Sunday, October 6, 2013

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #70 PAUL MOLITOR


AN OFFENSIVE SPARK FOR 21 YEARS.




MADE THE JAYS UNBEATABLE IN '93.


DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Even though he played four positions during his 21-year career, Paul Molitor fittingly was best known as a designated hitter. With a quick bat and good speed, Molitor earned the nickname "The Ignitor'' and a plaque in Cooperstown. The seven-time All-Star compiled 3,319 hits and four Silver Slugger awards. He's one of four players with 3,000 hits, .300 average and 500 steals, joining Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner and Eddie Collins.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • With a 38-game hitting streak on the line on Aug. 25, 1987, against the Indians, Molitor singled off Don Gordon in the bottom of the sixth. It was and still is the seventh longest streak in baseball history. It ended the next night when Rick Manning drove in the winning run in the 10th inning with Molitor in the on-deck circle.

DEFINING SEASON

  • Molitor left the Brewers after '92 to sign with the Blue Jays. He made an immediate impact on the defending World Series champions. He led the majors in hits with 211 and batted .332 with 22 homers and 111 RBI and was the '93 World Series MVP. Another of many shrewd acquisitions by GM Pat Gillick.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. During that 39-game streak that began on July 16, Molitor hit .415 with seven homers, 33 RBI, 68 hits, 43 runs and had an on-base percentage of .495.
  2. Before his heroics in the '93 playoffs, in which he also hit .391 in the ALCS, Molitor hit .355 in the seven-game '82 World Series. In Game 1, he set a World Series mark with five hits.
  3. He played second, short, third and in the outfield before becoming a full-time DH for the final eight years of his career, beginning in '91.
  4. The St. Paul native returned home as a free agent following the '95 season and in his first season with the Twins established career-highs for hits (225) and RBI (113). He also was the first 40-year-old to have 200-plus hits in a season since '30.
  5. Also in '96, on Sept. 13, he joined the 3,000-hit club and was the first to do so with a triple, victimizing the Royals' Jose Rosado.

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