Sunday, March 17, 2013

1997 Donruss Signature Andres Galarraga Autograph

Every good Rockies hitter over the twenty years of the franchise's existence has undergone the same scrutiny over whether they are a thin air hitter or a hitter everywhere.  Dante Bichette was a Coors Field hitter and so was Vinny Castilla.  There are also players on the Rockies that hit everywhere.  Larry Walker, Todd Helton, Matt Holliday just to name a few.  One of my favorite early Rockies players was Andres Galarraga who signed with the Rockies after a disappointing stint as the first baseman for the Cardinals. 

1997 Donruss Signature Andres Galarraga Millennium Marks Autograph


To be fair, Galarraga actually broke his wrist after being hit by a pitch during the home opener playing for the Cardinals.  He sat a couple of weeks, rushed back to the field and hit a whopping .186 with 2 home runs before the All-Star Break.  After a few days off at the break, Galarraga would hit .296 during the second half of the year with 8 home runs.  Sure the power numbers were off, but Galarraga would end up catching the eye of Cardinals hitting coach, Don Baylor, who ended up managing the Rockies.  The Rockies signed Galarraga as a free agent that off-season, while the Cardinals traded for batting helmet tossing HOF Gregg Jefferies.  During the following season in 1993, the Big Cat would pace the National League with a .370 batting average, 22 home runs, and 98 RBIs.  Galarrage would go on to have five or six more solid seasons playing primarily with the Rockies and Braves, but he bounced around to the Giants, Rangers, Expos, and Angels.

Of course, I added this Galarraga autograph primarily because he appeared with the Cardinals, but I also always enjoyed watching him play.  He was a great hitter during his prime and was a really good defensive first baseman.  Probably not a Hall of Famer, but he's not that far away in my opinion.  Galarraga has several autographs floating around with most costing less than $20.  

2 comments:

  1. Loved El Gato Grande. That's a beautiful sig and a nice addition to your collection.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice card. I always liked Donruss Signatures and Galarraga. Eventually, I'd like to add an autograph card of him in his Expos uniform to the PC.

    ReplyDelete