1995 | MIAMI, FLORIDA – 42,125 fans turned out for the first Major League baseball game since a strike stopped play 257 days earlier. The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Florida Marlins 8-7 on this day in 1995. Ramon Martinez got the win. John Burkett took the loss for the Marlins.
Major League Baseball had a lot of making up to do in the spring of ‘95. The previous season ended August 12 when the players went on strike. There was no World Series for the first time in over 90 years, no playoffs either.
San Diego Padres’ Tony Gwynn was hitting .394 when the strike started. He had a legitimate shot at .400.
The predominant discussion from spring training on in 1994 centered on a strike, overshadowing some noteworthy events taking place.
Roger Maris‘ single season home run record (61) was in jeopardy.
- Matt Williams of the San Francisco Giants had 43 home runs when play stopped with more than 40 games remaining.
- Seattle Mariner Ken Griffey Jr. had 40 when play stopped
- The Astros’ Jeff Bagwell was not out of range with 39 home runs
- Nor was Frank Thomas of the White Sox with 38.
A .400 batting average was within reach.
- San Diego Padres’ Tony Gwynn was hitting .394 when the strike started. He had a legitimate shot at .400.
Could those milestones have been reached? We’ll never know.
The division leaders when play stopped in August of ’94 were the New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers in the American League, and Montreal Expos, Cincinnati Reds and Los Angles Dodgers in the National. Only the Dodgers out of those six teams went on to win their division in ’95 (the Yankees made it to the post-season by winning the wild card). Oh, what might have been for the White Sox, Rangers, Reds and Expos.
Koppett’s Concise History of Major League Baseball, by Leonard Koppett, 1998