29 August 2013

triple dipper juan castro

it's been a while since i have looked at a player that played for the dodgers, left the franchise for another, and then returned to wear dodger blue again.  double dippers, i call them.  sometimes, they even triple dip.

[this is the fiftythird installment in the double dippers posts.  here are the previous posts - brett butler, omar daaleric young, nick willhitechris gwynn, mickey hatcherdave anderson, don zimmerrafael landestoy, dave hansen, jose vizcaino, hideo nomo, greg maddux, mike madduxjon garland, chan ho parkvicente romogene mauch, denny lewallyn, von joshua, joe moellerdioner navarro, rudy seanez, bart shirleyrandy wolf, ismael valdes, bobby castillo, mike devereaux, pete richert, jay johnstone, jesse orosco, lee lacy, giovanni carrara, jeff weaverted sizemore,  orel hershisertom goodwinjoe fergusoneddie murraymatt lukeken mcmullen, tim wallach, jerry grotedon suttonralph branca, todd hundley, elmer dessensguillermo motajoe beckwithjamie hoffmannbabe herman, and joe medwick.]

juan castro made his big league debut in september of 1995 as, what else - a defensive replacement.  over the course of the next few seasons, he split time between aaa and the majors thanks mainly to his glove as his big league batting average hovered just under .200.  here is his 1998 pacific online card featuring a photo of castro from 1995 or 1996 (he stopped wearing number 60 prior to his 1997 appearances).
on april 1, 2000, the dodgers traded castro to the reds for a minor leaguer named kenny lutz.  it does not appear that lutz ever played in a game for any dodger affiliate.  castro, however, played for the reds for the next five seasons.  here is his 2004 topps card
after the 2004 season, castro signed a free agent deal with the twins who then traded him back to the reds in 2006.  they released him in 2008, but he was quickly signed by the rockies.  without appearing in a game for colorado, castro was traded to baltimore where he finished out the '08 season.  in january of 2009, castro signed with the dodgers, and became a double dipper.  here's his 2009 topps update card as proof
castro hit a robust .277 in his return to the dodgers.  he played in 57 games and saw time at short, second, third and even left field.  after the season, however, he opted to sign with the phillies, who had beat the dodgers in the 2009 nlcs for the second straight season.  if you can't beat 'em, join 'em i guess.  there were no cards of castro issued in 2010, so i made one using the 2010 goose joak originals template.
i have to believe that the highlight of castro's short time with the phillies came on may 29, 2010.  that was the day that roy halladay threw his perfect game. castro was 2 for 4 as the phillies' third baseman in that game, and he fielded ronnie paulino's grounder and threw it to first for the final out of the game.  a few weeks later, the phillies gave castro his release.

no worries, though, as ned colletti brought castro back to the dodgers for a rare third term.  here's another 2010 goose joak original i created to note the occasion.
castro even re-signed with the team as a free agent after the 2010 season before calling it quits during the 2011 campaign.  i saw somewhere around the time of his retirement that he had one of the lowest ops marks of any player with a significant number of plate appearances over the last 20 years or so.  clearly it was his glove that kept him around for 17 seasons, including three tours with the dodgers.

here's to you juan castro - a rare dodger triple dipper!

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