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Indians Indians Archive Cleveland Sports Photo Journal: Topps’ 1993 Indians; Our Name-That-Player Quiz
Written by Greg Popelka

Greg Popelka

1993 topps so copyNext spring will be filled with nostalgia. Ready or not, we will be celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the opening of what is now known as Progressive Field. Countless details from Jacobs Field’s inaugural 1994 season will be remembered, analyzed, and toasted.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the 1994 team was developing into a pennant contender. We are still familiar with those rosters of the 1990s. We know the players on a first-name basis. Why not? To us, they are family. It matters little whether their skills faded because they were near the end of the line by the time they arrived in Cleveland (a couple of them), or if they came up short of the ultimate goal (all of them), or if they eventually ended up getting signed by a desperate Chicago White Sox franchise (about 9,438 of them, I think).

If next season marks twenty years at The Jake, then that means this year is the twentieth anniversary of the last season at Cleveland Stadium. Make no ‘mistake’ (yes, that is a pun): I would not want to go back to that old place (at least, not for baseball). But the good memories from the Stadium are countless. 1993 featured the display of some building blocks of the powerhouse teams of the mid to late 90s.

How well do you recall the 1993 Indians roster? We thought it would be fun to test our memory banks.  I’m thinking this may appeal to Tribe fans of all ages. For one thing, even if you are a teenager, you know of those mid-90s teams. For another, the ‘questions’ here are simply photos of the players- photos snipped from their 1993 baseball cards. Staying as mainstream as possible, we only used cards issued by Topps. So chances are, you guys have these cards in your closet, anyway.

We’ll call this quiz “Name That Player”. Ready? The answers are at the bottom of this piece. Begin.

1993 topps ff1)        The photo at the top is your first question. Tragically, he never played in 1993. But every Cleveland Indians fan needs to know his story. One excellent place to be up to speed with that is here.



2)         I always think of this player (left) in the same way I think of running back Jim Brown. Jim Brown, and this player. This player, and Jim Brown. But that’s only because my mother once met each, and each was very kind to her. But that may not help you.

This ballplayer would soon be traded. The player received in return played the same position, quickly becoming a building block of the 90’s Indians. But the player in this photo was a fine fielder in his own1993 topps snip mc right.





3)    This pitcher (right) is someone of whom I have no memory at all. Zero. But, again, you probably have his baseball card so… Yes. Yes, the ruling is in, and we have confirmation that it is a fair question.

 Wikipedia says he came up with the Dodgers, then pitched with the Tribe before spending a couple seasons with the Tigers.

1993 topps sa 


4)      (left) Thought I’d go easy on you for this one. I bet he knows who Number1993 topps kl 3 is, above…



 5)      Ditto. The Indians acquired and sent away this guy (right) like three times. And 20 years after the issuance of this card, they signed his clone.

1993 topps cm 

6)      You know this player (left): he is the one who, in 1993 at the Stadium, hit the fly ball to right center field that the Rangers’ Jose Canseco guided over the fence. Canseco did it with his head. Gooooooal! No- Home Run!


 1993 topps rj

7)      Here’s one that you may need to stretch a bit for. He (right) was the other player the Indians included when they traded #2, above.


 1993 topps jm

8)      This starting pitcher (left) had broken into the big leagues with the Baltimore Orioles. You might recognize his face better with an image in your mind of Tony Pena’s catcher’s mitt smacking it.



1993 topps dm9)      Back to a more obscure guy. But not for you- you know that 571 was his (right) 1993 Topps card number (number one in your hearts).


1993 topps wk 

10)    You know how when you want to give a clue, and it’s the only one you can think of, but it makes the answer obvious? I hope that’s not the case here: This player’s (left) brother was a member of the post-move Cleveland Browns.


 1993 topps jt

11)    Another easy one. I could not believe those Indians. Beginning with this guy (right), the Tribe was a veritable first baseman factory. If only they could do that with starting pitchers. (Or could at least be realistic enough to see that it would be a good idea to deal them for Pedro Martinez or Randy Johnson. But that’s a conversation for another day.) 

The Indians circa 1993 were stocked with terrific hitters in the minors, just waiting to explode with the big club. This player was actually a third baseman, at the time. Had hit .350 in Triple A as he waited to join the team’s core.

1993 topps ps



12)    He (left) was the 1993 Tribe’s first baseman. He was a left handed hitter, but it seemed like he was the one guy you could count on to get good wood on the ball against Randy Johnson. It seemed like The Unit had a chance to throw a no-hitter every time he faced you- but this player at least made some loud sounds with his bat on some of the lefty’s pitches.1993 topps ml 

He’d hit the first grand slam ever, at The Jake, in May of 1994.



13)   A much ballyhooed infield prospect out of southwest Ohio, this player (right) fizzled. These guys didn’t all star on those playoff teams of the 90s.


1993 topps dc 

14)   I remember this lefty reliever (left) as a highly effective Florida Marlin, stifling the Indians in the 1997 World Series.


 1993 topps dl

15)   I was watching a lot of baseball prior to 1993. Cable was fresh, and the Atlanta Braves’ games seemed to always be on. This relief pitcher (right) had pitched for them, moving on to San Diego before joining the Indians.


1993 topps mw 

16)   While this outfielder (left) was shown as a Cleveland Indian on his 1993 Topps card, he actually played for St. Louis that season. As a Cardinal, he flashed incredible ability. Once, he hit four home runs in one game- and set a record with twelve (12) RBIs. His throwing arm was not to be outdone by his bat: he had nine assists in 1994.

But this photo is also used in several highly acclaimed dictionaries, next to the word “inconsistent.” He bounced around with eight 1993 topps snip abteams in eleven seasons.



17)  A gimmee. He’s (right) tricky, though- he’d recently changed his first name, so beware.



18)  Haha!! This player (left) bounced around the big leagues during his career, and had a reputation as a defensive liability. I just learned that somewhere along 1993 topps ghthe way, he acquired a nickname: The Juggler! That is hilarious.

Once, while playing for the Indians, he was noted to have achieved a “phantom steal”. After a controversial play in the outfield, he 1993 topps ssnonchalantly moved from first base to second base while nobody was paying attention.



19)   This pitcher (right) didn’t last very long in the big leagues. He had been acquired by the Indians in the deal that sent Greg Swindell to the Reds.



1993 topps cn20)   This starting pitcher (left) was the closest thing the 90s Indians had to a young “ace.” He was a core player on those teams. Opened The Jake in 1994, facing Randy Johnson. Had been a U.S. Olympic baseball star. Currently is the pitching coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks.


1993 topps ep


21)   This relief pitcher (right) would be the winning pitcher in that game that opened The Jake, in 1994. He was a solid middle reliever for several seasons, teaming up with Paul Assenmacher. The Indians would end up dealing him in 1998, bringing back 80s star closer Doug Jones.



1993 topps jo22)   This was the catcher (left) who caught the most games for the Indians in 1993. Wore number 0.


1993 topps jl 

23)   Another catcher (right), who would back up Number 4, above, for several seasons.



1993 CY24)   In a season of tragedy, this 1993 Indians pitcher (left) was killed in November, when his car struck a tree.


 1992 manny topps

25)   Sorry, no 1993 Topps card is available of this player (right), apparently. Here is a 1992 card. Just for fun!



The answers are below this photo of Cleveland Stadium, taken on the 1993 season's final day.  




Cleveland Stadium 1993 last game














How did you do?

1)   Steve Olin. I would say more about Olin, but I’m going to let my suggestion stand, to read that linked article instead (if you have not yet).

2)   Felix “el Gato” Fermin. Great glove; more walks than strikeouts. Omar Vizquel came to the Tribe in the deal that sent Fermin to Seattle.

3)   Mike Christopher. If that photo was taken during a regular season game, it was in one of his 19 total appearances.

4)   Sandy Alomar, Jr. I bet Sandy knows who Mike Christopher is.

5)   Kenny Lofton. He says playing in the inflated stats/steroid era hurt his chances for the Baseball Hall of Fame. I agree with him.

6)   Carlos Martinez. Some people mistakenly call him “Carmelo”. You can win a bet at the bar armed with this knowledge. Find an anti-Buckeye fan Thursday night and win yourself a beer.

7)   Reggie Jefferson. He was used at first base in 1993 along with Number 12, below. Whomever was not the first baseman often was the DH.

8)   Jose Mesa. I’m not going to pile on “Joe Table.” OK, other than to say it was his fault, in 1997. Only because I still hear people blaming Tony Fernandez or Charles Nagy. It was Mesa- or maybe Mike Hargrove. Everyone saw how shaky Mesa was in the playoffs, and wanted Hargrove to use Mike Jackson in the World Series.

9)   Dave Mlicki. He did something noteworthy while playing in New York, apparently, but it is something that is of no consequence to us.

10)   Wayne Kirby. Had a nice rookie season in 1993- finished third in ROY voting. But Manny Ramirez would take over his full-time role in 1994- after Kirby would drive in the winning run in the opener at The Jake.

11)   Jim Thome. Love the Thomenator- but a statue? Is that appropriate? Bob Feller… and Jim Thome? No.

12)   Paul Sorrento. Also had a good glove at first. Had previous World Series experience with the Twins. Sorrento was clutch, too.

13)   Mark Lewis. No fear: the shortstop position would be adequately filled through the 90s.

14)   Dennis Cook. He was actually one of the extended contracts executed by GM John Hart as the Indians locked up players in a cost-certainty strategy. They knew some would not work out in favor of the club. This was perhaps one of those.

15)   Derek Lilliquist. He’s currently the pitching coach for the St. Louis Cardinals.

16)   “Hard Hittin’” Mark Whiten. He actually returned to the Indians for a short spell, at the end of his career.

17)   Albert Belle. The most feared hitter in all of baseball in the 1990s. But you know that.

18)   Glenallen Hill. Was so afraid of spiders that during his time as a Toronto Blue Jay, he had a nightmare while sleeping and fell out of bed for fear of a spider attack. He fell through a glass table, suffering injuries that sent him to the disabled list.

19)   Scott Scudder. Watched his hometown Texas Rangers in Arlington as a kid, and beat them as a pitcher there while with the Indians.

20)   Charles Nagy. Sorry, but I’d feel disingenuous if I didn’t come clean: I usually admired Nagy, but when he allowed a big inning, he tended to be a pouter. I blasted him for that, for years. (Note to self: check on how he is doing handling the Arizona staff.)

21)   Eric Plunk. Love that last name, for a pitcher.

22)   Junior Ortiz. He has a son named Junior, Jr.

23)   Jesse Levis. They must have loved this guy- he played a lot when Sandy was dinged. Didn’t hit but on those teams, they didn’t really need him to.

24)   Cliff Young. Reports were that he attempted to light a cigarette, and lost control of the car. A cautionary tale for each one of us: distractions while driving kill.

25)   Manny Ramirez. For the record, “Manny Being Manny” was coined by Mike Hargrove, in Cleveland. There is a pre-Red Sox Thomas Boswell article out there that corroborates this. Just sayin.






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