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All-Time Marlins Countdown: Chapter 120

A speedster from the inaugural bunch plus 2003’s closer populate today’s dispatch.

Florida Marlins Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images

The All-Time Marlins Countdown aims to shed a little light on each of the 630 players to appear with the club at the major league level through their first 28 seasons.

The final bracket, comprised of players with 800 or more plate appearances and/or batters faced, is 128 players large. One-hundred-and-eight of them registered positive bWAR figures while with the team. Today’s pair of Marlins includes a speedy outfielder and a reliever, both well-above replacement level.

67. Chuck Carr

Center fielder Chuck Carr is a five-foot-10 switch-hitter from San Bernardino, California. In 1986, the Cincinnati Reds selected him in the ninth round of the draft out of Fontana HS.

Prior to joining the Marlins, Carr made it to the major leagues with the New York Mets in 1990 and 1991, and also played a handful of games with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1992. The Marlins took him with the 14th pick in the expansion draft. Despite his prior exposure to baseball’s top level, he entered the 1993 campaign with his rookie status intact.

Despite playing in only three seasons with the Marlins, Carr ranks fifth on their all-time leaderboard with 115 stolen bases, including a National League-leading 58 as a rookie in 1993. It was enough for him to finish fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year Award voting after the season.

Carr appeared in 142 games for that first version of the Marlins, with a .267/.327/.330 slashline. He drew 49 walks against 74 strikeouts, with a team-lead-tying 75 runs scored (with Jeff Conine, but more on him later).

Although Carr is known as Miami’s “first” regular center fielder, That honor actually belongs to Scott Pose. Carr replaced him two weeks into the season, and started 133 games at the eight, always in the leadoff position. He had 37 multiple-hit games through his rookie season, including 10 games where he collected at least three.

Going by WPA, Carr’s best effort was on May 27, in a 13-8 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Carr went four-for-five with a stolen base, two doubles, and two RBI. Of Carr’s career 4.3 bWAR, nearly half of it was collected in 1993, with 2.0. Defensively, Carr racked up a .985 fielding percentage in 1181 23 innings in center field, with seven assists and six errors.

Carr ranked fourth in the NL with 32 stolen bases in the lockout-shortened 1994 season, and ninth in the circuit with 91 singles. He slashed .263/.305/.330 with 22 walks and 71 whiffs, while putting down a .980 fielding percentage in 880 innings in center.

On May 28, Carr singled in the fifth, scored in the seventh, and drove in the winning run in the ninth with a single to defeat the San Francisco Giants, 3-2. It was one-of-31 multiple-hit games through the season for Carr, including a five-for-five day on May 3 in a 6-3 victory against the Atlanta Braves.

In 1995, Carr displayed increased patience at the plate, with 46 walks against 49 strikeouts, but his batting average suffered as a result, with a career-worst .227. He stole another 25 bases in 105 games for Florida.

After the 1995 season, the Marlins traded Carr with minor leaguer Ty Narcisse to the Milwaukee Brewers for minor league reliever Juan Gonzalez. Narcisse never pitched above the Double-A level for the Marlins, while Carr played two more seasons of big-league ball between Milwaukee and the Houston Astros.

66. Braden Looper

Braden Looper is a six-foot-four native of Weatherford, Oklahoma. A Wichita State University alum, right-hander Looper was a first round choice of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1996, third overall off the board.

Like Carr, Looper played some ball at the major league level with the Cardinals before his official rookie season with the Marlins. He appeared in four games in 1998 for them, striking out four and allowing as many runs in 3 13 innings. After that season, they sent him with Armando Almanza (#121) and Pablo Ozuna (#360) to the Marlins for Edgar Renteria (#52).

Looper was a very prolific pitcher during his five seasons out of the bullpen for the Marlins. He ranked second in team appearances in 1999, with 72, then led the team in that category for each of the next four years, totaling 368 games pitched. He trails only Mike Dunn (#79) on the franchise leaderboard in appearances.

Looper specialized as a late-inning reliever for his first three seasons with the Marlins, picking up the closer role in late-2002. He totaled 46 saves with the team, striking out 242 in 388 innings of work. Looper posted a 3.69 ERA and a 4.08 FIP, with a career 1.389 WHIP to his credit. His best Marlins season, going by bWAR, was in 2002 (1.5), when he posted a career-best 1.174 WHIP.

Looper’s swan song with the Marlins turned out to be the run to the 2003 World Series Championship, when he appeared in eight games out of the pen for Florida. Despite allowing four runs in 3 23 innings against the New York Yankees through the Fall Classic, he was the winning pitcher of record in Game Four, when he relieved in the 11th with the score tied, the bases loaded, and one out. He struck out Aaron Boone and got John Flaherty to pop out, then worked a scoreless 12th inning. Alex Gonzalez led off the bottom of the 12th with a line drive walk-off home run.

The Marlins granted Looper’s free agency soon after the conclusion of the Winter Meetings, and the New York Mets picked him up afterward. He pitched two years with the lolMets, then joined the St. Louis Cardinals for the final four seasons of his career. For the last three years of that, the Cards used Looper as a starting pitcher to mixed results. Although he led the National League with 34 starts in his final season (2009), he also led the majors with 113 earned runs and 39 long-balls surrendered.