Over the years, the Florida/Miami Marlins have had dozens of different players make the All-Star Game. Since expansion however, only one Marlin has ever been named the MVP of the Mid-Summer Classic.
That came on this day 25 years ago.
Florida Marlins outfielder Jeff Conine played the role of hero for the National League in a 3-2 victory over the American League. Conine’s solo home run in the top of the eighth broke a 2-2 tie and served as the decisive hit.
Conine was an All-Star for the second year in a row, but didn’t get to play in the 1994 contest in Pittsburgh. On July 11, 1995 in Arlington, Conine saw just two pitches and never played the field, but did enough to be named MVP.
With the contest tied 2-2, Conine was called on to pinch hit for designated hitter Ron Gant to lead off the top of the eighth. On the second pitch he saw from Oakland Athletics’ right-hander Steve Ontiveros, Conine was able to get the sweet part of the barrel on it and drive it over the left field wall for the National League’s third solo home run of the night.
The lead would hold as relievers Heathcliff Slocumb of the Philadelphia Phillies, Tom Henke of the St. Louis Cardinals and Randy Myers of the Chicago Cubs kept the American League off the scoreboard over the final two innings. Conine was the only member of the Marlins to make the All-Star Game that season.
The N.L. finished with just three hits, but all of them left the yard. Craig Biggio homered in the sixth inning to cut the American League lead to 2-1. Mike Piazza evened the game with a solo blast in the seventh inning before Conine delivered the decisive blow in the eighth.
Both A.L. runs came in the fourth on a two-run home run by Chicago White Sox star first baseman Frank Thomas. Carlos Baerga and Cal Ripken Jr. combined for five of the eight hits for the American League, but the A.L. went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
The 1995 contest would be Conine’s final appearance in the All-Star Game. His eighth-inning blast came on his only ever at-bat in the Mid-Summer Classic. No member of the Marlins has homered in the All-Star Game since.
Conine’s heroics came on this day a quarter-century ago.