Baltimore Orioles
NL champions Atlanta Braves
  NL runners-up St. Louis Cardinals
World Series
World Series champions New York Yankees
  Runners-up Atlanta Braves
World Series MVP John Wetteland (NYY)
MLB seasons

The 1996 Major League Baseball season was the final season of play before the beginning of Interleague play the following season. It ended with the New York Yankees defeating the Atlanta Braves in Game 6 of the World Series. The record for most home runs hit in an MLB regular season, set at 4,458 in 1987,[1] was broken, as the AL and NL combined to hit 4,962 home runs.[2] Only 196 shutouts were recorded in the 2,266 MLB regular-season games.[3]

Major league baseball final standings

American League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
East Division
1st New York Yankees 92 70 .568    –
2nd Baltimore Orioles * 88 74 .543   4.0
3rd Boston Red Sox 85 77 .525   7.0
4th Toronto Blue Jays 74 88 .457 18.0
5th Detroit Tigers 53 109 .327 39.0
Central Division
1st Cleveland Indians 99 62 .615    –
2nd Chicago White Sox 85 77 .525 14.5
3rd Milwaukee Brewers 80 82 .494 19.5
4th Minnesota Twins 78 84 .481 21.5
5th Kansas City Royals 75 86 .466 24.0
West Division
1st Texas Rangers 90 72 .556    –
2nd Seattle Mariners 85 76 .528   4.5
3rd Oakland Athletics 78 84 .481 12.5
4th California Angels 70 91 .435 19.5
National League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
East Division
1st Atlanta Braves 96 66 .593    –
2nd Montréal Expos 88 74 .543   8.0
3rd Florida Marlins 80 82 .494 16.0
4th New York Mets 71 91 .438 25.0
5th Philadelphia Phillies 67 95 .414 29.0
Central Division
1st St. Louis Cardinals 88 74 .543    –
2nd Houston Astros 82 80 .506   6.0
3rd Cincinnati Reds 81 81 .500   7.0
4th Chicago Cubs 76 86 .469 12.0
5th Pittsburgh Pirates 73 89 .451 15.0
West Division
1st San Diego Padres 91 71 .562    –
2nd Los Angeles Dodgers * 90 72 .556   1.0
3rd Colorado Rockies 83 79 .512   8.0
4th San Francisco Giants 68 94 .420 23.0


  • The asterisk denotes the club that won the wild card for its respective league.



Awards and honors

MLB statistical leaders

  American League National League
Type Name Stat Name Stat
AVG Alex Rodriguez SEA .358 Tony Gwynn SDP .353
HR Mark McGwire OAK 52 Andrés Galarraga COL 47
RBI Albert Belle CLE 148 Andrés Galarraga COL 150
Wins Andy Pettitte NYY 21 John Smoltz ATL 24
ERA Juan Guzmán TOR 2.93 Kevin Brown FLA 1.89
SO Roger Clemens BOS 257 John Smoltz ATL 276
SV John Wetteland NYY 43 Jeff Brantley CIN
Todd Worrell LAD
SB Kenny Lofton CLE 75 Eric Young COL 53


American League

Team Manager Notes
Baltimore Orioles Davey Johnson
Boston Red Sox Kevin Kennedy
California Angels Marcel Lachemann, John McNamara, Joe Maddon
Chicago White Sox Terry Bevington
Cleveland Indians Mike Hargrove
Detroit Tigers Buddy Bell
Kansas City Royals Bob Boone
Milwaukee Brewers Phil Garner
Minnesota Twins Tom Kelly
New York Yankees Joe Torre Won World Series
Oakland Athletics Art Howe
Seattle Mariners Lou Piniella
Texas Rangers Johnny Oates
Toronto Blue Jays Cito Gaston

National League

Team Manager Notes
Atlanta Braves Bobby Cox Won National League Pennant
Chicago Cubs Jim Riggleman
Cincinnati Reds Ray Knight
Colorado Rockies Don Baylor
Florida Marlins Rene Lachemann, Cookie Rojas, John Boles
Houston Astros Terry Collins
Los Angeles Dodgers Tommy Lasorda, Bill Russell
Montreal Expos Felipe Alou
New York Mets Dallas Green, Bobby Valentine
Philadelphia Phillies Jim Fregosi
Pittsburgh Pirates Jim Leyland
St. Louis Cardinals Tony La Russa
San Diego Padres Bruce Bochy
San Francisco Giants Dusty Baker



  • January 8 – For only the seventh time in history, and the first time since 1971, the Baseball Writers Association of America fails to select a player for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • March 5 – The Veterans Committee elects four new members to the Hall of Fame, and just misses naming a fifth. The group elected includes Earl Weaver, Baltimore Orioles manager for 17 seasons; pitcher Jim Bunning, who won 100 games in each league; 19th-century manager Ned Hanlon, who won pennants in Baltimore and Brooklyn, and Bill Foster, the Negro Leagues' winningest pitcher. Second baseman Nellie Fox receives the necessary 75% of the Committee's votes, but the rules allow for election of only one modern player, and Bunning has more votes.
  • April 1 – Seven pitches into the first game of the season, at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, home plate umpire John McSherry collapses on the field and dies of a massive heart attack. The game between the Cincinnati Reds and Montréal Expos is postponed, along with the rest of the games scheduled for that day. Reds owner Marge Schott later comes under fire for wanting the game in Cincinnati to continue despite the tragedy (and against the wishes of the players on both teams), saying that she felt "cheated" when it was canceled.
  • May 17 – Baltimore Orioles catcher Chris Hoiles hits a walk-off grand slam against the Seattle Mariners in the bottom of the ninth, down by three, with two outs and a full count. This is the only occurrence of this cliché ultimate game ending event in the history of professional baseball. Other similar games have occurred, but always either without a full count, down by less than three runs, or with fewer than two outs..




  • February 8 – Del Ennis, 70, All-Star left fielder for the Phillies who had seven 100-RBI seasons, leading the NL for the 1950 "Whiz Kids" team, and was the team's career home run leader (259) until 1980
  • February 19 – Charles O. Finley, 77, owner of the Athletics from 1960 to 1981 who moved the team from Kansas City to Oakland, and was known for numerous gimmicks and controversies; won three straight World Series from 1972–74
  • March 8 – Bill Nicholson, 81, 5-time All-Star right fielder for the Cubs and Phillies who twice led the NL in home runs and RBI
  • April 1 – John McSherry, 51, National League umpire since 1971 who worked in eight NLCS and two World Series
  • May 3 – Alex Kellner, 71, an All-Star pitcher who played for the Athletics, Reds and Cardinals between 1948 and 1959
  • May 19 – Johnny Berardino, 79, infielder for the Browns and Indians who topped 80 RBI in 1940 and 1941; became an actor, best known for the soap opera General Hospital
  • May 26 – Mike Sharperson, 34, All-Star infielder for the Dodgers who batted .300 in 1992
  • June 16 – Mel Allen, 83, legendary broadcaster who spent over 35 years with the Yankees, also on national broadcasts and This Week in Baseball
  • July 8 – Jim Busby, 69, All-Star center fielder for six teams who batted .312 for 1953 Senators, led AL in putouts twice; later a coach
  • August 4 – Willard Brown, 81, All-Star outfielder of the Negro Leagues who became the first black player to hit a home run in the American League
  • September 4 – Babe Dahlgren, 84, All-Star first baseman best remembered for replacing Lou Gehrig to end his 2,130 consecutive games streak, hitting a home run in the game
  • September 6 – Barney McCosky, 79, outfielder for the Tigers and Athletics who batted .312 lifetime, led AL in hits in 1940
  • October 4 – Joe Hoerner, 59, All-Star reliever for seven teams who averaged 15 saves for 1966–69 Cardinals
  • October 29 – Ewell Blackwell, 74, six-time All-Star pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds who came within two outs of throwing consecutive no-hitters in 1947; led NL in wins and strikeouts that season
  • November 11 – Lum Harris, 81, manager who won 1969 NL West title with the Braves; previously a pitcher for the Athletics, and Houston manager
  • December 27 – Gene Brabender, 55, pitcher who led the Seattle Pilots with 13 wins in their only season