Wednesday, October 8, 2014

#296 Luis Rivera

About the Front: Luis Rivera is preparing to slap a tag on Chuck Knoblauch as the Twins' second baseman slides headfirst into second base at the Metrodome. My half-baked research skills pinpoint July 16, 1992 as the likely date that this photo was snapped. In the bottom of the first inning, Knoblauch hit a leadoff single and proceeded to get picked off by pitcher Joe Hesketh, who threw to first baseman Mo Vaughn, who threw to the shortstop Rivera, who made the putout at second. Minnesota won 7-6.

About the Back: Oof, they referenced his minor league stats. Double oof, A-ball stats. Triple oof, A-ball DEFENSIVE stats.

Triple Play:

1. Luis hit a grand total of 28 career home runs, and had two home runs each against a pair of pitchers: Jeff D. Robinson and Hall of Famer Tom Glavine.

2. According to the Baseball Reference Bullpen wiki, Rivera's nickname is "Papa". Whether that's meant in a fatherly way, or as the literal Spanish translation of "potato", they don't say.

3. He spent a decade with the Indians' organization as a minor league coach and manager and later a big league coach. Since 2010, he has been employed by the Blue Jays; currently he is their major league third base coach.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I always identified Rivera more by his earlier cards, which showed him with big eyeglasses and a mustache.

Bill James Said: "He's lost his job but he's still here, waiting for the wind to blow him away."

On This Date in 1993: October 8. The Houston Astros sign 17-year-old Venezuelan Freddy Garcia as an amateur free agent. He would go on to win 156 games in 15 big league seasons, and would earn a World Series ring with the White Sox in 2005.

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