Saturday, August 10, 2013

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #51 BRIAN HARPER


PLAYED A BIG ROLE IN THE '91 WORLD SERIES.




WAS HAVING HIS BEST SEASON WHEN THIS CARD CAME OUT.


DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Despite putting up some impressive minor-league numbers with the Angels' organization in the late 1970s and early '80s, catcher Brian Harper never lived up to expectations in the majors. In 16 years, he hit .295 with 63 homers and 428 RBI. However, he did have a memorable World Series with the Twins in '91, when he was part of several plays at the plate and caught Jack Morris' masterpiece in Game 7.

DEFINING MOMENTS

  • In the eighth inning of Game 7 on Oct. 27, the Braves loaded the bases with one out when Sid Bream grounded to first baseman #117 Kent Hrbek, who threw home to force Lonnie Smith. Harper then made a perfect throw back to first to get Bream. Threat over.
  • Also in that classic match-up, Harper worked in concert with Morris to shut out the Braves 1-0 in 10 innings for the title and also chipped in two hits.

DEFINING SEASON

  • Set a career high in homers with 12 in '93 and tied a career-high with 73 RBI, hitting .304. 

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Drove in 101 runs and hit 24 homers in his second year of pro ball with Class-A Quad Cities in '78 and then had 122 RBI and 28 homers with Triple-A Salt Lake City in '81. 
  2. After being released by the A's in '87, the Twins, desperate for some catching depth, took a chance on Harper the next season. He finally found a home by batting .295 and remained with the organization for the next five seasons.
  3. In Game 4 of the '91 World Series, Harper was bowled over by Smith in the fifth but held on to record the out. #101 Terry Pendleton doubled to center and #112 Kirby Puckett got the assist to keep the game tied at 1.
  4. In the bottom of the ninth in Game 4 with the score tied at 2, Harper once again was in the middle of it all at the plate. Jerry Willard's fly to #61 Shane Mack in right allowed Mark Lemke, who was at third, to attempt to score. The ball beat Lemke, but Harper narrowly missed the tag as the Braves won and tied the series at 2.
  5. In 3,151 at-bats, Harper struck out only 188 times but walked only 133 times. 

1 comment:

  1. A .295 average is nothing to sneeze at, and those walk and strikeout numbers are crazy. But Topps should know that all of the best Harper cards are of him in his catcher's gear.

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