Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2001 Topps #164 Einer Diaz

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, December 11, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2001 Topps #164.
  • Player Name, position, team: Einer Diaz, catcher, Cleveland Indians.
  • Major League Debut: September 9, 1996.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2000 stats (Indians): 75 G, 250 AB, 29 R, 68 H, 14 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 25 RBI, 4 SB, .392 SLG, 11 BB, 29 SO, .272 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Indians as a Free Agent 10/05/1990. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 5. This is his second Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Rising up through an organization in which his path appeared to be blocked by six-time All-Star Sandy Alomar, Einar won a significant share of the Indians' catchers job the old fashioned way: He earned it. For the past two seasons, he has kept his batting average acceptably high, stolen a few bases and - most importantly - played his position brilliantly. Mike Hargrove, Diaz' manager in 1999, paid him the ultimate compliment when he said, "I think Pudge Rodriguez is the only catcher to throw better than Einar.'"
  • Commentary: With the Cleveland Indians deciding that Sandy Alomar, their All-Star catcher throughout the 1990's was now expendable, one of the first players they tabbed to be his replacement was Einar (pronounced Ay-nar) Antonio Diaz. Granted, he was tested for the role before as Diaz appeared in more than a hundred games in 1999, but now the role was his for good, and he certainly took advantage of the opportunity. In 134 games during the 2001 season, Diaz hit for a good .277 average with 4 home runs and 56 rbi's along with percentages of .328/.387/.714. Defensively, he committed 8 errors in 1060 chances, good for a .992 fielding percentage, and caught 51 runners on the bases. And although the Indians lost to the Mariners in the ALDS, Diaz contributed with a .313 average and two rbi's. He struggled offensively the following year and when the Rangers were looking for a new catcher (Ivan Rodriguez had just taken his talents to Miami), it was Einar who was traded to Texas as his replacement (the Indians received Travis Hafner in exchange). Diaz' run in Texas would just last one season as he would soon be traded to the Expos. It would also be his last year as a full time catcher. In 2007, with the Pirates minor league team in Indianapolis, he "suffered a total rupture of his patellar tendon when he crossed homeplate" which is a complicated way of saying he tore his quad muscles while running home. It ended his season, and pretty much set the stage for him to retire as a player. He returned to the Indians as a special assistant for catchers in 2008, and then was hired to coach (and subsequently manage) in the Orioles' minor league system. In 2013, the O's promoted Diaz to assistant hitting coach.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 5.

Tomorrow's card will be 2012 Topps #116. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.


JayBee Anama

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