Friday, June 7, 2013

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #32 ERIC KARROS


SOME NOTABLE DODGERS WORE No. 23.




THE REIGNING NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR.


DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Ask me to name the career home run leader for the Los Angeles Dodgers and it's doubtful I would spit out "Eric Karros.'' Yet, he is with 270; Duke Snider is the franchise leader with 389. Quietly, Karros put together a dandy 14-year career, 12 coming in Los Angeles. Playing his final two seasons with the Cubs and Athletics, E.K. hit 284 homers, drove 1,027 runs and batted .268.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • On June 7, 2003, in his first season as a backup first baseman for the Cubs, Karros came to bat against #104 Roger Clemens with his team trailing the Yankees 1-0 in the seventh inning. With two on, Karros slammed a home run, and the Cubs went on to win 5-2. It was Karros' welcome-to-Wrigley moment in a near-magical season that basically ended in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series in the "Bartman'' game.

DEFINING SEASON

  • In '95, Karros finished fifth in the NL MVP voting after hitting .298 with 32 homers, 105 RBI and a .905 OPS. He also won his first and only Silver Slugger award.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Despite averaging 31 homers and 104 RBI from '95-'00, Karros was never voted an All-Star.
  2. Hit the second most career home runs of any player not elected to an All-Star team; #163 Tim Salmon is first with 299.
  3. When Adrian Gonzalez was traded to the Dodgers last season and given No. 23, the Los Angeles Times ranked the top five players in L.A. Dodger history to wear the number: Kirk Gibson, Claude Osteen, Karros, Jim Wynn and Don Zimmer.
  4. Karros hit .366 against lefties for the Cubs in '03, when they won the NL Central Division. Overall for the Cubs, he hit .286 with 12 homers and 40 RBI.
  5. The '92 NL Rookie of the Year began a stretch of five consecutive Dodgers to win the award.

2 comments:

  1. With all of the great rookies coming along for the Dodgers in the early '90s, I kept expecting them to repeat the success they had when they were churning out gems from the farm system in the '80s. It just never happened. I got spoiled by four playoff appearances and two championships as a teenager. I guess the Dodgers were telling me to grow up and face the real world as an adult. Despite Karros, Piazza, Mondesi, Nomo, etc., the '90s Dodgers appeared in just two Division Series', and were swept in both.

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  2. I hear you. The Dodgers lost their way in the '90s. Once one of the most stable organizations in the game, they had some upheaval in the owner's box and in the dugout. Plus, they stopped developing pitching.

    Add it up, and they became just another club, like my beloved Orioles after their heyday of the '60s and '70s.

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