Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
I've been thinking about who is the face of the Jays now - Vlad or Bo depending on personal preference I figure. But what about over time?

By year, some years deserve multiple guys and one could pick more guys each year but I'm going with 'who would the average fan think of when thinking of the Jays at that time'.  Not always the best player, but the most known (normally the same).

  • 1977: Bill Singer was supposed to be, but Doug Ault took it with his 2 home runs opening day.
  • 1978-1980 John Mayberry - 20+ HR each year, 30 in 1980, then traded part way through 1982.  But lost his face of the franchise to the first real great of the Jays.
  • 1981-1990: Dave Stieb - one could argue he gets this from 1979 on.  He would've kept going if his arm didn't go kabloom part way into 1991.
  • 1991-1995: Roberto Alomar - HOF'er in his prime leading the Jays to 2 WS wins.  Many others have a case, from Joe Carter to Dave Winfield (1992) but Alomar was THE face for the Jays in this era. 
  • 1996: Joe Carter - not my favorite but almost by default as he was all over the media and everyone was still in love with Mr. RBI even though he couldn't hit at this point.
  • 1997/1998: Roger Clemens - 2 Cy Youngs, pitchers triple crown years while being the highest paid pitcher in baseball history (briefly).  Worth every penny, as boy was it fun to watch especially when he pitched against the Red Sox.  A HOF'er with something to prove.  Sad what came later, but that was the era.
  • 1999-2002: Carlos Delgado - could start in 1996, but by 1999 he was the undisputed face of the team.
  • 2003-2009: Roy Halladay - Cy Young winner, HOF'er building his amazing resume with a terribly frustrating team.  Jays acting like a small market during this time.  A bad small market team.  If only he could've stayed.  Sadly his career was over before the Jays won again in 2015
  • 2010-2015: Jose Bautista - right after Halladay was traded Bautista hit 54 home runs and would be THE face for years (one could argue for 2016/17)
  • 2016-2018: Josh Donaldson - MVP in 2015, 4th in MVP in 2016, but then injuries injuries injuries.  Sigh.
  • 2019-now: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. - super hype which he is now starting to live up to.  One could say 2018 just for that spring training home run in Montreal to end spring.  The hype machine went nuts after that.  The HR competition in 2019 pushed it to a new level.  The weight issues in 2020 knocked him down.  Now fit he is bringing back the hype.
Some years are really multiple guys - many guys can be argued from 1983-1993 (the best stretch in Jays history) with George Bell having the best case some of those years, especially 1987, but in my mind every year if you asked Joe Average who played on the Jays Dave Stieb would've been the first name to come to mind.  Delgado & Halladay were co-faces really in the early 00's.  2015/16 Donaldson, Encarnacion, and Donaldson were all the faces of the team.  Then you get the mess of 2018 when no one was healthy and good or known (ugh, what a depressing year).  Opinions?  Reasons?  As I said at the start, Bo could be the face right now easily. 
Face of the Jays | 8 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
GabrielSyme - Saturday, April 24 2021 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#396588) #
Growing up as a kid in the 80s, I think I wasn't old enough to appreciate Stieb's brilliance every 5 days. To me, the face of the franchise was Tony Fernandez - spectacular defense, good hitter, good baserunner, distinctive batting stance.

It did seem like those mid-to-late 80s teams had more than their fair share of distinctive guys. As well as Tony, you had Tom Henke with his glasses and demeanour. Kelly Gruber with his surfer-guy look and intensity. Rance Mulliniks looking like an accountant who went in the wrong entrance and was forced to suit up. I could go on, but Tony seemed like the indispensable core of the team.
jerjapan - Saturday, April 24 2021 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#396605) #
Great post JN, and I'm 100% with what Gabe said, although I might be a few years older.  I was well aware that Stieb was the best pitcher I'd ever watched regularly.   those 80s teams felt really unique to me due to the unique characters.  Personally, I love Stieb.  adjusting himself on the mound, glaring at defenders who made bad plays, and throwing that crazy slider.  Phelps' swing on the second out is about as fooled as I've ever seen a hitter look.
Doc is the best Jay of all time, I think, but too unassuming to be a 'face' of the franchise. 

Bo and Vladdy are both such unique players, and such dynamic personalities, I could see either being the face of the 21st century Jays.  Right now I'm leaning towards Vladdy - that smile of his is infectious. 
bpoz - Sunday, April 25 2021 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#396624) #
I love this post. Thanks John.
electric carrot - Sunday, April 25 2021 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#396625) #
I think Vlad's going to replace Tony F. as my favorite Jay of all time. There's something about watching him hit that's otherworldly. That same feeling I got when Tony did those crazy half airborne, half submarine looping throws to first; or that smooth waving of his bat low before perching it above his shoulder. Vlad's hitting reminds me of Manny Ramirez -- who also just seemed to be on different planet in terms of his stroke and execution. They both just seem to see it all so well -- like it's three quarters speed for them. It's a smoothness that feels otherworldly and fun to behold. Also, Vlad seems like he's actually a fun, unique and interesting character. So many ball players have a kind of blandness to them -- and Vlad cuts the mold.
dalimon5 - Sunday, April 25 2021 @ 10:12 AM EDT (#396626) #
In my opinion there is usually a designated "face of the franchise," by the entry fan as well as the media and relations. This is Vernon Wells.

Then there is the actual face who is the best player who dominates the team leadership but does not fit into the media plug. This is Roy Halladay.

At the end of the day, for me, Bo is the designated face of the franchise but Vlad is the true face of the franchise.

mathesond - Sunday, April 25 2021 @ 10:36 AM EDT (#396628) #
Nice post, John. On a personal level, I would have had Willie Upshaw in '83, and Lloyd Moseby in the mid 80's. Not saying they were the best or most popular Jays of the time, but they (along with Stieb) were my favourites.
christaylor - Sunday, April 25 2021 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#396647) #
Good post, John. I really disagree with Stieb being the franchise during the entire time listed. Bell's MVP, Barfield's HR title, and Fernandez's brilliance were heavily marketed and in the sports press. In general, I think SP take a little less headspace for most fans because they're only on the mound once or twice a week. This was probably doubly true back in the 80s when there were many fewer games on TV.
John Northey - Sunday, April 25 2021 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#396659) #
Like I said for the 80's you can really juggle stuff easily.

Bell in '87/88 was probably THE face, Key in '86. I was a massive Tony Fernandez fan (probably my favorite of all time) but I don't think he was ever the answer to 'who is the player many thought of when I say 'Blue Jays'. Ernie Whitt had a massive fan base despite being 'just' a solid, sometime all-star who was platooned.

Vernon Wells I debated a lot in my mind as he was the designated 'face' by the team during Halladay's career due to the massive contract and expectations. His failing to reach those levels probably makes him the true face of that era. Sadly.

I will always wonder if Delgado or Fernandez had stayed here their whole careers what might have happened - could both be in the HOF now? Or would it all have ended up the same for them?
Face of the Jays | 8 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.