26 June 2011

garey ingram through the mail success!

back in 1994, i was rooting hard for garey ingram, a dodger second base prospect.  not because he was a minor league second baseman who might have replaced jody reed in the lineup after reed spurned the dodgers - in fact, ingram's arrival on the scene during the '94 season was too late to prevent the pedro for delino deal, and i am on record as having been a supporter of deshields.  no, i was rooting for ingram because of what had happened to jose offerman.

ingram, by the way, was kind enough to sign and return my 1995 score card last year.
ingram was called up in may of 1994, and debuted as a defensive replacement, taking over for deshields at second in the 9th inning of the dodgers' victory over the padres on may 15.  he got his first big league at bat on may 19 as a pinch hitter for orel hershiser, and he promptly jacked one out at coors field off of former dodger mike munoz,
becoming only the second los angeles dodger to ever hit a home run in his first big league at bat. 

about four years earlier, offerman had done the same thing, and many believe that it caused him to try to hit more home runs rather than play off of his speed and hit more grounders. 

whatever the reason, offerman (a highly touted prospect) 
didn't crack the mendoza line until 1992, his third year with the dodgers, and didn't really blossom until he went to the american league and was moved out of the shortstop position.

ingram stole a fair amount of bases in the minors, but i don't know that speed was his strongest asset, so maybe he was supposed to hit long balls.  he wound up batting .282 with 3 home runs and an ops of .751 during his month long stint as the dodgers' regular second baseman in 1994, but was sent down once deshields was ready to return to the lineup.  he got two more call ups 1995, but hit just .200 with no extra base hits while appearing mostly as a pinch runner and hitter. 

after a full season in the minors, ingram returned to the big leagues for the last time in 1997.  by then, deshields was gone, but the dodgers were playing wilton guerrero at second.  ingram was instead used as a left fielder, appearing in 12 games.  in his first game back, he was 3 for 4 with a walk and an rbi and i was hoping he would somehow stick with the club.  unfortunately, that was the only game he started, and he had only five more at bats afterwards.  still, he finished the season hitting .444 and hit over .300 in the minors the following year.  all that earned him was a ticket to the red sox organization, and after a couple years there plus some time in an independent league and mexico, ingram returned to the dodgers' aaa team for a final hurrah in 2002.

here's to you garey ingram!  thanks for signing my card and for not going offerman on us.

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