The Chicago White Sox made their first postseason appearance in 24 years in 1983, running away with the A.L. West title by compiling a major-league best 99-63 record over the course of the regular season. The Kansas City Royals finished a distant second in the division, 20 games off the pace.
A well-balanced ball club, Chicago led the American League with 800 runs scored, finished third with 157 home runs and 165 stolen bases, and also placed third with a 3.67 team ERA. LaMarr Hoyt and Rich Dotson led the White Sox pitching staff, combining to win a total of 46 games. Hoyt earned A.L. Cy Young honors by going 24-10, to lead all A.L. hurlers in victories. Dotson finished 22-7 with a 3.23 ERA. Floyd Bannister gave the White Sox a third solid starter, posting 16 victories and a team-leading 193 strikeouts.
A far cry from the “Go-Go” White Sox team that captured the franchise’s last A.L. pennant in 1959, the 1983 version featured a lineup that possessed a considerable amount of power. Greg Luzinski hit 32 homers and drove in 95 runs. Harold Baines homered 20 times and knocked in 99 runs. Carlton Fisk earned a third-place finish in the league MVP voting by batting .289, hitting 26 homers, driving in 86 runs, and doing an outstanding job of handling the team’s young pitching staff. A.L. Rookie of the Year Ron Kittle knocked in 100 runs and placed among the league leaders with 35 home runs.
Although the Baltimore Orioles found the going a bit tougher in the A.L. East, they nevertheless managed to finish first in the division after losing out to the Milwaukee Brewers on the season’s final day one year earlier. Playing under new manager Joe Altobelli, who replaced Earl Weaver at the helm prior to the start of the season, the Orioles compiled a record of 98-64 that left them six games ahead of the runner-up Detroit Tigers, and seven games in front of the third-place Yankees.
New York benefited from outstanding seasons turned in by Dave Winfield and Ron Guidry. Winfield hit 32 home runs, knocked in 116 runs, scored 99 others, and batted .283. Guidry finished 21-9 and led the league with 21 complete games.
The second-place Tigers also received outstanding performances from two of their best players. Catcher Lance Parrish hit 27 home runs and drove in 114 runs. Meanwhile, right-hander Jack Morris won 20 games and led the league with 232 strikeouts and 293 innings pitched.
Despite finishing sixth in the division, 20 games behind first-place Baltimore, the Red Sox had arguably the top two offensive players in the league in Wade Boggs and Jim Rice. Boggs won the batting title with a mark of .361, scored 100 runs, and collected 210 hits. Rice batted .305, scored 90 runs, and topped the circuit with 39 home runs, 126 runs batted in, and 344 total bases.
However, the Orioles clearly established themselves over the course of the season as the division’s most well-rounded team. Baltimore finished a close second in the league with 799 runs scored, topped the circuit with 168 home runs and a .340 team on-base percentage, and placed second in the league with a 3.63 team ERA. Scott McGregor and rookie Mike Boddicker headed Baltimore’s pitching staff. McGregor finished 18-7, with a 3.18 ERA and 260 innings pitched. Boddicker went 16-8, placed second in the league with a 2.77 ERA, and led all A.L. hurlers with five shutouts. Meanwhile, Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken Jr. paced the Orioles on offense. Murray batted .306 and finished among the league leaders with 33 home runs, 111 runs batted in, 115 runs scored, and 313 total bases, en route to earning a close second-place finish in the A.L. MVP balloting. Ripken edged out his teammate for the honor by hitting 27 homers, driving in 102 runs, batting .318, placing second in the league with 343 total bases, and topping the circuit with 121 runs scored, 211 hits, and 47 doubles.
The Orioles had little difficulty getting past the White Sox in the ALCS, defeating them in four games after dropping the opening contest by a score of 2-1. Baltimore outscored Chicago by a combined margin of 18-1 the rest of the way, en route to claiming their second league championship in four years. Mike Boddicker was named ALCS MVP for his brilliant Game Two performance in which he allowed only five hits and struck out 14 during a 4-0 complete-game victory.
The Orioles then made short work of the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series, beating them in five games after similarly losing Game One by a score of 2-1. The Orioles outscored the Phillies by a combined margin of 18-9 over the course of the Fall Classic, with their pitching staff limiting Philadelphia to a .195 team batting average. Rick Dempsey earned Series MVP honors by batting .385.
Other notable events from around the league and players who distinguished themselves over the course of the season included:
• June 24 - Don Sutton of the Milwaukee Brewers recorded his 3,000th career strikeout.
• November 17 – Former Royal Vida Blue joined Kansas City players Willie Wilson, Willie Aikens, and Jerry Martin in being convicted of attempting to purchase cocaine. All four men were sentenced to short prison terms.
• November 22 - The MLB Players Association dismissed their executive director Kenneth Moffett, naming Donald Fehr as his successor.
• Kansas City's Dan Quisenberry established a new major league record with 45 saves.
• Rickey Henderson’s 108 steals made him the first player to swipe at least 100 bases in consecutive years.
• George Brett hit his famous "Pine Tar" homer against the Yankees on July 24.
• The American League snapped the National League’s 11-game winning streak by defeating the senior circuit in the All-Star Game by a score of 13-3 at Comiskey Park. Fred Lynn delivered the big blow by hitting the first grand slam home run in All-Star competition.
• On April 23, Tiger Milt Wilcox missed a perfect game vs. Chicago when he gave up a single with two out in the ninth inning.
• Yankee Dave Righetti threw a no-hitter against Boston on July 4.
• Oakland's Mike Warren tossed a no-hitter against Chicago on September 29.
• The Hall of Fame inducted Brooks Robinson, Juan Marichal, George Kell, and Walter Alston.
• LaMarr Hoyt set a White Sox record by winning 13 games in a row.
• Hall of Famer Earl Averill died.
- 1983 ALCS, 1983 World Series, American League, Baltimore Orioles, Cal Ripken, Jr., Carlton Fisk, Chicago White Sox, Dan Quisenberry, Dave Righetti, Dave Winfield, Don Fehr, Don Sutton, Eddie Murray, Floyd Bannister, Fred Lynn, George Brett, Greg Luzinski, Harold Baines, Jack Morris, Jerry Martin, Jim Rice, Joe Altobelli, La Marr Hoyt, Lance Parrish, Mike Boddicker, Mike Warren, Milt Wilcox, Richard Dotson, Rick Dempsey, Rickey Henderson, Ron Guidry, Ron Kittle, Scott McGregor, Vida Blue, Wade Boggs, Willie Aikens, Willie Wilson