Sunday, December 15, 2013

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #88 ROBERTO ALOMAR


AN ALL-STAR IN THE FIELD AND AT THE PLATE.




CHANGED THE FORTUNES OF THE BLUE JAYS.


 

DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Roberto Alomar was known for flashing a golden glove at second base and swinging a silver bat at the plate. He was a 10-time Gold Glove winner, the most ever for a second baseman, and a four-time Silver Slugger winner. That's a lot of gold and silver for a Hall of Famer known for changing the fortunes of the Blue Jays. His all-around ability earned 12 All-Star appearances during a 17-year career. Alomar finished with a .300 batting average, hit 210 homers, stole 474 bases and drove in 1,134 runs. 

DEFINING MOMENT

  • Alomar hit the most important home run Blue Jays' history on Oct. 11, 1992, in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series. Down 6-4 to the Athletics in the top of the ninth and facing closer #100 Dennis Eckersley with a man on, Alomar tattooed a line drive over the right-field fence to tie the game. The Blue Jays went on to win 7-6 in 11 innings and took a commanding 3-1 series lead. After several years of near misses, Toronto closed out Oakland three days later in Game 6 and advanced to its first World Series. Alomar was named ALCS MVP.

DEFINING SEASON

  • In '99 with the Indians, Alomar had arguably the greatest season a second baseman has ever had. He scored an AL-leading 138 runs, hit .323, drove in 120 runs, hit 24 homers and stole 37 bases. He finished third in the AL MVP voting behind Pedro Martinez and #47 Ivan Rodriguez.  

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Played his first three seasons with the Padres before being packaged with #94 Joe Carter and shipped to the Blue Jays in December '90 for #106 Fred McGriff and #36 Tony Fernandez in one of the all-time most interesting trades.
  2. Alomar blossomed into a perennial All-Star in his five years in Toronto, winning the Gold Glove each season and hitting .307 that still stands as the career franchise record.
  3. Alomar played for seven teams but was inducted into the Hall of Fame in '11 as a Blue Jay, the franchise's first.
  4. Signed as a free agent with the Orioles for the '96 season and was an All-Star all three years.
  5. However, it's with Baltimore that Alomar soiled his image when he spit in the face of umpire John Hirschbeck over a disputed third-strike call in September '96. Alomar said Hirschbeck uttered a racial slur. They eventually made up.

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