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.



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

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



  1. snapt

    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.



  2. rockymountainway

    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 : )

  3. raysrenegade

    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


  4. AJRoxMyWhiteSox

    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.”

  5. rockymountainway

    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!

  6. rockymountainway

    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.


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