Saturday, June 15, 2013

#21 Luis Salazar

About the Front: As Luis Salazar dances off of second base, it looks like he's wearing forearm bands. I don't know if I've ever seen someone wear wristbands that large/that high.

About the Back: This is Salazar's complete major league statistical record, as he did not catch on with another team in 1993. Even though he didn't reach the majors until 1980, he signed with Kansas City as a teenager in 1973, so two decades in pro ball is nothing to sneeze at.

Triple Play:

1. As the Padres' starting third baseman in the early 1980s, Luis was a good defender. He led the National League in range factor at his position in 1982 and 1983, and also turned a league-high 28 double plays from the hot corner in 1982.

2. He pitched twice in mop-up relief for San Diego in 1987. He finished out a 10-1 loss to the Astros on June 10 with a scoreless inning of work, but allowed a run to the Reds on two hits and a wild pitch on July 29 in a 15-5 loss.

3. Salazar has coached and managed in the Brewers, Dodgers, and Braves organizations. During an Atlanta spring training game in 2011, he was struck flush in the face by a Brian McCann foul ball and was knocked unconscious. Though he lost his left eye as a result of the accident, he was considered very fortunate to have avoided brain damage and other serious injuries.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: It's funny to think that I spent my first year as a baseball fan closely poring over the cards of players in this set when some of them (such as Luis Salazar) were already out of baseball. Thanks to an absence of Internet and a more expansive cable platform, I literally didn't know what I was missing.

Bill James Said: Nothin'. As I've made very clear, Luis didn't play in 1993.

On This Date in 1993: June 15. Mike Piazza has the first two-homer game of his career, and the Dodgers rally for 10 runs in the final two innings to blow out the Rockies. It's a 12-4 final.

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