Monday, April 8, 2019

1993 Topps All-Star Rookie Second Baseman Carlos Garcia

Carlos Garcia wasn't a superstar, but he was an All-Star. He took over for the recently traded Jose Lind as the Pirates' regular second baseman in 1993. Garcia had languished for three seasons in AAA, blocked by both Lind and Jay Bell. Garcia was a Short Stop in the minors, but would not be taking Jay Bell's place. Garcia had 10 homers in 89, 10 in 1990 and 13 in 1992-- making his case to be a major leaguer for Pirates.

He would finish a distant 7th in the Rookie of the Year voting, but his 12 homers in 1993 were significant. The last Pirate Second Baseman to hit 10 or more homers? Bill Mazeroski in 1966! Things were looking pretty good for Carlos Garcia!

Following his Topps All-Star Rookie nod, he was the Pirates' lone representative for the 1994 All-Star Game, getting a base hit in his only at bat. Take that, Tim Salmon! Garcia was the Pirates' regular starter at second through the 1996 season.

1993 ended being a career year for Carlos, with career highs in homers, hits, runs scored, doubles, triples, stolen bases... you get the picture. In 1995, he had a 21 game hitting streak and driving in a career high 50 runs. 1996 was his best year for batting average, hitting nearly .300 in his last season with the Pirates.

His final Topps card came following his 1997 season in Toronto. He'd go on to a season with the Angels and their AAA affiliate in 1998, then a season with the Padres and their AAA affiliate in 1999. He would play 2 more years for the Yankees' AAA team before hanging up the spikes.

Looks cold in Toronto! Also cool - Garcia wore #13 in honor of Dave Concepcion, the long time Cincinnati Reds' player. Following his playing career, Garcia went into coaching and found some success in the minors managing in the Pirates' organization. He managed the single A Bradenton team and two seasons for the AA Altona Curve. Last year he was managing in the Mexican League.

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