April 17, 2013

1994: The first season of many

The inaugural season and franchise history kicked off with a 14-inning victory in Reading, Pa. 

In 1994, professional baseball returned to Maine for the first time since the Triple-A Maine Guides and Maine Phillies played at The Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach from 1984-1988.

click image to enlarge

click image to enlarge

Young Sea Dog fans swarm to Charles Johnson for his autograph on 7/14/94 at Hadlock Field. photo by John Patriquin

Affiliation: Florida Marlins
Manager: Carlos Tosca
Attendance: 375,197 (5,437 average)

Final standings

Northern Division
Team Aff W L Pct. GB
Binghamton 82 59 .582 -
New Haven 77 56 .550 4.5
Albany 71 70 .504 11
Portland 60 81 .426 22
Southern Division
Team Aff W L Pct. GB
Harrisburg 88 51 .633 -
Bowie 84 58 .592 5.5
Canton-Akron 69 73 .486 20.5
Reading 58 82 .414 30.5
Trenton 55 85 .393 33.5

Notable hitters

Player HR RBI SB Avg.
Charles Johnson 28 80 4 .264
Terry Jorgensen 14 72 0 .289
Tim Clark 14 65 3 .265

Notable pitchers

Player W L SV ERA
Vic Darensbourg 10 7 4 3.81
Don Perigny 6 9 11 3.86
Marc Valdes 8 4 0 2.55

The inaugural game was in Reading, Pa., on April 7, and it was memorable. Javier De Le Hoya threw the first pitch to Phillies batter David Tokhiem, while Jesus Taverez recorded the first hit in franchise history.

However, the most dramatic moment came in the 14th inning with the score tied at one. Top prospect Charles Johnson gave the Sea Dogs the lead with the first home run in team history. 

The Dogs held off the Phillies in the bottom half of the inning to win their first game in dramatic fashion.

The first-ever first-round draft pick of the Florida Marlins, Johnson lived up to the hype, hitting .264 with 28 home runs, and 80 RBI.

Besides Johnson, Tim Clark hit .265 and added 14 home runs and 65 RBI to the Sea Dogs offense. Marc Valdes finished with an 8-4 record and a 2.55 ERA to lead the pitching staff. 

Although the Sea Dogs struggled in their inaugural season, fans were coming out in record numbers. One highlight was getting a chance to see Gary Sheffield play in Portland on a rehabilitation assignment.

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