Karim Garcia

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BIOGRAPHY

Gustavo Karim García Aguayo (born October 29, 1975), nicknamed "The Latino Bambino."

Early years
Born in Ciudad Obregón, Mexico, García signed as an amateur free agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1992 at just sixteen years old. After batting .319 with twenty home runs and 91 runs batted in for the Albuquerque Dukes in 1995, he became the youngest player in Major League Baseball when he debuted with the Dodgers that September. He also received major league calls in 1996 and 1997, but spent most of tenure with the Dodgers as a minor leaguer. In five seasons in their farm system, he compiled a .281 batting average, 98 home runs and 375 RBIs. His first career home run came off of Osvaldo Fernández at Candlestick Park in 1997.

D-backs inaugural season opening day right fielder
On November 18, 1997, the Arizona Diamondbacks selected García as the ninth overall pick in the 1997 Major League Baseball expansion draft. He earned a spot on the D-Backs' inaugural season opening day line-up, hitting the second home run in franchise history in the ninth inning of their 9-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies. Following just one season in Arizona, García was traded to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Luis Gonzalez and cash.

Cleveland Indians
On May 28, 1999, Garcia became the 34th player in the history of Major League Baseball to hit a home run over the Tiger Stadium roof in right field,[3] however, he lasted just one full season in Detroit. In June 2000, he was sent to the Baltimore Orioles as part of a conditional deal, but was released by Baltimore after one season with the triple A Rochester Red Wings. He signed with the Cleveland Indians for the 2001 season, and clubbed 31 home runs for the triple A Buffalo Bisons. He joined the Indians that September, and batted .311 with five home runs in just 45 at-bats.



The Indians released García during Spring training 2002. He joined the New York Yankees shortly afterward only to be released by the Yankees that July and rejoin the Indians. In 51 games for the Tribe, García managed to put up his most impressive stats to date: sixteen home runs, 52 RBIs and a .299 batting average.

García's 2002 performance earned him a job as Cleveland's 2003 opening day right fielder. Shortly afterward, his contract was purchased by the Yankees.

New York Yankees
García's numbers improved dramatically upon joining the Yankees, as he batted .305 in 52 games. He also displayed a far steadier glove, committing just two errors the rest of the way.

New York Mets
In 2004, García moved crosstown to the New York Mets. His brief tenure with the Mets included him and teammate Shane Spencer becoming involved in a parking lot encounter with a pizza deliveryman, but no charges were filed. In July, the Mets sent him to the Baltimore Orioles for pitcher Mike DeJean.

Journeyman
García spent the 2005 and 2006 seasons with the Orix Buffaloes of the Nippon Professional Baseball League, batting a combined .281 with 44 homers and 97 RBIs. Thanks to the advice of Hideki Matsui, he became more patient than before, adapting to his new environment in Japan. On August 10-August 11, 2005, García hit three home runs in two consecutive games against the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, becoming the only player in Japanese baseball history to accomplish that.

On January 8, 2007, García signed a minor league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, however, was released during Spring training. He ended up joining the Sultanes de Monterrey of the Liga Mexicana de Beisbol for the 2007 season, and batted .374 with twenty home runs to lead his team to a national championship.

García signed with the Lotte Giants of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) for the 2008 season. He played right field, batted fifth, and was one of the crowd favorites in Busan, posting a .283 batting average with thirty home runs and led the league with 111 RBIs in 125 games played. After the season, García won the KBO Golden Glove Awards as an outfielder.

In 2011 he returned to the Sultanes de Monterrey in Mexico for a second season in this team. In June 2011, García came back again in South Korea to sign Hanwha Eagles of the KBO. He played for the team until the end of the season.

In 2012, he played for the Sultanes de Monterrey of the Mexican Summer League and the Naranjeros de Hermosillo of the Mexican Pacific League.

In a ten-season major league career, García posted a .241 batting average with 66 home runs and 212 RBIs in 488 games played.

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