Cleveland Indians 1995 Roster, Team Lineup & Season Recap
When it comes to the most epic season in baseball for the Cleland Indians, there is not going to be a better year than 1995. This was the very first year that the Indians were finally able to return to the World Series for the first time since they were in the contest back in 1954. What makes this particular year so exciting is the fact that the actual season started more than 18 games late, which meant that there would only be 144 games that would be played. Luckily for the Indians, they ended up in first place as they dominated the American League Central Division by having a record that consisted of 100 wins and only 44 losses. What makes this year the most special in the Indian team’s history is the fact that this would be the very first time that a team had won at least 100 games in the entire history of baseball.
Pitching was the Key to Success
The thing that made this year so special and what gave the team the ability to record the first 100-win season was going to be the pitching. The most outstanding pitcher on the team for that year would be the relief pitcher, who was named Jose Mesa. Jose was so good at pitching that he would actually be in the voting for the very prominent Cy Young Award, which is typically only given to starting pitchers. To put Mesa’s achievements into perspective, he pitched in a total of 62 major league games. Of those 62 games, he was the finishing pitcher in 57 of them, having a save record that led the league with 46 games. This is going to be a very big factor once you consider that Mesa only pitched for a total of 64 innings. Essentially, all Mesa could do was win, which he did as he had an ERA of just 1.13. On top of that, Mesa only gave up 8 earned runs, a single unearned run, and just 3 home runs in the entire season.
The batting for that year was simply the best that the club had ever seen at the time. The number one batter and best fielder at the time was going to be hands down Albert Belle. He did so well that year that he would actually finish second in all of the voting for the American League’s MVP award. A lot of that had to do with the fact that Belle played a whopping 143 out of 144 games that season. As if that weren’t enough, he also had more than 50 doubles, as well as 50 home runs. On top of that, Belle also had:
- 121 runs scored
- 126 runs batted in
- 52 doubles
- 50 home runs
- 377 total bases
- .690 slugging percentage
As if Belle wasn’t enough to have on your team, the Indians also had a second secret weapon that was able to come through for them whenever they needed it. This person would be the right fielder, also known as Manny Ramirez. Manny would end up playing in 137 games total, scoring 85 runs in that amount of time, batting in 107 runs in the sense of 26 doubles and 31 home runs. He would go on to set a personal record of 149 hits with a batting average of .308 for the year, which at the time would be a personal best.
The Season in a Nutshell
In 1995, the Indians were the team to beat. This is because they would literally lead the entire MLB league in just about every offensive category. This would include the number of runs that were scored (which was 840), the number of hits the team had (which was 1,461), the number of home runs (which was 207), the number of runs batted in (which was 803), the total batting average of a baseball team (which was .291 for that year), as well as the slugging percentage (which was .479). On top of that, they were also the team that had the least number of strikeouts, that being 766 times out of every single other team for that year. As if this team was not already the most dominate in baseball, the pitching staff would also allow the least amount of hits for that year, that number being just 1,261, having finished the league with the absolute best ERA of just 3.83, for the entire team. Not only was the pitching on point, but the defense was also the best of the year, as they only allowed 607 for the entire season.