Not Boring

Do you like offense? Not a fan of pitcher duels? Dislike boring low octane match-ups? Have I got a game for you.

June 30, 1996 may have been the craziest game in Colorado Rockies history. Batters teed off against nearly a dozen pitchers, going 38 for 104 at the plate. 10 Home runs were hit, including three on consecutive pitches by a trio of Dodger Rookie of the Year winners (Piazza, Karros, and Mondesi). Seven lead changes took place over the course of play, keeping fans at the edge of their seats until Colorado prevailed by a score of 16-15. The 9-inning game is still the longest in National League history.

Eric Young had a record setting contribution of his own to add to the scoresheet. In addition to facing 27 pitches inside this one game, he stole 6 bases to tie the post-1900 marks held by Eddie Collins and Otis Nixon. The real excitement came in the third inning when Young reached first base on a single to left field. He waited at first while Walt Weiss struck out. Ellis Burks came to the plate and Young promptly stole second base. Third base followed in quick succession, unnerving pitcher Hideo Nomo. Burks was then walked and Nomo thought he was safe. With Dante Bichette batting Young broke for home and successfully scored on a stolen base. He stole 2nd, 3rd, and home during a single inning.

This wasn’t entirely out of the ordinary for Young, one of the ’90s best base runners. He averaged more than 40 SBs per 162 games and was always a threat on the base paths. Coupled with a keen batting eye (6.6% career strikeout rate) and a solid batting average, he made pitchers work to keep him on the bench.

Young, it should be noted, did all this damage against the very team that had drafted him in 1989. He made his debut on July 30, 1992 and his limited selection of rookie cards from that year were limited to a pair of update sets issued by Fleer and Donruss. Cards issued at the beginning of the 1993 season portrayed him as a member of the Dodgers, though he had been selected by the Rockies in the 1992 MLB Expansion Draft. Topps included him as a Dodger in Series 1 of its 1993 Flagship release and again as a member of the Rockies in Series 2. Somehow, Topps’ photographer thought a cactus was the best backdrop for the newest ballplayer in the Rocky Mountains. You can’t call the card boring.

Bip Roberts makes a diving appearance on Young’s 1993 Dodgers card.

Young’s 1993 Finest Refractor has another Expansion Draft reference hidden on the back. His regular Series 1 Topps card showing him on the Dodgers puts his draft date as June 1989. His Finest card resets the draft date to November 1992, the date the Rockies made their expansion selections.