The Fading of 1990s Baseball: An Update

Last June, I wrote an article detailing the end of an era—that is, 1990s baseball. Fewer and fewer players from that decade remain as the years slowly creep forward.

When I wrote the article, there were, by my estimate, 130 1990s players still active in Major League Baseball. Let’s see just how many of those players will be around in 2011.

This is the original list of the 1990s players still active in the majors in 2010. It is organized by year of debut.

1990: None.
1991: Arthur Rhodes, Ivan Rodriguez, Jim Thome.
1992: Miguel Batista, Matt Stairs, Tim Wakefield.
1993: Brad Ausmus, Jim Edmonds, Trevor Hoffman, Chipper Jones, Darren Oliver, Manny Ramirez.
1994: Garret Anderson, Chan Ho Park, Alex Rodriguez.
1995: Mike Cameron, Juan Castro, Craig Counsell, Johnny Damon, Jason Giambi, Mark Grudzielanek, LaTroy Hawkins, Derek Jeter, Ron Mahay, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Jeff Suppan, Mike Sweeney, Billy Wagner, Greg Zaun.
1996: Bobby Abreu, Miguel Cairo, Luis Castillo, Vladimir Guerrero, Livan Hernandez, Raul Ibanez, Andruw Jones, Jason Kendall, Trever Miller, Brian Mohler, Edgar Renteria, Scott Rolen, Jamie Wright.
1997: Henry Blanco, Orlando Cabrera, Chris Carpenter, Frank Catalanotto, Jose Guillen, Todd Helton, Torii Hunter, Paul Konerko, Mark Kotsay, Derrek Lee, Derek Lowe, Kevin Millwood, Magglio Ordonez, David Ortiz, Dennys Reyes, Fernando Tatis, Miguel Tejada, Jason Varitek.
1998: Ronnie Belliard, Adrian Beltre, Russell Branyan, Tim Byrdak, Eric Chavez, Bruce Chen, Alex Cora, Ryan Dempster, Mark DeRosa, J.D. Drew, Troy Glaus, Alex Gonzalez, Carlos Guillen, Jerry Hairston, Roy Halladay, Wes Helms, Bob Howry, Gabe Kapler, Mike Lowell, Bengie Molina, Russ Ortiz, Carl Pavano, A.J. Pierzynski, Placido Polanco, Aramis Ramirez, Mike Redmond, Javier Vazquez, Randy Winn, Kerry Wood
1999: Rick Ankiel, Rod Barajas, Kris Benson, Lance Berkman, Casey Blake, Geoff Blum, A.J. Burnett, Ramon Castro, Francisco Cordero, Doug Davis, Octavio Dotel, Chad Durbin, Kyle Farnsworth, Ryan Franklin, Freddy Garcia, Cristian Guzman, Ramon Hernandez, Tim Hudson, Adam Kennedy, Jason LaRue, Carlos Lee, Ted Lilly, Mike Lincoln, Damaso Marte, Gary Matthews, John McDonald, Gil Meche, Jose Molina, Melvin Mora, Guillermo Mota, Ramon Ortiz, Vicente Padilla, J.C. Romero, Scott Schoeneweis, Alfonso Soriano, Jeff Weaver, Vernon Wells, Dan Wheeler, Randy Wolf.

From the above list, a few players have since retired:

Garret Anderson (1994 debut)
Brad Ausmus (1993)
Kris Benson (1999)
Frank Catalanotto (1997)
Jim Edmonds (1993)
Mark Grudzeilanek (1995)
Trevor Hoffman (1993)
Bob Howry (1998)
Jason LaRue (1999)
Mike Lowell (1998)
Gil Meche (1999)
Russ Ortiz (1998)
Andy Pettitte (1995)
Mike Redmond (1998)
Billy Wagner (1995)
Gregg Zaun (1995)

Some are currently free-agents, despite Opening Day being just a few short weeks away:

Doug Davis (1999 debut)
Troy Glaus (1998)
Jose Guillen (1997)
Cristian Guzman (1999)
Mike Lincoln (1999)
Gary Matthews (1999)
Kevin Millwood (1997)
Brian Moehler (1996)
Bengie Molina (1998)
Scott Schoeneweis (1999)
Mike Sweeney (1995)
Fernando Tatis (1997)
Jeff Weaver (1999)

And one has even gone overseas:

Chan-Ho Park (to Orix Buffaloes in Japan)

It should be noted that two names can be added to the list of 1990s players who are still active. When I wrote the article last year, Mike Hampton (1993 debut) and David Riske (1999 debut) had not yet appeared in the majors—however, they made their season debuts later on. Some others who played in 2010 did not make the list last year, either (because of personal error or because they were not in the majors at the time), however they are currently free-agents: Elmer Dessens (1996 debut), Jay Payton (1998), Scott Strickland (1999) and Chris Woodward (1999). Russ Springer (1992 debut), who made his 2010 debut in July, retired in January 2011.

In addition, my numbers from last year need to be revised. Last season, I said 1,830 players made their debuts in the 1990s—that is incorrect. In actuality, 1,879 players made their debuts in those years. I also said that only 130 were still active (that is, they played in the big leagues in 2010). Factoring in the players that I missed and the players that appeared after I wrote the article, that number has changed to 138—meaning 7.3% of 1990s players were still around, as opposed to the 6.9% I stated last year. Even after revising the details, one thing is still certain: 1990s baseball is definitely waning.

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