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Issue Date: April 2005 Issue


'95 Cleveland Indians -- Where Are They Now?

Can it really only be 10 years since that magical World Series season — the first since 1954? It seems like a lifetime ago. But when Omar Vizquel signed with the San Francisco Giants in the off-season, the Tribe's final tie to that team was severed. So we checked in with the most prominent members and were surprised at how many are still playing or coaching ... or being Mr. Mom.
Jeannie Roberts

1 Jose Mesa(P) — In the Pittsburgh Pirates' bullpen

2 Julian Tavarez (P) — Went 7-4 with a 2.38 ERA for the St. Louis Cardinals last season. He was 2-2 in the postseason.

1995 Opening Day Lineup

1 Kenny Lofton CF
2 Omar Vizquel SS
3 Carlos Baerga 2B
4 Albert Belle LF
5 Eddie Murray DH
6 Jim Thome 3B
7 Manny Ramirez RF
8 Paul Sorrento 1B
9 Tony Pena C

Dennis Martinez P

1995 Indians Facts

Record: 100-44

Finish: First, AL Central Division

Games Ahead: 30

All Stars: Albert Belle, Kenny Lofton and Carlos Baerga (starters); Manny Ramirez, Jose Mesa, Dennis Martinez (reserves)

AL Division Series: Swept the Boston Red Sox, 3-0, with 5-4 (11 innings), 4-0 and 8-2 victories

AL Championship Series: After losing two of the first three games to the Seattle Mariners (3-2 and 5-2), the Tribe won three straight (7-0, 3-2, 4-0) to capture the team's first pennant since 1954.

World Series: The Atlanta Braves defeated the Indians in six games, winning Game 1 (3-2), Game 2 (4-3, Game 4 (5-2) and Game 6 (1-0). David Justice's home run in the seventh inning off Jim Poole * was the difference in the clincher.

3 Omar Vizquel(SS) — One of the most popular Indians ever, Vizquel parted ways with the Tribe after 11 seasons, severing the last link to the '95 World Series. Now he's slinging it across the infield for the San Francisco Giants.

4 Orel Hershiser(P) — As pitching coach for the Texas Rangers, Hershiser recently borrowed an idea from the NFL and wrapped up a "minicamp" in which he and other Rangers coaches spent a week working with the team's best minor-league prospects.

5 Alan Embree(P) — In the Boston Red Sox bullpen

6 Mark Clark(P) — Owns a duck-hunting club in Bath, Ill.

7 Charles Nagy(P) — Since July 2003, he's served as a special assistant to Tribe GM Mark Shapiro.

8 Mike Hargrove(M) — Grover's career record of 996-963 (721-591 with the tribe) earned him the Seattle Mariners manager job for 2005.

9 Chad Ogea (P) — Let's just make this clear: Chad Ogea did not retire from the big leagues to mow people's yards. Nor does he just plant plants. Earning a degree in landscape architecture, which Ogea is doing at Louisiana State University, is a lot more complicated than that.

"This is a very wide-ranging field," he says. "It involves design, site analysis, drainage. It goes all the way from city development down to small-scale stuff like people's back yards. It's fascinating."

Ogea, 34, is in the fifth and final year of the program. "I've always liked the design part of it, the artistic part," he says. "I like the outdoors, so that really kind of sparked my interest in this program."

He also gives private pitching lessons. His clients range from younger children to college players. And he helps out at the local high school, University High at LSU. "It's a way I can stay in contact with baseball," he says.

Ogea lives with his wife, Anne, and daughters Madelyn, 6, and Hannah, 3.

10 Eric Plunk(P) — Retired outside Los Angeles

11 Paul Assenmacher(P) — What he didn't get back in 1995, Assenmacher is more than making up for today: His retirement outside Atlanta is all about family.

"It really wore on me as a player not to see my kids enough," Assenmacher says. "I just wanted to spend my retirement being at home and watching them grow up. I'm not complaining at all. I'm just staying at home and trying to be a good dad for them."

Son Jason, 20, is away in New York at the Culinary Institute of America, but Assenmacher spends plenty of time with Candace, 17, Lindsay, 15, Morgan, 12, and Clayton, 7.

"I'm hoping maybe Jason can come home and cook for us when he graduates," Assenmacher cracks. "We've got baseball and softball, the Little League season is about to start and I'm trying to work on my golf game. We're always on the go around here."

In fact, when Assenmacher returned our phone call, he was in his SUV headed for the orthodontist. "This is the best time to talk, when I'm driving someplace," he says. "And I'm always driving someplace."

He also helps out with the baseball team at St. Pius X Catholic School in Atlanta. "Hopefully, I won't screw them up too bad," he says.

Assenmacher loved his baseball life and he loves his post-baseball life with the kids and wife, Maggie. "I'm a little bit grayer," he says, "but my arm still feels good. Tell Mark Shapiro that."

12 Eddie Murray(1B, DH) — The Hall of Famer is beginning his third season as the Indians' hitting coach.

13 Dave Winfield(DH) — Retired in Los Angeles

14 Sandy Alomar(C) — Signed a one-year contract with the Texas Rangers

15 Dennis Martinez(P) — Retired in Miami

16 Paul Sorrento(1B) — Retired in Seattle

17 Herbert Perry(IF) — Not offered arbitration by the Texas Rangers, he remains a free agent.

18 Albert Belle(LF) — Believe it or not, we couldn't get Belle on the phone, but we understand he's living in Scottsdale and working on a degree in accounting at Arizona State University. Unfortunately, at last check, he was out of NCAA eligibility.

19 Manny Ramirez(RF) — He certainly did his part to break the curse for the Red Sox. Last season, he hit .308 with 43 homers and 130 RBIs. In the postseason, he hit .350.

20 Alvaro Espinoza(IF) — Infield coach with the Pittsburgh Pirates

21 Kenny Lofton(CF) — Spent nine years in a Tribe uniform; otherwise, his career is dotted with stops in eight other cities. The latest is Philadelphia.

22 Wayne Kirby(OF) — Hitting coach with the Akron Aeros, the Indians' AA affiliate

23 Carlos Baerga(2B) — He played with Arizona last year, but the Diamondbacks declined to offer him arbitration. After playing winter ball in Puerto Rico, he remains an unsigned free agent.

24 Jim Thome(3B) — We all know where this guy is. Chasing a so-far-elusive championship, Thome's search took him to the Philadelphia Phillies as a free agent two years ago. He's put up big numbers — 89 homers and 236 RBIs — but he doesn't yet have what he went looking for.

25 Tony Pena (C) — Entering his fourth year as manager of the Kansas City Royals, where his three-season record is 190-260. In 2003, he was AL Manager of the Year for the Royals' surprising 83-79 record.

Ken Hill (not pictured) — Here's a guy making the absolute most of retirement. What's he doing these days?

"Oh, a lot of nothing," Hill says. "No question I miss the league, but I don't miss all the travel."

Hill, who lives outside Dallas, stays minimally busy — and he says that's all he wants — raising two sons, Kenny Jr., 10, and Marcus, 5. He coaches Kenny Jr.'s youth-league team, where his son plays shortstop, third and pitches a little bit. "I move him around some," Hill says. "I can because I'm the coach."

When he's not coaching youth baseball, Hill is supporting Marcus' habits: soccer, T-ball and tae kwon do. And he watches all the baseball he can find on TV. "I think with that nucleus the Indians have this year, they have a great opportunity, especially within their division. I'll be watching."


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