Francisco Cabrera (baseball)
Cabrera in 1988
|First baseman / Catcher|
|Born: October 10, 1966|
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
|July 24, 1989, for the Toronto Blue Jays|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 24, 1993, for the Atlanta Braves|
|Runs batted in||62|
Francisco Cabrera Hernandez (born October 10, 1966) is a former Major League Baseball catcher/first baseman who played five seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays and the Atlanta Braves, from 1989 to 1993. He also played in Japan with the Orix Blue Wave in 1994.
Cabrera started his career with the Blue Jays, playing three games with them before being traded to the Braves for Jim Acker in the middle of the 1989 season. Cabrera was a reserve for most of his career and had his best season in 1990 in which he played sixty-three games and had 137 at-bats, getting 38 hits, with seven home runs.
August 21, 1991
Cabrera is credited with hitting the home run that marked the turning point in the history of the Atlanta Braves. On Wednesday, August 21, 1991, the Braves played the Reds and entered the ninth inning trailing, 9–6. Reds ace reliever Rob Dibble was on the mound with two outs. Cabrera had started the game to give Braves starter Greg Olson a much-needed rest. With two outs, David Justice doubled, and Brian Hunter walked to bring Cabrera to the plate with the tying run. He responded with a three-run homer off Dibble to tie the game, and the Braves eventually won in 13 innings. The game kept them 2.5 games behind the Dodgers in a race they eventually won by one game. The Braves went 29–12 after Cabrera's home run and eventually reached the World Series before losing to the Twins in seven games.
1992 National League Championship Series
Cabrera is best known for his two out game-winning pinch hit off of Stan Belinda in the 9th inning of the 7th and deciding game of the 1992 National League Championship Series that put the Braves into the World Series. Cabrera hit a line drive over shortstop Jay Bell on a 2–1 pitch to left field that scored David Justice and a slow footed Sid Bream, who barely beat a left-field throw from Barry Bonds to win the pennant for the Braves. Amazingly, before this pinch hit, Cabrera had batted only ten times during the 1992 season. This marked the end of the three-year divisional championship run of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who after the 1992 season lost Bonds, Doug Drabek, and other key players from those championship teams. The Pirates did not have another winning season until 2013.