Bonds, Mariners headline record-breakers in 2001
Updated: Monday October 08, 2001 1:41 AM
Bonds set the home-run record with 73 and Seattle tied the major league record for victories with 116, just the top highlights of a season that will long be remembered for remarkable achievements.
Bonds set a record with 177 walks, seven more than the previous mark set by Babe Ruth in 1923. Bonds' .863 slugging percentage broke the old mark of .847 set by Ruth in 1920.
Bonds' .515 on-base percentage was the highest for an official qualifier since Ted Williams' .526 in 1957, and tops in the NL since John McGraw's mark of .547 in 1900.
Seattle rookie outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, in the major leagues following a standout career in Japan, had 242 hits, the most in the major leagues since Bill Terry's 254 for the 1930 New York Giants.
With a 116-46 record, the Mariners equaled the mark set by the 1906 Chicago Cubs (116-36).
Bonds was one of four members of the 50-homer club, joined by Sammy Sosa (64), Luis Gonzalez (57) and Alex Rodriguez (52). It was only the second time four players reached 50 in the same year, coming three years after Mark McGwire (70), Sosa (66), Ken Griffey Jr. (56) and Greg Vaughn (50) all achieved the feat.
Bonds won his second NL home-run title, the first since his initial season in San Francisco in 1993. Rodriguez, in his first season with Texas after signing his record $252 million, 10-year contract, won his first AL crown.
Suzuki won the AL batting title at .350, ending the two-year of Boston's Nomar Garciaparra, and Colorado's Larry Walker won his third NL title in three years at .350. Walker and Rockies teammate Todd Helton (.336) became the first teammates to finish 1-2 since John Olerud (.363), Paul Molitor (.332) and Roberto Alomar (.326) were the top three for Toronto in 1993.
With 402 total bases, Helton became the first major leaguer to top 400 in consecutive seasons. He had 405 last year.
Sosa led the NL with 160 RBIs for the Cubs, matching his 1998 total for the most in the NL since Hack Wilson's record 190 in 1930, and Sosa's 425 total bases were the most in the majors since Stan Musial's 429 in 1948.
San Diego's Rickey Henderson, baseball's career steals leader at 1,395, set the career runs record with 2,248, three more than Ty Cobb's old mark, and reached 3,000 hits on the final day of the season.
As for the pitchers, Arizona's Randy Johnson struck out 372, the third-most in a season behind Nolan Ryan's 383 in 1973 and Sandy Koufax's 382 in 1965. Johnson struck out 10 or more exactly 23 times for the third straight season, again matching the record Nolan Ryan set with the California Angels in 1973.
Arizona's Curt Schilling (22-6) and St. Louis' Matt Morris (22-8) tied for the major league lead in wins, and Oakland's Mark Mulder (21-8) led the AL. Roger Clemens of the New York Yankees, the first major leaguer to start a season 20-1, finished at 20-3.
Boston's Hideo Nomo led the AL in strikeouts with 220, the league's lowest total in a non-shortened season since Bert Blyleven's 206 in 1985.
Mariano Rivera of the Yankees led the AL with 50 saves, the league's most since Dennis Eckersley's 51 in 1992.
San Francisco's Robb Nen led the NL with 45.
Texas, blanked Saturday by Seattle in Game No. 161, failed in its bid to become join the 1932 Yankees and 2000 Cincinnati Reds as the only teams in major league history to go an entire season without being shut out.