Andrés Galarraga

Andrés José Padovani Galarraga (Spanish: [anˈdɾez ɣalaˈraɣa]; born June 18, 1961) is a Venezuelan former professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a first baseman for the Montreal Expos (19851991 and 2002), St. Louis Cardinals (1992), Colorado Rockies (19931997), Atlanta Braves (19982000), Texas Rangers (2001), San Francisco Giants (2001 and 2003) and Anaheim Angels (2004). He batted and threw right-handed.

At six-foot-three and 235 pounds (1.91 m, 117 kg), Galarraga began his professional career in Venezuela at the age of 16. Despite several injuries that plagued Galarraga throughout his career, he was a very popular player both for his achievements on the field, and for his big and bright smile. He was nicknamed The Big Cat (textually translated from English as El Gran Gato, although his nickname in his native Venezuela was El Gato) for his impressively quick reflexes and seamless defensive skills as a first baseman in spite of his large physical size. Galarraga was a five time All-Star, won two National League Gold Glove Awards and two NL Silver Slugger Awards, and won two MLB Comeback Player of the Year Award, the second time after his successful return to baseball following cancer treatment.

Andrés Galarraga
Andres galarraga2002
Galarraga in 2002
First baseman
Born: June 18, 1961 (age 57)
Caracas, Venezuela
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 23, 1985, for the Montreal Expos
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 2004, for the Anaheim Angels
MLB statistics
Batting average.288
Hits2,333
Home runs399
Runs batted in1,425
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Career

Venezuelan Winter League

Galarraga was signed by the Leones del Caracas club as a catcher and third baseman. He made his debut in the 19781979 season. Some of the players he had as teammates included big-leaguers Tony Armas, Bo Díaz, Manny Trillo, Gonzalo Márquez and Leo Hernández. Galarraga originally started as a utility player, but three seasons later he became the regular first baseman of the team. At the recommendation of team manager Felipe Alou, he was signed by the Expos in 1979.[1] At that time, some MLB scouts thought that the 17-year-old power-hitting prodigy was too overweight to play professionally.

He played with this team until 1993, when he retired from Venezuelan Winter League.

Minor leagues

In the minors, Galarraga played for West Palm Beach (1979, 19821983), Calgary (1979–1980), Jamestown (1981), Jacksonville (1984) and Indianapolis (1985).

Galarraga earned the Montreal job by being named Double-A Southern League Most Valuable Player for Jacksonville in 1984, with .289 batting average, 27 home runs and 87 RBI. He also led the league in total bases (271), slugging percentage (.508), intentional base on balls (10), hit by pitches (9), and in double plays (130) and total chances (1428) on first base. Prior to his majors promotion, he hit .269, 25, 85 with Indianapolis in 121 games, being named Rookie of the Year in the Triple-A International League.

Montreal Expos (1985–1991)

Galarraga made his debut with Montreal on August 23, 1985. That year Galarraga struggled, hitting .187 (14-for-75) with two homers and four RBI in 24 games. He had a promising start in 1986, but it was halted when he suffered a knee injury. Galarraga had eight home runs and was leading all NL rookies in runs batted in (25) when he suffered the knee injury. Galarraga underwent arthroscopic surgery on the knee on July 10. He was activated one month later, only to be re-injured the following day after pulling muscles in his rib cage. He returned to action in September, ending with .271, 10 HR, and 42 RBI in 105 games.

Phillies Phanatic5
Galarraga with the Phillie Phanatic in 1987

Overshadowed by some teammates, Galarraga survived a tough rookie year and quietly enjoyed a consistently strong 1987 season. He hit .305, 13 HR, 90 RBI, finishing second in the league in doubles (40). Despite his size, he displayed solid defense, being adept at scooping throws out of the dirt and excellent quickness turning the 3-6-3 double play. Cardinals' manager Whitey Herzog called him "the best-fielding right-handed first baseman I've seen since Gil Hodges."

In 1988, Galarraga emerged from the shadows to become the best player on the Expos. He had an MVP-type season with a .302 batting average, 99 runs, 92 RBI, and 29 home runs. He also led the league in hits (184) and doubles (42), and earned an All-Star berth for the first time in his career. He was named the Montreal Expos Player of the Year at the end of the season.

1989 was a rough season however for the Big Cat. Galarraga became a target of Montreal fans' frustration when he tailed off after the All-Star game. That year he led the league in strikeouts (158), dropping his production to .257, 23 HR, and 85 RBI. He fell five RBI short of becoming the first Expo to string together three straight seasons with 90 or more runs batted in. Despite the rough season, Galarraga blasted his first grand slam, stole home for the first time in his career, and was rewarded with a Gold Glove Award for his stellar play at first base.

Galarraga's 1990 season had Expos mumbling that the team should lower its expectations for the slick-fielding first baseman. For the second consecutive season, the Big Cat failed to repeat the standards he set in his first two full seasons. He hit .256 with 20 home runs and 87 RBI, almost a mirror image of his previous season. For the third consecutive year, he led the league in strikeouts. Pitchers exploited his impatience at the plate and didn't give him good pitches to hit. Even without any improvement with the bat, Galarraga continued to make tremendous contributions on the field, scooping up infielder's errant throws, starting 3-6-3 double plays, and winning his second Gold Glove. That season he also had a six-RBI game, two four-RBI games, and hit his first career inside-the-park homer.

Slowed by injuries, Galarraga struggled through the worst offensive season of his career in 1991. Disabled with a strained left hamstring between May and July, he later had arthroscopic surgery to repair damage to undersurface of his left kneecap. Montreal missed his glove as much as his bat, committing 43 infield errors in 53 games without him. That season, Galarraga hit .219, 9 HR, and 33 RBI in 107 games. He stole home for the second time in his career and hit his 100th career home run. At the end of the season, he was traded to the Cardinals for starting pitcher Ken Hill.

St. Louis Cardinals (1992)

Galarraga had a second chance with the St. Louis Cardinals. However, a pitch broke his wrist early in the season and he didn't recover until July. He batted .296 after the All-Star break and hit all ten of his homers after July 1 for a .497 second-half slugging percentage. He finished with a .243 BA and 39 RBI, but made a good impression on Cardinals batting coach Don Baylor. When Baylor became the first Rockies manager in the off-season, he recommended that Colorado take a chance on Galarraga and sign him as a free agent.

Colorado Rockies (1993–1997)

National League batting champion (1993)

Gato96
Galarraga with the Rockies in 1996

By joining the Rockies, he was given new life for his career. In a 1993 season full of remarkable individual achievements, Galarraga showed he was an accomplished hitter, and flirted with the .400 mark for much of the season. His final .370 BA was a 127-point increase over his previous year mark. He led National League batters in batting average, and it was the highest average by a right-handed hitter since Joe DiMaggio batted .381 in 1939.[1]

Despite missing 42 games with assorted injuries, The Big Cat compiled 56 multi-hit games to lead the league. He added 22 homers, 98 RBI, 71 runs, 35 doubles, four triples, a .403 on-base percentage, and his .602 slugging percentage was second in the league. His .370 mark was the first player on an expansion team as well as the first Venezuelan to win a batting title. Tony Gwynn hit .358 to finish as runner-up in the title race.

Galarraga's improvement began when Baylor drastically opened up his stance to make him quicker on inside pitches. The new stance also helped Galarraga generate more power to the opposite field. At the same time, facing the pitcher with two eyes gave him a better view at pitches, lowering his strikeout rate and making him much more consistent at the plate with better contact. Galarraga finished 10th in the MVP selection, but won The Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award. After the season, and for third time, he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery.

In the strike shortened 1994 season, Galarraga set a new National League record in April by driving in 30 runs in a month. He seemed to be on his way to a terrific year again, but he fractured his right hand on July 28. At the time of his injury, Colorado had climbed to within a half-game of the first place Dodgers. Without him however, the Rockies went 3–10 the rest of the way. Galarraga paced the club with 31 homers (fifth in the league), and batted .319 with 85 RBI.

On June 25, 1995, Galarraga hit a home run in three consecutive innings to tie an MLB record. He finished the season hitting .280, with 31 homers and 106 RBI. His numbers were helped by the fact that he stayed healthy for the first time in four years. That season, the Rockies had four players with 30 or more home runs, matching the 1977 Dodgers. On August 29 of the same season, in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Galarraga spoiled Paul Wagner's bid for a no-hitter by singling with two out in the ninth, the only hit Wagner would allow in defeating the Rockies 4–0.[2] Over the next few seasons, Galarraga developed into one of the best RBI-men in baseball, driving in a combined 411 runs between 1996 and 1998 (150, 140, 121). In the same period, he batted .304, .318 and .305, with 47, 41, and 44 HRs. Some critics argued that his achievements were possible thanks to the thin-air, mile-high, hitter-friendly Coors Field, but Galarraga belted many homers on the road that traveled over 450 feet (140 m).

NL RBI leader (1997)

Perhaps the most famous home run Galarraga hit was a mammoth grand slam off Kevin Brown on May 31, 1997, which landed 20 rows deep into the upper deck at Florida Marlins' Pro Player Stadium. It may also be his most debated home run with a distance initially measured at 573 feet (175 m) and then 529 feet (161 m). At the time, it set a record for both the Rockies and the stadium.[1] In 2011, ESPN's Home Run Tracker recalculated the distance to 468 feet (143 m).[1][3] Previously, he smashed two homers in two games that traveled 455-foot (139 m) and 451-foot (137 m) respectively, totaling 1,435 feet (437 m), an average of 478 feet (146 m) each.

The Rockies released him at the end of the season to make room at first base for prospect Todd Helton. At the time of his release, he was the club's all-time leader in home runs (172) and RBI (579). As a free agent, Galarraga signed a three-year contract with the Atlanta Braves.

Atlanta Braves (1998–2000)

During his first season in Atlanta in 1998, Galarraga silenced his critics. He proved that he could still have great power production at lower altitudes, hitting .305 with 44 home runs and 121 RBI. This made Galarraga the first player in Major League history to hit 40 or more homers in consecutive seasons for two different teams.

During 1999 spring training, Galarraga developed a sore back. Treatment from the team's trainers and team doctor included hydrobaths, massages, muscle relaxers, and stretching, but would not stop the nagging soreness. He was referred to a medical oncologist at Atlanta for a thorough physical exam and an MRI. When the diagnosis came in, the famous Galarraga smile disappeared. On his second lumbar vertebra in his lower back he had a tumor known as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of lymphatic cancer. He missed the entire 1999 season receiving cancer chemotherapy. Rockies third baseman and ex-teammate Vinny Castilla switched briefly from his traditional number 9 to number 14 on his jersey to honor Galarraga's cancer fight.

Galarraga returned to the field in the spring of the year 2000 in high spirits and good shape after undergoing chemotherapy and a strict workout routine. In his third at-bat of opening day of the 2000 season, Galarraga knocked in the winning run with a home run, and he showed his big smile again. In April and May, he was tied for first place in home runs in the National League and he was batting .300.

At the end of the season, Galarraga had batted .302 with 28 HRs and 100 RBIs. He was awarded his second National League Comeback Player of the Year Award by The Sporting News.

Galarraga asked the Braves ownership for a two-year contract, but the most that it would offer was a one-year contract. Hence, Galarraga decided to become a free agent, and he signed with the Texas Rangers for two years.

Rangers, Giants, and Expos (2001–2003)

The change of baseball leagues affected Galarraga badly. At 40, he found himself "lost" in a different league, facing different pitchers, and stuck in a back-up position with the star Rafael Palmeiro as the main first baseman for the Rangers. Galarraga was used mainly as a designated hitter, as a pinch-hitter, and occasionally as a starter against left-handed pitchers. After a disappointing .235 batting average, 10 home runs, and 34 RBIs in 72 games, Galarraga was traded to the San Francisco Giants at the midseason.

In 2002, Galarraga signed with the Montreal Expos for the full season. He then returned to the Giants in 2003 after he signed a minor league contract before the season. As a part-time player with the Giants, he batted .301 with 12 home runs and 42 RBIs.

Anaheim Angels (2004)

In 2004, Galarraga's cancer relapsed and he underwent two three-week periods of chemotherapy and was hospitalized for 23 days for additional treatment. This was the same non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that sidelined him in 1999, but he beat it for the second time and began play with the Angels' Triple-A affiliate in Salt Lake. When rosters were expanded in September, Galarraga came back to the majors. Although he served mostly as a bench player in Anaheim, he was highly regarded in the clubhouse, especially among younger players such as Vladimir Guerrero, for whom he became a voice of experience. Galarraga saw action in a few games, and hit one homer to reach 399 for his career total.

New York Mets (2005)

Again without a team, the New York Mets invited Galarraga to spring training, not knowing if the 43-year-old would be fit for their roster. Galarraga showed that he had some gas left in the tank offensively by socking 3 home runs, but appeared very tentative on the defensive end. Galarraga eventually retired during spring training on March 29, 2005, saying it was "the right time to give a younger guy a chance to play." He finished his career with a .288 batting average, 399 HR, and 1,425 RBI. Falling just one home run short of 400 career home runs, Galarraga ranked #36 all-time at the time of his retirement.

Hall of Fame balloting

He became eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2010. He received 4.1% on the ballot. Due to receiving less than 5%, he fell off the ballot.

Personal life

Galarraga currently resides in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Highlights

  • Led National League in Hits (184 in 1988)
  • Led National League in Total Bases (329 in 1988)
  • Led National League in Doubles (42 in 1988)
  • Led National League in Runs Created (113 in 1988)
  • Led National League in Extra-Base Hits (79 in 1988)
  • Led National League in Batting average (.370 in 1993)
  • Led National League in Home Runs (47 in 1996)
  • Twice led National League in RBIs (150 in 1996 and 140 in 1997)
  • Ranks 69th on MLB All-Time Total Bases List (4,038)
  • Ranks 83rd on MLB All-Time Doubles List (444)
  • Ranks 43rd on MLB All-Time Home Run List (399)
  • Ranks 57th on MLB All-Time RBI List (1,425)
  • Ranks 58th on MLB All-Time Extra-Base Hits List (875)
  • Ranks 95th on MLB All-Time Intentional Walks List (106)
  • Was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 2007(1st Rockies Baseball Player to be inducted)
  • Best Comeback Athlete ESPY Award 2001 (Atlanta Braves)
  • The Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award winner 1993 (Colorado Rockies) 2001 (Atlanta Braves)
  • First Rockies player ever represented at All-Star Game (1993)
  • Rockies Career Leader in At Bats per Home Runs with 15.5.
  • His 150 RBI season in 1996 is still a single season record for the Rockies.[4]
  • Won the three Triple Crown categories (BA, HR, RBI) although in different seasons
  • Set Rockies record for RBI before the All-Star break (84 in 1997)
  • Became the first player in history to win two NL Comeback Player of the Year Awards
  • Honored in the docudrama movie Galarraga: puro béisbol (Galarraga: Nothing But Baseball – Venezuela, 2000)
  • Honored in the book Andrés Galarraga – Real Life Reader Biography, by writer Sue Boulais (2003)
  • Gained induction into the Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (2010)

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d Eckhouse, Morris A. "The Ballplayers – Andrés Galarraga". BaseballLibrary.com. Archived from the original on October 17, 2007. Retrieved June 13, 2009.
  2. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PIT/PIT199508290.shtml
  3. ^ Renck, Troy (June 13, 2015). "Rockies legend Andres Galarraga talks about his famous homer vs. Marlins". Denver Post. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  4. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20080623003254/http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/COL/leaders_bat.shtml

External links

Preceded by
Jeff Bagwell
Tony Gwynn
National League Player of the Month
June 1993
September 1993
Succeeded by
Fred McGriff
Ellis Burks
1986 Caribbean Series

The twenty-eighth edition of the Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) was played in 1986. It was held from February 4 through February 9 with the baseball champion teams of the Dominican Republic, Águilas Cibaeñas; Mexico, Águilas de Mexicali; Puerto Rico, Indios de Mayagüez, and Venezuela, Tiburones de la Guaira. The format consisted of 12 games, each team facing the other teams twice. The games were played at Estadio Luis Aparicio El Grande in Maracaibo, Venezuela.

1987 Montreal Expos season

The 1987 Montreal Expos season was the 19th season in franchise history.

1988 Montreal Expos season

The 1988 Montreal Expos season was the 20th season in franchise history.

1991 Montreal Expos season

The 1991 Montreal Expos season was the 23rd season in franchise history. After several winning seasons, the Expos faltered in 1991, winning only 20 of its first 49 games. Manager Buck Rodgers was replaced as manager by Tom Runnells. The team ultimately finished 71-90.

1992 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1992 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 111th season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 101st season in the National League. The Cardinals went 83-79 during the season and finished third in the National League East division, 13 games behind the NL East champion Pittsburgh Pirates.

1997 Colorado Rockies season

The Colorado Rockies' 1997 season was the fifth for the Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise located in Denver, Colorado, their fifth in the National League (NL), and third at Coors Field. The team competed in the National League West, finishing in third place with a record of 83-79. Right fielder Larry Walker won the NL Most Valuable Player Award (MVP), becoming the first Rockies player and Canadian-born player to do so in MLB.

In a season of contrasting dynamics, the Rockies led the NL in attendance, runs scored, batting average, on-base percentage (OBP), and slugging percentage. However, the club was last in earned run average (ERA), as only Roger Bailey and John Thomson pitched enough innings to qualify for the ERA title and produced an ERA under 5.00. Walker, Vinny Castilla, and Andrés Galarraga each hit at least 40 home runs. Walker led the NL in home runs with 49 and OBP (.452), and the major leagues in on-base plus slugging (1.172), while Galarraga led the NL in runs batted in (140).

1998 Atlanta Braves season

The 1998 Atlanta Braves season marked the franchise's 33rd season in Atlanta and 128th overall. They went on to win their seventh consecutive division title, taking the National League East title by 18 games over the second place New York Mets.

The team featured six all stars: shortstop Walt Weiss and third baseman Chipper Jones were voted as starters, while first baseman Andrés Galarraga, catcher Javy López, and pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux were selected as reserves. Jones and Lopez each hit over 30 home runs as Galaragga (acquired from Colorado) led the club in home runs and RBI. Galaragga finished as an MVP candidate.

The 1998 Braves beat the Chicago Cubs three games to none in the National League Division Series. In the next round Atlanta then lost to the San Diego Padres in the National League Championship Series four games to two. Despite winning two games after losing the first three, Atlanta's comeback bid came short by being eliminated in game 6. San Diego's winning over Atlanta was seen as one of the biggest upsets in postseason history.

This team has earned a few historic accolades. ESPN writer David Schoenfield lists them as one of the top teams in MLB history to not win a World SeriesESPN columnist Jeff Merron also writes that the pitching staff of Maddux, Glavine, John Smoltz, Denny Neagle, and Kevin Millwood was the greatest of all time. The quintet posted a cumulative 2.97 ERA and amassed 88 wins (almost 18 wins per starter), equaling the win total of the 2nd place Mets. The 1998 Braves are the only team in MLB history to have five pitchers each strike out 150 batters in the same season. Glavine, the lone 20 game winner in the National League for that year, won the Cy Young Award.

2000 Atlanta Braves season

The 2000 Atlanta Braves season marked the franchise's 35th season in Atlanta along with the 125th season in the National League and 130th overall. The Braves won their ninth consecutive division title, however, the 2000 season would mark the first time since 1990 that the Braves did not appear in the National League Championship Series. One of the highlights of the season was that the All-Star Game was held at Turner Field in Atlanta.

2001 San Francisco Giants season

The 2001 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 119th year in Major League Baseball, their 44th year in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season, and their second at Pacific Bell Park. The team finished in second place in the National League West with a 90–72 record, 2 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks.

2001 Texas Rangers season

The Texas Rangers 2001 season involved the Rangers finishing 4th in the American League west with a record of 73 wins and 89 losses.

Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies are an American professional baseball team based in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) West division. The team's home venue is Coors Field, located in the Lower Downtown area of Denver. The Rockies won their first National League championship in 2007, after having won 14 of their final 15 games in order to secure a Wild Card position. In the World Series they were swept by the American League (AL) champion Boston Red Sox in four games.

Galarraga

Galarraga is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Andrés Galarraga (born 1961), Major League Baseball first baseman

Armando Galarraga (born 1982), Major League Baseball pitcher

Isidro Lángara Galarraga (1912–1992), Spanish football striker

Manuel Eguiguren Galarraga (1930–2012), Bolivian Roman Catholic bishop

List of Colorado Rockies team records

These are lists of Colorado Rockies records from their inception all the way through the 2018 season.

List of Major League Baseball annual putouts leaders

The following is a list of annual leaders in putouts in Major League Baseball (MLB), with separate lists for the American League and the National League. The list also includes several professional leagues and associations that were never part of MLB.

In baseball statistics, a putout (denoted by PO or fly out when appropriate) is given to a defensive player who records an out by a Tagging a runner with the ball when he is not touching a base (a tagout), catching a batted or thrown ball and tagging a base to put out a batter or runner (a Force out), catching a thrown ball and tagging a base to record an out on an appeal play, catching a third strike (a strikeout), catching a batted ball on the fly (a flyout), or being positioned closest to a runner called out for interference.

Jake Beckley is the all-time leader in career putouts with 23,743. Jiggs Donahue holds the record for most putouts in a season with 1,846 in 1907. Frank McCormick, Steve Garvey, Bill Terry, and Ernie Banks have all led the league in putouts 5 times. Albert Pujols is the active leader in putouts and has led the league 4 times.

List of Silver Slugger Award winners at first base

The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball (MLB). These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage, in addition to "coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value". Managers and coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The Silver Slugger was first awarded in 1980 and is given by Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats. The award is a bat-shaped trophy, 3 feet (91 cm) tall, engraved with the names of each of the winners from the league and plated with sterling silver.Among first basemen, Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Todd Helton of the Colorado Rockies and Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals have won the most Silver Sluggers, with four each. Goldschmidt won the award in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2018, Helton won four consecutive awards from 2000 to 2003, while Pujols won the award in 2004 and three consecutive times from 2008 to 2010. Pujols has also won the award at third base and outfield before converting to first base. In the American League, five players have won the award three times: Miguel Cabrera (Detroit Tigers; 2010, 2015, 2016) Cecil Cooper (Milwaukee Brewers; 1980–1982); Carlos Delgado (Toronto Blue Jays; 1999–2000, 2003), Don Mattingly (New York Yankees; 1985–1987); and Mark Teixeira (Texas Rangers, 2004–2005; New York Yankees, 2009). Jeff Bagwell, formerly of the National League's Houston Astros, has also won the award three times (1994, 1997, 1999). One player has won the award while playing for two different teams during his winning season. Fred McGriff was traded by the San Diego Padres to the Atlanta Braves during the 1993 season; he won the Silver Slugger Award with a .291 batting average and 37 home runs between the two teams. One father-son combination has won the award: Cecil Fielder won the American League Silver Slugger with the Detroit Tigers in 1990 and 1991, and his son Prince Fielder won the National League award with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2007 and 2011, and the American League award with the Tigers in 2012. José Abreu and Paul Goldschmidt are the most recent winners.

Helton holds the record for the highest batting average in a first baseman's Silver Slugger-winning season with the .372 mark he set in 2000. In the American League, Frank Thomas' .353 batting average in 1994 ranks first, and is the third-best in the history of the award. Mark McGwire holds the records in both leagues for highest slugging percentage, and the National League record for most home runs. McGwire slugged .730 for the Oakland Athletics in 1996, the year before he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1998, McGwire hit 70 home runs on his way to the Major League home run record, slugging .752 while battling the entire season with Sammy Sosa. Chris Davis holds the American League record for most home runs in a Silver Slugger season when he hit 53 in 2013. Andrés Galarraga had 150 runs batted in (RBI) in 1996 when he won the award, followed closely by Ryan Howard's 2006 total of 149. The American League record for a Silver Slugger winner is 145 RBI, achieved by Mattingly (1985) and Delgado (2003).

Paul Wagner

Paul Allen Wagner (born November 14, 1967) is an American former Major League Baseball player. A pitcher, Wagner played for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1992—1997), Milwaukee Brewers (1997—1998), and Cleveland Indians (1999).

On August 29, 1995, while with the Pirates, Wagner had a no-hitter broken up against the Colorado Rockies with two out in the ninth on an Andrés Galarraga single. It was the only hit Wagner would allow in defeating the Rockies 4–0. The no-hitter would have been the first by a Pirate since John Candelaria in 1976.

Wagner finished his 8-year career with a 4.83 ERA. He pitched in 598.2 innings, allowing 640 hits and 321 earned runs.

In 160 appearances, Wagner handled 137 total chances (50 putouts, 87 assists) without an error for a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.

Wagner lives in Neosho, Wisconsin.

Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award

The Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award is the oldest of three annual awards in Major League Baseball given to one player in each league who has reemerged as a star in that season. It was established in 1965. The winner in each league is selected by the TSN editorial staff.

In 2005, Major League Baseball officially sponsored its own Comeback Player of the Year Award for the first time. TSN and MLB honored the same players in 2005—Ken Griffey, Jr. in the National League and Jason Giambi in the American League. The Players Choice Awards, awarded by the Major League Baseball Players Association, also began a Comeback Player honor in 1992.

Listed below are the players honored with the TSN award by year, name, team and league.

The Big Cat

The Big Cat is a popular nickname in professional sports. It may refer to:

Johnny Lee Bench(born 1941),Oklahoma , baseball player

Andrés Galarraga (born 1961), Venezuelan baseball player

Ernie Ladd (1938–2007), American wrestler and football player

Leon Lett (born 1968), American football player

Earl Lloyd (born 1928), American basketball player

Jamaal Magloire (born 1978), Canadian basketball player

Miloslav Mečíř (born 1964), Slovak tennis player

Johnny Mize (1913–1993), American baseball player

James Williams (offensive lineman) (born 1968), American football player

Rayfield Wright (born 1945), American football player

Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

The Salón de la Fama y Museo del Béisbol Venezolano (in English, the Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum) is a nonprofit institution operated by private interests, which was founded on April 18, 2002, thanks to the vision of Carlos Daniel Cárdenas Lares. The institution is located at Centro Sambil, in Valencia, the capital city of Carabobo State and the third largest city of Venezuela.The museum offers visitors the origins and growth of baseball in the world and the history of what is known as the National sport of Venezuela. It also shows, through its exhibitions, the most prominent players who have made significant achievements, as well as efforts to honor people who have highlighted the activity of baseball in Venezuela, recognizing and appreciating their impact on national culture and exalt those who have made outstanding contributions to the sport.The museum covers a total area of 2,300 square meters and is laid out on two levels. The first floor of the museum includes four historical rooms, an auditorium dedicated to Luis Aparicio, an art gallery named after Andrés Galarraga, a baseball library and a shop. On the second floor are a permanent Hall of Fame exhibition, two batting cages, and a newsroom.Since its opening in 2002, the museum created two nominating committees responsible for selecting the most notable baseball figures of all time. The Contemporary Committee, comprising representatives of the media, official scorekeepers, umpires, representatives of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League, and Players Association officers, have the task of choosing both natives and foreign players who developed their careers in Venezuelan professional baseball through the 1980–2012 period. Meanwhile, the Historical Committee selects those players who made their careers in the period prior to the 1980–1981 season of the VPBL. In both cases, are also recognized those managers, executives, broadcasters and individuals who have collaborated in the development of baseball in Venezuela.

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