Andrés Galarraga’s Biography
Andrés Galarraga is a Venezuelan former professional baseball first baseman, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Montreal Expos (1985–1991 and 2002), St. Louis Cardinals (1992), Colorado Rockies (1993–1997), Atlanta Braves (1998–2000), Texas Rangers (2001), San Francisco Giants (2001 and 2003) and Anaheim Angels (2004). Andrés Galarraga batted and threw right-handed. During his playing days, Galarraga stood 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) tall, weighing 235 pounds (107 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. Andrés Galarraga was nicknamed The Big Cat. Galarraga was a five-time National League (NL) All-Star, won two NL 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’s Career
Galarraga was signed by the Leones del Caracas as a catcher and third baseman. Andrés Galarraga made his debut in the 1978–1979 season. Some of the players Galarraga 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. At that time, some MLB scouts thought the 17-year-old power-hitting prodigy was too overweight to play professionally. Andrés Galarraga played with this team until 1993, when he retired from the Venezuelan Winter League.
Andrés Galarraga’s Minor leagues
In Minor League Baseball (MiLB), Galarraga played for the West Palm Beach Expos (1979, 1982–1983), Calgary Expos (1979–1980), Jamestown Expos (1981), Jacksonville Suns (1984), and Indianapolis Indians (1985).
Galarraga was named Double-A Southern League Most Valuable Player for Jacksonville in 1984, with a .289 batting average (BA), 27 home runs (HR), and 87 runs batted in (RBI). Andrés Galarraga 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) at first base. Prior to his major league promotion, Galarraga hit .269/25/85, in 121 games with Indianapolis, being named as the Triple-A International League (IL) Rookie of the Year.
Montreal Expos (1985–1991)
Galarraga made his debut with Montreal on August 23, 1985. During that season’s last six-plus weeks, he struggled, hitting .187 (14-for-75), with two homers, and four RBI, in 24 games. Andrés Galarraga had a promising start in 1986, but it was interrupted when he suffered a knee injury; at the time, Andrés Galarraga had already posted eight home runs and was leading all NL rookies with 25 runs batted in. Galarraga underwent arthroscopic knee surgery, on July 10. He was activated one month later, only to be re-injured the following day after pulling muscles in his rib cage. Andrés Galarraga returned to action in September, ending with .271, 10 HR, and 42 RBI, in 105 games.
St. Louis Cardinals (1992)
Galarraga had a second chance with the 1992 Cardinals; however, a pitch broke his wrist early in the season and he didn’t recover until July. Galarraga 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.
Post-career in Hall of Fame consideration
Galarraga became eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010. Andrés Galarraga received 4.1% of the votes on the annual sportswriters’ ballot; due to having received less than 5% of the votes, Galarraga was removed from subsequent annual voting.
Andrés Galarraga’s Personal life
Galarraga currently resides in West Palm Beach, Florida.
- Full Name: Andrés José Padovani Galarraga
- Date of Birth: June 18, 1961
- Age: 59 years
- Birth Place: Caracas, Venezuela
- Nickname: The Big Cat
- Spouse: Eneyda Rodriguez (m. 1984)
- Position: Infielder
- Children: Katherine Galarraga, Andria Galarraga, Andrianna Galarraga
- Dates joined: 1993 (Colorado Rockies), 1998 (Atlanta Braves), 2004 (Los Angeles Angels)
- Net Worth: $25 Million
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Reference: Net Worth of Andrés Galarraga