Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My favorite players from all 30 Big League teams...Vol. #5...Toronto Blue Jays

This is the 5th in a series covering all 30 current MLB teams, plus some now defunct teams, and the teams of the Negro Leagues, and, even a Minor League team here and there.

Vol.#1, Baltimore Orioles...Brooks Robinson

Vol.#2, Boston Red Sox...Fred Lynn

Vol.#3, New York Yankees...Derek Jeter

Vol.#5 Tampa Bay Rays...Rocco Baldelli

Today, the Toronto Blue Jays

This is was a somewhat hard choice. I don't like the Blue Jays, for many reasons, including the fact that George Bell was given Allan Trammell's 1987 American League MVP Award, and Jack Morris winning a World Series with the Jays in 1993, among several reasons.

My dislike for the Blue Jays came to an end, somewhat, but not completely, when the Tigers were moved to the A.L. Central in the mid 1990's, but the damage was done.

So, I wasn't really sure who to put down. 
As I was typing, it finally came to me...Carlos Delgado...no, good choice though...Dave Steib...no, thanks the same, Robby Alomar...no way, and then I remembered...remembered back to my youth and a left handed quarterback for the Michigan Wolverines, an All-American in both football and baseball as a Wolverine, and a first round pick of my Detroit Tigers...Rick Leach

Rick Leach was a great college QB @ Michigan, leading the Wolverines to 3 straight Big Ten Championships, 1976-77-78.

Rick Leach played for the Tigers in 1981-82-83, then was released before the start of the 1984 season. That always made me feel bad, because it would've been great for Rick to get a ring, but off to the hated Blue Jays he went, and there he played from 1984-1988, including the Jays great 1985 team that were up 3-1 to the KC Royals in the A.L. Championship Series before losing the last 3 games.

In 1986 Rick had his best year, batting .309 in 110 games.

I'm not going to give you to much of his big league numbers, just these...he hit 18 home runs in 799 big league games, collected 460 hits, and driving in 183 runs for the Tigers, Blue Jays, Rangers, and Giants in a 10 year career.

Yes, it took a Michigan Man to make my list as my favorite Toronto Blue Jays player, so it goes. Maybe I could've picked pitcher Roy Halladay, a fine pitcher, but he owned the Tigers, just like the Jays pitchers of the 1980's, and so, needless to say, I like Doc Halladay much better as a Phillie.

The one thing about ball players that rings true today, as it did when I was a kid, and that's that there will be another one right behind your favorite player, so maybe I'll be able to let the Blue Jays thing go, but seeing as how I rooted for the Braves in the 1992 and 1993 World Series against the Jays, it seem highly likely.

So, there you have the first 5 editions of my favorite players, next it's on to a bit of a change-up next, as we leave the current teams to go back in time to a non existing team...the Brooklyn Dodgers. 

Yes, I consider the Los Angeles Dodgers separate from their Brooklyn days. So, who will it be, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Ralph Branca, Duke Snider, Pee Wee Reese, or maybe Johnny Podres.

Until then, enjoy baseball, God's great gift to us, our National Past time.


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