Wednesday, November 5, 2014

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #156 J.T. SNOW

FIRST OF ONLY TWO ROOKIE CARDS IN THIS SET.


WEST COAST GUY RIGHT AT HOME IN ANAHEIM.


DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Admittedly, when thinking of Jack Snow, Senior comes to mind long before Junior. Jack Thomas Snow Sr. was one of my favorite football players of the 1970s, known for making the full layout grab. J.T. Snow was a pretty fair baseball player whose lasting legacy is making the timely grab of a wayward bat boy in a World Series game. Snow played 16 years in the majors, hitting 189 homers, driving in 877 and slashing .268/.357/.427. He also won six consecutive Gold Gloves, which according to advanced fielding metrics are a bit dubious.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • On Oct. 24, 2002, in Game 5 of the World Series, Snow rescued bat boy Darren Baker, 3, at home plate and spared the Giants of child-abuse charges in the bottom of the seventh by scooping him up and out of harm's way. Snow rumbled home on #43 Kenny Lofton's triple just ahead of David Bell and somehow avoided trampling Manager Dusty Baker's son, who had wandered into the baseline to drag away Lofton's bat. Major League Baseball passed a rule afterward requiring bat boys to be at least 14 and out of diapers.

DEFINING SEASON

  • Snow established career-highs in home runs (28) and RBI (104) in his first year with the Giants in '97 after spending his first four seasons with the Angels. He slashed .281/.387/.510. He also won his third consecutive Gold Glove.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Taken by the Yankees in the fifth round of the '89 draft out of the University of Arizona, where he was teammates with #142 Scott Erickson and Trevor Hoffman.
  2. Made his major-league debut with the Yankees in '92, playing in seven games, before being traded to the Angels in the four-player deal that sent #46 Jim Abbott to the Big Apple.
  3. Traded to the Giants in November '96 for Allen Watson and a minor-leaguer.
  4. Clouted a game-tying pinch-hit three-run homer off the Mets' Armando Benitez in the ninth inning of Game 2 in the '00 NLDS. The Mets won in the 10th, 5-4.
  5. Advanced fielding metrics point to Snow being below average at first base despite all the golden hardware. In Total Zone rankings, he was as many as 13 runs below average nine times in his career with a defensive WAR of -11.2. In contrast, Keith Hernandez, regarded as one of the finest defensive first basemen, was below average only three times and was as many as 14 runs above average with an 0.6 dWAR. 

J.T. GOT HIS HANDS FROM DAD.

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