03/30/2005: Enjoy retirement, Big Cat; ya done good.
Just received the news that Andres Gallaraga elected to retire rather than chase that one last home run to make it 400 even. He was a non-roster invitee to the New York Mets spring camp, trying to make a last comeback from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and apparently he realized he just didn't have it in him anymore. Still, in 19 big-league seasons he put up some creditable numbers:
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG
2257 8096 1195 2333 444 32 399 1425 128 81 583 2003 .288 .347 .499
One of Gallaraga's seasons was with the Cardinals in 1992. It was a bit of a disappointment (.243/.282/.391) but Don Baylor, who was the Cardinals hitting coach in '92, was named manager of the expansion Colorado Rockies in their first season, and the Rockies (with input from Baylor?) nabbed Gallaraga in the expansion draft. He didn't disappoint; the thin air agreed with the Big Cat and Gallaraga rebounded with a .370/.403/.602 hitting line in '93.
By all accounts a hell of a guy as well as a great player (5 time All-Star). He'll be missed.
Len on 03.30.05 @ 09:07 AM CST