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With great sadness, we report that we've just learned that Bobby Mattick, the symbol and soul of the Blue Jays franchise, passed away last night at the age of 89.

For those who might not fully appreciate the role Bobby has played in the Blue Jays' franchise, consider these quotes:

"He means what the Blue Jays stand for since 1976." - Paul Godfrey
"I don't know where this organization would be without him." - Paul Beeston

Bobby, who filled virtually every important position on this ballclub from the day he joined it as an expansion team, spent 71 of his 89 years in baseball as a player, scout, manager and executive. The Jays have named their top minor-league awards and their spring-training facility in his honour. Gabe Paul once called him the finest judge of free agent talent ever. The list of players he recruited, signed and developed includes Frank Robinson, Curt Flood, Vida Pinson, Rusty Staub, Don Baylor, Tommy Harper, Bobby Grich and Dave Stieb.

We extend our deepest condolences to Bobby's family, friends and colleagues throughout baseball and especially with the Blue Jays, and our appreciation for all he has done for our favourite team. Please share your memories and appreciation of Bobby Mattick in this thread.
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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Jordan - Friday, December 17 2004 @ 12:40 PM EST (#7376) #
Thanks to Mike Green for this link (COMN) to the story at ESPN.
_Mick - Friday, December 17 2004 @ 12:42 PM EST (#7377) #
I don't know if this is urban legend or not, but the story goes that in the early 1980s or maybe late 1970s, the Blue Jays' steal sign involved manager Bobby Mattick scratching his nose. One day, Mattick had an itch -- and accidnetally prompted Bob Bailor to steal third with two outs.
Named For Hank - Friday, December 17 2004 @ 12:44 PM EST (#7378) #
Was he safe?
_Matthew E - Friday, December 17 2004 @ 12:46 PM EST (#7379) #
This is terrible. My condolences to Mr. Mattick's family, friends and fans.

2004 has been so horrible for the Blue Jays organization that you can't even say so without unintentionally trivializing it.
_The Original Ry - Friday, December 17 2004 @ 01:00 PM EST (#7380) #
Very sad news. I'd also like to extend my condolences to Bobby Mattick's family and friends.

It was only a few days ago he was scouting a Japanese reliever during the winter meetings. He was doing what he loved right up until the very end.
_Moffatt - Friday, December 17 2004 @ 01:01 PM EST (#7381) #
A very sad day for baseball. He will be greatly missed.
Named For Hank - Friday, December 17 2004 @ 01:16 PM EST (#7382) #
It was only a few days ago he was scouting a Japanese reliever during the winter meetings. He was doing what he loved right up until the very end.

I was thinking that, too. Well, if I get to 89 years old and have a fun career right up to the end, I'll be a happy man.
_Christopher - Friday, December 17 2004 @ 01:39 PM EST (#7383) #
Rest in peace Mr. Mattick.
Mike Green - Friday, December 17 2004 @ 01:58 PM EST (#7384) #
Here were the 1981 Mattick-led Blue Jays. Barfield, Bell, Moseby, Garcia and Whitt got starts under Mattick. He was well-liked, and if anything, maybe a little soft-hearted for the manager's job. But, in many ways, he laid the groundwork for the great years of the club that followed.

He also lived and breathed the game. You could hear it in his radio interviews. And he was funny. I will miss him.

My condolences to his family and friends.
_DeMarco - Friday, December 17 2004 @ 01:59 PM EST (#7385) #
Bobby Mattick is essentially the heart and soul of the Toronto Blue Jays organization. He will definitely be missed.

The highlight and one of the reasons the Jays did not pursue the Japanese reliever beyond their scouting session was Mattick's comment for someone to get him a bat, he thought foreign relievers pitchers were so slow that he could hit the ball.
_Mylegacy - Friday, December 17 2004 @ 02:01 PM EST (#7386) #
Mr. Blue question.

He'll be missed BUT never forgotten.

One of the greatest talent spotters of all time. A throw back. A giant.

NO QUESION - that great baseball team in the sky just got a great new scout. God bless you Bobby.
_DeMarco - Friday, December 17 2004 @ 02:02 PM EST (#7387) #
he thought foreign relievers pitchers were so slow

Sorry for this, I meant:

he thought that the foreign relievers pitches were so slow
Gerry - Friday, December 17 2004 @ 02:36 PM EST (#7388) #
It is a sad day in Blue Jay land. Bobby Mattick has influenced every Blue Jay prospect since the team began. He was the heart and soul of the organization.
Dave Till - Friday, December 17 2004 @ 03:47 PM EST (#7389) #
My condolences to Bobby Mattick's friends and family. He will be missed.
_#2JBrumfield - Friday, December 17 2004 @ 04:08 PM EST (#7390) #
Bobby Mattick is really the first Jays manager I remember when I first started following them as a kid. I think it was either Pat Gillick or Tom Cheek who said this on the Jays "Mission Impossible" tape (1977-86) but it was said that Mattick "took one for the team", enduring the growing pains that was necessary for the Glory Years, especially during the first half of 1981. It was really Mattick who helped point the team in the right direction and if I recall correctly, the Jays were even considering printing play-off tickets in the 2nd half of '81. My condolences to the family and friends of Bobby Mattick.
_Vernons Biggest - Friday, December 17 2004 @ 09:57 PM EST (#7391) #
Thank you for your contribution to the game and team we all love.
Your efforts have made a tremendous impact on everyone. Rest in Peace.
Coach - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 08:41 AM EST (#7392) #
When Buck Showalter was managing in Arizona, Mattick once paid a visit during a practice. Buck stopped all activity, gathered his players and told them, "This is one of the great baseball men in the game; don't ever forget what he did at Toronto. He respects the game and he respects people, and he's not going to make somebody look bad."

At the official renaming of the Dunedin facility, Paul Beeston said, "Go phone Lloyd Moseby and ask him why he got to the majors. Ask Jesse Barfield or talk to or Dave Stieb or any of them," Beeston said. "Pat Borders, Todd Stottlemyre, it doesn't stop. They will all talk about the impact Bobby has had on their lives."

In the best obit I've read so far, Shi Davidi of CP quotes Gord Ash on Mattick, who was more than just a baseball guru. "This was a guy who read a lot of books about philosophy and approach to life," said Ash. "He would ask you things like, 'What comes first, success or confidence?'"

Go away, 2004, and please don't ever come back. RIP, Bobby.
Thomas - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 11:36 AM EST (#7393) #
Although I don't have any specific memories of Bobby beyond the hilarious Tomori quote and seeing him throw out the first pitch at a game late this season, this news still hits hurts. He sounds like a wonderful man and a great baseball talent.

I believe you want to keep things like the Level of Excellence fairly exclusive, in order to demonstrate just how special those people who are being honoured in this manner are. However, I wonder if that maybe a fitting place to honour Mr. Mattick, given just how much he's done for the Jays.

Thanks for everything, Bobby.
_Four Seamer - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 11:58 PM EST (#7394) #
I admit to not knowing much about Bobby Mattick the man, perhaps because he was always content to do his best work out of the spotlight. For as long as I've followed the Jays, however (a period which roughly coincides with his ceding the manager's seat to Bobby Cox), I've understood that the lion's share of the credit for the team's success went to Bobby.

Every account of the man and his work points in a single direction: this was a man of uncommon skill, dedication and passion. He led a full and rewarding life. We should not mourn his passing, but celebrate his life. Thanks for giving the very best years of your life to the Jays, Mr. Mattick. RIP.
_Tyler - Sunday, December 19 2004 @ 04:36 AM EST (#7395) #
Rich Griffin's Bobby Mattick memory:

"Two springs ago, after I had written several columns critical of the Jays (I don't exactly recall why), Bobby and I met at the Dunedin Stadium elevator.

As it slowly rose with its only two passengers the one floor to press-box level, Mattick, looking straight ahead, without turning his head, muttered: "Who you gonna screw today, Richie?" Point made. But he would always stop to chat."
_Jeff - Tuesday, December 21 2004 @ 11:59 PM EST (#7396) #
Bobby Mattick is one of the nicest people i ever met... he sat down with me at the winter meetings in Ca..and let me film him. He never had met me or spoken with me up until that day..he treated me with respect and gave me a history lesson in scouting. I am honared to have spent 1 hour with this great man.
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