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The first Blue Jays game I distinctly remember attending took place on September 27th, 1998. It was John Fowler’s birthday and the Tigers were in town. I was 11. I had been to the Skydome before, of course – my grandfather was a baseball nut, and I can remember he and I traversing down Peter Street to get to the Dome, vendors hawking peanuts and, after ‘92, pennants. Or was it after ‘93? Though I must have attended dozens of games with my grandpa Jack, those early memories have a tendency to blend together after a while. So the first Blue Jays game that I can definitely say that I attended was that Sunday afternoon in late September.

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Sad day for baseball and the Blue Jays.  Former scout Epy Guerrero has passed.  Guerrero, of course, recruited a number of the franchise's greatest players.  In scouting circles he was nothing short of a legend.  In fact, it is hard to find a scout that rivaled his eye for talent and ability to get kids to sign on the dotted line.  His work in Latin America paved the way for many to play in the Big Leagues and the strong reputation the Jays still hold in Latin America is largely his responsibility.  Sad day indeed.  Epy will be missed. 



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What's all this then? I go away for one freakin' day and all hell breaks loose?

 As you probably heard, last night the Blue Jays have traded OF Travis Snider to Pittsburgh for RHP Brad Lincoln. They then traded OF Eric Thames to Seattle for RHP Steve Delabar.
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You've probably heard the terrible news from the world of popular music (though if you're younger than, say, 40, it might not have registered much). The great Davy Jones, lead singer of The Monkees, passed away today (TMZ has the story here.). This has caused an avalanche of Social Mediots of a Certain Age to tearfully post mournful remembories of the pint-sized lead singer and prom date of one Marcia Brady.

But did you know ... baseball had its own Davy Jones?

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Gary Carter, the greatest catcher in Canadian baseball history, has passed away. He was only 57.

Details fron ESPN New York here.

As Thomas pointed out in an earlier thread, Seattle Mariners outfielder Greg Halman was stabbed to death today in The Netherlands.  The Associated Press reports Halman's brother has been arrested.  Greg Halman was 24.

Greg Halman was rated the Mariners top prospect by Baseball America in 2009.

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Former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Bob Forsch passed away Thursday after an aneurysm in his chest. He was 61.

Bob Forsch, who threw two no-hitters with the St. Louis Cardinals, threw out the ceremonial first pitch for Game 7 of the World Series.
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  The consummate pro, a member of one of baseball's royal families, has passed away ... RIP, Matty Alou.

15 years in the big leagues, with six teams, primarily the Giants and Pirates. 1667 games played, 1777 hits for a .307 career batting average. Just 31 career homers, but 10 different seasons in double-digit steals, with a high-water mark of 23 in 1966 -- the same year he, as a Pirate, won the NL batting title, hitting .342. (He finished in the Top 10 in batting average six times in the eight-year span from 1966-73.) Matty had seasons he led the NL in hits (1969), singles (1969-70) amd OF games played (1970). He even pitched two shutout innings for the '65 Giants.

He was involved in one of the biggest trades of the 1971-72 off-season, when the Pirates dealt him and George Brunet to the Cardinals for Nellie Briles and Vic Davalillo. He played in three post-seasons, getting to the World Series twice and winning one ring, with the 1972 A's. Matty Alou -- the quintessential entry into the Hall of Pretty Damn Fine Ballplayer.

Very few Bauxites will have seen the middle Alou brother play, and frankly, most won't even remember Moises' uncle as a player. But the baseball world is a little sadder, a little poorer today.

Rest well, Matty.

The Associated Press says long-time Baltimore Orioles pitcher and former Blue Jay Mike Flanagan was found dead outside his Maryland home yesterday.  He was 59.

Mike Flanagan was a member of the Blue Jays from 1987 to 1990.

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Harmon Killebrew, the Minnesota Twins slugger known for his tape-measure home runs, has died at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., after battling esophageal cancer. He was 74.

I barely remember Killebrew, but even as an aging DH lumbering to the batter's box in his that-doesn't-look-quite-right Kansas City Royals uniform, he was an awe-inspriging vision of power at the plate.

The Twins announced that Killebrew died peacefully Tuesday morning with his wife, Nita, and their family at his side. He had announced in December that he had been diagnosed with cancer, then last week, announced that doctors had deemed his cancer incurable and he would no longer fight the "awful disease."

Harmon Clayton Killebrew, often called a "gentle giant," (yes, 6'0", 195# used to be "gigantic") hit 573 home runs during his 22-year career, 11th-most in major league history. His eight seasons with 40 or more homers still is tied for second in league history to Babe Ruth.

Rest well, Killer.

Arguably the greatest Blue Jay of them all has called it a career.
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Manny Ramirez has "retired."

{{Comment withheld.}}

The Montreal Expos family is mourning the loss of reliever Woody Fryman and scout/bullpen catcher Ron Piche.   According to the Montreal Gazette, Fryman died of Alzheimer's Disease at the age of 70 while Piche lost his battle with cancer and blood poisoning at the age of 75.

1979 Topps Baseball Card of Woody Fryman.                   1965 Topps Baseball Card of Ron Piche.    

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The first manager in Toronto Blue Jays history has passed away at his Atlanta-area home.  He was 85.

Roy Hartsfield's 1978 baseball card capturing his time as a Boston Braves player and Blue Jays manager.

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After two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers -- Trevor Hoffman never did look quite right in that uniform -- baseball’s all-time saves leader (with 601!) has announced that he's hanging 'em up before the 2011 season gets underway. As one wire service put it so aptly, he's "thrown his final changeup, deciding at age 43 to retire and return to the San Diego Padres in a front office job." Hey, he's been "retiring" hitters regularly for so many years -- it's about time he took a stab at this "retiring" thing hissownself!

I'm rolling thunder, pouring rain
I'm coming on like a hurricane
My lightning's flashing across the sky
You're only young but you're gonna die
I won't take no prisoners won't spare no lives
Nobody's putting up a fight
I got my bell I'm gonna take you to hell