Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Andres Galaragga Retires

The Big Cat announced his retirement early in the day... here's an incredibly awesome story from one of MetsBlog.com's readers:
When I was growing up in the 80's, my grandfather, a huge baseball (and Mets) fan, used to go down to Florida every winter. When he was in Florida, he and my grandmother would drive from spring training camp to spring training camp
and would meet lots of players and send me back tons of pictures. Nothing made
my grandfather happier than this.

In the final year that he was healthy, the spring of 1988, he sent me pictures of himself with Andres Galarraga and said that of all the players he had met through all of the years, Galarraga was by far the nicest one. My grandfather died of cancer in the fall of 1989. My pictures of him with Andres Galarraga from the spring of 1988 are among the last pictures where my grandfather truly looks like himself, the way I remember him, healthy and happy. (There's more, check it out here.)

Omar Minaya states what the rest of the baseball world thinks: Big Cat is a class act.

"Today shows you what kind of a class individual Andres is," Mets general manager Omar Minaya said to ESPN.com. "He's always handled things with class and dignity throughout his entire career, and this afternoon is another example of his high character. He is such a wonderful example to the players of today and I am going to miss him terribly. However, I hope one day he will rejoin our organization again."

Andres will definately be missed by fans throughout all of baseball. He was one of the few players that I would cheer for no matter what team he was on - I can't say that for many players. The story of his comeback from cancer is incredible, the fact that he's such a nice guy despite all his fame and money is also incredible. It's sad that he won't get the opportunity to hit his 400th home run - he had 399 over his career - it shows some serious class that he dropped out before the season started rather than make the front office have the decision of cutting him or keeping him so that he could get that one last home run. Hopefully, as Omar says, the Big Cat will rejoin the Mets as a coach some day. Best of luck, Andres!


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