Sunday, May 11, 2014

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #133 PAT BORDERS

ALWAYS KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BALL.



HAPPY EARLY 51st BIRTHDAY.



DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • While he won't be confused with Reggie Jackson, Pat Borders had a bit of Mr. October in him, along with an ever-present chaw in his cheek. While merely pedestrian with the bat during the regular season, Borders became a clutch-hitting savant in the postseason. In 32 games encompassing 119 plate appearances, he slashed .315/.339/.414, hit two homers and drove in 13. He earned the World Series MVP in '92, leading the Blue Jays to their first of two consecutive World Series titles. In the regular season, other than offering first-rate defensive ability behind the plate, he was a bottom-of-the-order bat, slashing .253/.288/.375 in his 17-year career.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • Borders got the Jays headed in the right direction in the third inning of the pivotal Game 4 of the '92 World Series on Oct. 21. His solo homer off Braves lefty #87 Tom Glavine put Toronto up 1-0. The Jays would go on to win 2-1 and wrap up the series in six games.

DEFINING SEASON

  • In his first full season behind the plate in '90, Borders had his best offensive season, slashing .286/.319/.497, hitting 15 homers and driving in 49. He was never able to build off this breakout.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Selected in the sixth round of the '82 draft as a corner infielder.
  2. Converted to catcher in the minors when it became apparent his defense wasn't up to snuff.
  3. A member of the '00 Olympic champion baseball team and one of four players to own a gold medal and World Series ring. The others: Doug Mientkiewicz, Orlando Hernandez and Jose Contreras.
  4. Threw out 35 percent of would-be base-stealers during his career.
  5. In addition to the the '92 World Series, Borders excelled at the plate in the '93 Fall Classic against the Phillies, batting .304 with an RBI in the six-game victory.  

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