Raul Mondesi Monstrous in '94
The Dodgers continued their phenomenal streak of producing National League ROTY winners. The latest, outfielder Raul Mondesi, hit .306 with 16 homers in 1993. Mondesi's 42 games and 86 at-bats in 1992 would have excluded him from rookie status at one time. Shoeless Joe Jackson's .408 BA in his first full year, for example, is not considered the rookie record because he had previously played 30 games in the majors.
Kenny Rogers Perfect in Nine
Pitcher Kenny Rogers hurled the first perfect game in Rangers history -- and only the 14th in baseball history -- on July 28, shutting down California at The Ballpark in Arlington. Rogers's perfecto was the highlight of both his and his team's otherwise rocky season. Despite winding up ten games below .500, the Rangers were nonetheless poised for their first postseason appearance when the strike dashed their hopes.
Ken Griffey Sets M's Records
Ken Griffey Jr. seemed destined for a super season in 1994. After collecting 20 home runs in his first 42 games -- matching Mickey Mantle's 1956 start -- he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated a single-season-record three times. A mid-year slump followed by the strike held down Junior's numbers, but he still set Mariners franchise records for home runs (40) and slugging average (.674).
Winless John Hudek an All-Star
Rookie Astros relief ace John Hudek in 1994 became the first pitcher ever to be selected for an All Star Game before achieving his first major league win. Hudek finished the 1994 campaign still searching for his initial big-league victory but compiled a club-high 16 save.
Bob Hamelin Cops American League ROTY
Kansas City fans called him the "Hammer." Bob Hamelin earned that nickname by becoming the team's top slugger as a 1994 rookie and batting .282 with 65 RBI. The burly slugger carried off the American League Rookie of the Year prize on the basis of his 24 homers, but most veteran baseball experts believed Cleveland outfielder Manny Ramirez was by far the most promising junior circuit frosh.
Greg Maddux Earns Third Consecutive Cy Young
Atlanta's Greg Maddux became the first hurler ever to win the Cy Young Award three years in a row. Maddux was clearly the best pitcher in either league. There was little need to vote: Maddux led the league in ERA (1.56), complete games (ten), and innings pitched (202) and tied for the lead in wins (16) in the strike-shortened season.
Donald Fehr-Well to 1994 Season
Many observers believed the strike put Players Association chieftain Donald Fehr in over his head. Even more people believed that, given the mercurial mentality of the owners Fehr was matched against, even Disraeli would have been in over his head.
Tiger Duo Still Turns Two
On September 9, 1977, Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker formed the Tigers keystone combo for the first time. They were still keystone mates in 1994, shattering all records for longevity by a shortstop/second-base teammate duo. Trammell's and Whitaker's endurance mark notwithstanding, the Tigers finished last in the American League East in 1994 -- albeit with a better record than Texas, the American League West leader when the strike shut down the season.
Ryne Sandberg Steps Down
Ryne Sandberg set baseball on its ear when he announced his retirement at a press conference on June 13, claiming he no longer felt he was earning his multimillion-dollar salary. Sandberg stepped down with the highest career fielding average in history by a second baseman as well as 245 career home runs, the most by any National League middle infielder except Joe Morgan since World War II.
The next page highlights key events and details from the 1994 baseball sesason.