1997 Leaders & Numbers

Ken Griffey Jr. complained that Mariner fans weren’t respecting him, but perhaps they were too busy trying to absorb his incredible numbers. Griffey’s ex-teammate Tino Martinez was almost as awesome, nearly making New York fans forget about his popular Yankee predecessor at first base, Don Mattingly. Before you think Larry Walker’s eye-popping figures were Coors Field-enhanced, it should be noted that he hit .346 with 29 homers on the road. Houston’s inseparable Killer B’s, Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell, paired up to inflict a killer sting upon opponents. Mike Piazza became the third catcher to club 40 homers, the first full-time catcher to hit above .360, and the second player of any kind to blast one out of Dodger Stadium. After a dozen years in Boston, Roger Clemens came to Toronto and proved with a bludgeon that rumors of his demise were highly premature. Greg Maddux continued being Greg Maddux at his monotonous best, and that was just fine with the Braves. On the threshold of free agency, Pedro Martinez was a sure bet to split the spendthrift Expos after winning his first of many ERA titles and striking out over 300. Randy Johnson, who won 16 straight at one point, ran his three-year record to 43-6. Emerging from an extended, injury-riddled void, Curt Schilling thrilled anew and set the NL record for strikeouts (319) by a right-hander. Pitching for his fifth team in five years, Doug Jones, now 40 years of age, got his on-again, off-again junkball very much on again with the Brewers. Yankee closer Mariano Rivera was effective enough to ease the free agent loss of John Wetteland—and keep the Yankees from thinking of a future replacement for a long, long time.

The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1997
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Larry Walker Colorado 153 .366 568 143 208 46 4 49 130 64 14 14 33 8 15
2. Jeff Bagwell Houston 162 .286 566 109 162 40 2 43 135 100 27 16 31 10 10
3. Barry Bonds San Francisco 159 .291 532 123 155 26 5 40 101 111 34 8 37 8 13
4. Mike Piazza Los Angeles 152 .362 556 104 201 32 1 40 124 58 11 3 5 1 19
5. Craig Biggio Houston 162 .309 619 146 191 37 8 22 81 78 6 34 47 10 0
6. Andres Galarraga Colorado 154 .318 600 120 191 31 3 41 140 52 2 17 15 8 16
7. Tony Gwynn San Diego 149 .372 592 97 220 49 2 17 119 31 12 3 12 5 12
8. Ray Lankford St. Louis 133 .295 465 94 137 36 3 31 98 85 10 0 21 11 9
9. Raul Mondesi Los Angeles 159 .310 616 95 191 42 5 30 87 37 7 6 32 15 11
10. Chipper Jones Atlanta 157 .295 597 100 176 41 3 21 111 68 8 0 20 5 19
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1997
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Ken Griffey Jr. Seattle 157 .304 608 125 185 34 3 56 147 53 23 8 15 4 12
2. Frank Thomas Chicago 146 .347 530 110 184 35 0 35 125 100 9 3 1 1 15
3. Edgar Martinez Seattle 155 .300 542 104 179 35 1 28 108 108 11 11 2 4 21
4. Tino Martinez New York 158 .296 594 96 176 31 2 44 141 61 14 3 3 1 15
5. Bernie Williams New York 129 .328 509 107 167 35 6 21 100 66 7 1 15 8 10
6. Jim Thome Cleveland 147 .286 496 104 142 25 0 40 102 111 9 3 1 1 9
7. Nomar Garciaparra Boston 153 .306 684 122 209 44 11 30 98 33 2 6 22 9 9
8. Juan Gonzalez Texas 133 .296 533 87 158 24 3 42 131 26 7 3 0 0 12
9. Rusty Greer Texas 157 .321 601 112 193 42 3 26 87 79 4 3 9 5 11
10. David Justice Cleveland 139 .329 495 84 163 31 1 33 101 69 11 0 3 5 12
The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1997
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV BS G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Greg Maddux Atlanta 2.20 19 4 .826 0 0 33 33 232.2 264 57 14 6 0 6 0 20 8 23
2. Pedro Martinez Montreal 1.90 17 8 .680 0 0 31 31 241.1 238 51 62 5 3 9 1 20 5 16
3. Darryl Kile Houston 2.57 19 7 .731 0 0 34 34 255.2 311 73 92 2 7 10 1 20 4 24
4. Kevin Brown Florida 2.69 16 8 .667 0 0 33 33 237.1 284 71 66 7 7 14 1 19 4 26
5. Tom Glavine Atlanta 2.96 14 7 .667 0 0 33 33 240 290 79 70 9 3 4 0 6 6 33
6. Danny Neagle Atlanta 2.97 20 5 .800 0 0 34 34 233.1 316 77 44 5 3 6 0 14 8 8
7. Shawn Estes San Francisco 3.18 19 5 .792 0 0 32 32 201 226 71 98 2 10 8 2 8 12 19
8. Jeff Shaw Cincinnati 2.38 4 2 .667 42 7 78 0 94.2 117 25 9 3 1 1 0 4 1 11
9. Rick Reed New York 2.89 13 9 .591 0 0 33 31 208.1 286 67 27 4 0 5 0 3 6 21
10. Curt Schilling Philadelphia 2.97 17 11 .607 0 0 35 35 254.1 346 84 55 3 5 5 1 9 9 16
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1997
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV BS G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Roger Clemens Toronto 2.05 21 7 .750 0 0 34 34 264 278 60 67 1 4 12 0 10 9 27
2. Randy Johnson Seattle 2.28 20 4 .833 0 0 30 29 213 241 54 75 2 4 10 0 13 16 11
3. Andy Pettitte New York 2,88 18 7 .720 0 0 35 35 240.1 297 77 65 0 7 3 0 16 7 36
4. Justin Thompson Detroit 3.02 15 11 .577 0 0 32 32 223.2 286 75 65 1 4 2 0 20 11 24
5. Doug Jones Milwaukee 2.02 6 6 .500 36 2 75 0 80.1 87 18 8 1 2 3 0 2 3 5
6. Randy Myers Baltimore 1.51 2 3 .400 45 1 61 0 59.2 62 10 20 2 3 0 0 0 1 6
7. Scott Erickson Baltimore 3.69 16 7 .696 0 0 34 33 221.2 307 91 56 5 11 5 0 21 7 33
8. Tom Gordon Boston 3.74 6 10 .375 11 2 42 25 182.2 219 76 77 1 5 3 0 20 7 14
9. Mariano Rivera New York 1.88 6 4 .600 43 9 66 0 71.2 93 15 14 6 2 0 0 3 0 4
10. David Cone New York 2.82 12 6 .667 0 0 29 29 195 236 61 84 2 14 4 2 22 8 8

Brown type indicates league leader.
Notes: Walks (BB) do not include intentional walks (IB). For pitchers, caught stealing (CS) also includes pickoffs.
How does This Great Game determine the best hitters and pitchers? Find out here.


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1997 Awards


NL MVP
Larry Walker, Colorado

AL MVP
Ken Griffey Jr., Seattle


NL Cy Young Award
Pedro Martinez, Montreal

AL Cy Young Award
Roger Clemens, Toronto


NL Rookie of the Year
Scott Rolen, Philadelphia

AL Rookie of the Year
Nomar Garciaparra, Boston


NL Manager of the Year
Dusty Baker, San Francisco

AL Manager of the Year
Davey Johnson, Baltimore


NL Gold Glove Awards
P Greg Maddux, Atlanta
C Charles Johnson, Florida
1B J.T. Snow, San Francisco
2B Craig Biggio, Houston
3B Ken Caminiti, San Diego
SS Rey Ordonez, New York
OF Larry Walker, Colorado
OF Raul Mondesi, Los Angeles
OF Barry Bonds, San Francisco


AL Gold Glove Awards
P Mike Mussina, Baltimore
C Ivan Rodriguez, Texas
1B Rafael Palmeiro, Baltimore
2B Chuck Knoblauch, Minnesota
3B Matt Williams, Cleveland
SS Omar Vizquel, Cleveland
OF Jim Edmonds, Anaheim
OF Bernie Williams, New York
OF Ken Griffey Jr., Seattle