The Toronto Blue Jays captured their third consecutive A.L. East title in 1993, finishing the regular season with a record of 95-67, seven games ahead of the second-place New York Yankees. The Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers tied for third in the division, 10 games behind first-place Toronto.
Featuring a solid pitching staff and the league’s second-highest scoring offense, the Blue Jays established themselves as the class of the A.L. East over the course of the campaign. They placed second in the league with 847 runs scored, topped the circuit with 170 stolen bases, a .279 team batting average, and a .436 team slugging average, and compiled the fifth-best team ERA (4.21).
Pat Hentgen and Juan Guzman served as the team’s top two starters. Hentgen finished 19-9 with a 3.87 ERA. Guzman compiled an outstanding 14-3 record and placed among the league leaders with 194 strikeouts. Reliever Duane Ward posted an ERA of 2.13, struck out 97 batters in 72 innings of work, and led the league with 45 saves.
On offense, the Blue Jays featured the most balanced attack in the league. Devon White placed among the A.L. leaders with 116 runs scored, 42 doubles, and 34 stolen bases. Roberto Alomar hit 17 home runs, drove in 93 runs, and finished near the top of the league rankings with a .326 batting average, 109 runs scored, and 55 stolen bases. Joe Carter led the team with 33 home runs and 121 runs batted in. John Olerud hit 24 homers, knocked in 107 runs, scored 109 others, and led the league with a .363 batting average, a .473 on-base percentage, and 54 doubles. Serving primarily as the team’s designated hitter, Paul Molitor hit 22 home runs, drove in 111 runs, scored another 121, placed second to Olerud in the batting race with a mark of .332, and led the league with 211 hits. Molitor earned a second-place finish in the A.L. MVP voting, while Olerud finished third in the balloting.
As impressive a batting order as the Blue Jays presented to opposing pitchers, it was the Detroit Tigers that ended up topping the circuit with 899 runs scored. Cecil Fielder, Mickey Tettleton, Tony Phillips, and Travis Fryman paced the Tiger attack. Fielder hit 30 homers and drove in 117 runs. Tettleton went deep 32 times and knocked in 110 runs. Phillips batted .313, scored 113 runs, and led the league with 132 bases on balls. Fryman batted .300, hit 22 homers, knocked in 97 runs, and scored 98 others. The Tigers might have mounted a more serious challenge to the Blue Jays for the division title had their pitchers not compiled a team ERA of 4.65 that placed them 12th in the league rankings.
The sixth-place Cleveland Indians, who finished 19 games behind Toronto in the East, also featured a potent lineup that included a trio of All-Stars. Albert Belle hit 38 home runs, batted .290, and topped the circuit with 129 runs batted in. Kenny Lofton led the league with 70 stolen bases and also placed among the leaders with 116 runs scored and a .325 batting average. Carlos Baerga hit 21 homers, drove in 114 runs, scored 105 others, batted .321, and collected 200 hits.
Although the Chicago White Sox lacked the overall offensive firepower of the Blue Jays, Tigers, and Indians, they boasted a superior pitching staff that led the American League with a team ERA of 3.70. Chicago’s outstanding pitching enabled them to finish first in the West with a record of 94-68, eight games ahead of the second-place Texas Rangers. Jack McDowell, Alex Fernandez, and Wilson Alvarez gave the White Sox three quality starters. McDowell earned A.L. Cy Young honors by going 22-10, with a 3.37 ERA, 10 complete games, 257 innings pitched, and a league-leading four shutouts. Fernandez finished second on the team with 18 wins, a 3.13 ERA, and 247 innings pitched. Alvarez posted 15 victories and led the staff with a 2.95 ERA.
Although the White Sox finished just seventh in the league with 776 runs scored, their lineup featured arguably the circuit’s finest all-around hitter in Frank Thomas. The big first baseman earned A.L. MVP honors by hitting 41 homers, driving in 128 runs, scoring 106 others, batting .317, compiling a .426 on-base percentage, and posting a .607 slugging average. Thomas received a considerable amount of help in Chicago’s batting order from Robin Ventura, Tim Raines, and Lance Johnson. Ventura finished second on the club with 22 home runs and 94 runs batted in. Raines batted .306 and stole 21 bases. Johnson batted .311, stole 35 bases, and led the league with 14 triples.
The White Sox made their ALCS matchup with the Blue Jays a competitive one, scoring only three fewer runs than their Eastern Division counterparts before falling in six games. Toronto’s potent lineup ended up being too much for Chicago to overcome, as the Blue Jays compiled a .301 team batting average during the Series. Paul Molitor and Devon White led the charge. Molitor batted .391, homered once, drove in five runs, and scored seven others. White collected 12 hits in 27 trips to the plate for a .444 batting average. Yet, 36-year-old right-hander Dave Stewart walked away with ALCS MVP honors by winning both his starts, posting a 2.03 ERA, and allowing only eight hits in his 13 1/3 innings of work.
The Blue Jays subsequently captured their second straight world championship by defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series in six games. The two teams combined to score a total of 81 runs in the high-scoring affair, with Toronto’s come-from-behind 15-14 Game Four victory proving to be the most exciting contest in the Series. The Fall Classic appropriately ended when Joe Carter delivered a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game Six that gave the Blue Jays an 8-6 Series-clinching win. Paul Molitor earned Series MVP honors by batting .500, hitting two homers, driving in eight runs, and scoring 10 others.
Other notable events from around the league and players who distinguished themselves over the course of the season included:
• June 3 – The Seattle Mariners selected Alex Rodriguez with the first pick in the 1993 Major League Baseball Draft.
• June 28 – The Chicago White Sox unceremoniously released Carlton Fisk just six days after the veteran receiver broke Bob Boone’s major league record for most games caught.
• July 28 – Seattle’s Ken Griffey, Jr. tied a record held jointly by Dale Long and Don Mattingly by homering in his eighth consecutive game.
• September 16 - Dave Winfield of the Minnesota Twins recorded his 3,000th career hit.
• California’s Tim Salmon (31 HR, 95 RBIs, .283 batting average) earned A.L. Rookie of the Year honors.
• Ken Griffey, Jr. hit 45 home runs, knocked in 109 runs, scored 113 others, and batted .309.
• Juan Gonzalez of the Texas Rangers drove in 118 runs, scored 105 others, batted .310, and led the American League with 46 home runs and a .632 slugging average.
• Ranger teammate Rafael Palmeiro hit 37 homers, knocked in 105 runs, batted .295, and led the league with 124 runs scored.
• Carlos Baerga became the first second baseman ever to collect 200 or more hits, 20 or more homers, and 100 or more RBIs two seasons in a row.
• Reggie Jackson was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
• Seattle's Randy Johnson led the major leagues with 308 strikeouts.
• Kansas City’s Kevin Appier led all A.L. hurlers with a 2.56 ERA.
• The Indians played their final game in Cleveland Stadium, the Tribe's home since 1932.
• Two Cleveland relievers, Tim Crews and Steve Olin, lost their lives in a preseason boating accident.
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- 1993 ALCS, 1993 World Series, Albert Belle, Alex Fernandez, Alex Rodriguez, American League, Carlos Baerga, Carlton Fisk, Cecil Fielder, Chicago White Sox, Dave Stewart, Dave Winfield, Devon White, Duane Ward, Frank Thomas, Jack McDowell, Joe Carter, John Olerud, Juan Gonzalez, Juan Guzman, Ken Griffey, Jr., Kenny Lofton, Kevin Appier, Lance Johnson, Mickey Tettleton, Pat Hentgen, Paul Molitor, Rafael Palmeiro, Randy Johnson, Rickey Henderson, Roberto Alomar, Robin Ventura, Steve Olin, Tim Crews, Tim Raines, Tim Salmon, Tony Phillips, Toronto Blue Jays, Travis Fryman, Wilson Alvarez