Remembering the 1994 Baseball Season
I was 12 in 1994, and I was way into baseball. Baseball cards, as well. Jeff Bagwell was having a breakout year, and I had a Beckett with him on the cover that I liked. I thought the new Astros uniforms were really cool. I should buy that magazine again and relive my youth - it's only a penny on eBay.
I was mostly interested in the Cubs, though, and they of course sucked. Not quite 0-14 to start the season, but still a lousy team. I expected big things from catcher Rick Wilkins, as he was coming off a .303-30-73 season. He disappointed with a .227 average. Mark Grace strangely failed to hit .300, Ryne Sandberg unexpectedly retired, and Anthony Young was in the starting rotation. Young lost a record 27 straight decisions at one point in his career.
There were good things, though. Like Steve Trachsel's promising 3.21 ERA. And Kevin Foster had a 2.89 ERA in 13 starts, fooling me into thinking he was good. (I'm glad he ended up having a crappy career. I approached him at the 1998 Cubs Convention when I was 16 and he refused to give me an autograph.) Glenallen Hill has always ruled, and Sammy Sosa was breaking out. Tuffy Rhodes hit three bombs off Doc Gooden on Opening Day, and I still have a scorecard with 12 year-old handwriting to prove it. Rhodes went on to have an illustrious career in Japan.
The strike was devastating. Enough said. I was inspired to write about my memories of 1994 after reading John Brattain's excellent article "The Day The Music Died" over at Hardball Times. Check it out.