College baseball is baseball, played on the intercollegiate level at institutions of higher education. In comparison to football and basketball, college competition in the United States plays a smaller role in developing professional players, as baseball's professional minor leagues are more extensive, with a greater history of supplying players to the top professional league. Moving directly from high school to the professional level is more common in baseball than in football or basketball. However, if players do opt to enroll at a four-year college to play baseball, they must complete three years to regain professional eligibility, unless they reach age 21 before starting their third year of college. Players who enroll at junior colleges regain eligibility after one year at that level. In the most completed 2017 season, there were 298 NCAA Division I teams in the United States; as with most other U. S. intercollegiate sports, competitive college baseball is played under the auspices of either the NCAA or the NAIA.
The NCAA writes the rules of play. The final rounds of the NCAA tournaments are known as the College World Series; the College World Series for Division I takes place in Omaha, Nebraska in June, following the regular season. The playoff bracket for Division I consists of 64 teams, with four teams playing at each of 16 regional sites; the 16 winners advance to the Super Regionals at eight sites, played head-to-head in a best-of-three series. The eight winners advance to the College World Series, a double elimination tournament to determine the two national finalists; the finalists play a best-of-three series to determine the Division I national champion. The most recent College World Series winner is Oregon State; the first intercollegiate baseball game took place in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, on July 1, 1859, between squads representing Amherst College and Williams College. Amherst won, 73–32; this game was one of the last played under an earlier version of the game known as "Massachusetts rules", which prevailed in New England until the "Knickerbocker Rules" developed in the 1840s became accepted.
The first nine-man team college baseball game under the Knickerbocker Rules still in use today was played in New York on November 3, 1859 between the Fordham Rose Hill Baseball Club of St. John's College against The College of St. Francis Xavier, now known as Xavier High School. Traditionally, college baseball has been played in the early part of the year, with a short schedule and during a time when cold weather hinders the ability for games to be played in the northern and midwestern parts of the U. S; these and other factors have led colleges and universities across the nation to consider baseball a minor sport, both in scholarships as well as money and other points of emphasis. College baseball has grown phenomenally in popularity since the 1980s, as coaches and athletic directors in warm-weather regions of the nation began to recognize the unrealized potential appeal of the sport; these coaches went out and aggressively recruited the sport to potential athletes, as well as made various upgrades to their programs.
As these efforts resulted in better players and overall programs, more television and print media coverage began to emerge. The ESPN family of networks increased television coverage of the NCAA playoffs and the College World Series since 2003. Soon, in many warm-weather regions, baseball came to be considered a major sport, approaching the level of football and basketball, and non-warm weather schools started to recognize baseball's potential and began to put more emphasis on it. Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon State are three notable examples of cold weather schools with successful programs; the first two made the College World Series when warm-weather schools placed major emphasis on baseball as well as had the advantage of playing earlier and more games because of favorable climates. Oregon State won back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007. Many credit the Beavers' success as a primary factor in the University of Oregon's decision to revive baseball in 2009. Before the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome was demolished in early 2014, Minnesota took advantage of it to play the majority of their games, including hosting a prestigious preseason tournament.
With the 2010 departure of the MLB Minnesota Twins for the new Target Field, the school hoped to use the Metrodome for future Big Ten tournaments and bids on the NCAA tournament. Along with that, many smaller conferences played games at the Metrodome during February in order to keep up with schools in warm-weather locations. While the Metrodome's replacement, U. S. Bank Stadium, was designed for the NFL's Minnesota Vikings, it has movable seating banks that allow it to be configured for baseball. For 2008 and succeeding seasons, the NCAA mandated the first start date for Division I baseball, thirteen weeks before the selection of the NCAA tournament field, which takes place on Memorial Day; the rules of college baseball are similar to the Official Baseball Rules. Exceptions include the following: The bat may be made of wood, or a composite material that meets NCAA stan
Florida is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd-most extensive, the 3rd-most populous, the 8th-most densely populated of the U. S. states. Jacksonville is the most populous municipality in the state and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States; the Miami metropolitan area is Florida's most populous urban area. Tallahassee is the state's capital. Florida's $1.0 trillion economy is the fourth largest in the United States. If it were a country, Florida would be the 16th largest economy in the world, the 58th most populous as of 2018. In 2017, Florida's per capita personal income was ranking 26th in the nation; the unemployment rate in September 2018 was 3.5% and ranked as the 18th in the United States. Florida exports nearly $55 billion in goods made in the 8th highest among all states.
The Miami Metropolitan Area is by far the largest urban economy in Florida and the 12th largest in the United States with a GDP of $344.9 billion as of 2017. This is more than twice the number of the next metro area, the Tampa Bay Area, which has a GDP of $145.3 billion. Florida is home to 51 of the world's billionaires with most of them residing in South Florida; the first European contact was made in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who called it la Florida upon landing there in the Easter season, known in Spanish as Pascua Florida. Florida was a challenge for the European colonial powers before it gained statehood in the United States in 1845, it was a principal location of the Seminole Wars against the Native Americans, racial segregation after the American Civil War. Today, Florida is distinctive for its large Cuban expatriate community and high population growth, as well as for its increasing environmental issues; the state's economy relies on tourism and transportation, which developed in the late 19th century.
Florida is renowned for amusement parks, orange crops, winter vegetables, the Kennedy Space Center, as a popular destination for retirees. Florida is the flattest state in the United States. Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake in the U. S. state of Florida. Florida's close proximity to the ocean influences many aspects of daily life. Florida is a reflection of multiple inheritance. Florida has attracted many writers such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, continues to attract celebrities and athletes, it is internationally known for golf, auto racing, water sports. Several beaches in Florida have emerald-colored coastal waters. About two-thirds of Florida occupies a peninsula between the Gulf of the Atlantic Ocean. Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States 1,350 miles, not including the contribution of the many barrier islands. Florida has a total of 4,510 islands; this is the second-highest number of islands of any state of the United States.
It is the only state that borders both the Gulf of the Atlantic Ocean. Much of the state is characterized by sedimentary soil. Florida has the lowest high point of any U. S. state. The climate varies from subtropical in the north to tropical in the south; the American alligator, American crocodile, American flamingo, Roseate spoonbill, Florida panther, bottlenose dolphin, manatee can be found in Everglades National Park in the southern part of the state. Along with Hawaii, Florida is one of only two states that has a tropical climate, is the only continental state with either a tropical climate or a coral reef; the Florida Reef is the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States, the third-largest coral barrier reef system in the world. By the 16th century, the earliest time for which there is a historical record, major Native American groups included the Apalachee of the Florida Panhandle, the Timucua of northern and central Florida, the Ais of the central Atlantic coast, the Tocobaga of the Tampa Bay area, the Calusa of southwest Florida and the Tequesta of the southeastern coast.
Florida was the first region of the continental United States to be visited and settled by Europeans. The earliest known European explorers came with the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León. Ponce de León spotted and landed on the peninsula on April 2, 1513, he named the region Florida. The story that he was searching for the Fountain of Youth is mythical and only appeared long after his death. In May 1539, Conquistador Hernando de Soto skirted the coast of Florida, searching for a deep harbor to land, he described seeing a thick wall of red mangroves spread mile after mile, some reaching as high as 70 feet, with intertwined and elevated roots making landing difficult. The Spanish introduced Christianity, horses, the Castilian language, more to Florida. Spain established several settlements with varying degrees of success. In 1559, Don Tristán de Luna y Arellano established a settlement at present-day Pensacola, making it the first attempted settlement in Florida, but it was abandoned by 1561.
In 1565, the settlement of St. Augustine was established under the leadership of admiral and
Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, with about 6,700 undergraduate students and about 15,250 postgraduate students. Established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the United States' oldest institution of higher learning, its history and wealth have made it one of the world's most prestigious universities; the Harvard Corporation is its first chartered corporation. Although never formally affiliated with any denomination, the early College trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy, its curriculum and student body were secularized during the 18th century, by the 19th century, Harvard had emerged as the central cultural establishment among Boston elites. Following the American Civil War, President Charles W. Eliot's long tenure transformed the college and affiliated professional schools into a modern research university. A. Lawrence Lowell, who followed Eliot, further reformed the undergraduate curriculum and undertook aggressive expansion of Harvard's land holdings and physical plant.
James Bryant Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II and began to reform the curriculum and liberalize admissions after the war. The undergraduate college became coeducational after its 1977 merger with Radcliffe College; the university is organized into eleven separate academic units—ten faculties and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study—with campuses throughout the Boston metropolitan area: its 209-acre main campus is centered on Harvard Yard in Cambridge 3 miles northwest of Boston. Harvard's endowment is worth $39.2 billion, making it the largest of any academic institution. Harvard is a large residential research university; the nominal cost of attendance is high, but the university's large endowment allows it to offer generous financial aid packages. The Harvard Library is the world's largest academic and private library system, comprising 79 individual libraries holding over 18 million items; the University is cited as one of the world's top tertiary institutions by various organizations.
Harvard's alumni include eight U. S. presidents, more than thirty foreign heads of state, 62 living billionaires, 359 Rhodes Scholars, 242 Marshall Scholars. As of October 2018, 158 Nobel laureates, 18 Fields Medalists, 14 Turing Award winners have been affiliated as students, faculty, or researchers. In addition, Harvard students and alumni have won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes and 108 Olympic medals, have founded a large number of companies worldwide. Harvard was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1638, it acquired British North America's first known printing press. In 1639, it was named Harvard College after deceased clergyman John Harvard, an alumnus of the University of Cambridge, who had left the school £779 and his scholar's library of some 400 volumes; the charter creating the Harvard Corporation was granted in 1650. A 1643 publication gave the school's purpose as "to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust".
It offered a classic curriculum on the English university model—many leaders in the colony had attended the University of Cambridge—but conformed to the tenets of Puritanism. It was never affiliated with any particular denomination, but many of its earliest graduates went on to become clergymen in Congregational and Unitarian churches; the leading Boston divine Increase Mather served as president from 1685 to 1701. In 1708, John Leverett became the first president, not a clergyman, marking a turning of the college from Puritanism and toward intellectual independence. Throughout the 18th century, Enlightenment ideas of the power of reason and free will became widespread among Congregational ministers, putting those ministers and their congregations in tension with more traditionalist, Calvinist parties; when the Hollis Professor of Divinity David Tappan died in 1803 and the president of Harvard Joseph Willard died a year in 1804, a struggle broke out over their replacements. Henry Ware was elected to the chair in 1805, the liberal Samuel Webber was appointed to the presidency of Harvard two years which signaled the changing of the tide from the dominance of traditional ideas at Harvard to the dominance of liberal, Arminian ideas.
In 1846, the natural history lectures of Louis Agassiz were acclaimed both in New York and on the campus at Harvard College. Agassiz's approach was distinctly idealist and posited Americans' "participation in the Divine Nature" and the possibility of understanding "intellectual existences". Agassiz's perspective on science combined observation with intuition and the assumption that a person can grasp the "divine plan" in all phenomena; when it came to explaining life-forms, Agassiz resorted to matters of shape based on a presumed archetype for his evidence. This dual view of knowledge was in concert with the teachings of Common Sense Realism derived from Scottish philosophers Thomas Reid and Dugald Stewart, whose works were part of the Harvard curriculum at the time; the popularity of Agassiz's efforts to "soar with Plato" also derived from other writings to which Harvard students
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals are an American professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri; the Cardinals compete in Major League Baseball as a member club of the National League Central division. Busch Stadium has been their home ballpark since 2006. One of the most successful franchises in baseball history, the Cardinals have won 11 World Series championships, the second-most in Major League Baseball and the most in the National League, their 19 National League pennants rank third in NL history. In addition, St. Louis has won 13 division titles in the Central divisions. While still in the old American Association, named as the St. Louis Browns, the team won four AA league championships, qualifying them to play in the professional baseball championship tournament of that era, they tied in 1885 and won outright in 1886 and lost in 1888 for the early trophy Hall Cup versus the New York Giants. The others both times against the Chicago Cubs, in the first meetings of the Cardinals–Cubs rivalry between nearby cities of St. Louis and Chicago that continues to this day.
With origins as one of the early professional baseball clubs in St. Louis and the nation, entrepreneur Chris von der Ahe purchased a barnstorming club in 1881 known as the Brown Stockings, established them as charter members of the old American Association base ball league which played 1882 to 1891, the following season. Upon the discontinuation of the AA, St. Louis joined the continuing National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs known as the National League, in 1892. Cardinals achievements that have impacted MLB and sports events in general include manager/owner Branch Rickey's pioneering of the farm system, Rogers Hornsby's two batting Triple Crowns, Dizzy Dean's 30-win season in 1934, Stan Musial's 17 MLB and 29 NL records, Bob Gibson's 1.12 earned run average in 1968, Whitey Herzog's Whiteyball, Mark McGwire breaking the single-season home run record in 1998, the 2011 championship team's unprecedented comebacks. The Cardinals have won 105 or more games in four different seasons and won 100 or more a total of nine times.
Cardinals players have won 20 league MVPs, four batting Triple Crowns, three Cy Young Awards. Baseball Hall of Fame inductees include Lou Brock, Dizzy Dean, Bob Gibson, Whitey Herzog, Rogers Hornsby, Joe Medwick, Stan Musial, Branch Rickey, Red Schoendienst, Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter. In 2018, Forbes valued the Cardinals at $1.9 billion, making them the 7th-most valuable franchise in MLB. Since their purchase in 1995, owner William DeWitt, Jr.'s investment group has seen enormous growth from the $147 million purchase price. John Mozeliak is the President of Baseball Operations, Mike Girsch is the general manager and Mike Shildt is the manager; the Cardinals are renowned for their strong fan support: despite being in one of the sport's mid-level markets, they see attendances among the league's highest, are among the Top 3 in MLB in local television ratings. Professional baseball began in St. Louis with the inception of the Brown Stockings in the National Association in 1875; the NA folded following that season, the next season, St. Louis joined the National League as a charter member, finishing in third place at 45-19.
George Bradley hurled the first no-hitter in Major League history. The NL expelled St. Louis from the league after 1877 due to a game-fixing scandal and the team went bankrupt. Without a league, they continued play as a semi-professional barnstorming team through 1881; the magnitudes of the reorganizations following the 1877 and 1881 seasons are such that the 1875–1877 and 1878–1881 Brown Stockings teams are not considered to share continuity as a franchise with the current St. Louis Cardinals. For the 1882 season, Chris von der Ahe purchased the team, reorganized it, made it a founding member of the American Association, a league to rival the NL. 1882 is considered to be the first year existence of the St. Louis Cardinals; the next season, St. Louis shortened their name to the Browns. Soon thereafter they became the dominant team in the AA, as manager Charlie Comiskey guided St. Louis to four pennants in a row from 1885 to 1888. Pitcher and outfielder Bob Caruthers led the league in ERA and wins in 1885 and finished in the top six in both in each of the following two seasons.
He led the AA in OBP and OPS in 1886 and finished fourth in batting average in 1886 and fifth in 1887. Outfielder Tip O'Neill won the first batting triple crown in franchise history in 1887 and the only one in AA history. By winning the pennant, the Browns played the NL pennant winner in a predecessor of the World Series; the Browns twice met the Chicago White Stockings – the Chicago Cubs prototype – tying one in a heated dispute and winning the other, thus spurring the vigorous St. Louis-Chicago rivalry that ensues to this day. During the franchise's ten seasons in the AA, they compiled an all-time league-high of 780 wins and.639 winning percentage. They lost just 432 contests while tying 21 others; the AA went bankrupt after the 1891 season and the Browns transferred to the National League. This time, the club entered an era of stark futility. Between 1892 and 1919, St. Louis managed just five winning seasons, finis
Run batted in
A run batted in, plural runs batted in, is a statistic in baseball and softball that credits a batter for making a play that allows a run to be scored. For example, if the batter bats a base hit another player on a higher base can head home to score a run, the batter gets credited with batting in that run. Before the 1920 Major League Baseball season, runs batted in were not an official baseball statistic; the RBI statistic was tabulated—unofficially—from 1907 through 1919 by baseball writer Ernie Lanigan, according to the Society for American Baseball Research. Common nicknames for an RBI include "ribby", "rib", "ribeye"; the plural of RBI is "RBIs", although some commentators use "RBI" as both singular and plural, as it can stand for "runs batted in". The 2018 edition of the Official Baseball Rules of Major League Baseball, Rule 9.04 Runs Batted In, reads A run batted in is a statistic credited to a batter whose action at bat causes one or more runs to score, as set forth in this Rule 9.04.
The official scorer shall credit the batter with a run batted in for every run that scores unaided by an error and as part of a play begun by the batter's safe hit, sacrifice bunt, sacrifice fly, infield out or fielder's choice, unless Rule 9.04 applies. The official scorer shall not credit a run batted in when the batter grounds into a force double play or a reverse-force double play; the official scorer's judgment must determine whether a run batted in shall be credited for a run that scores when a fielder holds the ball or throws to a wrong base. Ordinarily, if the runner keeps going, the official scorer should credit a run batted in; the perceived significance of the RBI is displayed by the fact that it is one of the three categories that compose the triple crown. In addition, career RBIs are cited in debates over who should be elected to the Hall of Fame. However, critics within the field of sabermetrics, argue that RBIs measure the quality of the lineup more than it does the player himself since an RBI can only be credited to a player if one or more batters preceding him in the batting order reached base.
This implies that better offensive teams—and therefore, the teams in which the most players get on base—tend to produce hitters with higher RBI totals than equivalent hitters on lesser-hitting teams. Totals are current through June 24, 2018. Active players are in bold. Hank Aaron – 2,297 Babe Ruth – 2,214 Cap Anson - 2,075 Alex Rodríguez – 2,055 Barry Bonds – 1,996 Lou Gehrig – 1,993 Albert Pujols – 1,981 Stan Musial – 1,951 Ty Cobb – 1,944 Jimmie Foxx – 1,922 Eddie Murray – 1,917 Willie Mays - 1,903 Hack Wilson – 191 Lou Gehrig – 185 Hank Greenberg – 183 Jimmie Foxx – 175 Lou Gehrig – 173 12 RBIsJim Bottomley Mark Whiten 11 RBIsWilbert Robinson Tony Lazzeri Phil Weintraub 10 RBIsBy 11 MLB players, most Mark Reynolds on July 7, 2018 Fernando Tatís – 8 Ed Cartwright – 7 Alex Rodriguez – 7 David Freese – 21 Scott Spiezio – 19 Sandy Alomar – 19 David Ortiz – 19 List of Major League Baseball runs batted in records
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is a professional baseball organization, the oldest of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play with 15 teams in each league; the NL and AL were formed as separate legal entities in 1901 respectively. After cooperating but remaining separate entities beginning in 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000; the organization oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises 256 teams affiliated with the Major League clubs. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament. Baseball's first all-professional team was founded in Cincinnati in 1869; the first few decades of professional baseball were characterized by rivalries between leagues and by players who jumped from one team or league to another. The period before 1920 in baseball was known as the dead-ball era. Baseball survived a conspiracy to fix the 1919 World Series, which came to be known as the Black Sox Scandal.
The sport rose in popularity in the 1920s, survived potential downturns during the Great Depression and World War II. Shortly after the war, Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier; the 1950s and 1960s were a time of expansion for the AL and NL new stadiums and artificial turf surfaces began to change the game in the 1970s and 1980s. Home runs dominated the game during the 1990s, media reports began to discuss the use of anabolic steroids among Major League players in the mid-2000s. In 2006, an investigation produced the Mitchell Report, which implicated many players in the use of performance-enhancing substances, including at least one player from each team. Today, MLB is composed of 1 in Canada. Teams play 162 games each season and five teams in each league advance to a four-round postseason tournament that culminates in the World Series, a best-of-seven championship series between the two league champions that dates to 1903. Baseball broadcasts are aired on television and the Internet throughout North America and in several other countries throughout the world.
MLB has the highest season attendance of any sports league in the world with more than 73 million spectators in 2015. MLB is governed by the Major League Baseball Constitution; this document has undergone several incarnations since its creation in 1876. Under the direction of the Commissioner of Baseball, MLB hires and maintains the sport's umpiring crews, negotiates marketing and television contracts. MLB maintains a unique, controlling relationship over the sport, including most aspects of Minor League Baseball; this is due in large part to the 1922 U. S. Supreme Court ruling in Federal Baseball Club v. National League, which held that baseball is not interstate commerce and therefore not subject to federal antitrust law; this ruling has been weakened only in subsequent years. The weakened ruling granted more stability to the owners of teams and has resulted in values increasing at double-digit rates. There were several challenges to MLB's primacy in the sport between the 1870s and the Federal League in 1916.
The chief executive of MLB is the commissioner Rob Manfred. The chief operating officer is Tony Petitti. There are five other executives: president, chief communications officer, chief legal officer, chief financial officer, chief baseball officer; the multimedia branch of MLB, based in Manhattan, is MLB Advanced Media. This branch oversees each of the 30 teams' websites, its charter states that MLB Advanced Media holds editorial independence from the league, but it is under the same ownership group and revenue-sharing plan. MLB Productions is a structured wing of the league, focusing on video and traditional broadcast media. MLB owns 67 percent of MLB Network, with the other 33 percent split between several cable operators and satellite provider DirecTV, it operates out of studios in Secaucus, New Jersey, has editorial independence from the league. In 1920, the weak National Commission, created to manage relationships between the two leagues, was replaced with the much more powerful Commissioner of Baseball, who had the power to make decisions for all of professional baseball unilaterally.
From 1901 to 1960, the American and National Leagues fielded eight teams apiece. In the 1960s, MLB expansion added eight teams, including the first non-U. S. Team. Two teams were added in the 1970s. From 1969 through 1993, each league consisted of an West Division. A third division, the Central Division, was formed in each league in 1994; until 1996, the two leagues met on the field only during the All-Star Game. Regular-season interleague play was introduced in 1997. In March 1995 two new franchises, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays, were awarded by MLB, to begin play in 1998; this addition brought the total number of franchises to 30. In early 1997, MLB decided to assign one new team to each league: Tampa Bay joined the AL and Arizona joined the NL; the original plan was to have an odd number of teams in each league, but in order for every team to be able to play daily, this would have required interleague play to be scheduled throughout the entire season. However, it
2009 Major League Baseball season
The 2009 Major League Baseball season began on April 5, 2009, the regular season was extended two days for a one-game playoff between the Detroit Tigers and the Minnesota Twins to decide the American League Central Division champion. The postseason began the next day with the Division Series; the 2009 World Series began on October 28, ended on November 4, with the New York Yankees defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in six games. This was the second time; the only other occasion was the 2001 World Series, that because of the delaying of the end of that season because of the September 11 attacks as November baseball would be guaranteed when Game 4 was played on Sunday, November 1. Had the 2009 World Series gone the full seven games, Game 7 would've been played on November 5, the latest date scheduled for a World Series game. American League champion had home field advantage for the World Series by virtue of winning the All-Star Game on July 14 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, 4–3. In addition, the annual Civil Rights Game became a regular season game, was played June 20 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, when the host Cincinnati Reds lost to the Chicago White Sox in an interleague game, 10–8.
Both teams wore replicas of their 1965 uniforms in the contest. The New York Yankees, with 103 wins, clinched Major League Baseball's best record in the 2009 season, the #1 seed in the American League by winning the AL East; the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim won the second seed with a 97–65 record, while a 95–67 mark was enough to win the wild card spot for the Boston Red Sox. In the AL Central, the Minnesota Twins defeated the Detroit Tigers in a one-game playoff for the division championship and the #3 seed; the Los Angeles Dodgers had the National League's best record, clinching the top seed in the Senior Circuit. The NL East champion Philadelphia Phillies, who were defending their 2008 title, was the #2 seed with a 93–69 record; the St. Louis Cardinals, from the NL Central, notched a 91–71 record, the wild card went to the Colorado Rockies from the NL West. Note: Major League Baseball's playoff format automatically seeds the Wild Card team 4th; the No. 1 seed plays the No. 4 seed in the Division Series.
However, MLB does not allow the No. 1 seed to play the 4th seed/Wild Card winner in the Division Series if they are from the same division, instead having the No. 1 seed play the next lowest seed, the No. 3 seed. † – 11 innings † – 13 innings ‡ – 11 innings The Seattle Mariners named Milwaukee Brewers scouting director Jack Zduriencik its new general manager on October 22, replacing interim GM Lee Pelekoudas. Washington Nationals GM Jim Bowden resigned on March 1 amid allegations that he was skimming bonus money from Latin American players. Team president Stan Kasten first took over the bulk of his duties before transferring them to assistant GM Mike Rizzo, who had served as acting GM, was named as the full-time general manager on August 20. During the last days of the regular season, two teams fired their general managers, effective at the end of the season. On October 3, the Toronto Blue Jays fired J. P. Ricciardi after eight seasons; the following day, the San Diego Padres axed Kevin Towers, the longest-tenured GM in Major League Baseball at 14 seasons.
Two teams announced new managers in the offseason: Cito Gaston and Jerry Manuel both entered their first full season as managers of the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets after taking over for managers dismissed in the middle of the 2008 season. Gaston had been the Blue Jays' manager from 1989 until 1997. On January 15, the owners of the 30 Major League Baseball clubs approved two rule changes governing the playing of postseason and one-game playoff games. All "postseason games and games added to the regular season to determine qualifiers for the postseason" become suspended games if they are called before nine innings are played, regardless of whether the game would otherwise qualify as an official game, or the score at the time the game is called; the game is resumed. This rule change codifies the controversial interpretation of the official rules made by MLB commissioner Bud Selig during Game 5 of the 2008 World Series. Coin tosses will no longer be used to determine home-field advantage for one-game tiebreakers held to determine division champions or wild card teams.
Instead, "performance-based criteria"—including head-to-head record between the tied clubs—will be used to determine home-field advantage. This came into play for the first time when the Detroit Tigers and the Minnesota Twins tied for the lead of the American League Central at the end of the regular season; the game could not be played on October 5 because of a scheduling conflict with the Minnesota Vikings, who hosted the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football that night. Jody Gerut with the San Diego Padres, became the first player to open a new ballpark with a leadoff home run, as the Padres beat the New York Mets 6–5 at Citi Field on April 13. Chicago White Sox teammates Jermaine Dye and Paul Konerko both hit their 300th career home runs in back-to-back plate appearances against the Detroit Tigers in the second inning at Comerica Park on April 13, the first time that historic home runs were hit consecutively. Gary Sheffield of the New York Mets became the 25th member of the 500 home run club on April 17 against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field.
The historic home run came in the bottom of the seventh inning as a pinch hitter, the first time a player has reached 500 home runs in this way. Liván Hernández, wh