Tuesday, May 6, 2014

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #128 OZZIE GUILLEN

KNEE BRACE COURTESY OF '92 INJURY.



THE MOUTH OF THE SOX.



DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Ozzie Guillen was the mouth of the Sox, first as their shortstop and later as manager. He followed fellow Venezuelan shortstops Chico Carrasquel and Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio into the majors. A chatty sort known for a fondness of salty language and inappropriate opinions, Guillen was the 1985 AL Rookie of the Year and a three-time All-Star. Not known for his hitting, Guillen batted .264 over 16 seasons, averaging two homers and 14 steals, and won the Gold Glove in '90. The Sox hired him as manager in '04 and a year later delivered their first World Series title in 88 years.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • Guillen came through with a key hit in the fourth inning of Game 1 of the ALCS on Oct. 5, 1993. Trailing the Blue Jays 2-0, Guillen laced a two-run single off #56 Juan Guzman and later in the inning scored the go-ahead run. Toronto came back to eventually win 7-3.

DEFINING SEASON

  • In addition to winning the Gold Glove in '90, Guillen also enjoyed one of his best all-around offensive seasons. He had a .312 on-base percentage, the first time with one over .300, and drove in a career-high 58 runs. 

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Guillen was signed by the Padres in '80 and traded to the White Sox in '84 as part of a six-player deal, the biggest name being LaMarr Hoyt heading west.
  2. Named Rookie of the Year after batting .273 with a homer, 33 RBI and seven steals in 150 games.
  3. Suffered a knee injury in April '92 after colliding with left fielder #183 Tim Raines chasing a popup and missed most of the season. He was never the same defensively.
  4. Became the first Latino manager in the majors.
  5. Left the White Sox in '11 and took over the Marlins in '12, managing a team bolstered by several high-priced free agents to a disappointing 69-93 record. He was fired after the season.

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