Jose Mesa Slams the Door
A flop as a starter, Jose Mesa emerged as 1995's top bullpen ace after Cleveland turned to him early in the year out of desperation. Upon winning the closer's job by default, Mesa proceeded to rack up a major league-high 46 saves and gain the nickname "Señor Slam."
Craig Biggio Tops National League in Runs
Craig Biggio continued on his unique career course in 1995. The previous year, the Astros' second sacker became the first big-leaguer to win a stolen-base crown after having served as a regular catcher for one or more seasons. In 1995, Biggio added a National League runs-scored title to his laurels.
Mike Piazza's the Best Behind the Plate
Over 1,500 amateur players were picked ahead of Mike Piazza in the 1988 free-agent draft. Few are still playing professionally, and none had anywhere near Piazza's career stats at the close of the 1995 season. Piazza finished his third big-league campaign with a .322 lifetime average, the highest of any catcher in big-league history at that juncture in his career. In 1995, he hit .346 with 32 homers.
The Mick Passes On
Yankees great Mickey Mantle is laid to his final rest in Dallas. Upon being diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer, Hall of Famer Mantle received a controversial organ transplant. Although the new liver failed to save him because the disease had spread too far, the attempt spurred a groundswell of organ donations throughout the nation.
Orel Hershiser Quiets M's in ALCS
Orel Hershiser let it all out in game five of the ALCS. The ex-Dodgers ace was the surprise of the Cleveland mound staff in 1995. His critical 3-2 win against Seattle in the fifth game helped him become the first performer to win LCS MVP honors in both major leagues.
Ken Griffey, M's Blast Yanks
Seattle's Ken Griffey Jr. blasted a home run in game one of the 1995 American League Division Series against New York. Griffey, showcasing his talents in the postseason for the first time, unloaded on Yankee pitching, batting .391 with five home runs. His dash from first to home in the bottom of the 11th inning of the finale won the series for Seattle.
Braves Broom the Reds
Baryy Larkin was Cincinnati's lone bright spot in the senior loop pennant series. His seven hits represented one-quarter of the Reds' total in their disappointing four-games-and-out tussle with the Braves. Atlanta used eight pitchers in the 1995 Series and each was successful, as they yielded a total of just five runs.
Cleveland Bats .179 in 1995 Series
Cleveland's Kenny Lofton, the Tribe's star center fielder, swiped six sacks against Atlanta in the 1995 World Series but batted only .200. Lofton nevertheless tied for the Cleveland team lead in hits with five as the Indians' vaunted offense was held to just a .179 batting mark.
Tom Glavine Shuts Down Tribe
Braves lefty Tom Glavine beat Cleveland 4-3 in game two of the 1995 World Series and again polished off the Tribe six nights later, 1-0. Glavine's one-hitter in the Series finale, with relief help from Mark Wohlers, was marred only by Cleveland backup catcher Tony Pena's looping single in the sixth inning. Glavine was named Series MVP.
The next page highlights key events and details from the 1995 baseball season.
To learn more about baseball, see: