From big-name trades to Hall of Fame tributes, there were plenty of intriguing Major League Baseball storylines in July. In case you missed any of them, here's a recap of the top five MLB stories of the month.
The Oakland Athletics (July 1-31) -- Break up the Athletics! The no-name A's set a franchise record for winning percentage in the month of July with a sizzling record of 19-5. Furthermore, the underdog A's had the best July by an American League team since the 1956 Yankees went 23-6. As the month came to a close, Oakland was 56-47 and three games out of first place in the American League West.
Ichiro Traded to Yankees (July 23) -- The Seattle Mariners traded Ichiro Suzuki to the New York Yankees hours before the two teams squared off at Safeco Field. A 10-time All-Star, the 38-year-old Ichiro is past his prime, but he was a fan favorite in Seattle and the face of the franchise. Mariners fans awkwardly watched him go 1-for-4 with a stolen base in his first game for the Yankees.
Hall of Fame Inductions (July 20) -- Barry Larkin, who played his entire 19-year MLB career with the Cincinnati Reds, and Ron Santo, the pride of the Chicago Cubs, both were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Larkin finished his career with 198 home runs, 960 RBIs and 379 stolen bases. In 14 years with the Cubs, Santo collected 337 homers and 1290 RBIs. Both rank in the team's all-time top five.
83rd All-Star Game (July 10) -- Pablo Sandoval stroked a three-run triple off reigning Cy Young winner Justin Verlander in a five-run first inning, as the National League defeated the American League, 8-0, in the Midsummer Classic. As a result, the A.L. gained home field advantage in the 2012 World Series. Melky Cabrera, who went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer, was named the game's Most Valuable Player.
Trade Deadline Deals (July 31) -- There were a few transactions before July 31, but the dramatic deadline-day deals stole their thunder. The biggest deadline dealers were the Philadelphia Phillies, who traded away outfielders Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino to the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers, respectively. Jeff Passan kept track of the rest of the trades for Yahoo! Sports.
Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer who roots for the New York Mets (and any team that is playing the New York Yankees). An avid fantasy baseball player and fan of Major League Baseball, his games of choice growing up were Strat-O-Matic and MicroLeague Baseball.