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  Sept. 25: The Red Sox win the American League Wild Card. (AP Photo)

January February March April May June July August September October November December console
September: Remembering 9/11
September, a month of change, was certainly that in 2003. It was also a month of intense emotions, as some of the tighest pennant races and two of the closest batting title chases in history kept fans enthralled. In between the games there were also farewells to a few old friends of the game. Some events from September:
Team Stories & Headlines

By Jim Molony / MLB.com

September 1
Mark Prior pitches eight scoreless innings against the St. Louis Cardinals. Prior (14-5) improves to 6-0 since coming off the disabled list Aug. 5 after a collision with Atlanta's Marcus Giles bruised his right shoulder. The Cubs' All-Star allows just three earned runs over 47 innings in that stretch for a 0.57 ERA. Down on the south side of town, Manny Ramirez, benched for four previous games because of a throat infection, pronounced himself ready to return for Boston's game against the White Sox. Ramirez had been the center of controversy after it was reported he was seen in a Boston bar with Enrique Wilson of the Yankees, though his throat infection had left him unable to play.

Sights and Sounds
Experience all the great moments of baseball in 2003 with monthly video recaps and clips, captivating audio highlights and a look at each month in photos. Also cast your vote for the best baseball photo of 2003. Launch >


September 2
Eric Gagne sets the record for consecutive save conversions with his 55th straight in a 4-1 victory over Houston. Tempers flare in Chicago, where the Cubs and Cardinals split one of the more memorable and hard-fought twinbills anyone has seen in a long time. Sammy Sosa provides a walk-off homer in the 15th inning of the Cubs' 4-2 win in the opener, and Matt Morris outduels Kerry Wood, 2-0, in a controversy-filled nightcap that saw as many ejections as runs scored.

September 3
Oakland has its 10-game winning streak snapped.

September 4
Mike Lieberthal's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth lifts Philadelphia to a 6-5 victory over the New York Mets and keeps the Phillies tied with the Marlins for the NL Wild Card lead.

September 5
Pedro Martinez baffles the New York Yankees as Boston takes the first game of a crucial AL East series, 9-3.
September 6
With Tim Wakefield pitching seven shutout innings, the Red Sox pull to within 1 1/2 games of the Yankees with an 11-0 win at Yankee Stadium.


September 7
The White Sox complete a sweep of the Indians, and Minnesota wins its fifth consecutive game to keep the two clubs tied for first place in the AL Central.

September 8
The Cubs and White Sox hadn't been in first place at the same time this late in the year since 1906, but that's where they were as this day comes to an end. Meanwhile the Marlins, behind Josh Beckett's shutout, blank the Mets to regain a share of the NL Wild Card lead.

September 9
Twenty-year-old Edwin Jackson of the Dodgers wins his Major League debut on his birthday with a 4-1 decision over Randy Johnson and Arizona and Gagne recorded his Major League-leading 50th save for Los Angeles, which remain two games back in the NL Wild Card hunt.

September 10

With lefty Johana Santana holding the Chicago White Sox to one run and Eddie Guardado retiring the side in order for his 34th save, Minnesota earns a 4-1 victory to move to within a game of the first-place White Sox in the AL Central division race.
September 11

America's national pastime remembers the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, with ceremonies at the various venues that are simple, yet powerful reminders of what happened two years ago and why we should never forget.

September 12
Houston crushes St. Louis, 14-5, at Minute Maid Park to drop the Cardinals 3 1/2 games out of the NL Central Divison lead.

September 13
Bernie Williams collects five hits, including two homers, as the Yankees sweep a doubleheader from Tampa Bay to extend their winning streak to eight games and take claim of the best record in baseball.

September 15
Miguel Tejada hits a grand slam as Oakland cuts its magic number to clinch the AL West to nine with a 7-4 win over Anaheim.

September 16
The Philadelphia Phillies put a convincing end to their eight-game losing streak to Florida with a 14-0 blowout of the Marlins at Veterans Stadium and tighten up the NL Wild Card race in the process. The Phillies, with their first win over Florida since April 15, move to within one-half game of the Marlins for the Wild Card.

September 17
San Francisco becomes the first team to clinch a division title, wrapping up the NL West crown with an 8-3 victory over San Diego.

September 18

Atlanta clinches its 12th consecutive division title. Meanwhile two other NL East members continue their battle for the Wild Card lead. Jim Thome's third homer in three games comes in the bottom of the eighth inning off Florida's Chad Fox and propels Philadelphia to a 5-4 win and within a half-game of the Marlins in the Wild Card race.

September 19
Seattle cuts Oakland's lead in the AL West to four games with a 6-1 victory over the A's.

September 20
The Cards-Astros game of Saturday, Sept. 20, was an advertisement for pennant-race baseball in September, brought to you by your friends in the NL Central. It was terrific stuff, exactly what baseball at this time of the season ought to be.

September 21
Atlanta's Greg Maddux pitches five near-flawless innings to become the first pitcher to record at least 15 wins over 16 consecutive seasons as the Braves post an 8-0 win over Florida at Turner Field. That same night Prior strikes out 14 Pirates while combining with Mike Remlinger and Joe Borowski to raise the Cubs' season total to a Major League-record 1,352 strikeouts. The old mark was 1,344 set by the 2001 Cubs.

September 22

After 156 games, the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros find themselves in a dead heat atop the NL Central Division with identical 84-72 records, courtesy of San Francisco's 6-3 victory over the Astros Monday night at Minute Maid Park.
September 23

The playoff races see a triple play as the Twins, Yankees and Oakland clinch playoff berths. For the third time in four years the A's are the champions of the AL West. Adam Melhuse drives home the winning run in the 10th inning of a 4-3 victory over Texas, and a Mariners loss shortly afterward gave Oakland the outright AL West title.

September 24
The clinching party in Boston is postponed one more day when the Red Sox falls to Baltimore, 7-3, at Fenway Park.

September 25
While Boston clinches the AL Wild Card with a 14-3 victory over Baltimore, Toronto's Carlos Delgado clubs four homers -- three solo shots and a three-run homer -- in four at-bats as the Blue Jays close out their season series against the Devil Rays with a wild 10-8 win at SkyDome. Delgado, the 15th player in Major League history to hit four homers in one game, compiles six RBIs.

September 26
For the first time since they won the World Series in 1997, the Florida Marlins are back in the playoffs after beating the New York Mets, 4-3, at Pro Player Stadium. Carl Pavano limits New York to three runs over 7 1/3 innings and Ugueth Urbina touches off the celebration by retiring the Mets in the ninth.

September 27
Roger Clemens wins the final regular season start of his career, beating Baltimore with seven innings of three-hit ball as the Yankees win 6-2. At Wrigley Field, Matt Clement pitches the Cubs to a 7-2 victory in the nightcap as Chicago sweeps a doubleheader against Pittsburgh to clinch the National League Central title.

September 28
Colorado's Todd Helton is walked intentionally in the eighth inning by San Diego's Rod Beck, clinching an NL batting title for Albert Pujols in the closest finish to a batting race in National League history. Helton finishes at .3585 to Pujols' .3587. In the AL, Boston's Bill Mueller edges teammate Ramirez, .326 to .325, for the title. In San Diego the Padres play their final game at Qualcomm Stadium.

September 30
The playoffs begin on the final day of September, as the Minnesota Twins surprise the Yankees and overcome the odds against Mike Mussina by posting a 3-1 win in Game 1 of the AL Division Series in front of 56,292 fans at Yankee Stadium. The Twins were 2-20 lifetime against Mussina. In Game 1 of the NLDS between the Cubs and Braves, Chicago's Kerry Wood holds the NL's top-hitting team to two hits, striking out 11 and adding a two-run tie-breaking double in a 4-2 victory. In the other NLDS, between the Giants and Marlins, Jason Schmidt throws a complete game in San Francisco's 2-0 win.

Jim Molony is a writer for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.