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The Toronto Blue Jays regret to announce the passing of former coach and team executive Al Widmar. Albert Joseph Widmar died on Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma after a battle with colon cancer at the age of 80. Widmar first joined the Blue Jays organization on November 1, 1979 ... Read the full media release.

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Four Seamer - Monday, October 17 2005 @ 06:49 PM EDT (#130242) #
It's hard to believe it's been 16 years since Al Widmar made his last trip to the mound dispensing wisdom to Blue Jay pitchers. As a young fan, I found his departure pretty distressing - such was my trust in Widmar that I thought absent his guidance, the staff would be struck by disaster. I was a little bit prone to that sort of thinking at the time - I thought the Jays' bullpen might be similarly doomed in the post-John Sullivan era - but I like to think of it now as a testament to what Widmar seemed to represent: a calm sense of purpose and a fine teaching mind. Of course, his contributions to the team continued long after he retired from uniformed duty - and the club was clearly much the richer for it.

2005 has not been kind to the organization men who each lived a great baseball life - Bobby Mattick, Tom Cheek, and now Al Widmar. But between those three and John Cerutti and Doug Ault, there's one hell of a reunion taking place in Heaven today. RIP Al.

Matthew E - Monday, October 17 2005 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#130243) #
Condolences to Al Widmar's family, friends and fans.

Man, I'm sick of typing that. Could people please stop dying? Please? In addition to the gentlemen FourSeamer mentioned above, there has also recently been Peter Widdrington. And I'm worried about who's next.

My enduring memory of Al Widmar is that he used to take forever to make it out to the mound. Of course, he had a good reason.
Hartley - Monday, October 17 2005 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#130244) #
I am sadden to hear about Al Widmar's death. He was a the pitching coach for the Blue Jays teams of the 1980's.

On a better note Blue Jays first manager Roy Hartsfield will be celebrating his 80th birthday on October 25th.
Brian B. - Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 05:43 AM EDT (#130251) #
I remember Al Widmar as the pitching coach of the Blue Jays when I first started watching them in 1986 (I also remember the slow walks out to the mound).

I just prayed for him and that God's peace would be with his family and loved ones.

Night, Al.
Wildrose - Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#130258) #
Bob Elliott remembers Widmar. I thought the getting tossed game in St. Catherines is a classic.
John Northey - Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#130266) #
Wildrose - thanks for that memory. I remember hearing about that and just laughing. Poor Al, trying to do his job and getting tossed. Bet the ump felt horrible afterwards.

Sigh. I guess this is the price of the team itself getting older (closing in on 30 fast). Players, coaches, management, and even broadcasters will be passing away as they all reach the age where death is no longer a total shock. Just think, everyone from the 77 team is probably in their 50's or older now. It won't be long until no one is still active who played against the '85 Jays (thank you Juilo Franco and Roger Clemens). I wonder if any other St. Louis Brown's are still around? Probably, but not many I suspect.
Hartley - Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#130349) #
The oldest living former coach of the Blue Jays is Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr. He coached with the Jays from 1977-1981. He is 87 years old.

The oldest living former Blue Jay is current Mariners announcer Ron Fairly. He is 67 years old.
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