Replacement Players

The 1994 strike set in motion a chain of events that Major League Baseball and its fans still feels to this day. One of them was the use of replacement players during Spring Training in 1995 (Excel spreadsheet with complete rosters can be download from this page). These players, like them or not, crossed the proverbial picket line and became forever known as the replacements.

Each of the players below, according to the Players Association, are not allowed union membership. They each are given representation during arbitration or other matters, they all receive pension benefits, but they are not part of the actual union — which essentially means they do not receive any licensing monies and they cannot vote on union matters.

Each Major League team was permitted to carry thirty-two replacement players on their rosters for Opening Day and twenty-five could be used in any game. No waivers were going to be used, no disabled lists, and salaries were set at $115,000 (plus a $5,000 signing bonus, a $5,000 bonus for making the Opening Day roster, and up to three players could have a contract as high as $275,000).

When the strike finally came to an end, Major League players had a three week Spring Training and replacement players were either sent to the Minor Leagues, terminated, or in some cases given a team travel bag to load their belongings in before leaving to their homes. However, the following players have made it to "the show" and are considered non-union replacement players.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"It was one of the lowest points in baseball history, a time of anger, confusion and disgrace. In spring training of 1995, major league players were on strike, so teams were built with replacement players, a collection of minor leaguers, former major leaguers and anyone else who could play at all." - Tim Kurkjian in ESPN The Magazine (August 2002)

Replacement Players

In Alphabetical Order

Joel Adamson 04-10-1996 Levi Atwater
Benny Agbayani 06-17-1998 Brian Hiller
Tony Barron 06-02-1996 Jim Ripp
Joe Crawford 04-07-1997 Randy Gaynes
Brian Daubach 09-10-1998 Jack Harten
Brendan Donnelly 04-09-2002 (Real Name Used)
Angel Echevarria 07-15-1996 Andy Gabriel
Charles Gipson 03-31-1998 Fred Rivers
Scarborough Green 08-02-1997 Rey Clem
Jason Hardtke 09-08-1996 Robbie Miller
Pep Harris 08-14-1996 Lancaster St. James
Matt Herges 08-03-1999 Keith Shetter
Chris Latham 04-12-1997 Joey Laker
Cory Lidle 05-08-1997 Fuller Starr
Kerry Ligtenberg 08-12-1997 Lee Grove
Rich Loiselle 09-07-1996 Frankie Nina
Ron Mahay 05-21-1995 Red Crestwood
Tom Martin 04-02-1997 Eddie Chamura
Walt McKeel 09-14-1996 (Real Name Used)
Frank Menechino 09-07-1999 Jerry Legler
Lou Merloni 05-10-1998 Joey DePalma
Kevin Millar 04-11-1998 Mike Butcher
Damian Miller 08-10-1997 Don Cross
Eddie Oropesa 04-02-2001 (Real Name Used)
Keith Osik 04-05-1996 Rollie Thomas
Bronswell Patrick 05-18-1998 Charles Dempsey
Alex Ramirez 09-19-1998 Doug Mast
Mandy Romero 07-15-1997 Barry Armand
Chuck Smith 06-13-2000 Tom Keaton
Shane Spencer 04-10-1998 Jimmy Ladd
Joe Strong 05-11-2000 Dan Ruth
Pedro Swann 09-09-2000 (Real Name Used)
Jeff Tam 06-03-1998 Todd Pearl
Brian Tollberg 06-20-2000 Norm Heffner
Chris Truby 06-16-2000 Sonny Young
Jamie Walker 04-02-1997 Rey Clark

Replacement Players
Who Had Previous Major League Experience

In Alphabetical Order

Rick Reed * 08-08-1988 Alan Hunt
Joe Slusarski 04-11-1991 Bob Bleacher
The Replacement Players by Baseball Almanac
Sources : The Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball (1999)
: New York Times (Many Citations from 1994)
: David A. Walker [APBA Data] (08-01-2004)
: Jason Robertson [Excel Data] (08-31-2004)
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

The replacement players were entitled to their signing bonus and Spring Training expenses. Most of the Major League teams paid this and gave a severance ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 per player. The St. Louis Cardinals , on the other hand, gave each replacement player $25,000 while the Montreal Expos gave each player a jersey. The Phillies , who probably did not want to be considered as cheap as the Expos , gave each player their jersey AND a ball signed by the entire team (the same team that they were playing on / with).

Click the computer to download the Spring 1995 Excel Sheet

How do you feel about the replacement players? Should current / modern players still hold a grudge? Should the players listed above be allowed into the union? Share your opinion on Baseball Fever today, but keep in mind some of the situations each player was placed in during that particular time:

(*) Tim Kurkjian in ESPN The Magazine wrote, " Rick Reed knew. He was pitching for the Reds' Triple-A club, his 10th year of pro ball. He was told by the Reds to cross the line or he'd be released, then blackballed. Reed's mother was sick, he was paying her medical bills, and he couldn't stop working. So he played. Late in the 1995 season, he was recalled by the Reds because they badly needed pitching. General manager Jim Bowden called a team meeting to inform the players of what he was planning to do. One player stood up in the back of the clubhouse and screamed his opposition, claiming he would never be a teammate with a 'scab.' "

The Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball (1996) reported that, "A player making the Major League average of $1.2 million lost $355,776 in salary during the 1994 portion of the strike ($6,976 per day)."

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