Greatest Moments in Marlins History: #15 Jeff Conine MVP
Apr 8, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Former Florida Marlins left fielder Jeff Conine prior to a game against the Atlanta Braves during on opening night at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome back to the Greatest Moments in Marlins History. The Marlins have had many great moments during the All-Star games. Whether it’s been home runs, shutout innings, coaches, first at bats, the Marlins players seem to excel during the All-Star game. Moment 15 is no exception. The 1995 All-Star game belong to a Marlins player. To be more specific, it belonged to Mr. Marlin himself. Today we bring you Jeff Conine’s 1995 All-Star MVP win.
Started in 1933 the All-Star Game allowed fans to see all the great players from the National League take on all the greats from the American League. The only year an All-Star game wasn’t played was in 1945 because of World War II. 1995 would be the 3rd time the Marlins would have an All-Star. Already turning heads in 1993, Gary Sheffield blasted a home run for the first All-Star Marlins at bat, and Bryan Harvey shut down the American League in the 8th inning of that same game. In 1994 Conine was selected to the All-Star game, but wouldn’t get a chance to play. In 1995 he would get his chance.
On July 11, 1995 the 66th All-Star Game was held The Ballpark in Arlington. The American League jumped to an early lead with a 2 run home run in the 4th inning. The National league would cut that lead in half with a solo shot in the 6th. The next inning the National League would tie it all up with another solo shot. Up came the 8th inning and it was time for Mr. Marlin to shine.
I remember watching this game on ABC as a little kid. They came back from commercial and were interviewing Cal Ripken Jr. As they were talking to him they cut to the leadoff batter, it was Conine. He came in to pinch hit for Ron Gant. As Cal was talking the first pitch came in over the plate, a high ball one. They cut back to Cal and he finished his interview just in time to cut back to pitch number two. That ball was fired right down the middle; unfortunately for the pitcher it never made it to the catcher’s glove. Fortunately for National League fans and Marlins fans, Conine got ahold of the ball and sent it well over the left/center field wall. This home run gave the National League its first lead of the game. The National League would go on to win the game 3-2. Three players hit home runs for the National League that game, would be named MVP? Hmmm? How about the game winning home run, Mr. Marlin, Jeff Conine! That winning shot would earn Conine MVP honors and he became the first and only Marlin to win the award.
What an honor for Conine. He was also the 10th player in history to hit a home run his first at bat in an All-Star game. Join me tomorrow as we take a look at a very weird play in all of baseball.