Abreu's legend grows back home

June, 24, 2011
6/24/11
7:06
PM PT
It barely rated a passing mention in the local press, but when Bobby Abreu surpassed Andres Galarraga on the list of career hits by a Venezuelan player, it got front-page treatment back home.

One Venezuelan newspaper ran a full-page photo of Abreu that said, "Now, he goes for (Luis) Aparicio." Another quotes Abreu saying, "It's an honor to pass The Cat."

Abreu, 37, has 2,334 hits, 333 fewer than Aparicio and 489 fewer than Omar Vizquel. He could surpass both of them if he keeps playing for a few more years. Vizquel, 44, is playing part-time for the Chicago White Sox and probably in his final season.

Abreu knew exactly how many hits he needed to catch both players.

"No problem if they keep letting me play," he joked.

Abreu played winter ball with Galarraga in Venezuela when he was 17 years old. He said he was too intimidated to talk to the player known as the Big Cat.

* Torii Hunter was not with the team Friday and manager Mike Scioscia said he won't play Saturday either, but could return in time to face Clayton Kershaw on Sunday. Hunter bruised some ribs in his lower back colliding with the wall in Florida on Wednesday.

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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