Thursday, April 24, 2014
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.
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)
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.