1995 The Rookie Season
1995 :Shawn Green #15, starting right fielder for the
Toronto Blue Jays. Oh how that must have sounded to Shawn
his parents and his sister Lisa. After all the long hard years of
little league, hitting in the back yard and all those miles
traveled on busses whilst he was in Dunedin and Knoxville and all
of the air miles in Syracuse had finally paid off. He was
starting in the outfield on opening day in the majors.
It was a season of mixed blessings for Green. He started off
hitting very poor and there was talk in the press that maybe he
would be sent back down, but after the All Star Break his bat
caught fire helping him to match and pass several Blue Jay rookie
In all he made 97 starts with the Jays that season. May
14 1995 was a special day for him. He hit his first Major League
home run that day off Cal Eldred of the Milwaukee Brewers. He
went on to hit five home runs in May. Even though May had brought
power to his bat his average on May 20 was just .200. Were the
critics right when they said he was not ready to play at Major
No because by June 4 in Cleveland he raise his average to
.304 with a two hit game that brought about his first Major
League three run home run. The Shawn Green from Syracuse was now
playing with the big boys."
Other honors won by Green in 95 were tying the team
record for putouts by an outfielder with 9, this happened on July
18 against Minnesota. He also got his first Major League pinch
hit on August 19. He went on to hit three doubles on September 23
to give him 31 on the season, a new Blue Jay Rookie record. He
also had a 14 game hit streak that to my mind could have been
extended but he was removed for a pinch hitter in his final at
bat in the 15th game and therefore missed the chance to extend
the streak. He hit a single in his first at bat in the next game!
Still he tied Alfredo Griffin for the club rookie record. He tied
with Carter with 9 outfield assists for a club lead and was tied
6th over all in the AL. He made 6 errors in right field that tied
him with Jon Nunnully of the Royals for first place amongst all
AL rookies. His three double plays tied him for second in the Al.
As Always Shawn hit better after the All Star break upping
his average by 86 points. His 15 home runs ranked him third
amongst all Blue Jay rookies, and his 50 extra base hits set a
Blue Jays rookie record that previously stood at 41 ( Damaso
Garcia in 1980). He also lead the team in slugging percentage
.509 another Blue Jay rookie record and he was also the only Blue
Jay rookie to lead the team in that category. He also became the
Blue Jays rookie of the year.
Yes it was a good thing they did not send him back to
Syracuse as he was one of the few bright spots on a very
lackluster 1995 Blue Jay team.
During the winter while other young players went on to play
winter ball or relax with their families and friends Shawn
continued his commitment to his education by returning to
university as soon as the season ended. Not wanting to be so far
from home though after being away for so long all summer he
decided that he would leave Stanford and go on to UCLA which was
nearer to his home and the family he loved so much. Yes he may
have made the big leagues in a big way, but that psychology
degree was still as important to him as it was before. He still
needed that education just in case!
1995 MAJOR LEAGUE STATS: TORONTO BLUE