Throughout the 2015 season, Did the Tribe Win Last Night will take a look back at the 1995 Cleveland Indians for the 20th anniversary of their fourth pennant winning season. Included will be historic game recaps, headlining stories and a ranking of the team’s most influential players that truly made 1995 The Greatest Summer Ever. Today looks back April 27, 1995.
After 259 long days, baseball is finally back and the Cleveland Indians are undefeated.
With the first game of the Indians’ highly-anticipated 1995 season in the books, the Tribe (1-0) used their awesome power to back the solid pitching of Dennis Martinez (1-0, 1.50) as they defeated the Texas Rangers (0-2) 11-6 at the Ballpark in Arlington.
Throughout the 2015 season, Did the Tribe Win Last Night will take a look back at the 1995 Cleveland Indians for the 20th anniversary of their fourth pennant winning season. Included will be historic game recaps, headlining stories and a ranking of the team’s most influential players that truly made 1995 The Greatest Summer Ever. Today looks back at the idea of picking up where the 1994 team left off.
Around almost all of Major League Baseball, the 1995 season started with anger, disinterest and animosity. The 1994 baseball season had stopped abruptly on August 12 because of a player’s strike and the playoffs and World Series were cancelled on September 14. Fans across America were outraged at the greed of the players, the greed of the owners and the overall attitude that money was everything.
In Cleveland, however, the 1995 season was welcomed with open arms as the young and exciting Indians offered the city hope, excitement and an electricity that the suffering sports town had not seen since the Cleveland Browns of the mid to late 1980’s.
Three former Cleveland Indians players – Roberto Alomar, Carlos Baerga, and Candy Maldonado – are elected as part of the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame class of 2011.
The Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame, established in 1996, honors players from …
The Cleveland Indians, fresh off of a disappointing sixth place 73-89 finish, trade their best offensive weapon, Joe Carter, to the San Diego Padres for Sandy Alomar, Carlos Baerga, and Chris James.
Carter is entering the final year of his …
It could be argued that the Indians dynasty of the 1990s actually began Dec. 6, 1989.
Carter was the Tribe’s marquee slugger for the 1980s, hitting 151 dingers for the Tribe from 1984-1989. But he was a free agent after the 1990 season, and new Indians general manager Hank Peters decided that if he couldn’t re-sign Carter, he would trade him. Carter had turned down a five-year, $9.6 million deal after the 1988 season.
This week the DTTWLN staff is doing an in-depth look at the Cleveland Indians attendance. While everyone knows the Indians have an attendance problem, how they necessarily got to this point appears to be an explanation with many answers including play on the field, population and economic changes and improvements in technology. Regardless of the reasons, one thing is certain, the Indians have an attendance problem. This afternoon, we examine the tipping point in the current attendance decline.
Previous Stories This Week:
From the Perfect Storm to the Indians Attendance Disaster by Bob Toth
Times Have Changed While Indians Attendance Issues Have Worsened by Mike Brandyberry
Indians Attendance Issues Have Spanned Over 65 Years by Vince Guerrieri
In 1986, the Jacobs brothers were heralded as the latest people to save baseball in Cleveland.
The Indians’ grip on the town had been tenuous for the past 30 years, and seriously discussed leaving the city on several occasions. But in each instance, a change in ownership led to some stability in the team – but usually its own upheaval in the front office, leading to decades of mediocre baseball.
A recent development in Major League Baseball has seen former players take the reigns as a manager or coach with their former team.
The White Sox once employed their former shortstop, Ozzie Guillen, in the managing capacity. Now the team has its one-time third baseman in Robin Ventura in that seat. Joe Girardi, a former Yankees backstop, currently manages the Bronx Bombers. More recently, the Tigers hired Brad Ausmus, who used to be a catcher in Detroit, to replace the retired Jim Leyland as their bench boss.
In Cleveland, the Indians have a pair of their ex-players calling the shots. Terry Francona, who spent a season a Tribe player, is of course the manager of the team. The Indians also have Sandy Alomar, Jr., a key component of those successful 1990s squads, as its first base coach.
Over 1,700 baseball players have worn the word “CLEVELAND” across their chest and on Saturday evening, Carlos Baerga will become only the 40th one to be inducted into the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame.
“It’s very special,” Baerga said. “To be selected to be put in there is an honor that I’m never going to forget.”
Baerga was an infielder for the Indians from 1990-96 and briefly again in 1999. Primarily a second baseman, he earned three trips to the All-Star Game (’92, ’93 & ’95) two Silver Slugger Awards (’94 & ’95) and led the Indians in hits four times. In 1992 and 1993, Baerga became the first second baseman since Rogers Hornsby in 1922 to hit 20 homeruns with 100 RBI and 200 hits in consecutive seasons. In 1995, Baerga hit third in arguably the Indians best lineup of all-time and he helped lead the Tribe to its first pennant in 41 seasons.
During Spring Training the DTTWLN staff will profile and examine the coaches and players that make up and are vying to be part of the 2013 Cleveland Indians—A Team With A New Direction. Today, we examine one of the Spring Invitees with a chance to make the Tribe’s Opening Day roster.
By Steve Eby
Think back to Carlos Baerga, circa 1996.
The Tribe second baseman was only a year removed from an All-Star campaign that helped lead his team to a World Series appearance. He was a cog in the mighty Indians batting order—hitting third in arguably the most feared lineups of the steroid-infested 1990’s. He was the toast of the town, a true budding superstar who had seen more success by his mid-20’s than most baseball players see in their entire lifetime.
Then it stopped.
Baerga stopped hitting and stopped driving in runs. He stopped being a consistent contributor and was immediately traded away to the New York Mets. He never regained his star status with the Mets and was out of Major League baseball four years later. He played for a Korean team in 2001 before catching back on with the Boston Red Sox in 2002.
Now think back to Scott Kazmir, circa 2009.
Just like Baerga, the Rays ace was only one year removed from an All-Star campaign that helped his team to a World Series appearance. He was a cog in the mighty Rays pitching staff—sitting as the number two pitcher in a deep rotation that included James Shields, Matt Garza and David Price. He was one of the most popular players in St. Petersburg and was already one of the best young pitchers in baseball.
Then…just like Baerga…it stopped too.