Tuesday, February 18, 2014

#164 Leo Gomez

About the Front: The green padded backstop makes me think that we're in Fenway Park. It's even odds that Leo Gomez just cleared the Green Monster. Maybe this was part of his three-game HR streak in Boston in midsummer of 1992.

About the Back: Hey! Leo grew a mustache in the time it took to flip this card over!

Triple Play:

1. His only career walkoff home run was an 11th-inning tiebreaker off of the White Sox' Donn Pall on August 12, 1991.

2. He finished his career with a six-season stint with Japan's Chunichi Dragons, batting .293/.382/.532 with 153 home runs and 449 RBI and retiring in 2002.

3. Gomez returned to the Baltimore organization as a minor league coach in 2009. In 2011, he managed their short-season low-A Aberdeen IronBirds club to a 24-51 finish.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: Just looking at this card is enough to make me think of Jon Miller calling him "LAY-o Gomez" on WBAL Radio play-by-play. That brings a smile to my face.

Bill James Said: "He was troubled by tendonitis and a cyst on his right wrist, plus his manager doesn't seem to believe in him, which often resolves itself by a trade." Gomez actually outlasted skipper Johnny Oates in Baltimore, batting .274/.366/.502 in a rebound performance in 1994 but losing his grip on the third base job again in '95 under new manager Phil Regan.

On This Date in 1993: February 18. The Red Sox sign free agent closer Jeff Russell. He will save 33 games in 37 chances with a 2.70 ERA in his only full season in Boston.

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