WBC Showing Familiar Faces In Strange Places

Day 69

The 2009 World Baseball Classic has been a joy to watch so far and it has been great to see some familiar faces in different places.

During the game on Sunday night between the United States and
andresg.gifVenezuela, the camera took a shot of the Venezuelan dugout. There was a familiar face staring right back at me and it was of a beloved and original Rockie. One Mr. Andres Galarraga “the big cat” himself was back in baseball and it was good to see. He had battled cancer twice and it was good to see not only was he looking healthy but putting some of that experience of his to good use for his home country.

The Rockies have had a number of players come and go in their short history but first base has been a mainstay having two players holding down the position. Others have had short stints at first, but Galarraga and Todd Helton have been the two players to log the most time keeping the defense tight and right.

In their inaugural year 1993, the Rockies fielded players from all over the league including Andres. Up until ’93 Galarraga had played for the now
1993.jpgdefunct Montreal Expos from 1985 to 1991 when he was traded to the Cardinals. While playing for the Cardinals he caught the eye of batting coach Don Baylor who would become the Rockies first skipper a year later. The Rockies would pick him up as a free agent and so would begin the career as one of the Rockies greatest players.    

Rockies faithful would remember the incredible year he would have in 1993 hitting .370 and becoming the first Venezuelan to win a batting title. The 22HRs and 98 RBIs would give the fans in Colorado a glimpse at one of the offensive mainstays during his short but very productive five seasons with the Rockies.

He was the first Rockies player ever sent to an All-Star game and part of the offensive juggernaut known as the “Blake Street Bombers.”  But like all good things it had to come to an end. A young and impressive first baseman by the name of Todd Helton was waiting in the wings and the Rockies decided to go with youth. Galarraga would bounce around until 2005 when he retired after trying out with the Mets.

What’s more impressive than his career was overcoming cancer twice and having as much of a love for the game to still be coaching.

Glad to see you back big cat. Stay healthy and hoping you pop up as a coach somewhere in the United States.


AndresGalarraga.jpg 

 

Photo credit- big cat http://3.bp.blogspot.com

                       -Rockies- http://www.jockbio.com

 

17 Comments

The Big Cat… lol Man that’s a guy I haven’t seen in a while. I really liked him.

~King of Cali
http://kingofcali.mlblogs.com/

It was so great to see Andres the other night! Especially looking so well! I remember my mom took me to get his autograph at the mall when I was a little girl. It was like the most exciting moment of my young life. It would be so awesome if he could coach in the states, I know he would be awesome.

-Katie

http://rocknroll.mlblogs.com/

Kali- It was really cool to see that “cat” again!
Katie- Young autographs are the best autographs! Your mom was sure cool to do that : )
-Tom

I do not know if you know this, but his son’s team was that squad from the Orlando area few years back in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

I loved watching him play as a younger guy. He was so fluid at the plate, and his power could be mesmerizing at times. .

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

I remember Galarraga battling cancer once, but I didn’t realize he’d had it twice. Good to know he’s doing well – hopefully he’s got it licked this time!
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

It is great to see him beating cancer and still doing what he loves! I wish you well Mr. Galaarraga!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com

Absolutely great to see the big cat. What a player he was. Hope he’s healthy for good now.

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Wow! That’s really awesome. I love seeing my favorite players pop up again after being out of baseball. Andres Galarraga sounds great, too bad I didn’t get to see him play.
http://imbringingdiamondback.mlblogs.com

I never really saw him play, but I always remembered hearing his name and thinking the way it flowed always sounded so cool. “Andres Galarraga.” Probably because I heard it said by people who have the awesome Spanish accent, so the S in “Andres” and the G in “Galarraga” always flowed together in a SK sound. I’m saying this in my head in the middle of class, and it’s making the class more bearable. “Andres Galarraga.”
Jen
http://ajroxmywhitesox.mlblogs.com

Renegade- Did not know that. Glad he’s got some talent in the family though.
Sue- Cancer is sure no joke an I too hope he is over it.
Julia- Couldn’t say it any better.
Jane- He was an awesome player.
Diamond- It is cool seeing a familiar player and seeing they are doing good.
Jen- I’m amazed you ever get anything done in class!
-Tom

The Rockies have such a great history and such a short one. It seems like so many of their players have some sort of great story. I love it!
Melissa
http://clemsongirlbaseball.mlblogs.com

I wondered what the Big Cat was up to since he retired. His Venezuelan team just rolled over Italy, twice. Good for him, the US better watch out.
-Erin
http://plunking-gomez.mlblogs.com

I loved the ‘Big Cat’ when he was an Expo. The guy was an extremely feared hitter. Also love the Iannetta headline in the previous post. He is a very promising young catcher. I think he has a bright future ahead of him in Colorado.
http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com/

Melissa- Yeah there are some great stories in our short history.

Erin- I saw that! Italy was hanging in there for awhile but then they got smacked down.

Homer-I wondered if you watched the Expos! I got my answer.

-Tom

I wasn’t a baseball fan back then, but he sounds like a great guy! Very cool that he’s back in baseball!
http://kaybee.mlblogs.com

There was a time where a St. Louis Cardinal fan had nothing to be excited about other than watching Big Cat strike out with poise and grace ;-)
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

United States and andresg.gifVenezuela both good team.
Texas A&M Aggies Events

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: