Friday, March 13, 2009

Young Superstars II #8 - Andres Galarraga

Here's a great shot of the old Expos blue away jersey and their beautiful cap. I've said it before, but I really miss the Expos. Sure they didn't draw more than sixteen fans per game, they played in a dump and never won. But they always fielded a good team, but never could afford to keep their young players as they progressed.

I realize that the Expos just weren't going to last in Montreal, but in Washington they just don't seem to have an identity yet, they don't really seem to have a place. They're stuck in the middle of a lot of Phillies and Orioles fans.

Maybe in a few more years at the new stadium they'll develop a following, but they better put up a good season soon.

Expos talk aside, I really like Galarraga. It's certainly true that he benefitted from the thin air at Coors' in its early days, but after leaving Colorado he still put up good numbers.

The smile on his face on the back of the card never left. He was a joy to watch in Atlanta and of all the players that have come and gone, I was saddest of all to see the Big Cat leave.

He's no Hall of Famer, but he was a very good, very popular player. His ability with the glove was right at league average and he won two Gold Gloves.

He was a five time All Star and won two Silver Sluggers. He also had six top ten MVP finishes.

Andres Galarraga's career statistics

I just realized that this is the second Friday the 13th in a row...


night owl said...

Montreal's home stadium wasn't really a dump. Sure, it wasn't anything to look at -- one of those ugly late 60s/early 70s stadiums. But it was about as clean as any stadium as you'll ever see, and it was in a rather pleasant neighborhood.

I enjoyed going there. Plus I could get whatever seat I wanted. :)

Ben said...

I guess so. When I think of Olympic stadium, a lot of what comes to mind are images of the rioting and mass destruction from 1991 from the Metallica/Guns n' Roses tour.

After James Hetfield was badly burned by pyro and Metallica was unable to finish their set, Axl Rose walked off stage half way through his set and everything went to hell.

But even watching baseball games on TV the place seemed very dark, but I guess that could have a lot to do with thirty thousand empty seats.

Do you think with a more modern stadium Montreal could have kept their team? Was there enough interest in baseball? I seem to remember a This Week in Baseball episode where an Expos player went downtown with a camera guy and asked random people on the street what they thought about the team and more than a few answered that they didn't know who the Expos were.

night owl said...

There used to be a lot of interest in baseball before I ever went to Montreal. Everyone blames the '94 strike for the city turning on baseball. I don't know if that's true, but I guess it's as good a reason as any. I don't think a modern stadium would have helped much -- maybe kept the Expos there a few more years, that's all.

Olympic Stadium didn't have great atmosphere, but I kind of liked watching baseball in a foreign- speaking country. It was cool.

Ben said...

Yeah, I've always seen the strike as the beginning of the end for the Expos. They had a real good team that year and a good shot at winning the division.

The TWiB that I'm thinking about had Mark Grudzielanek wandering around Montreal. I'm guessing it was probably 95 or 96. Most likely '96, since I'm thinking it was on Fox and that would have been their first year of MLB coverage.