Andy McGaffigan – 1988 Topps

December 31, 2010

“Hand Me The Sphere, Kind Sir, And I Shall Attempt To Slay The Batsmen”

The noted Irishman McGaffigan strode to the mound with confidence. His nine were in a tough spot with the game all square at five a side late in the eighth frame. The Trolley Dodgers eliminated the Scotsman McClure from the game with a hard double off the bat of Hoffman, plating Shelby and advancing the elder statesman Garner to third.

The August night was comfortable, yet the Montreal nine were on pins and needles. The Californians had runners on second and third and the go ahead run was one dash away. Landrum stepped to the plate, as McGaffigan peered into his receiver Reed.

Parrett had started the inning on the hill for the Tri-Colors, but Shelby earned a free pass and Rogers came out of the bench area to wave in McClure.  Stubbs, the powerful, fooled all observers with a bunt that moved Shelby to the middle sack. McClure regained himself and allowed Trevino to fly out to Candaele at second, but Hoffman redeemed his fellow batters with his hard smash.

Now, McGaffigan was facing a tough customer in Mr. Landrum. Yet the tall Floridian yielded no quarter and asked the same, fanning the pinch batter in four pitches which stranded the Trolley Dodgers running and preserving the all square situation.

Holton kept the Expos in check in the ninth, and McGaffigan did the same, but Manager LaSorda opted to replace Holton with Crews, in thinking that a fresh arm would suffice in extra frames. Yet those plans were foiled as Galarraga, who plays with feline grace despite his ample girth, deposited a double past the elderly Garner at third. Foley strode the plate, and the Los Angeles pilot LaSorda may have opted to take his chance pitching to the normally soft hitting middle sacker.

But Mr. Foley was not to be denied, expertly splitting the gap to where neither Shelby nor Stubbs could catch it as it flew through the air, and Galarraga came around to dent the scoreboard for the visitors. The lanky Irishman McGaffigan saddled up again in the 10th aiming to notch another victory for the Tri-Colors.

Shelby led off with a ball expertly placed between Foley and Candaele. He thought second was ripe for the taking but Reed dispatched him with an expert throw down to Foley. The powerful Stubbs then drew a free pass, but McGaffigan took no more chances, eliminating Trevino and Garner for the victory. The season of sorrow for the defending champions grows, and the Montreal nine resolves to chase the Cardinal clad St. Louis squad with all speed.

(Don’t ya think Andy looks like a 19th century player in that shot?)

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