In 1995, Cal Ripken broke the record for playing the highest number of consecutive games, and Mo Vaughn won the American League MVP Award. Here are some of the headlines from the 1995 baseball season:
Hideo Nomo Wows Fans, Batters
In 1995, American audiences and batters alike saw something completely new in the person of Hideo Nomo. Not only was Nomo the first Japanese-born star to make an impact on the American major league game, but his unorthodox delivery had hitters everywhere sawing the air. The Dodgers' rookie went 13-6 with a 2.54 ERA and a league-high 236 strikeouts. Interestingly, his numbers in the Japanese Pacific League had been similar, though not quite as good.
Hideo Nomo and his unorthodox delivery led him
to a league-high 236 strikeouts. See more
baseball seasons pictures.
Albert Belle's 50 HRs Fall Short
Albert Belle hit 50 home runs in the 1995 season. Belle, who reached the 50 figure in just 143 games, became Cleveland's first home run king since 1959. However, his churlish behavior outweighed the most awesome slugging stats in the majors, at least in the minds of many American League sports writers. The junior circuit MVP Award went to Boston's Mo Vaughn, who edged Belle in the voting 308 to 300.
Randy Johnson Wins 18 Out of 20
Only the shortened season kept Randy Johnson from collecting 300 strikeouts in 1995 for the second time in his career. Virtually nothing else impeded the Mariners fireballer as he recorded a 2.48 ERA and a .900 winning percentage (18-2). Johnson, combined with one of the game's most potent offensive attacks, steered Seattle to the American League West crown and a near-pennant.
Mo Vaughn Wins 1995 MVP Award
Mo Vaughn led all American League first basemen in putouts and double plays in 1995, but who noticed? His 39 homers and 126 RBI were the interior of the cake that earned him the America League MVP Award. The icing was his on-field leadership, which faltered only in the postseason. Vaughn and his BoSox slugging partner Jose Canseco were a combined 0-for-27 against Cleveland in the division playoff.
Barry Larkin Wins 1995 MVP Honors
Barry Larkin, the Reds star shortstop, ended his tenth major league season with a .298 career average, the highest of any National League shortfielder at a comparable point since Arky Vaughn in 1941. Also a stalwart in the field, Larkin easily won senior loop MVP honors.
Cal Ripken Breaks Lou's Record
The numbers in lights above the Camden Yards Scoreboard told the story. Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken had just broken Lou Gehrig's record by playing in his 2,131st consecutive game. The event was much celebrated throughout North America, and Ripken added to the excitement by homering in the 2,129th, 2,130th, and 2,131st games. Ripken's streak, which reached 2,153 games by the end of the season, was all the more amazing in that it was never, even for a moment, in serious jeopardy of being terminated.
Sparky Anderson Hangs Up His Spikes
Sparky Anderson stepped down as Tigers manager after the 1995 season, ending the most lustrous dugout tenure in recent times. His 2,194 career wins (with Cincinnati and Detroit) rank him behind only Connie Mack and John McGraw.
Dante Bichette's Numbers Soar
In 1991, at age 27, Dante Bichette hit .238 for Milwaukee in his first season as a full-time regular. Four years later with the Rockies, he made a run at the first National League Triple Crown since 1937 before finishing with two legs of it and a third-place finish in batting. Is Bichette really so vastly improved, or are his stats only another Mile High aberration?
Tony Gwynn Tops .360 Again
In 1995, Tony Gwynn became the first National League player since 1930 to post back-to-back .360-plus seasons. The Padres' hitting wizard copped his second straight bat crown with a .368 mark and also tied for the Major League lead in hits with 197. Gwynn eventually became the first player since Stan Musial to achieve both 3,000 hits and a .330-plus career batting average.
Check out more headlines from the 1995 baseball season on the next page.
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