Tuesday, March 11, 2014

#173 Andres Galarraga

About the Front: It's odd to see Andres Galarraga in a Cardinals uniform. St. Louis was a one-year blip between his eight years in Montreal and his great five-season stint in Colorado.

About the Back: On June 25, 1995, the Big Cat victimized three different Padres pitchers for his only three-HR game in the majors. He also walked twice and drove in seven of the Rockies' 11 runs.

Triple Play:

1. As you can see on the card back, Andres looked to be in steady decline after becoming a first-time All-Star in 1988. The Rockies signed him in November 1992 and it was just what the doctor ordered. The free-swinging first baseman led the majors with a .370 batting average in 1993 and slugged .602. Mile High boost or not, that's impressive.

2. Galarraga also paced the National League with 47 HR and 150 RBI in 1996, the first of three straight 40-homer seasons that obliterated his previous career high of 31.

3. He missed the entire 1999 season while battling non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He came back to make his final All-Star team in 2000 at age 39, batting .302/.369/.526 with 28 home runs and 100 RBI for the Braves.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I was predisposed to like Andres from the word 'go'. He had a cool name, a cooler nickname, and he put up video game numbers for a shiny new expansion team. Then he played well into his forties, which I've always found endearing.

Bill James Said: "Saw only 2.97 pitches per plate appearance, the lowest of any major league regular." It worked for him...

On This Date in 1993: March 11. Anthony Davis, Jr. is born in Chicago. In 2012, he will be the first overall pick in the NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets (now known as the Pelicans).

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