Tuesday, December 17, 2013

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #90 WADE BOGGS


TEXTBOOK HITTING FORM.



COLLECTED FIVE BATTING TITLES.



DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Joe Garagiola once boiled down Wade Boggs at the plate as someone sorting the mail, fouling off pitches until finding something he wanted to rip into. Always liked that analogy, for if you ever saw Boggs in his prime, you were watching prodigy at-bat. Boggs won five batting titles, four in a row from 1985-'88, during an 18-year career. While he offered little power, his ability to get on base 42 percent of the time made him a legitimate leadoff hitter despite averaging only two stolen bases a season.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • While playing for the Devil Rays, Boggs joined the 3,000-hit club on Aug. 7, 1999, with a homer off the Indians' Chris Haney. He was the first to homer to reach 3,000.

DEFINING SEASON

  • Boggs led the AL in seven offensive categories in '88, including average (.366), on-base percentage (.476), OPS (.965) and hits (215). He also led the league by grounding into 23 double-plays.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. As a member of Triple-A Pawtucket in '81, Boggs played in the longest professional game, 33 innings, lasting 8 hours, 25 minutes, and played over two days. The opponent, Rochester, featured #96 Cal Ripken Jr.
  2. Boggs' four batting titles in a row has been achieved by only four other players: Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, Rod Carew and #77 Tony Gwynn.
  3. Featuring a knuckleball, Boggs pitched in a game twice, totaling 2.1 innings, striking out two and allowing one earned run.
  4. Boggs had 200-plus hits seven consecutive seasons ('83-'89), a record that was later broken by Ichiro Suzuki.
  5. His last batting title in '88 established a record for a third baseman, eclipsing Bill Madlock.

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