Thursday, May 8, 2014

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #130 ANDRES GALARRAGA

A CANCER SURVIVOR.


BIG CAT PUT UP SOME BIG NUMBERS.



DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Another good player who became a Blake Street Bomber and transformed into a superstar in the thin air of Denver, Andres Galarraga was a free-swinging five-time All-Star who hit 399 homers in his 19-year career. Maybe his greatest accomplishment was overcoming non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 1999 in his first season in Atlanta to return to the field. Despite good range and excellent footwork at first base that earned him his "Big Cat'' nickname, he won only two Gold Gloves.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • After missing all of '99 while undergoing cancer treatment, Galarraga returned Opening Day, April 3, 2000, against his former team, the Rockies. His seventh-inning homer off Pedro Astacio in a scoreless game was the winning run in a 2-0 victory. 

DEFINING SEASON

  • Galarraga established career-highs in homers (47) and RBI (150) in '96 with the Rockies, while slashing .304/.357/.601.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Galarraga won one batting title (.370 in '93), a home run title and two RBI titles ('96 and '97).
  2. Finished in the top 10 in the MVP vote six times.
  3. From '93-'98, Galarraga slashed .314/.372/.580 while averaging 36 homers and 117 RBI.
  4. Never one known to take a base on balls, Big Cat struck out 2,003 times and walked 583 (144/42 average).
  5. Numerous injuries robbed him of games/at-bats and cost him a shot of hitting 500 homers.

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