Twenty-five years ago, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons stepped on the field for the first time. In honor of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre franchise’s 25th year anniversary, The Times Leader is counting down the Top 25 memorable moments in its history every week until the end of the season. All three teams — Red Barons, Yankees and RailRiders — are represented on the list as put together by the staff of The Times Leader. There’s sure to be some debate here as well, which makes it that much more fun.
It was July 12, 1995 and NEPA was buzzing about baseball because the eighth annual Triple-A All-Star Game was held in Moosic for the first time ever.
It was also the first time the area and local Yankee fans would see up-and-coming prospect for New York, Derek Jeter.
“I remember coming here, but it was a completely different stadium,” Jeter said last summer when he made two different stops at PNC Field on a rehab assignment. “It was all turf. This is beautiful now. Not saying it wasn’t before, because I really don’t remember; I just remember it was turf. That was 18 years ago. That’s a long time.”
Jeter, who was 21-years-old at the time, went 2 for 3 with a double and a run scored in the game as the American League shutout the National League, 9-0.
Jason Isringhausen, a top Mets prospect at the time, got the nod for the NL and allowed three runs (one earned) in his two innings of work. Isringhausen wasn’t the only player who struggled for the home NL squad, the team managed only two hits for a paltry .067 batting average (2 for 31) and the defense made four errors.
The AL team got a 3 for 5 performance from Howard Battle, who also scored two runs en route to winning the Stars of Stars International League award. Luis Lopez also had a big night for the winners going 3 for 5 with three runs scored, four RBI and a three-run round-tripper. Lopez, who was a longtime slugger for the Dodgers and Braves systems, picked up the Howe Sportsdata Star of Stars Award and the American Association MVP Award. The Pacific Coast League MVP went to Riccardo Ingram, who was 1 for 3 with an RBI.
Before the American Association disbanded in 1997, the Triple-A All-Star Game featured players from the International League, the American Association and the Pacific Coast League. The players were then divided into two squads, according to whether their Triple-A team is affiliated with a National League or American League team. Some teams from the AA moved to the I.L. and others jumped to the PCL.
In addition to Jeter, several other future Major League All-Stars stepped on the field that day as 10,965 fans watched. Other notable players in the contest included Jeromy Burnitz, Mark Sweeney, Eddie Perez, John Marzano and Mark Loretta. The NL team was managed by former Major League skipper Grady Little.