Year In Review : 2007 National League
Off the field...
The New7Wonders Foundation, the brainchild of Swiss filmmaker and museum curator Bernard Weber, announced on July 7, 2007 the new seven wonders of the world following a global poll to decide a new list of human-made marvels. The foundation says the poll attracted almost a hundred million votes and it was created in order to protect humankind's heritage across the globe. The new seven wonders of the world are the Colosseum in Rome, India's Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, Jordan's ancient city of Petra, the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil, and the ancient Maya city of Chichén Itzá in Mexico.
The Virginia Tech massacre was a horrific school shooting comprising two separate deadly attacks about two hours apart on April 16, on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. The perpetrator, Seung-Hui Cho, killed 32 people and wounded many more, before committing suicide, making it the worst shooting in U.S. history.
Imagine for a moment seeing either Tiger Woods or Roger Federer text-messaging between a round or a set. Now imagine that they had text-messaged each other so they could schedule a face-to-face meeting. It actually happened and the two often-compared champions met for the first time during the 2007 US Open when 12-time golf champion Woods sat in Federer's box and watched him win his ninth Grand Slam title.
In the American League...
What do the 2007 White Sox, Blue Jays & Yankees each have in common? Each had one of their players join the growing ranks of the still elite 500 Home Runs Club as Jim Thome, September 16th; Frank Thomas, June 28th; and Alex Rodriguez, August 4th each reached the plateau with their respective American League team.
Ichiro Suzuki became not just the first American League player, but the first and only Major League player to hit an inside the park home run during an All-Star Game. The seven year veteran / seven time all-star drove a fifth inning Chris Young pitch into the quirky right field wall at AT&T Park and helped secure home field advantage for the American League team during the Fall Classic.
The Boston Red Sox rookie class of 2007 deserves special attention. Whether it was the media frenzy surrounding the signing of Dice-K, the no-hits allowed by Clay Buchholz (in only his second major league start), the little sparkplug called Dustin Pedroia, the rookie reliever (27 holds) / Pitcher of the Month Hideki Okajima, and lets not forget the first player of Navajo descent Jacoby Ellsbury, these youthful and highly energetic rookies infused the club with energy and enthusiasm that helped them capture their first division title in twelve years.
In the National League...
Tom Glavine joined fellow future hall of fame hurlers Roger Clemens and Greg Maddux when he won his three-hundredth career game on August 5, becoming only the twenty-third pitcher in the 300 Wins Club.
With a ball-crushing August 7th swing, Barry Bonds crushed a fastball from Mike Bacsik of the Washington Nationals over the fence in right center field in the fifth inning, immediately threw his arms in the air, and became the most prolific home run hitter in Major League history. Bonds's 756th career home run pushed him past Hank Aaron atop the career home run list and started the debate as to the authenticity of the record — a debate that will probably be hear as long as the record itself.
The infamous New York Mets meltdown was described in brutal fashion by sporstwriter Marty Noble who said on MLB.com that they, "can't be measured, analyzed or even referenced without acknowledgment of the crash and burn that marked their September. To do so would be to ask Mrs. Lincoln how she enjoyed the play at Ford Theater that night." First 50 games of the season, an impressive 33-17 record. At the All-Star break Tom Glavine said "I'd be shocked if we've already played our best baseball." In their final 112 games a 55-57 record, losses in six of their last seven home games, and a seven game lead lost over the course of eighteen short days will leave Mets fans waiting for next year.
Around the League...
Ken Griffey, Jr. asked Commissioner Bud Selig permission to wear number 42 on Jackie Robinson Day, scheduled for April 15. What started as a simple request turned into a league-wide celebration where players were permitted to change their number to honor the legacy of Jackie Robinson. More than a hundred players chose to do so in what became the first league wide use of a retired number by active players.
2007 and competitive balance are simply synonymous: For only the second time in baseball history, all thirty Major League teams' winning percentages are within the .600 to .400 range. The 2007 season marks the first year since 1988 in which no division winner has repeated. Only one of the eight postseason teams will be making a second straight postseason appearance. No team lost 100 games and no team won 100 games.
More baseball fans passed through Major League Baseball ballpark turnstiles in 2007 than ever before. The single-season attendance record was broken for the fourth consecutive season on Sunday, September 23rd. A total of 79,502,524 fans attended Major League games in 2007 - a 4.5 percent increase over the previous record.