Posted 1 week ago

Munenori Kawasaki “drawing”

In the last game of the 2013 season (a Sunday afternoon home game), I was one of the people giving Kawasaki a standing ovation as he came to the plate in the top of the 8th to pinch hit for J.P. Arencibia. He was consistently a bright spot in a dreary season.

When I left the SkyDome, I paused at the guy with the collection of pop culture star pictures on Blue Jays Way and looked at the Kawasaki. Out of curiosity, I asked how much it was. The answer was $20, my curiosity was satisfied, and I began to walk away. “Fifteen,” he interjected. I really had no intention of buying one, so I said, “Nah, I’m good.” He came back with a $10 and it crossed my mind that Munenori and the zeitgeist might never meet again, so with a bit of “what the hell,” I made this impulse buy.

Welcome back to the majors, Munenori Kawasaki.

(Upon closer inspection, they basically take find some images, do some scratchy “brush” effects on then, and print a colour copy. This was almost a relief as $10 to produced hand-drawn replicas would be crazy-low wages.)

Posted 3 weeks ago

Expos vs. Blue Jays ticket stub, July 10, 1999

For the third year in a row, the Jays and Expos were playing interleague games. Earlier in June, the Jays had taken 2 of 3 in Toronto. The Expos took the opener of this series to square things at 2-2.

This game was a wild one. Pat Hentgen got knocked out in the 4th and Dustin Hermanson got yanked in the 5th. Each team went through 5 pitchers (including Roy Halladay for 3 innings of relief), and at the end of the day, the Expos used 18 players and the Jays, 17.

Shannon Stewart scored for Toronto in the top of the 9th to break a 6-6 tie, and Billy Koch came in and went 1-2-3 to ring up his 14th save (and lower his ERA to 1.34).

It was great to have the opportunity to drive the 401 to see my two favourite teams in action. This Canadian rivalry game drew 15,005 people and the whole 3 game weekend series only drew 40,000 in total. That’s almost hard to believe when you’re seeing 96,000 for two Jays/Mets exhibition games. (P.S. This is one ugly ticket stub.)

Posted 3 weeks ago

Carlos Delgado & Chris Widger, 1997, Toronto Blue Jays 25th Anniversary Commemorative Book

This 1997 series at SkyDome from June 30 - July 2 was the first meeting between Canada’s two teams since the 1986 Pearson Cup match. The series supplied some great baseball:

6/30: Pat Hentgen (8-4) vs. Pedro Martinez (9-3), Expos win 2-1, A-37,430
7/1: Roger Clemens (12-2) vs. Jeff Juden (9-2), Expos win 2-1, A-50,436
7/2: Joe Carter walk-off single with 2 outs in the 13th, Jays win 7-6, A-34,176

Pedro had a no-hitter through 5, ended with a complete game 3 hitter with 10 strikeouts and lowered his ERA to 1.53. Juden had a no-hitter through 7 - broken up by a Shawn Green HR - and finished with 14 Ks and 2 hits allowed in 8 1/3 innings. Carlos and a rookie Vlad Guerrero both homered twice in the series. Pedro would go on to win the Cy Young that season (his 1st), as would Clemens (his 4th).

Posted 3 weeks ago

Fred McGriff & Andres Galarraga, 1989 Street & Smith’s Baseball cover

In celebration of the Blue Jays playing baseball in Montreal this weekend, here are a couple of slugging first basemen, resplendent in their baby blues.

Man, I used to love getting the Street & Smith’s and Sporting News baseball annuals every spring. As of 2007 they were merged.

Posted 1 month ago

Dave Stieb jamming with Geddy Lee, Tomorrow I’ll Be Perfect

Dave Stieb loves rock and roll. Rush’s Geddy Lee loves baseball (seriously - you should check out his memorabilia collection). Here their interests converge as Stieb and his wife Pattie (with hair reminiscent of  Randy Johnson behind the kit) jam with the Canadian rock icon.

source: Tomorrow I’ll Be Perfect

Posted 1 month ago

Faces in the crowd screencaps, Exhibition Stadium, June 11, 1984

This ABC Monday Night Baseball game is up on YouTube in its entirety (with commercials from the Detroit affiliate). It was a match up between the two best teams in baseball at that point: the 44-13 Tigers and the 36-21 Blue Jays. It ends up being a one run game and was pretty entertaining to watch (and not just because you get to see Earl Weaver, broadcaster, with a perm).

But how about these folks?
- love the girl’s wink and her giant Blue Jays button, as well as beardy’s Labatt’s Blue Light painter’s cap and calculator watch.
- old lady superfans with pins on caps are the best
- the camerman showed this usher a couple of times in the game - pop that collar!
- BJ Birdy actually does a fake drunken stumble just before this. Note Paul Beeston’s brother with the beer and smoke is also sporting the Blue Light cap.

Posted 1 month ago

Derek Bell’s reaction to practical joke, October 4, 1992

"Ladies and gentlemen, as part of Fan Appreciation Day, Dave Winfield and Joe Carter are giving away Derek Bell’s Jeep."

So went longtime PA man Murray Eldon’s announcement, as Joe Carter, Devon White, and Candy Maldonado drove around the field in Bell’s pimped out ride. When Bell finally caught on that it was all a practical joke, he was all smiles and conceded, “That’s a good one.”

source: MLB Network Countdown - The 50 Most Bizarre Moments in MLB History

Posted 1 month ago

SkyDome “Program Guy” April 3, 2011

I was at the Raptors game on Friday night, and our man Raphael (“Raph”) happened by my section. This pleased me, as did the fact he was wearing a jacket with the word “PROGRAMS” on the back. Suits him.

I figured that was as good a reason as any to throw up a Raph post. Here he is trying to sell some goods during the Blue Jays’ third game of the season in 2011 (a Sunday game allegedly attended by 35,505 fans).

Posted 2 months ago

Juan Guzman 1991 Impel card

MLB-ready hair. 

Juan started the 1991 season in AAA but was called up in early June to make his MLB debut. He lost his first two starts, but over his next 20 he went 10-0 with a 2.47 ERA.

He finished the season 10-3 with a 2.99 ERA, making him one of only 8 AL starters with an ERA under 3 (minimum 100 IP). He kept rolling in the playoffs, getting credit for the Blue Jays’ only victory against the Twins in the ALCS.

Capping off the year, Guzman finished as runner-up to Chuck Knoblauch for the 1991 AL Rookie of the Year.

Posted 2 months ago
worthlesstradingcards:

1989 ToppsJim Clancy#219
Pitched 1977-88 for the Blue Jays, going 128-140 with a 4.10 ERA in 352 games (345 GS). He also notched his first career save in ‘88. Clancy finished his career out with two and a half seasons in Houston and a half season in Atlanta. He never had a “big” season, really — he was an All-Star in ‘82, going 16-14 and making a league-best 40 starts. His best year was probably 1980, when he went just 13-16, but finished 10th in the league in ERA at 3.30, and was sixth in Adjusted ERA+ and fifth in WAR for pitchers (5.5).
All-time Blue Jays ranks:
WAR for Pitchers, 25.3 (5th)
Wins, 128 (3rd)
Games Pitched, 352 (6th)
Games Started, 345 (2nd)
Innings, 2,204.2 (2nd)
Strikeouts, 1,237 (3rd)
Complete Games, 73 (2nd)
Shutouts, 11 (3rd)

I’ve long thought this original Blue Jay (6th round of the expansion draft) was an underrated workhorse. In the 8 seasons from 1980-1987 he pitched over 200 innings 6 times. He had a couple of clunker seasons in there (and before and after this period), but he had 3 seasons with a WAR of 5.0 or higher - something that’s only been 28 times by a Blue Jays pitcher (13 different pitchers).

worthlesstradingcards:

1989 Topps
Jim Clancy
#219

Pitched 1977-88 for the Blue Jays, going 128-140 with a 4.10 ERA in 352 games (345 GS). He also notched his first career save in ‘88. Clancy finished his career out with two and a half seasons in Houston and a half season in Atlanta. He never had a “big” season, really — he was an All-Star in ‘82, going 16-14 and making a league-best 40 starts. His best year was probably 1980, when he went just 13-16, but finished 10th in the league in ERA at 3.30, and was sixth in Adjusted ERA+ and fifth in WAR for pitchers (5.5).

All-time Blue Jays ranks:

  • WAR for Pitchers, 25.3 (5th)
  • Wins, 128 (3rd)
  • Games Pitched, 352 (6th)
  • Games Started, 345 (2nd)
  • Innings, 2,204.2 (2nd)
  • Strikeouts, 1,237 (3rd)
  • Complete Games, 73 (2nd)
  • Shutouts, 11 (3rd)

I’ve long thought this original Blue Jay (6th round of the expansion draft) was an underrated workhorse. In the 8 seasons from 1980-1987 he pitched over 200 innings 6 times. He had a couple of clunker seasons in there (and before and after this period), but he had 3 seasons with a WAR of 5.0 or higher - something that’s only been 28 times by a Blue Jays pitcher (13 different pitchers).