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As I first mentioned in this thread, one of the things I want to do is collect little bits of information about Blue Jays of the past - things that we remarked on at the time, but may have forgotten now. For example: we all remember Tom Wilson's batting stance, in which he appeared to be hitting out of an invisible rocking chair. But will we remember this 10 years from now, or 20?

Recently, I (finally) collated all the entries from last year's thread, and have put them up on the web here. (Apologies for the crufty formatting: I borrowed a cascading style sheet file from an old project. I'll design a nicer page sometime soon, I promise.)

Since there are lots more readers than there were this time last year, I'd like to try this again. If you remember any interesting mannerisms, quotes, style points, or anything even remotely relevant about any Jay of the past (or present), please post it here. Thanks!

Blue Jays biographical notes revisited | 62 comments | Create New Account
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_Matthew E - Monday, July 12 2004 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#50176) #
Here's some stuff I remember:

George Bell: After his three-home-run game on Opening Day '88, the Star headline the next day was 'Ding...Ding...Ding'.

And it wasn't 'purple butt'. That's just how the papers reported it.

Mark Eichhorn: It's difficult for those who didn't see him come up to imagine what it was like watching him pitch in '86 and '87. He'd throw one of those submarine pitches that would finish up so far outside to a righthanded hitter that the catcher would have to dive to get it, and it'd be strike three because the hitters couldn't lay off. Again and again and again. It was fun.

Duane Ward: Couldn't get Lou Whitaker out. Whitaker hit so many home runs off Ward it wasn't even funny.

Shannon Stewart: Played CF when he first came up, not too badly. Shifted to left when the Jays traded for Cruz, although Cruz wasn't really much better. In his last years with the team he took some criticism for being a quiet guy, like there's something wrong with that or something.

Cito Gaston: My favourite quote from him came one time, I think after a playoff game that the Jays won, in a postgame interview where someone asked him what he would have done if one of his risky moves hadn't worked. He said, "Then we go home and have a beer!"

Devon White: Wonderful defensive outfielder, but his best catch wasn't his most famous one. It was in a regular season game, I want to say against the Rangers, in which the batter hit a home run to left centre. White leaped upwards and backwards against the top of the wall, hitting the top of the wall with the back of his rib cage. His point of contact with the top of the wall became a fulcrum that allowed him to lean back over the wall, catch the ball at full extension, tilt back, and drop safely to the ground. Unbefreakinglievable.

White had one week in, I don't know, '93 or '94 when he started believing his hype and decided that he could catch everything in the ballpark, and made a couple of stupid diving attempts at balls he never could have had. Then he smartened up and went back to being great.

My favourite White moment: Parade and ceremony after one of the two World Series. The players are all taking turns going up to the mike and thanking the fans for a great year and stuff. White knows exactly what he's going to say. All year, Jays fans have been on the 'Whoomp! There It Is!' bandwagon, shouting it out whenever something happens on the field that they like. Just like the fans in every other stadium or arena that year. So White, in his naive way, figures that Toronto fans must know the song. So he's going to get them to do the chant again here at the ceremony, leading to this exchange:

Devo: Toronto where's the party at?
Crowd: (cheers)
Devo: No, you're supposed to say, "Whoomp! There it is!" Toronto where's the party at?
Crowd: (cheers)
Devo: (smiles, shakes head ruefully, sits down)

Al Leiter and Pat Hentgen: The year Detroit and New Jersey were in the Stanley Cup finals, one of the Jays TV guys figured he'd get Leiter and Hentgen to make their predictions, because Leiter's from Jersey and Hentgen's from Detroit. Hentgen gave a reasonable analysis of why he figured the Red Wings would take the Cup, but Leiter's only defense of the Devils was, "Whaddya mean? We got Bodine in goal!" That's right. Bodine.
_Kieran - Monday, July 12 2004 @ 11:11 PM EDT (#50177) #
Some completely random musings...

- Tony Fernandez, in his 2nd tour of duty, flirting with .400 for the first half of the season ('98 or '99) and then, in the twilight of his career, becoming a pinch-hitting wonder in '01

- Barry Bonnell making a bare-handed catch in LF, I believe it was '83...anyone else remember that?

- Ernie Whitt, down on one knee, hitting that famous Fenway HR in which the Jays made the miraculous comeback and continued their bizarre streak of consecutive wins in Boston

- Junior Felix's inside-the-park Fenway HR...wasn't it a grand slam?

- Kenny Williams baserunning blunder around 3B, banging into the 3B coach - I think it was John McLaren in those days

I could go on and on...
_Magpie - Monday, July 12 2004 @ 11:20 PM EDT (#50178) #
OK, here's a few.

George Bell I have very vivid memories of. In the batter's box, Bell didn't take practise swings or that sort of halfway swing that a lot of guys do. He sort of waggled the bat back and forth, a few inches above the plate. Like a golfer getting ready to swing. He also had a distinctive little hop he would do, usually after checking his swing. George ALWAYS asked the umpire to check the ball. If it came anywhere near the ground, George was pointing at the ball, check it for dirt, check it for dirt.

And odd for such a free swinger - he almost always let the first pitch go by. Sometimes he would nod, Ok that's a strike. But he usually wanted to see a pitch before he started hacking...

Duane Ward I remember for his leg kick, which off the top of my head was one of the highest we've had in a Blue Jays pitcher. It wasn't Juan Marichal or nothing; and Ward's wasn't so much an exaggerated leg lift; his left leg would just kind of flick out there to almost the height of his shoulder for a split second, and then he was into the pitch....

Remember Garth Iorg's batting stance? A kind of crouch, but leaning back toward the catcher, with all his weight on his back (right) leg, and his lead leg almost kind of reaching tentatively toward the pitcher..

Dave Stieb adjusting his cup!! Dave always looked so restless on the mound. Even his pitching motion seemed brisk and impatient, as if he was in a hurry to get on with it, and bust off another slider. That slider, by the way, was an awful lot like K-Rod's. Except Stieb threw his slider much harder than K-Rod throws his...

By contrast, Tony Castillo! I used to love watching Tony on the mound. He looked so utterly comfortable and relaxed. He always reminded me of some guy wandering around his living room on a Sunday morning, wondering where he'd put his socks. Bases loaded? Ripken batting? Yawn. Where's that darned remote control? It was so cool...
_Kieran - Monday, July 12 2004 @ 11:26 PM EDT (#50179) #
Bell also used to do this weird tongue roll/spit thing before every pitch...

Speaking of strange stances/deliveries...

- DeWayne Buice, briefly a Jay, had a distinct windup in which he literally turned and faced 2B - held - then delivered his pitch.

- I always found Clancy's pitching angle to be overtly "over the top". More so than any other pitcher I recall, he came from a true 12 o'clock angle

- Jesse Barfield's butt stuck out at bat, excuse me for noticing

- Moseby looked agitated at the he was on speed or something...perhaps why they called him Shaker.

Ok enough already!
Mike D - Monday, July 12 2004 @ 11:34 PM EDT (#50180) #
George Bell repeatedly requesting eye drops, to be administered by Tommy Craig right in the middle of key at-bats.

Kelly Gruber would sprint to be in position after throws to first, so as to back up the throw back to the pitcher. Also, the lowest "ready position" to the ground I ever saw.

Pat Hentgen's hyper-paranoia about opponents reading his lips during mound conferences. Always through his glove!
Mike D - Monday, July 12 2004 @ 11:35 PM EDT (#50181) #
Don't forget the classic Jimy Williams "Pitching Change Cycle Of Crowd Noise," thanks to his quick hook:

1. Boos for Williams on the way to the mound.
2. Cheers for the departing pitcher.
3. Boos for Williams on the way back to the dugout.
Mike D - Monday, July 12 2004 @ 11:40 PM EDT (#50182) #
Matthew, I think that Devo catch was at Camden Yards.
_Magpie - Monday, July 12 2004 @ 11:41 PM EDT (#50183) #
So I went and looked up the original thread, and there were already notes about the Iorg stance and the Ward kick, and the Stieb cup.

The Henke windup was good, though. He looked like Frankenstein, all these large disjointed parts, moving one at a time...

Ernie Whitt used to finish a lot of swings on one knee - so did Reggie Jackson, by the way. Usually a swing and a miss, and Reggie would be all twisted around, with his left (back knee) on the ground. Whereas Ernie simply had a very long stride in his swing, and was spread out so far by the end of it that his back knee was on the ground...

Whereas Paul Molitor had practically no stride at all, just a small weight shift really, and the arms and the bat lashed out at the ball at the last possible instant... nobody ever waited longer on a pitch...

Ok, now this is gross. Pat Borders and his chaw of tobacco. Remember that? Squirt! Yuck!!

Finally, Roberto Alomar. I can't think of any particularly distinctive mannerisms. But I remember his eyes, when he was a young Jay - those big brown eyes of his, wide open, looking around the field. Looking for... opportunities, things to happen, things to try....
_Matthew E - Monday, July 12 2004 @ 11:58 PM EDT (#50184) #
DeWayne Buice, briefly a Jay, had a distinct windup in which he literally turned and faced 2B - held - then delivered his pitch.

Jeff Musselman did that too. Except he was lefthanded.

I remember a spring training game against the Mets one year in which there had been something of a beanball war, and Musselman got the last word by either plunking or brushing back Darryl Strawberry in the eighth inning. So Strawberry charges the mound (and, remember, Musselman's a little guy) but never gets there, because Kelly Gruber and Pat Borders double-team him, one hitting him high and one hitting him low. Ducey eventually won the game for the Jays, 9-8, with a home run in the ninth or tenth.
_Nigel - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 12:01 AM EDT (#50185) #
The single greatest "did I really just see that moment" I can remember as a Blue Jays fan was the night Domaso Garcia got a single on a pitch out on a hit and run (I think it was in '83 but I might be wrong). It wasn't one of those "bad" pitchouts that end up near the strikezone, no, this was an honest to goodness pitchout. Garcia would swing at anything of course, (hits like Reed Johnson's of a few night ago were literally commonplace with him) so in that sense it wasn't a surpise but to this day I still can't believe he hit that pitchout.
_Matthew E - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 12:01 AM EDT (#50186) #
Anyone remember Jose Nunez? Nunez was sort of an early Juan Guzman/Kelvim Escobar type. He had good stuff, but couldn't always get it working. The trick with him seemed to be not to let him think about stuff too much. At least once they got a good start out of him by not telling him he was the starting pitcher until game day.
_Nolan - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 12:05 AM EDT (#50187) #
Alomar- remember the '93 Series and Alomar ran forever to catch a bloop hit that made it over Olerud's head. Man, that was great, after the catch he slid over the foul line
_Jobu - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 02:04 AM EDT (#50188) #
It seems like all the re-caps are of legendary Jays, and I feel a little out of place changing gears but I'm still a new Jays fan so I don't have that knowledge of the past (why these recaps are so great). That being said one of my favourite Jay memories is seeing Vernon dive for a ball (I think in Texas)get his glove on it, start to drop it, roll his back to the infeild, pick up the ball on the bounce and promptly hold up his glove to get the call. At first to all it just seemed like another amazing Vernon catch. Then replays showed he was using some slight of hand magic. The camera's then showed a close up of vernon in the outfield making the classic "shush" finger to lips face to the Right Fielder. I actually stood up and applauded.

And while we're on modern topics: Sparky's Tripod Stance.
_Shrike - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 03:16 AM EDT (#50189) #
Watching Juan Guzman pitch when he was on was something else again. He'd positively baffle hitters with his moving fastball, and bust out that wicked slider to make them look even more foolish. I never could figure out why it took him so long to take the sign from the catcher.
_coliver - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 08:02 AM EDT (#50190) #
That Tony Fernandez song was so unique. Thanks for the lyrics. Does anyone know the name of the somg???
_coliver - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 08:03 AM EDT (#50191) #
Ooops--I mean song.
Craig B - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 08:28 AM EDT (#50192) #
Noticed in the recent Neyer/James book on pitchers that Mark Eichhorn wasn't listed as a submariner. But he was as close to a true underhand delivery as any player in the 80s except Quisenberry.
Dave Till - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 08:37 AM EDT (#50193) #
Thanks, everybody, for providing so many useful bits of information. I have updated my site to include everything posted so far.
Thomas - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 08:56 AM EDT (#50194) #
Frank Catalanotto
- Uses "Down with the Sickness" by Disturbed as his at-bat music
- Has a baby face
- The only Jay to record six hits in one game
- An uncanny ability to sort of throw the bat-head out there at the last moment and drop the ball into the outfield for a single, or if its into the gap, a double
- "Caught" the Blue Jays triple play against St. Louis, which was overturned by the umpires after the play was completed

Bobby Kielty
- Made one of the best catches in Jay history as he chased a (Trot Nixon?) drive back to the right-field fence at Fenway, and caught the ball as he smacked into the padding of the fence with his stomach. With the fence being so low, Kielty flipped right over it, but was able to grab onto the fence with one hand and he pull himself back onto the field. That shot of Kielty leaning over the fence, with his feet in the air and his head nowhere to be seen, with the one hand holding for dear life onto the top of the fence is classic.

Sean Douglass
- Doesn't like poutine

Justin Speier
- Wore high socks
- Before he pitches comes to the classic right angle position, with his legs fairly straight and then his back is almost flat as he peers in to get the sign from the catcher, all the while holding the ball behind him in his bare hand

Gregg Zaun
- Once tried to imitate "OK, Blue Jays" when he was in the bullpen waiting to warm-up relievers, with apparently hilarious results
- Very good at blocking the plate, at least during his stint with the Blue Jays

Mike Nakamura
- Side-armer
- Whenever he is pulled from a game, regardless of how effective or ineffective he has been, always takes his glove off his lefthand and carries it in his right hand when he walks from the the mound to the dugout

Cory Lidle
- During the SARS crisis sent his wife and child home; didn't want them staying in Toronto

Chris Woodward
- Once of the nicest Jays ever in terms of interacting with fans, giving out autographs, making time for public appearances, etc...
- Married a Canadian, I believe

Willie Canate
- Once was on third base with less than two out, and there was a grounder hit in the infield. The third-base coach shouted, "Stop" or something very similar, but Canate didn't understand English and thought he was being told to run. He did and was thrown out very easily at home.
_MatO - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#50195) #
Damaso Garcia
During a rain delay in KC he's being interviewed in the dugout and tells the interviewer: 'I don't like to walk and I don't like to bunt'
_coliver - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#50196) #
Oh yes, Willie Canate...

I remember the Jays putting him on the DL in 1993 with an "Intestinal Disorder" and it was reported in the the Star that he was in the clubhouse eating a big bag of Fritos.

Speaking of food...

Also, I remember being at the 1984 Mr. Submarine Sport Bag Day against New York and Luis Leal got knocked out of the box early. The next day, sportswriter John Robertson wrote that Leal got knocked out early so that he could get first dibs on the large, party sub in the Jays clubhouse!

My favorite player from 1985 through 1992 was Manny Lee (he was always cooler as Manny rather than Manuel--remember the long 1990 jheri curl?). Does anyone know what he he doing these days?
Craig B - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#50197) #
In 2000, Chris Carpenter got hit in the face by a line drive off the bat of Jose Valentin. It crushed the right side of his face in, a horrific injury (he had stitches everywhere) but he came back within a week and didn't even go on the DL.
Craig B - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#50198) #
B.J. Birdy was the mascot from 1979 until 1999; he was replaced by the far less pleasant duo of "Ace" and "Diamond". (Diamond seems to have disappeared recently, is this true?) BJ was played by costume designer Kevin Shanahan. He usually led the seventh-inning rendition of "OK Blue Jays".

For a while, when SkyDome was new, there was a truly weird mascot, called "Domer The Turtle". This mascot did not last long, but I've seen pictures.

B.J. was once ejected (in 1993) by umpire Jim McKean for making "offensive" gestures at the umpires during a game against Baltimore.
Craig B - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#50199) #
Craig Kusick, a moose-like first baseman, once took the mound in a shellacking by the Angels, and he did pretty well.
Craig B - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#50200) #
Rico Carty's nickname is often listed as the "Beeg Boy" but that was long before he hit the Jays. By then he liked to call himself the "Beeg Mon". In fact, he liked to call himself the "Big Man" but the reporters preferred to pigeonhole him as a Chico Esquela type.

Ernie Whitt came up with a reputation as a good-glove, no-hit type. It took him a couple of years to get untracked, but when he did he always hit thereafter, becoming the bat in a bat/glove platoon.
_coliver - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#50201) #
Diamond made a re-appearance during the last Montreal-Jays game at SkyDome.

I was there when they introduced Ace and Diamond (Preseason doubleheader-2000), They were not warmly received.

Does anyone remember Stan Clarke???
Mike D - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#50202) #
Speaking of BJ Birdy, baseball's less-stringent rules of the '70s and '80s meant that BJ could roam around foul territory; he would stand to the third base coach's right and high-five batters during their home run trot.

Also, BJ was the rare mascot who audibly talked to fans. He had a nasal, high-pitched, optimistic-sounding voice (sort of like Sesame Street's Big Bird).
_Four Seamer - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#50203) #
One of BJ Birdy's great accomplishments was the comic strip he used to contribute to the sports pages of the Toronto Star (welll, I guess it was actually Kevin Shanahan, but his adventures were always fun to read). It's been all downhill for the Star since the day they canned that comic strip!
_Ryan Flanagan - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#50204) #
Few things...

BJ Birdy always relied on fan noise to let him know what to do. In 1993 (I think), he cheered a Yankee homer because he was standing in front of a large group of Yankee fans and didn't realize it.

Home run catch-phrases: "And there she goes!" (Jerry Howarth)
"And...that ball is gone!" (Brian Williams)
"Whaddaya think about that?" (Rob Faulds)

The T-bird logo and fans' opposition to it.

Mike Timlin and Paul Spoljaric for Jose Cruz: The trade that looked like a steal, then a bust, then a steal again.

Danny Ainge quitting baseball to focus on his NBA career.

Doug Ault's two homers on opening day (although I hope we never forget it).

Bob Bailor, the Jays' first expansion draft pick, and fan-favourite during the 70s.

Miguel Batista's personality quirks (e.g. The Artist)

Jeff Frye hitting for the cycle while Kelly Gruber was in attendance.

Scott Brow pitching 4 innings of shutout (or was it no-hit?) ball in his major league debut.

Carlos Delgado's monstrous debut

Ron Fairly agreeing to play for the Jays only if Bavasi would trade him back to the west coast after one year.

Huck Flener losing an eye to a line drive (Didn't happen as a Jay, but still...)

John Frascatore's altercation with Dave Stewart.

Juan Guzman finishing second in ROTY balloting in '91 despite only being called up in June

Ken Huckaby taking out Derek Jeter in the 2003 opener

Chris Michalak's pickoff move, which eventually was called as a balk.

Todd Stottlemyre's attempted steal of second during the 1993 WS

And that's all I've got. Whew.
_Jobu - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#50205) #
Greg "Crash" Myers' inside the park home run against Baltimore in the Dome last year.

Carlos' four homeruns in one game.

The time the team dyed their hair blonde.

The time Carlos dyed his goatee blonde (thank goodness that didnt last)
_Jobu - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#50206) #
Also before I forget:

In a game at the ballpark in Arlington, Vernon got to 2nd base. Then smiled at Mike Young revealing a pair of fake "Bubba" teeth he apparently batted with just to get a laugh at 2nd.

For his rookie hazing Eric Hinske was made to wear a dress across the border and was not in a good mood about it.
Craig B - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#50207) #
The game thread for Myers's inside-the-park home run is here.

I was at that game. Crash hit a Texas Leaguer that was BRUTALLY misplayed by Tim Raines, Jr. (kid, head over to City Hall and change your name, *please*) who ran in, lost sight of the ball, leapt into the air, managed to pass straight *under* the high bounce off the turf, and then jogged back to the fence to get the ball. He didn't even run.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#50208) #
Jimmy Key. The classic smart lefty who knew exactly what he was doing. In the early 90s (91?), the Tigers defeated him behind 3 homers from Cecil Fielder. I believe that two went out to straight-away centerfield on breaking pitches pretty much at the knees and on the outside corner. After the game, Jimmy was asked out about it. He shrugged his shoulders, and said something like "the pitches were where I wanted them, but that's Big Daddy for you". You could sense that Jimmy had a world of respect for his old teammate Cecil.

When he made his final appearance as a Blue Jay in Toronto in the 92 World Series, as he left the mound, he gave a slight tip of the cap. Not much show, just, as I took it, a simple gesture of appreciation towards fans who felt nothing but affection for the man from Alabama.
_alsiem - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#50209) #
Neilson Lariano was so excited after his first single that the 1st base coach had to calm him down. It's fuzzy but I believe Molitor was at bat, if that's possible, and Lariano was bouncy and doing these fake steals and I believe Molitor wasn't sure if the hit and run was on and eventually glared down a first base where the 1st base coach was massaging Lariano's shoulders have another of many dives back into first. Neilson limited himself to the customary 3 step lead off after that. Loved the enthusiasm, Molitor was already down two strikes by this point.

Sparky resting the bat on his cup as he checks the 3rd base coach.

Delgado's brief stint as a left fielder. One misplayed ball, shoe top catch. I think he also went home with it and it dribbled feebly in after the runner.

Glen Allen Hill's claim that he injured himself during a spider nightmare.

Glen Allen Hill starting off his career with a homer in the first at bat, Grand Slam.

Junior Felix starting off his career with a homer in the first at bat, Grand Slam?

The javelin pump from Felix, 4 pumps and he'd already run the ball in another 15 feet and the runners had advanced another base.

Tippy Martinez, from the Orioles, picking off 3 Jays at first base in the same inning.

Bell's frustration as the Jays collapsed against the Tigers while he tried to put it out every at bat to make up for it.
Thomas - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#50210) #
I'm not sure if this is what Ryan is referring to above, but Todd Stottlemyre's foolish attempt to go from first to third on a single in the 1993 World Series, his aggressive slide with his Blue Jays jacket billowing out behind him, the nasty cut on his chin and dazed look in his eyes afterwards, and his attempt to continue pitching the game.


Jason Kershner's fabulous five (or four) innings of relief after Wasdin's blowup against the Yankees

Lloyd Moseby stealing second, then first, then second on one play.

Cookie Rojas getting tossed on opening day 2002.

Justin Miller's ass tattoo.

Charlie O'Brien debuting the catching mask that looked like a hockey goalie mask.

Dan Plesac running in with the fifth-inning groundscrew a couple of times.

Raul Mondesi's straight steal of home plate.

Rance Mulliniks and his moustache and glasses. Just because.

Andy Stewart retiring to become the Jays bullpen catcher.

Ken Huckaby and Derek Jeter at third base on opening day 2003, and Jeter's subsequent refusal to acknowledge Huckaby when Ken went into the Yankees clubhouse to apologise.
_Four Seamer - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#50211) #
I think Nelly Liriano's debut came against the KC Royals in 1987, so I'm doubtful that Paul Molitor would have been involved. But I recall listening on the radio (covertly, as it was past my bedtime as a ten-year old), and either Tom or Jerry mentioning how enthused Liriano appeared to be.

He and Manny Lee tried their best to fill the gap between Damo and Robbie at second, and they weren't all that bad, though they were never all that great, either.

I think the Glenallen Hill/arachnophobic nightmare somehow involved a glass coffeetable. I remember thinking it plausible, and my dad strenuously disagreeing. I doubt my dad could name three Blue Jays now, but there was a time when he cared very deeply about them.

Remember in '89 at the end of the year when the Orioles were in town and the Jays eliminated them on the last weekend? I remember being slightly disappointed when they clinched on the Saturday, because I had tickets to the Sunday game, but at the same time I was relieved and excited because John Olerud was making his major league debut. But on the subject of inexplicable injuries, does anyone remember if it was Pete Harnisch or Curt Schilling who took a walk in a construction zone and ended up with a nail in their foot? My dad was deeply suspiscious of that explanation, too. I'm not even sure my dad believed that Mike Flanagan hurt himself slipping in the shower that time, either.

And who could forget that time Mark Whiten got caught at the airport trying to bring a gun into Canada?
_P Smith - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#50212) #
A few things I didn't see mentioned...

- Tony Fernandez: when he was hit by a pitch, he used to scream before the ball hit him

- Damaso Garcia was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in 1990. He had surgery and is still alive, despite being given only a few months to live

- I believe that the Yankees were paying Doyle Alexander's contract while he pitched for the Jays in '83 and '84 and possibly '85 as well.

- Gruber's hit an inside-the-fog homer in 1986. The game was called after that hit.

- when Junior Felix made his debut with the Jays, he was 21 years old. Though his official birthdate hasn't changed, he is now believed to have been much older.

- Jeff Musselman checked into alcohol rehab during the 1989 season, and after he checked out was traded to the Mets for Mookie Wilson

- on April 23, 1989, Nelson Liriano hit a triple with one out in the 9th, breaking up a Nolan Ryan no-hitter. He also scored to break up the shutout, but it was the Jays' only hit of the game. I still remember Ryan screaming at him as he ran to first.

- for a few years, Rance Mulliniks and Garth Iorg were known around baseball as "Mulliniorg"

- During the 1993 World Series, Philadelphia mayor Ed Rendell said that he could hit Todd Stottlemyre's pitches. After the series, Stottlemyre told the mayor that he could "Kiss my ass"
_Four Seamer - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#50213) #
Speaking of Junior Felix, I can't remember the year, but I remember he got engaged, and let his bride select the date. As it turned out, the date she picked out happened to be right in the middle of the playoffs.

It turned out to be a moot point, because the Jays didn't make the playofs, but when it was pointed out to him, he was pretty unconcerned about the conflict. I'm not sure whether he was planning to skip the playoff game or his wedding, but it would have been great fun to find out.
_Christopher - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#50214) #
Quite a few Liriano references.
I remember him facing Detroit one game and Frank Tanana kept throwing him some big looping soft stuff that was driving Liriano nuts. After Tanana struck out Liriano in his final at-bat, Nelson started screaming at him, presumably daring Tanana to challenge him with a fastball. Tanana was laughing at him as he walked back to the dugout.

One of my favourite Blue Jay moments was in the stretch drive of 1987 and Juan Beniquez hit a bases loaded triple to win a game 9-8 in the bottom of the ninth. Some Detroit fans had been yapping all game until that hit. I guess they got the last laugh, but that was probably the best game I ever went to.
_alsiem - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#50215) #
Good times these,

When Ernie Witt went to bat, the crowd chanted: "Ernie, Ernie..."
When Garth Iorg went up after, "Orgy, Orgy..."

I remember that Moseby was so pissed when the Orioles walked a rookie to get to him in '89. Anyone remember who they intentionally walked? The fire in Moseby's eyes in the on deck circle, I knew that he was going to get a hit. He was fading as a player then, but just a little more magic to remind fans why he's an all time Jays great.
_Four Seamer - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#50216) #
Had to love the Shaker. In his honour, I always used to wear my ballcap underneath my batting helmet whenever I went up to bat. For some reason I stopped doing that in the early 1990s, and I was never the same player.

Remember those great promotional posters you used to be able to get from CIBC? I remember getting framed this poster of Ernie Whitt and Willie Upshaw exchanging a high five against a black backdrop. It was clearly a canned photo taken in a studio somewhere, rather than an actual action shot, but it was exciting nonetheless. I wonder where that poster is today?
Craig B - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#50217) #
The Nelson Liriano anecdote... could it have been Lloyd Moseby instead of Molly? Here is the boxscore for Liriano's debut (it was against the Mariners and Mike Moore) and Moseby was hitting behind him. Liriano singled to lead off the first, so him being keyed up was a distinct possibility.
_Four Seamer - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#50218) #
The Nelson Liriano anecdote... could it have been Lloyd Moseby instead of Molly? Here is the boxscore for Liriano's debut (it was against the Mariners and Mike Moore) and Moseby was hitting behind him. Liriano singled to lead off the first, so him being keyed up was a distinct possibility.

That seems about right. It also makes more sense that I would be sneakily listening to a game played in Seattle, as opposed to KC. What I would had to have done to be sent to bed before eight o'clock, I wouldn't want to have to guess...
Craig B - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#50219) #
Maybe your dad got mad because you kept bluffing a steal of second.
_Four Seamer - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#50220) #
That would be the kind of thing that would upset him. As our little league coach, he was a real Earl Weaver type. "No fooling around on the basepaths! You work hard to get on base, then you screw around, distract the batter and get yourself thrown out!"

He was Moneyball before there was Moneyball.
_Rob - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#50221) #
What I remember off the top of my head:

- Tony Batista's trot around the bases after each homerun and his little clap to himself after he touched the plate. Also, Batista listening in to every pitcher-catcher mound meeting, no matter the situation.

- Justin Speier adjusting his hat after each pitch. Not that strange, but its the first thing I noticed about him.

- Stott's slide into third chin-first. (I know it's already covered, but that was so damned funny)

- In that same 15-14 game, Gaston calling for one reliever (Castillo?) and Eichhorn coming out instead. I may have the pitchers wrong there, but it happened. Then his bullpen phone broke or something.

- Anyone with high socks. That's just cool.

- Cash's uncensored reaction when Cuzzi tossed Doc last year ("You've got to be f---ing kidding me!) and Towers saying something like "Yeah, I threw behind him"

- When Boomer Wells returned to Toronto (with Chicago) and forgot how many outs there were, then tossed the ball to the umpire as Mondesi raced around third and scored.

- Woody and O-Dog making their 2004 NHL playoff predictions on Sportsnet

- Mark Hendrickson's interleague homerun
_jason - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#50222) #
-Dave Steib could be the most arrogant prick. But as his carreer was winding down and he was getting hit, his mien was changed. No longer casting acidic glances around at whoever had earned his wrath, he would look around almost lost - as if looking for an excuse and finding only himself to blame.
-Alomar is on third with less than two out when a ball is hit to the third baseman. Alomar is the perfect distance from the bag so that the fielder almost can't help trying for him. When he finally throws to first (it seemed like an eternity) Robbie took off for home. The runner was out by a whisker and Alomar scored. Bar none the Blue Jay with the highest baseball I.Q. I can recall.
-Another Alomar bit. Anyone else remember him throwing behind a runner at third. Robbie catches the relay from the outfield and everyone expects him to throw home. He instead turns and throws to third many times finding the runner too far off the bag.
-I'm at a game in the early 90s a ball is fouled off the plate and hits the catcher, Pat Borders, in a most delicate spot - ahem shall we say below the cup. I still remember the sound as they showed the replay on the JumboTron and 30,000 men all went "oooh".
_Matthew E - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#50223) #
And who could forget that time Mark Whiten got caught at the airport trying to bring a gun into Canada?

That was Kevin Batiste.
_Matthew E - Tuesday, July 13 2004 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#50224) #
On your collection of these items, you attributed the dumb Leiter quote to Jimmy Key.
_Four Seamer - Wednesday, July 14 2004 @ 09:12 AM EDT (#50225) #
And who could forget that time Mark Whiten got caught at the airport trying to bring a gun into Canada?

That was Kevin Batiste.

I guess it is possible to forget!

Thanks for the correction, and apologies to Mr. Whiten and the Whiten family. Although with that phenomenal arm of his, I think it fair to say Whiten *was* packing heat each and every time he crossed the border.
Mike D - Wednesday, July 14 2004 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#50226) #
When Boomer Wells returned to Toronto (with Chicago) and forgot how many outs there were, then tossed the ball to the umpire as Mondesi raced around third and scored.

Heh. I was at that game. Really, really good times.
_Ryan - Wednesday, July 14 2004 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#50227) #
Here's another one - Orlando Hudson once fouled off two pitches in the same at-bat, and both hit kids in attendance at the Dome.
_#2JBrumfield - Wednesday, July 14 2004 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#50228) #
From games I attended.....

June 1987 - Dave Stieb pinch-running for Cecil Fielder in the bottom of the 9th in a game at the Ex versus Milwaukee. Stieb went from first to third on a single but tripped over his own shadow between second and third. I think the Brewers short-stop (Dale Sveum?) was poised to throw him out but was laughing too hard (I don't know if that's true or not) but Stieb scrambled back up and made it to third safely. Stieb, who represented the tying run, would not score as Tony Fernandez grounded into a DP to end the game. Future Jay Dan Plesac got the save.

July 1991 - Rance Mulliniks hitting the first inside the park homer at SkyDome as the ball bounced over the head of Texas left fielder Kevin Reimers, a game the Jays went on to win 2-0. Tom Candiotti was the winning pitcher.

June 1997 - A sunny evening in June but a thick fog eventually seeped into SkyDome. Carlos Delgado hit a homer to right field into the fog. Braves right fielder Chipper Jones had no idea where the ball was, throwing his hands up in the air. The game was delayed for about 15 minutes as they closed the Dome. The Jays won the game, I believe it was 5-3, avoiding a sweep from the Braves.
Dave Till - Wednesday, July 14 2004 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#50229) #
OK - I've finally added everything to my web page, and I've credited everybody who contributed. Thanks!

(The next step is the formatting... sigh...)
_Four Seamer - Thursday, July 15 2004 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#50230) #
Great website, Dave (and I don't mean just the Blue Jay page - the whole thing is a really tremendous piece of work).
_Daryn - Friday, July 16 2004 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#50231) #
Jeff Frye hitting for the cycle while Kelly Gruber was in attendance.

Actually Gruber wasn't AT the game, he was doing some other promotion at the Ex I think.. anyway once Frye had all but the single someone "went and got" Gruber...

and... Just like Gruber, Frye had to stop at First after arguably hitting a double just to get the "cycle".

I've heard that the Jays are one of the few clubs that promote the "cycle", I'd much rather have 2 doubles and 2 HR's, or Single, Double and 2 HR's etc...
_Daryn - Friday, July 16 2004 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#50232) #
Also sent by email

Rick Bosetti (sp?)
- Original Blue Jays Hotdog...
- I think he once pitched..

Dave Collins,
- The Fastest "white man" in baseball

Roy Lee Jackson, and two other Jays pitchers were once on a Consumers Gas commercial advertising lots of hot water in the "showers".. when the Jays hitting staff got better (1985ish), this commercial was re-shot as a note to VISITING teams Pitchers...

Barfield, Bell and Moseby were considered to be the best OF in Baseball in 1986-86-87
All three were born between October 21(Bell) and November 5th 1959(Moseby) (Barfield was Oct 29th)

Kelly Gruber's great years (89-90) at the plate came as a result of Cito Gaston's instruction as Batting Coach
when Cito was promoted to Manager (89), Kelly decided he knew what he was doing and went out on his own and sswung for the fences...

Rickey Henderson used to bring his glove down and slap his thigh when he was parked under a pop-up
As a Jay, Henderson injured his foot, (froze it actually with an ice pack) and in a game on August 22nd 1993 (thanks Retro sheet), Willie Canate who at the time was a Rule 5 pick, was sent in to Pinch-run for Rickey near the end of a game
_Daryn - Friday, July 16 2004 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#50233) #
Exhibition Stadium was said to be so "crowned" that Bell couldn't see Barfield's feet when they were in position in the OF
_Daryn - Monday, July 19 2004 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#50234) #
We gotta say SOMETHIGN about Mookie Wilson and how much the crowd loved his spark
_Daryn - Monday, July 19 2004 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#50235) #
Never Mind Mookie is in there, actually the point I made too
_Jim B. - Thursday, July 22 2004 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#50236) #
Anyone out there have any Blue Jays games on videotape??? 1977-1984 , looking for any Barry Bonnell, Garth Iorg footage too. Help, I am desperate!!!
_Matthew E - Thursday, July 22 2004 @ 11:44 PM EDT (#50237) #
I remember a game in '87 when Rob Ducey had just been called up and the fans were going nuts over him. He didn't play that well, though, and in one game Williams sent Garth Iorg in to hit for Ducey. Iorg later said it was the first time he'd ever been booed in his career.
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