1995 Cleveland Indians season
|1995 Cleveland Indians
AL Central Champs
|Major league affiliations|
|General manager(s)||John Hart|
|Local television||WUAB · SportsChannel Ohio|
|Local radio||WKNR (1220)|
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The 1995 Cleveland Indians season was the Major League Baseball season that led to the Indians returning to the World Series for the first time since 1954. In a season that started late by 18 games - giving it just a 144 games - the Indians finished in first place in the American League Central Division with a record of 100 wins and 44 losses. This was the first team in the history of the American League ever to win 100 games in a season that had fewer than 154 games.
The most outstanding pitcher for the Indians was their relief pitcher, José Mesa, who finished second in the voting for the American League's Cy Young Award. Mesa pitched in 62 games; he led the league by being the finishing pitcher in 57 games, and he saved a league-leading 46 games, even though he pitched just 64.0 innings. Mesa was the winning pitcher in three games, and he lost none. Mesa's earned run average was a microscopic 1.13. Mesa only gave up eight earned runs, one unearned run, and three home runs in the entire regular season.
The most outstanding batter and everyday player for the Indians was their left fielder, Albert Belle, who finished second in the voting for the American League's Most Valuable Player Award. Belle played in 143 of the 144 games, and he has the quite unusual double in this season with 50+ doubles and 50+ home runs. Belle led the league in runs scored (121), runs batted in (126), doubles (52), home runs (50), total bases (377), and slugging percentage (0.690). Belle had 173 hits and a batting average of 0.317.
The second most outstanding batter and everyday player for the Indians was their right fielder, Manny Ramirez. Ramirez played in 137 games, scored 85 runs, batted in 107 runs, hit 26 doubles and 31 home runs, had 149 hits, and batted 0.308.
On a team that was led by its outfielders in batting, the Indian's center fielder Kenny Lofton, playing in just 118 games, also had 149 hits, scored 93 runs, batted 0.310, and led the American League with 13 triples and 54 stolen bases. This was Lofton's fourth of five consecutive years leading the American League in stolen bases. Lofton also won a Gold Glove in the outfield. However, Lofton only hit seven home runs and batted in 53 runs.
The Indians won the Central Division by an overwhelming 30 games over the second-place Kansas City Royals, and they went into the playoffs going strong. In their American League Division Series, the Indians defeated the Boston Red Sox in a three games to none sweep. Next, in the American League Championship Series, the Indians defeated the Seattle Mariners four games to two. The Indians' starting pitcher, Orel Hershiser, was voted the American League Championship Series' Most Valuable Player.
In the World Series, the Indians faced the Atlanta Braves, who had finished the regular season with a 90 - 54 record, had defeated the Colorado Rockies three games to one in the National League Division Series, had swept the Cincinnati Reds four games to none in the National League Championship Series. The Braves had the National League's Cy Young Award winner in Greg Maddux, who finished the season with a 19 - 2 won-loss record and a 1.63 earned run average as a starting pitcher. Maddux also finished in third place in the voting for Most Valuable Player.
In the World Series, the Indians lost the World Series to the Braves by four games to two, with the Braves winning three out of three games in Atlanta, and the Indians winning two out of three games in Cleveland. The World Series Most Valuable Player was the starting pitcher Tom Glavine of the Braves, who won two games in the Series.
- November 9, 1994: Derek Lilliquist was selected off waivers from the Indians by the Atlanta Braves.
- November 18, 1994: Paul Byrd, Jerry Dipoto, Dave Mlicki and a player to be named later were traded by the Indians to the New York Mets for Jeromy Burnitz and Joe Roa. The Indians completed the deal by sending Jesus Azuaje (minors) to the Mets on December 6.
- November 21, 1994: Torey Lovullo was signed as a free agent by the Indians.
- March 25, 1995: Billy Ripken was signed as a free agent with the Indians. However, Ripken only played in six games for the Indians.
Regular season 
The Indians led the AL in nearly every offensive category, including runs scored (840), hits (1,461), home runs (207), runs batted in (803), stolen bases (132), batting average (.291) and slugging percentage (.479). They also struck out the fewest times (766) of all 28 MLB teams. They also had one of the most formidable pitching staffs in the AL, allowing the second-fewest hits (1,261), finishing with the best ERA (3.83), the fewest runs allowed (607), fewest earned runs allowed (554), the most saves (50) and the fewest intentional walks (16).
Season standings 
|Kansas City Royals||70||74||.486||30.0|
|Chicago White Sox||68||76||.472||32.0|
Notable transactions 
- April 5, 1995: Dave Winfield was signed as a free agent by the Indians. However, Winfield only played in 39 games as a designated hitter in the regular season, and none in the postseason, and he retired at the end of the season.
- April 10, 1995: Paul Assenmacher was signed as a free agent by the Indians.
- April 25, 1995: Bud Black was signed as a free agent by the Indians.
- May 5, 1995: Casey Candaele was signed as a free agent by the Indians.
- May 15, 1995: Matt Williams was traded by the Indians to the Houston Astros for Eddie Tucker.
- June 6, 1995: Todd Frohwirth was signed as a free agent by the Indians.
- July 14, 1995: Bud Black was released by the Indians.
- July 27, 1995: David Bell, Rick Heiserman, and Pepe McNeal (minors) were traded by the Indians to the St. Louis Cardinals for Ken Hill.
|1995 Cleveland Indians|
Player stats 
Starters by position 
Note: Pos = position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In
|C||Tony Peña||91, 78 started||263||69||.262||5||28|
Other batters 
|Sandy Alomar, Jr.||66, 54 started||203||61||.300||10||35|
Starting pitchers 
Other pitchers 
Relief pitchers 
American League Divisional Playoffs 
Cleveland wins the series, 3-0
|1||Boston 4, Cleveland 5||October 3, 1995|
|2||Boston 0, Cleveland 4||October 4, 1995|
|3||Cleveland 8, Boston 2||October 6, 1995|
Game 1, October 3 
|WP: Ken Hill (1-0) LP: Zane Smith (0-1)
BOS: John Valentin (1), Luis Alicea (1), Tim Naehring
CLE: Albert Belle (1), Tony Peña (1)
Game 2, October 4 
|WP: Orel Hershiser (1-0) LP: Erik Hanson (0-1)
CLE: Eddie Murray (1)
Game 3, October 6 
|WP: Charles Nagy (1-0) LP: Tim Wakefield (0-1)
CLE: Jim Thome (1)
American League Championship Series 
|1||Cleveland 2, Seattle 3||October 10, 1995|
|2||Cleveland 5, Seattle 2||October 11, 1995|
|3||Seattle 5, Cleveland 2||October 13, 1995|
|4||Seattle 0, Cleveland 7||October 14, 1995|
|5||Seattle 2, Cleveland 3||October 15, 1995|
|6||Cleveland 4, Seattle 0||October 17, 1995|
Game 1 
|WP: Bob Wolcott (1-0) LP: Dennis Martínez (0-1) Sv: Norm Charlton (1)
CLE: Albert Belle (1)
SEA: Mike Blowers (1)
Game 2 
|WP: Orel Hershiser (1-0) LP: Tim Belcher (0-1)
CLE: Manny Ramírez (2)
SEA: Ken Griffey, Jr. (1), Jay Buhner (1)
Game 3 
|WP: Norm Charlton (1-0) LP: Julián Tavárez (0-1)
SEA: Jay Buhner (2)
Game 4 
|WP: Ken Hill (1-0) LP: Andy Benes (0-1)
CLE: Eddie Murray (1), Jim Thome (1)
Game 5 
|WP: Orel Hershiser (2-0) LP: Chris Bosio (0-1) Sv: José Mesa (1)
CLE: Jim Thome (1)
Game 6 
|WP: Dennis Martínez (1-1) LP: Randy Johnson (0-1)
CLE: Carlos Baerga (1)
World series 
Game 1 
|WP: Greg Maddux (1-0) LP: Orel Hershiser (0-1)
ATL: Fred McGriff (1)
Game 2 
|WP: Tom Glavine (1-0) LP: Dennis Martínez (0-1) Sv: Mark Wohlers (1)
CLE: Eddie Murray (1)
ATL: Javy López (1)
Game 3 
|WP: José Mesa (1-0) LP: Alejandro Peña (0-1)
ATL: Fred McGriff (2), Ryan Klesko (1)
Game 4 
|WP: Steve Avery (1-0) LP: Ken Hill (0-1) Sv: Pedro Borbón, Jr. (1)
ATL: Ryan Klesko (2)
CLE: Albert Belle (1), Manny Ramírez (1)
Game 5 
|WP: Orel Hershiser (1-1) LP: Greg Maddux (1-1) Sv: José Mesa (1)
ATL: Luis Polonia (1), Ryan Klesko (3)
CLE: Albert Belle (2), Jim Thome (1)
Game 6 
|WP: Tom Glavine (2-0) LP: Jim Poole (0-1) Sv: Mark Wohlers (2)
ATL: David Justice (1)
Award winners 
Hershiser became the Most Valuable Player of the 1995 American League Championship Series against the Seattle Mariners, and he is the only player to win the League Championship series Most Valuable Player Award in both leagues.
- Carlos Baerga, Second Base, Starter
- Albert Belle, Outfield, Starter
- Kenny Lofton, Outfield, Starter
- Dennis Martínez, Pitcher, Reserve
- José Mesa, Relief Pitcher, Reserve
- Manny Ramírez, Outfield, Reserve
Minor league affiliates 
- Great Baseball Feats, Facts and Figures, 2008 Edition, p.371, David Nemec and Scott Flatow, A Signet Book, Penguin Group, New York, ISBN 978-0-451-22363-0
- Derek Lilliquist page at Baseball Reference
- Paul Byrd page at Baseball Reference
- Torey Lovullo page at Baseball Reference
- Billy Ripken page at Baseball Reference
- 1995 Major League Baseball Season Summary - Baseball-Reference.com
- Dave Winfield page at Baseball Reference
- Paul Assenmacher page at Baseball Reference
- Bud Black page at Baseball Reference
- Casey Candaele page at Baseball Reference
- Matt Williams page at Baseball Reference
- Todd Frohwirth page at Baseball Reference
- Ken Hill page at Baseball Reference
- 1995 Cleveland Indians Statistics and Roster - Baseball-Reference.com
- 1995 Cleveland Indians team page at Baseball Reference
- 1995 Cleveland Indians team page at www.baseball-almanac.com
- 1995 WS page at Baseball Reference
Chicago White Sox
|AL Central Championship Season
Toronto Blue Jays
|American League Championship
New York Yankees