|IN HIS PRIME, ONE TOUGH OUT.|
|CRAPPY CROP ON THIS PHOTO.|
DEFINING THE PLAYER
- Not only was Carlos Baerga built like a sparkplug, he functioned as one, igniting those thick Indian offenses in the 1990s. Batting third in a lineup that included #43 Kenny Lofton, #16 Albert Belle, Jim Thome, #122 Eddie Murray and Manny Ramirez, the switch-hitter's average season from '91-'95 was .315, 19 homers, 97 RBI and 30 doubles. He also became the first second baseman since Rogers Hornsby to have back-to-back 200-plus hits, 20-plus homers, 100-plus RBI and bat at least .300 in '92-'93.
- With the Indians playing to win their first AL flag since '54 in Game 6 of the ALCS on Oct. 17, 1995, Baerga put a bow on a 4-0 win over the Mariners. After the Indians scored twice in the top of the eighth, he followed with a homer off #154 Randy Johnson to ice it.
- By the time this card was being taken from foil packs, Baerga was amid a season in which he would hit .321, 21 homers, drive in 114 and collect 200 hits. He won the Silver Slugger, was named to the All-Star team and finished 10th in the AL MVP voting.
FIVE FINAL THOUGHTS
- Signed at age 16 by the Padres in '85 and was traded to the Indians in December '89. He was part of the deal that included #26 Sandy Alomar Jr. and Chris James for #94 Joe Carter.
- Baerga was the first switch-hitter to homer from both sides of the plate in the same inning. It took place April 8, 1993, against the Yankees. He victimized Steve Farr and Steve Howe.
- Inducted into the Indians' Hall of Fame in June.
- With the bat slowing and waistline growing, Baerga was traded to the Mets in July 1996, along with Alvaro Espinoza, for Jeff Kent and Jose Vizcaino.
- His decline continued with the Mets and five other teams, including a return to Cleveland in '99. He played his last season in the majors in '05 at age 36.
|THE AUTOGRAPH WAS ACQUIRED IN SPRING TRAINING EARLY '90s.|