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mark loretta, 2004 topps #421, padres

Player: Loretta, Mark

Card: 2004 Topps #421

Position: 2B/SS/3B

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"Ballplayers know what is going on. You can't help but vote (into the 2004 All-Star Game) for guys like Loretta. He's 100 percent what this game is all about." - Former All-Star David Wells on SignOnSanDiego.com (Bill Center, 07/05/2004, 'Players vote Loretta a star')

Mark David Loretta (born August 14, 1971 in Santa Monica, CA) is an American former professional baseball infielder. He played 15 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) between 1995 and 2009 for the Milwaukee Brewers, Houston Astros, San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox, and Los Angeles Dodgers. Mark coached the Israeli national baseball team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier in September 2012.

Mark was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the seventh round of the 1993 Major League Baseball draft and was selected to the American Association All-star team during the 1995 season. He made his Major League debut on September 4, 1995 for the Brewers against the Minnesota Twins and recorded his first hit on September 10 against the Texas Rangers. He remained on the Brewers every day roster as a utility player through 2002.

On June 20, 2001, during an 11–3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds, Mark took the mound to pitch a scoreless eighth inning. Brewers manager Davey Lopes asked the team for a volunteer to pitch an inning in hopes of saving the depleted bullpen, and Loretta volunteered. He had not pitched since college. He faced five batters, gave up one hit and one walk and got two strikeouts on 19 pitches. He was the first everyday player to pitch for the Brewers since 1991.

In 2004 & 2006, Loretta was voted into the MLB All-Star Game, and won a Silver Slugger Award in 2004. On June 28th and June 29, 2007, while with the Houston Astros, he hit walk-off home runs for two nights in a row.

On October 8, 2009, while with the Dodgers, Mark hit a walk-off single to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals, 3–2, in game two of the National League Division Series. Mark said, "That's the biggest hit of my career."

Loretta retired after the 2009 season. He finished a 15 year career with a .295 average, and the 10th best all time fielding percentage for second basemen at .991. He has worked as a Padres special assistant to the baseball operations staff, and bench coach for the Chicago Cubs.

He can still catch.

Mark is on Twitter @mdloretta.

(excerpted from Baseball Almanac, CenterfieldMaz, BR Bullpen & Wikipedia)


1996 Topps #340
2007 Topps #56


Mark is part of the All-Star Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

Mark is also part of the LA/Brooklyn Dodgers Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

Mark is also part of the Chicago Cubs Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop

Mark is also part of the Red Sox Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop

See all Loretta’s baseball cards at TCDB

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