Friday, February 17, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #104 - Omar Moreno

  • Omar Moreno became the starting center fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1977. He was signed by the Pirates in 1969 and spent several years in the minors before getting a late season call up in 1975.
  • Moreno started the 1976 season in the minors and had a brief tour with the Pirates in late June and early July. Omar came up to stay in mid August and batted .270 in 48 games.
  • In 1978 Moreno led the NL in stolen bases with 71. He scored 95 runs despite batting only .235.
  • The Pirates won the World Championship in 1979 and Moreno contributed with a .282 average, an NL-leading 77 stolen bases, and 110 runs scored. Omar batted .250 (3 for 12) in the NLCS and .333 (11 for 33) in the World Series.
  • Moreno led the NL in at bats (676), triples (13), and caught stealing (33) in 1980. He batted .249 with 87 runs scored. Omar stole 96 bases, but that wasn't good enough to lead the league, as Montreal's Ron LeFlore stole 97. 
  • In the strike-shortened 1981 season Moreno led in caught stealing (14) for the second year in a row. He batted .276, but he had only a .319 on base percentage.
  • Moreno's last year with the Pirates was in 1982. He stole 60 bases, but he was caught 26 times and led the NL in that category for the third year in a row. Omar batted .245 and scored 82 runs. After the 1982 season Moreno became a free agent and signed a five-year, $3.25 million contract with the Houston Astros.
  • Moreno had a so-so year with the Astros in 1983. He tripled 11 times and stole 30 bases, but he batted only .242 with a .282 on base percentage in 97 games. On August 10 Omar was traded to the New York Yankees for Jerry Mumphrey. He finished the 1983 season with the Yankees and batted .250 in 48 games.
  • Omar fared a little better in 1984 (.259 in 117 games), but his speed was going and he stole only 20 bases.
  • In 1985 Moreno was a backup outfielder for the Yankees. He batted .197 in 34 games and was released on August 16. The Kansas City Royals picked him up for the stretch run to help while Willie Wilson was ill in September and Omar batted .243 in 24 games. He wasn't eligible for the postseason.
  • The Royals released Moreno after the 1985 season. Omar tried out with the Atlanta Braves in 1986 and made the club. Omar batted .234 in 118 games and stole 17 bases, but was caught 16 times. Moreno was released after the 1986 season.
  • Moreno now serves as the Secretary of Sports in his native Panama. Here is a Sports Illustrated "Where are they now" article from 2009.
  • 1977 Stats: .240, 7 HR, 34 RBI, 53 stolen bases
  • 1977 Highlights:
  • Other card blogs: 19781980

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