1998 Leaders & Numbers

The year wasn’t a total loss for Hack Wilson, whose league and team home run records were shattered by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa; his RBI mark of 191 stayed intact after Juan Gonzalez—ahead of pace with over 100 at the all-star break—cooled off late. Still, Gonzalez completed a remarkable four-year run in which he accrued more RBIs (514) than games played (511). Someone must have got Albert Belle really angry in late June; the fiery White Sox slugger went absolutely nuts in the season’s second half, batting .386 with 33 homers and 92 RBIs. Alex Rodriguez, after a relatively sluggish off-year in 1997, became the third player to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases. Judging from their performances elsewhere, ex-Marlins Moises Alou, Kevin Brown, Robb Nen and Al Leiter might have brought Florida another championship had they been allowed to stay. Tom Gordon and Trevor Hoffman each led their respective leagues in saves while blowing just one opportunity all year long. Pedro Martinez brilliantly filled the intimidating star void created two years earlier in Boston by Roger Clemens’ defection to Toronto. Tom Glavine led a quintet of Atlanta pitchers who grouped to become the first fivesome to each win at least 16 since the 1923 Yankees. There was no place like home for Kenny Rogers, 11-0 on the A’s home turf to help give Oakland its first ten-game winner in three years.

The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1998
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Mark McGwire St. Louis 155 .299 509 130 152 21 0 70 147 134 28 6 1 0 8
2. Sammy Sosa Chicago 159 .308 643 134 198 20 0 66 158 59 14 1 18 9 20
3. Barry Bonds San Francisco 156 .303 552 120 167 44 7 37 122 101 29 8 28 12 15
4. Jeff Bagwell Houston 147 .304 540 124 164 33 1 34 111 101 8 7 19 7 14
5. Moises Alou Houston 159 .312 584 104 182 34 5 38 124 73 11 5 11 3 14
6. Larry Walker Colorado 130 .363 454 113 165 46 3 23 67 62 2 4 14 4 11
7. Craig Biggio Houston 160 .325 646 123 210 51 2 20 88 55 6 23 50 8 10
8. Chipper Jones Atlanta 160 .313 601 123 188 29 5 34 107 95 1 1 16 6 17
9. Greg Vaughn San Diego 158 .272 573 112 156 28 4 50 119 73 6 5 11 4 7
10. Andres Galarraga Atlanta 153 .305 555 103 169 27 1 44 121 52 11 25 7 6 8
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1998
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Albert Belle Chicago 163 .328 609 113 200 48 2 49 152 71 10 1 6 4 17
2. Juan Gonzalez Texas 154 .318 606 110 193 50 2 45 157 37 9 6 2 1 20
3. Ken Griffey Jr. Seattle 161 .284 633 120 180 33 3 56 146 65 11 7 20 5 14
4. Alex Rodriguez Seattle 161 .310 686 123 213 35 5 42 124 45 0 10 46 13 12
5. Manny Ramirez Cleveland 150 .294 571 108 168 35 2 45 145 70 6 6 5 3 18
6. Mo Vaughn Boston 154 .337 609 107 205 31 2 40 115 48 13 8 0 0 13
7. Nomar Garciaparra Boston 143 .323 604 111 195 37 8 35 122 32 1 8 12 6 20
8. Carlos Delgado Toronto 142 .292 530 94 155 43 1 38 115 60 13 11 3 0 8
9. Jim Thome Cleveland 123 .293 440 89 129 34 2 30 85 81 8 4 1 0 7
10. Bernie Williams New York 128 .339 499 101 169 30 5 26 97 65 9 1 15 9 19
The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1998
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV BS G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Kevin Brown San Diego 2.38 18 7 .720 0 0 36 35 257 281 68 45 4 10 10 0 5 10 18
2. Greg Maddux Atlanta 2.22 18 9 .667 0 0 34 34 251 274 62 35 10 4 7 0 28 11 21
3. Tom Glavine Atlanta 2.47 20 6 .769 0 0 33 33 229.1 276 63 72 2 3 2 0 6 7 20
4. Trevor Hoffman San Diego 1.48 4 2 .667 53 1 66 0 73 57 12 19 2 8 1 0 7 0 7
5. Al Leiter New York 2.47 17 6 .739 0 0 28 28 193 214 53 69 2 4 11 1 11 4 24
6. John Smoltz Atlanta 2.90 17 3 .850 0 0 26 26 167.2 211 54 42 2 3 4 1 8 2 14
7. Robb Nen San Francisco 1.52 7 7 .500 40 5 78 0 88.2 82 15 20 5 3 1 0 10 0 2
8. Omar Daal Arizona 2.88 8 12 .400 0 0 33 23 162.2 207 52 48 3 0 3 1 3 16 13
9. Ugueth Urbina Montreal 1.30 6 3 .667 34 4 64 0 69.1 54 10 31 2 3 0 2 6 1 4
10. Curt Schilling Philadelphia 3.25 15 14 .517 0 0 35 35 268.2 373 97 58 3 12 6 0 10 5 18
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1998
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 2.65 20 6 .769 0 0 33 33 234.2 253 69 88 0 6 7 0 28 9 9
2. Pedro Martinez Boston 2.89 19 7 .731 0 0 33 33 233.2 300 75 64 3 9 8 0 14 6 8
3. Kenny Rogers Oakland 3.17 16 8 .667 0 0 34 34 238.2 325 84 67 0 5 7 2 6 9 34
4. David Wells New York 3.49 18 4 .818 0 0 30 30 214.1 325 83 29 0 2 1 0 9 7 14
5. Tom Gordon Boston 2.72 7 4 .636 46 1 73 0 79.1 71 24 24 1 9 0 0 7 0 4
6. John Wetteland Texas 2.03 3 1 .750 42 5 63 0 62 74 14 13 1 1 0 0 1 0 2
7. David Cone New York 3.55 20 7 .741 0 0 31 31 207.2 291 82 58 1 6 15 0 21 6 9
8. Mike Mussina Baltimore 3.49 13 10 .565 0 0 29 29 206.1 298 80 38 3 10 4 0 20 7 16
9. Mariano Rivera New York 1.91 3 0 1.000 36 5 54 0 61.1 69 13 16 1 0 1 0 2 0 4
10. Bartolo Colon Cleveland 3.71 14 9 .609 0 0 31 31 204 299 84 74 5 4 3 0 7 1 17

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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1998 Awards


NL MVP
Sammy Sosa, Chicago

AL MVP
Juan Gonzalez, Texas


NL Cy Young Award
Tom Glavine, Atlanta

AL Cy Young Award
Roger Clemens, Toronto


NL Rookie of the Year
Kerry Wood, Chicago

AL Rookie of the Year
Ben Grieve, Oakland


NL Manager of the Year
Larry Dierker, Houston

AL Manager of the Year
Joe Torre, New York


NL Gold Glove Awards
P Greg Maddux, Atlanta
C Charles Johnson, Florida-Los Angeles
1B J.T. Snow, San Francisco
2B Bret Boone, Cincinnati
3B Scott Rolen, Philadelphia
SS Rey Ordonez, New York
OF Larry Walker, Colorado
OF Andruw Jones, Atlanta
OF Barry Bonds, San Francisco


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