A look back at the baseball world in 1993, the last time the Blue Jays held a division lead in August
It's a good time to be a Blue Jays fan. Not only did your team do some impressive wheeling and dealing at the Trade Deadline, but they've gone 12-1 in August and now find themselves in first place in the AL East. It's been a long time coming, too -- Wednesday night marked the first time that Toronto has held a division lead this late in the season since 1993, the last year the team made the playoffs.
But just how long is 20 years, anyway? To help Jays fans everywhere reflect on their awesomeness -- and give the rest of us a healthy dose of weekday '90s nostalgia -- we decided to take a look back at just what was going on in MLB in '93. Warning: There will be lots of mullets.
The Rockies and Marlins played their first Major League games
The National League welcomed its 13th and 14th teams in 1993, adding Florida and Colorado to pull even with the AL. And while both clubs understandably struggled in their first year of existence, their rosters were chock full of mid-'90s goodness -- Benito Santiago! -- and they still provided us with plenty of glimpses of future greatness. Like, you know, that time some young kid named Trevor Hoffman notched his first career save ...
...or when a 25-year-old Gary Sheffield turned the first Marlins at-bat in All-Star Game history into a home run:
The Braves signed Greg Maddux in free agency and won 104 games
The 1992 Braves were very, very good -- anchored by John Smoltz and Tom Glavine, Atlanta went all the way to the World Series before falling to, well, the Blue Jays. Not content with just two all-time greats in their rotation, however, the Braves went out and signed reigning Cy Young Award winner Greg Maddux that winter.
Surprise surprise, Maddux won another Cy Young Award in '93 and the Braves posted the best record in baseball at 104-58. Amazingly, though, that almost wasn't enough to clinch a playoff berth -- Atlanta entered the final day of the season tied for first with the Giants (it was the Braves' last season in the NL West, believe it or not), and they'd get some unexpected help from ...
Mike Piazza, Rookie/Mustache/Spoiler of the Year
In one of the more remarkable chapters in the Dodgers-Giants rivalry, L.A. entered their final game with San Francisco well out of contention at 80-81. The Giants, meanwhile, rode MVP winner Barry Bonds to the verge of a playoff berth, needing just one more win to force a one-game playoff with the Braves for the division title. That is, until Mike Piazza got involved:
Piazza slashed .318/.370/.561 on his way to NL Rookie of the Year, all of which paled in comparison to the eternal bragging rights he bestowed.
The Phillies won the NL East behind some truly magical mullets
And now, a brief, somehow-not-exhaustive list of mullets sported by various members of the 1993 Philadelphia Phillies:
Darren Daulton, rocking the rare Catcher Mullet
Lenny Dykstra, with the All-American Mullet:
And, of course, the Wild Thing:
No doubt powered by the majesty of their locks (or benefiting from some awe-struck opponents) the Phils went 97-65 and won their first division title in 10 years.
The 1993 All-Star festivities were pretty much the best
Let's all pause to remember that time Ken Griffey Jr. stepped up at the '93 Home Run Derby at Camden Yards and calmly HIT A WAREHOUSE:
Excellent in a far less traditional sense, Randy Johnson greeted John Kruk in the actual All-Star Game with a fastball 10 feet above his head.
Unsurprisingly, Kruk struck out.
So, there you have it. 1993 was a pretty great year -- a time of questionable uniforms, even more questionable haircuts and plenty of wonderful baseball. As for 2015, well, we're sure Blue Jays fans (and Drake) can remind us how things ended the last time they were here.