Wednesday, April 3, 2013

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #12 ALEX COLE


GOOGLE 'GOGGLES' AND ALEX COLE POPS UP.




COLE WAS ALWAYS ON THE RUN.


DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Alex Cole was a typical slap-and-scamper player, naturally drafted by the Runnin' Redbirds of St. Louis in the mid-1980s. He washed out with the Cardinals before latching onto the Indians, briefly filling the role of the real-life "Willie Mays Hayes.'' At one point, it looked like he would be a definitive leadoff hitter and potential main cog in the rebuilding Tribe lineup. 

DEFINING MOMENT

  • On Aug. 1, 1990, Cole ran roughshod over the Royals, stealing five bases, going 2-for-2, with a walk, hit-by-pitch, RBI and two runs scored. He finished fourth in the AL that year in steals with 40 in only 63 games.

DEFINING SEASON

  • With the Twins in '94, it looked like Cole might be salvaging his career. Before the strike on Aug. 12, he was hitting .296 with four home runs (his first four of his career), 29 steals and 68 runs.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Taken with the 17th overall pick in the '92 NL Expansion Draft by the Rockies from the Pirates.
  2. Earned the starting center fielder job with the Rockies the year this card hit foil packs, stealing 30 bases and batting .256.
  3. The spark he provided in '90 caused the Indians to misjudge his potential. For '91, they moved the fences back and featured Cole as the spark plug. The offense misfired, hit only 22 homers at home and the Indians lost 105 games. More alarming: Cole stole only 27 bases in 122 games and was caught 27 times. So much for that plan.
  4. The Indians finally got it right in '92. They traded for #43 Kenny Lofton in the off-season, and he took over center field and the leadoff spot. Cole was traded to the Pirates in July.
  5. Cole was ninth in AL Rookie of the Year voting in '90.

1 comment:

  1. I remember pulling Cole's card from a 1991 Topps pack and being instantly thrilled. I guess it was the goggles. Other than that, you'd have to ask the 11-year-old Me why I loved it so.

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