Tuesday, June 10, 2014

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #144 ORESTES DESTRADE

BECAME A STAR IN JAPAN.


MAJOR-LEAGUE CAREER AMOUNTED TO ONLY 237 GAMES.


DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Orestes Destrade followed a career path similar to #111 Cecil Fielder but didn't have the same results. After getting a brief taste of the majors in 1987 and '88, Destrade played the next four seasons in Japan and became the first foreign player to win the home run title three consecutive seasons, averaging nearly 40 per year. He returned to the majors in '93 to play for his hometown Marlins and led them in home runs and RBI during their expansion season. He played only four seasons in the majors, finishing with 26 homers and 102 RBI.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • On May 4, 1993, Destrade enjoyed one of his best days at the plate as a major-leaguer against the Reds. He went 2-for-4 with five RBI, and his three-run homer off Tim Pugh in the first inning gave the Marlins a 3-0. They would go on to win, 9-6.

DEFINING SEASON

  • In '93, his only full season in the majors, Destrade hit 20 homers and drove in 87 runs. He slashed .255/.324/.406.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Made it to the majors in '87 with the Yankees, playing in nine games.
  2. Traded to the Pirates in March '88 for Hipolito Pena.
  3. Played in only 36 games, hitting his first major-league homer off Steve Bedrosian on Sept. 11.
  4. Involved in a nasty brawl on May 22, 1994, after Cardinals pitcher Allen Watson drilled him in the back. Destrade was suspended for four games.
  5. Got off to a slow start in '94, hitting .208, and was released in June, ending his major-league career almost before it began.

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