BiographyAndres "Big Cat" Galarraga was born on June 18, 1961, in Caracas, Distrito Capital, Venezuela. Andres is a former major league first baseman who batted and threw right handed. He played for the Montreal Expos from 1985-1991 and 2002, the St. Louis Cardinals in 1993, the Colorado Rockies from 1993 - 1997, the Atlanta Braves in 1998 and 2000, the Texas Rangers in 2001, the San Francisco Giants in 2001 and 2003 and the Anaheim Angels in 2004. Andres began his professional baseball career at the age of 16 in Venezuela. In 1979 Galarraga was finally signed by a major league baseball team, when the Expos signed him as a free agent at the age of 18.He was 24 years old when he broke into the big leagues on August 23, 1985, with the Montreal Expos. Galarraga was a popular player for both his achievements on the field and for his big smile and earned the nickname The Big Cat because of his quickness at first base, despite his large size. The Big Cat earned a Silver Slugger in 1988 and 1996, and Golden Gloves in 1989 and 1990. He also played in All-Star games in '88, '93, '97, '98, and '00. Andres won the hearts of baseball fan after coming back from cancer in 2000 and winning the Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Braves Career HighlightsAndres compiled a .303 batting average with 72 home runs and 221 RBI in 294 games with the Braves. 1998:
Galarraga proved that he could still produce great numbers, hitting .305 with 44 home runs and 121 RBIs. 1999:
During Spring Training with the Braves, Galarraga developed a sore back. Nothing he did could stop the soreness so he was sent to a medical oncologist in Atlanta for a through exam and an MRI. Sadly, the diagnosis came back indicating that on his second lumbar vertebra in his lower back, Andres had a tumor known as Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Galarraga missed the entire 1999 season while he underwent treatment. 2000:
Galarraga once again wore a Braves uniform and was back in good form after undergoing chemotherapy. On Opening Day, Galarraga knocked in the winning run with a home run. For the first two months of the season, Andres was tied in first place in the National League for home runs and was batting .300. He finished the season with a .302 batting average, 28 home runs, and 100 RBIs. Galarraga's comeback season wasn't complete without playing in the 2000 All-Star Game in Atlanta and he won the 2000 Comeback Player of the year award.
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