Monday, April 7, 2014

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #118 TIM WALLACH

LOW FLYING BAT ALERT.


TRADED EXPO BLUE FOR DODGER BLUE IN '93.


DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Called a poor man's Brooks Robinson but a rich man's Ken Reitz by Bill James in the Historical Baseball Abstract, Tim Wallach was overshadowed by another Hall of Fame third baseman, Mike Schmidt, during his career in the 1980s. Still, Wallach was a five-time NL All-Star, a three-time Gold Glove winner and major cog of the Expos' talent-rich teams of that decade. In 17 seasons, he hit 260 homers, drove in 1,125 runs and had a .257/.316/.416 slash line.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • Wallach became the 54th player to homer in his first major-league at-bat, taking the Giants' Phil Nastu deep on Sept. 6, 1980, in the eighth inning. It was preview of what was to come; Wallach would became the Expos' everyday third baseman in '82.

DEFINING SEASON

  • Batting a career-high .298 and driving in 123 runs, Wallach finished fourth in the NL MVP vote in '87. He led the majors with 42 doubles and slugged a career-high .514, winning his second Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Won the Golden Spikes Award as the best college player in '79 with Cal State Fullerton.
  2. The Expos' 10th pick of the first round in the '79 draft.
  3. Played for the Triple-A Denver Bears, along with Tim Raines and Bill Gullickson, regarded as one of the best minor-league teams of all-time.
  4. Wallach's 36 homers with 292 total bases earned him his promotion to Montreal.
  5. After starting third baseman Larry Parrish was traded in spring training in '82, Wallach took over and held down the hot corner in Montreal for the next 11 seasons before getting traded to the Dodgers in December '92 for a minor-leaguer.

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