Tuesday, August 16, 2011
#505) ALVARO ESPINOZA
Alvaro Espinoza joined the New York Mets when he was traded from the Cleveland Indians along with Carlos Baerga in exchange for Jeff Kent and Jose Vizcaino on July 29, 1996.
"I got to think I'm the best defensive shortstop in the league," Espinoza was quoted in 1991 as a member of the Yankees. "I got to be positive. I think I'm the best." The Mets felt they already had a defensive gem at shortstop in Rey Ordoñez. "He does things in the field that would seem to be beyond reality," Alvaro said of his new teammate. "He makes plays that you can't even ask other people to try. That's why he is Rey Ordoñez." So Espinoza certainly understood when he more often found him time at second and third base.
Alvaro appeared in 48 games for New York and finished with solid offensive numbers. Collecting 4 home runs, 16 RBIs and a .306 batting average in 134 at-bats. The effort earned him an invitation to Mets training camp the next spring, but after Espinoza did not find himself a spot on the major-league roster he was released on March 26, 1997. Alvaro joined the Seattle Mariners for the 1997 season.
The Venezuelan infielder finished his playing career, and turned to coaching in 1998. He first worked with the Montreal Expos as their minor-league infield coordinator. The Los Angeles Dodgers organization gave him his managerial debut in 1999 with their Class-A Vero Beach team. Most recently he was a coach with the Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees in 2008.
Alvaro Espinoza signed his card in the set during a private signing arranged by All-Star Cards and Collectibles on September 26, 2009.