Monday, October 20, 2014

Base(ball) Oddity #15: A Big One from The Big Cat

One of the more 'Feel Good Stories' I can remember taking place in the Braves organization- and all of Major League Baseball- was the return of El Gato Grande (also known as Andres Galarraga) from his 1999 battle with cancer.

2000 S.I. for Kids # 945 (September Issue) Andres Galarraga

Galarraga, who homered forty-four times during his first season in Atlanta, missed the entire '99 season but returned to the field on Opening Day, 2000 as the Braves faced his former team, the Colorado Rockies. Facing Pedro Astacio in the bottom of the 7th, Galarraga blasted a homer off of his former teammate to give the Braves a 1-0 lead (they would win the game 2-0). 

That home run might have brought a tear to your eye, but was not quite as impressive as the tape-measure shot he hit in Miami in 1997. Originally said to be 573-feet, the total was changed to 529 feet. I thought it was closer to the number on the back of his S.I. for Kids card (945).

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