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The following are the baseball events of the year 1961 throughout the world.
Major League Baseball
- World Series: New York Yankees over Cincinnati Reds (4-1); Whitey Ford, MVP
- All-Star Game (#1), July 11 at Candlestick Park: National League, 5-4 (10 innings)
- All-Star Game (#2), July 31 at Fenway Park: 1-1 tie (9 innings, rain)
- College World Series: USC
- Japan Series: Yomiuri Giants over Nankai Hawks (4-2)
- Little League World Series: Northern, El Cajon, California
Awards and honors
- Most Valuable Player
- Cy Young Award
- Rookie of the Year
- Don Schwall (AL)
- Billy Williams (NL)
MLB Statistical Leaders
Major League Baseball final standings
American League final standings
|1st||New York Yankees||109||53||.673||--|
|4th||Chicago White Sox||86||76||.531||23.0|
|6th||Boston Red Sox||76||86||.469||33.0|
|8th||Los Angeles Angels||70||91||.435||38.5|
|10th||Kansas City Athletics||61||100||.379||47.5|
National League final standings
|2nd||Los Angeles Dodgers||89||65||.578||4.0|
|3rd||San Francisco Giants||85||69||.552||8.0|
|5th||St. Louis Cardinals||80||74||.519||13.0|
- January 29 - Billy Hamilton and Max Carey are voted into the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee.
- April 11 - at New York's Yankee Stadium in their first game as the Minnesota Twins, that team shut out the Yankees 6-0. The Twins' Pedro Ramos was the winning pitcher. Ramos had a 2-run single and allows just 3 singles in beating the Yankee starting pitcher, Whitey Ford.
- April 22 - the Boston Red Sox snap a 13-game losing streak in Chicago's Comiskey Park by edging the Chicago White Sox 7-6 on Pumpsie Green's 11th inning home run.
- April 27 - the Los Angeles Angles drew a disappointing crowd of 11,931 for their home opener against the Minnesota Twins at Los Angeles' Wrigley Field. Ty Cobb, in his last appearance at a ball park, throws out the first ball. The Twins' Camilo Pascual spoils the opener by winning, 4-2, sending the Angels to their 8th loss in 9 games.
- April 30 - San Francisco Giants slugger Willie Mays became the 9th player to hit 4 home runs in a single game as the Giants beat the Milwaukee Braves 14-4 at Milwaukee's County Stadium.
- May 31 - Boston Red Sox outfielder Carroll Hardy pinch-hits for rookie Carl Yastrzemski. On September 20, 1960, Hardy pinch hit for Ted Williams, making him the only player to go in for both future Hall of Famers. Hardy also hit his first major league home run pinch-hitting for Roger Maris when both were at Cleveland (May 18, 1958).
- July 11 - Strong winds at Candlestick Park dominate the first All-Star Game of the season. A capacity crowd sees pitcher Stu Miller blown off the mound in the ninth inning when a balk is called, and it enables the American League to forge a 3–3 tie before losing 5–4 in 10 innings.
- July 17 - Commissioner Ford Frick decrees that Babe Ruth's record of 60 home runs in a 154-game schedule in 1927 "cannot be broken unless some batter hits 61 or more within his club's first 154 games." Two days later, Frick, an old friend of Ruth, announces that should Ruth's record be beaten after 154 games, the record will carry an asterisk. When asked about the ruling, Roger Maris replies, "A season is a season."
- July 31 - At Fenway Park, the second All-Star Game of the year ends in a 1–1 tie as heavy rain halted play. It is the first tie in All-Star history.
- August 22 - Roger Maris becomes the first player to hit his 50th home run of the season in the month of August as the Yankees lose to the Los Angeles Angels 4-3. Angels' pitcher Ken McBride tees up the gopher ball in the 6th inning with one on.
- August 24 - ageless Satchel Paige signs with Portland of the Pacific Coast League. in 25 innings for the Beavers, he will have a 2.88 ERA.
- September 1 - the Baltimore Orioles' Paul Richards resigned as manager to become the new General Manager of the new Houston National League club. The Club would be known as the Houston Colt 45s. Lum Harris takes over as manager of the Orioles.
- September 2 - Milwaukee Braves manager Chuck Dressen (71-58) was fired and executive vice president Birdie Tebbetts became the new Braves manager.
- September 26 - The Cincinnati Reds clinches their first National League pennant since 1940. Homers by Frank Robinson and pinch hitter Jerry Lynch (a tie breaker in the 8th inning) gives the Reds an 8-3 win over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
- October 1 - before a small crowd at Yankee Stadium, New York Yankee Roger Maris smacked a 2-0 pitch into right field for his 61st home run of the season (a record that would last until Mark McGwire broke it in 1998).
- October 9 - In Game Five of the World Series, Johnny Blanchard and Héctor López spark a five-run first inning and 13–5 win for the New York Yankees over the Cincinnati Reds. Blanchard and López hit home runs, and López drives in five runs. Bud Daley's long relief effort wraps up the Series, as Ralph Houk becomes the third rookie manager to guide a World Series winner. Whitey Ford is named the Series MVP.
- January 5 - Fred Luderus, 75, Phillies first baseman of the 1910s, captain of the 1915 NL champions
- January 8 - Schoolboy Rowe, 50, 3-time All-Star pitcher who won 158 games, mainly with the Tigers and Phillies
- January 30 - Aaron Ward, 64, second baseman on the Yankees' first championship team in 1923
- February 16 - Dazzy Vance, 69, Hall of Fame pitcher who led the NL in strikeouts seven years in a row and won the 1924 MVP award
- April 23 - Jack Barry, 73, shortstop in the Athletics' "$100,000 infield", coach since 1921 at Holy Cross, where he won the 1952 College World Series and posted the highest career winning percentage (.806) in collegiate history
- April 28 - Tommy Connolly, 90, Hall of Fame umpire from 1898 to 1931 who worked the first American League game ever, as well as the first contests at Comiskey Park, Shibe Park, Fenway Park, and Yankee Stadium
- June 18 - Eddie Gaedel, 36, 3'7" player who made one appearance for the 1951 Browns in a stunt promotion
- July 17 - Ty Cobb, 74, Hall of Fame center fielder widely recognized during his lifetime as the greatest player in the sport's history, and holder of more records than any other player including highest lifetime batting average (.367) and most career hits (4,191), runs (2,245), steals (892), games (3,033) and at bats (11,429)
- July 17 - Ed Reulbach, 78, pitcher who starred for the Cubs from 1905 to 1913, winning 182 career games
- July 18 - Hod Eller, 67, pitcher for the Reds from 1917-1921, including a 1919 World Series game which saw him strike out 6 in a row
- September 9 - Jesse Barnes, 69, pitcher who won 152 games for the Braves, Giants and Dodgers, including a no-hitter
- September 9 - Rube Oldring, 77, outfielder who played mainly for the Athletics, including 4 pennant winners
- December 15 - Dummy Hoy, 99, center fielder who scored over 100 runs nine times, and the game's most accomplished deaf player; he threw out the first ball of the World Series' third game on October 7