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2021 Major League Baseball season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2021 MLB season
LeagueMajor League Baseball
DurationApril 1 – November 3
Number of games162
Number of teams30
Top draft pickTBD
Picked byPittsburgh Pirates
Regular season
World Series
 MLB seasons
2022 →

The 2021 Major League Baseball season began on April 1 and is scheduled to end on October 3. The 91st All-Star Game scheduled to be held on July 13 was supposed to be held at Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves, but league officials have moved the game to Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, due to new voting laws implemented by the Georgia State Legislature.[1][2] The World Series is scheduled to begin on October 26 and a potential Game 7 is scheduled for November 3. The entire schedule was released on July 9, 2020.[3]

This season is the final season of the Cleveland Indians competing with that nickname after decades of controversy. On December 14, 2020, the team announced that they would unveil their new moniker and associated uniform and stadium changes before the 2022 season to replace the 106-year-old nickname.[4]


Major League Baseball announced the 2021 regular season schedule on July 9, 2020.[5] A full 162-game season is planned. Interleague play will feature AL East vs. NL East, AL Central vs. NL Central, and AL West vs. NL West.

The MLB at Field of Dreams game, originally scheduled for 2020 but cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will feature a matchup between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox at a purpose-built ballpark in Dyersville, Iowa on August 12.

The 2021 MLB Little League Classic will feature a matchup between the Los Angeles Angels and the Cleveland Indians at BB&T Ballpark in Williamsport, Pennsylvania on August 22.

Rule changes

On February 9, Major League Baseball announced the following temporary rule changes for the 2020 season would continue in the 2021 season:

  • Doubleheaders will be played as two seven-inning games.[6]
  • A runner will be placed on second base at the start of every half-inning of a game that goes into extra innings.[6]

An increase of the active roster size to 26 players, originally planned for the 2020 season, took effect.[7] Other changes that had also been planned—a limit of 13 pitchers on active rosters and restrictions on position players pitching—were waived for 2021.[7]


Managerial changes

General managers


Team Former GM Reason For Leaving New GM Notes
Los Angeles Angels Billy Eppler Fired Perry Minasian On September 27, 2020, the Angels fired Billy Eppler after five seasons as general manager just after the 2020 season, with one year remaining on his contract after they were quietly extended over the summer.[8] Eppler was hired after the 2015 season. Under his tenure, the Angels had five straight losing seasons with no playoffs appearance. On November 12, the Angels hired Perry Minasian as his replacement.[9]
Philadelphia Phillies Matt Klentak Resigned Sam Fuld On October 3, 2020, Matt Klentak stepped down after a third straight September collapse left the team out of the postseason for the ninth consecutive season. The 40-year-old was reassigned to another position in the organization while Ned Rice served as interim general manager until the Phillies hired Dave Dombrowski as President of baseball operations.[10] On December 22, Fuld was announced as the next GM of the Phillies.[11]
New York Mets Brodie Van Wagenen Fired Jared Porter On November 6, 2020, the Mets parted ways with Brodie Van Wagenen after two seasons as general manager, hours after Steve Cohen became the new owner of the team.[12] On December 13, the Mets announced Jared Porter as their new general manager.[13]
Jared Porter Zack Scott (interim) On January 18, ESPN revealed that Porter had sent inappropriate images to a female reporter. On January 19, Steve Cohen tweeted that Porter had been fired.[14] On January 27, the Mets named Zack Scott as acting general manager.[15]
Miami Marlins Michael Hill Contract Not Renewed Kim Ng Michael Hill was not retained by the Marlins after the 2020 season. On November 13, 2020, the Marlins hired Kim Ng as his replacement, making her the first female and Asian-American general manager in league history.[16]
Chicago Cubs Jed Hoyer Promoted TBA On November 17, 2020, Theo Epstein announced that he will step down from his role with the Cubs. Jed Hoyer was promoted to take his place.[17]
Texas Rangers Jon Daniels Resigned Chris Young On December 4, 2020, Jon Daniels, who remains president of baseball operations, announced that he step down from his role as general manager. Chris Young was hired to take his place.[18]

Field managers


Team Former Manager Interim Manager Reason For Leaving New Manager Notes
Detroit Tigers Ron Gardenhire Lloyd McClendon Retired A. J. Hinch On September 19, 2020, Gardenhire announced his retirement due to health concerns. Lloyd McClendon was named interim manager for the rest of the season that same day. Gardenhire finished with a 132–241 (.354) record in just under three seasons. The Tigers did not make the playoffs during his tenure.[19] The Tigers hired A.J. Hinch on October 30 as their new manager.[20] In seven seasons, Hinch has accumulated a 570–472 (.547) record while managing the Houston Astros and Arizona Diamondbacks. He led the Astros to two World Series appearances, winning in 2017 against the Los Angeles Dodgers and losing in 2019 to the Washington Nationals, both in seven games.
Boston Red Sox Ron Roenicke None Contract Not Renewed Alex Cora On September 27, 2020, the Red Sox announced that Roenicke would not be retained for the 2021 season after only one season following the team and Alex Cora parting ways.[21] Roenicke finished his only season with a 24–36 (.400) record and did not make the postseason. Cora was re-hired on November 6 after serving a one-year suspension imposed by MLB for his role in the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal.[22] Prior to his suspension, Cora was 192–132 (.593) in two seasons with the Red Sox, leading the team to a World Series win in his first season.
Chicago White Sox Rick Renteria Fired Tony La Russa On October 12, 2020, the White Sox announced that Renteria will not return, ending his tenure with the team after four years with one year remaining on his contract. Renteria finished with a record of 236–309 (.433) and one playoff appearance.[23] On October 29, it was announced that Tony La Russa would return to the White Sox as manager. La Russa managed the White Sox from 1979–1986, compiling a 522–510 (.506) and one playoff appearance. At the age of 76, La Russa became the oldest manager in the majors. He has not managed any team since the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011.[24]



  • Yermín Mercedes (CWS):
    • Became the second player in Major League modern history to record five hits in his first career start. Mercedes recorded the five hits on April 2 against the Los Angeles Angels. He joins Cecil Travis who accomplished this feat during the 1933 season.[25]
    • Became the first player in Major League modern history to record eight hits in his first eight at-bats of the season with his first three hits on April 3 against the Angels. His streak ended when he flied out against Tony Watson. Chris Stynes had the longest streak to start a season during the Expansion Era (dating back to 1961) at seven during the 1997 season.[26]
  • Tim Locastro (ARI):
    • On April 10 against the Cincinnati Reds, Locastro stole second base in the sixth inning, setting the Major League record for most successful consecutive steals to start a career with 28 since 1951 (the National League did not track caught steals before 1951.) He broke the record that was set by Tim Raines.[28]



  • Joe Musgrove (SD):
    • Musgrove threw his first career no-hitter, and the first no-hitter in the franchise's 53-season history, by defeating the Texas Rangers 3–0 on April 9. He struck out 10 and did not walk a batter, throwing 77 of his 112 pitches as strikes. The only blemish was when Musgrove hit Joey Gallo with a pitch in the fourth inning.[29]
  • Carlos Rodón (CWS):
    • Rodón threw his first career no-hitter and the 20th in franchise history, by defeating the Cleveland Indians 8–0 on April 14. He struck out seven, throwing 75 strikes in 114 pitches. Rodón was perfect through 8​13 but lost his bid for a perfect game when he hit Roberto Pérez on his foot.[30]

Other pitching accomplishments

  • José Berríos (MIN) / Corbin Burnes (MIL):
    • In their matchup on April 3, they became the first pair of starting pitchers in the modern era (since 1900) that struck out 10 or more batters and gave up one or no hits. Berrios struck out 12 over six innings and did not allow a hit, while Burnes went 6​13 and gave up one hit and struck out 11.[31]
  • Shane Bieber (CLE):
    • Became the first pitcher since 1893 to record 10 strikeouts in each of his first four starts with his 13 strikeout performance against the Cincinnati Reds on April 18.[34]


  • Marwin González (BOS):
    • Became the first player in Major League modern history to start at four different positions in the field through his team’s first four games of the season. Gonzalez patrolled left field on Opening Day for Boston before manning second base, third base and first base in the ensuing contests, respectively.[36]
  • Yadier Molina (STL):
    • Became the sixth catcher in Major League history to catch 2,000 games in his career. He reached this milestone on April 14 against the Washington Nationals. Molina also becomes the first player to do this with a single team.[37]
  • Boston Red Sox:
    • In the second game of a doubleheader on April 14 against the Minnesota Twins, the Red Sox became the first team in Major League history to open the season with at least three straight losses and immediately follow that by winning at least nine straight games.[38]


Anniversaries and special events

  • All dates as scheduled and subject to change.
Team Special occasion
All Teams #42 Patch for Jackie Robinson Day (April 15)
Pink Ribbons for breast cancer awareness (May 9, Mother's Day)
"4-ALS" patch for Lou Gehrig Day (June 2)[39]
"Play Ball" patch in partnership with USA Baseball and USA Softball (June 5–7)
Blue Ribbons for prostate cancer (June 20, Father's Day)
Gold Ribbons for childhood cancer (August 27)
Atlanta Braves Sesquicentennial Season
In memory of Hank Aaron
In memory of Phil Niekro
2021 Major League Baseball All-Star Game (April 1)
Arizona Diamondbacks 20th Anniversary of 2001 World Series Championship
Baltimore Orioles 55th Anniversary of 1966 World Series Championship
Cincinnati Reds 45th Anniversary of 1976 World Series Championship
#8 patch in memory of Joe Morgan[40]
Colorado Rockies 2021 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
Los Angeles Dodgers 40th Anniversary of 1981 World Series Championship
2020 World Series Championship (April 9)
#2 patch in memory of Tommy Lasorda[41]
#20 patch in memory of Don Sutton[41]
Los Angeles Angels 60th Anniversary Season
Milwaukee Brewers #44 patch in memory of Hank Aaron[42]
Minnesota Twins In Memory of Mike Bell
New York Mets 35th Anniversary of 1986 World Series Championship
#41 patch in memory of Tom Seaver[43]
New York Yankees 25th Anniversary of 1996 World Series Championship
60th anniversary of 1961 Championship
65th anniversary of 1956 Championship
#16 patch in memory of Whitey Ford[44]
Oakland Athletics 110th Anniversary of 1911 World Series
Philadelphia Phillies #15 patch in memory of Dick Allen[45]
Pittsburgh Pirates 50th Anniversary of 1971 Championship
San Francisco Giants 100th Anniversary of 1921 World Series Championship
St. Louis Cardinals 15th Anniversary of 2006 World Series Championship
10th Anniversary of 2011 World Series Championship
#45 patch in memory of Bob Gibson[46]

Wholesale changes

Other uniforms

  • Players, managers and coaches wore #42 on April 15 and/or 16 to mark the 74th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's debut in the majors.



The Milwaukee Brewers' Miller Park was renamed American Family Field after Madison, Wisconsin-based American Family Insurance outbid the Miller Brewing Company for the ballpark's naming rights renewal contract. Miller's 20-year contract expired at the end of the 2020 season.[52][53]

On February 18, the Toronto Blue Jays announced that they will open their home portion of their schedule at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida due to COVID-19 travel restrictions between the Canada-US border. If the border remains closed after May, the team will play the summer at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York, where the team played its 2020 season.[54]

On March 31, the Miami Marlins announced that Marlins Park would be renamed to LoanDepot Park, as the naming rights were sold to Lake Forest, California-based LoanDepot. [55]

COVID-19 restrictions

Team Limitations Source
Arizona Capped at 25% capacity. [56]
Atlanta Capped at 33% capacity. [56]
Baltimore Capped at 25% capacity. [56]
Boston Capped at 12% capacity. [56]
Chicago Cubs Capped at 20% capacity. [56]
Chicago White Sox Capped at 20% capacity. [56]
Cincinnati Capped at 30% capacity. [56]
Cleveland Capped at 30% capacity. [56]
Colorado Capped at 42.6% capacity. [56]
Detroit Capped at 20% capacity. [56]
Kansas City Capped at 30% capacity. [56]
Los Angeles Angels Capped at 33% capacity. [56][57][58]
Los Angeles Dodgers Capped at 33% capacity. [56][57][58]
Miami Capped at 25% capacity. [56]
Milwaukee Capped at 25% capacity. [56]
Minnesota Capped at 25% capacity. [56]
New York Mets Capped at 20% capacity. Negative COVID-19 PCR test within past 72 hours required to enter. [56]
New York Yankees Capped at 20% capacity. Negative COVID-19 PCR test within past 72 hours required to enter. [56]
Oakland Capped at 33% capacity. Tickets sold to California residents only. [56][57]
Philadelphia Capped at 20% capacity. [56]
Pittsburgh Capped at 20% capacity. [56]
San Diego Initial: Capped at 20% capacity.
From April 7: Capped at 33% capacity.
San Francisco Capped at 33% capacity. [56][57]
Seattle Capped at 9,000 spectators. [56]
St. Louis Capped at 32% capacity. [56]
Tampa Bay Capped at 9,000 spectators. [59][60]
Toronto Capped at 15% capacity. Games played at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida due to international travel restrictions. [56]
Texas On March 11, it was announced that the team would not limit attendance for their home opener, but will voluntarily offer designated "distanced seating" sections afterwards. All mandatory capacity restrictions and mask requirements in Texas were lifted on March 10 via executive order, but the team will still mandate masks to be worn by spectators. [61][62][63]
Washington Capped at 5,000 spectators. [64]

Broadcast rights



This will be the eighth and final year of the current contracts with Fox, ESPN, and TBS before the new seven-year deals begin in 2022. FS1 will televise games on Tuesday nights and on Saturday, both during the afternoon and evening. Fox will also air some Saturday night games. ESPN will televise games on its flagship Sunday Night Baseball as well as Monday and Wednesday night games and holiday games on Memorial Day and Labor Day. ESPN Sunday Night Baseball telecasts will be exclusive.

TBS will televise 13 straight weeks of Sunday afternoon games and will also televise the National League Postseason (NL Wild Card Game (barring any postseason format changes), the NLDS, and the NLCS). The American League Postseason will be broadcast among ESPN, Fox, FS1, and MLB Network (AL Wild Card on ESPN (barring any postseason format changes), the ALDS split between FS1 and MLB Network, and the ALCS on Fox and FS1). For the 22nd straight year, the 2021 World Series will air exclusively on Fox.[65]






The following players retired during the 2021 season and before the start of 2022 campaign:

See also


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External links

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