Wednesday, April 16, 2014

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #123 WIL CORDERO

FELL SHORT OF BECOMING CAL JR. II.


LOADS OF POTENTIAL IN '93.


DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Wil Cordero was a top-rated prospect in the deep Expos farm system that was spitting out starters in the early 1990s who would comprise their unofficial '94 NL East championship club. While Cordero became serviceable shortstop in the majors, he didn't develop into the second coming of Cal Ripken Jr. many envisioned. He played 14 years, hit 122 home runs and had a .273/.330/.428 slash line.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • Facing the first-place Braves on June 28, 1994, at Olympic Stadium, the Expos trailed 7-6 in the ninth. After Larry Walker singled in the  tying run off Steve Bedrosian and sending Moises Alou to third with no outs, Cordero singled to left on a 3-2 pitch to give Montreal an 8-7 victory, cutting Atlanta's lead in the division to a half game. The Expos would seize the lead for good on July 22 and go to win the division, pennant and World Series. The players' strike halted the season on Aug. 11, with Montreal cruising at 74-40 and leading Atlanta by six games, so we'll never know how good the Expos were.

DEFINING SEASON

  • In '94, Cordero hit 15 home runs, drove in 63 runs, stole 16 bases and slashed .294/.363/.489. He was awarded the Silver Slugger and made the NL All-Star team for the only time in his career.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Signed as an amateur free agent at age 16 by the Expos out of Mayaguez, P.R.
  2. Made his major-league debut at age 20 in '92, playing in 45 games and hitting .302.
  3. Cordero played four years for the Expos before being traded to the Red Sox in January '96.
  4. Hit a career-high 18 home runs for the Sox in '97, but they released him after accusations that he beat his wife.
  5. He would go on to play for four other organizations and returned to Montreal for '02-'03 and play a final season in '05 with Washington, which was the new home of the Expos.

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