Allow me to share with you some of my early childhood baseball cards. I found these hidden away somewhere. Many of my fondest memories of baseball, come from baseball cards actually. I traded them, I purchased them, I played with them and to this day I still hold onto them. I picked these particular cards because they are all great Blue Jays in my mind.
Click! (for a better view)
You’ll notice many of these cards have the McDonald’s ‘M’ on the corner, this is because they were purchased during a time when McDonald’s had a special promotion for the Jays World Series wins in the early 90’s. Not that it was the healthiest thing to do, but I urged my parents to take me McDonald’s pretty much everyday when those cards were in distribution. McDonald’s always gets you as a kid, it is almost unavoidable. Some of the others are government of Ontario/A&P grocery cards, Topp baseball cards and Donruss I believe. I think we got the A&P cards for free with a large grocery purchase. What an idea! I wish more places gave you free ‘Blue Jay’ baseball cards, because I’d pretty much be there.
Here is a brief description of the players I selected (it is all a part of the baseball card sharing process):
Most of you probably know Joe Carter, he hit the greatest homerun ever hit in Blue Jay history winning the ’93 World Series.
You probably also recognize Fred ‘crimedog’ McGriff, he was an excellent Jay for many years untill he was traded for Carter.
Jack Morris played with Jays for only two years, but had an awesome year in 1992 going 21-6.
Kelly Gruber was a top notch third baseman that made one All-Star game for the Jays. I felt bad that he never got to hit in that game. The closest he came to action was the on-deck circle. He was also my little brother’s favorite player.
A guy you probably wonder: ‘what is this guy doing on this cologue.’ Well, that is Rob Ducey. I decided to put him on because he is Canadian, and a Blue Jay. The guy was probably the only Canadian baseball player that I identified with in those years. He was a seldom used utility player, but did Canada proud regardless.
Dave Stieb‘s no hitter is idolized in the card above. Stieb is arguably the ‘greatest Jays pitcher of all-time.’ I’ve never seen a man adjust himself on television so much in my life. He right up there next to Al Bundy in the adjusting ‘Hall of Fame.’
Tom ‘the terminator’ Henke was my favorite Jay’s closer. The guy was dominant. I’ll always remember him pumping his fist after the Jays won a one-game playoff for the AL East pennet over the Orioles. He also looks amazing similar to my dad. Two great men I would add.
Cito Gaston brought the Jays two World Series in the early 90’s. Were are hoping he translates that magic into the present day.
Pat Tabler was with the Jays for one World Series in 1992. Today he does great color commentary for the Jays in my personal opinion. The guy flat out loves baseball – it is obvious. I personally enjoy hearing him on Blue Jay telecasts.
Devon White is the ‘greatest center-fielder the Blue Jays have ever had.’ Vernon Wells has been a fine player for the team, but Devon White was so important to both the Jay’s World Series teams. His amazing catch in the 1992 World Series showed how the guy just ‘ate up’ numberous doubles and triples in the gap. Sorry Vernon, but you are going to have do some work for that label!
Well, those are some of my cards. It was a lot of fun sharing them with you. I feel like a kid again.
Devon White was so graceful in the outfield, that he made this famous catch and throw to first base with ease. People say Joe Dimaggio was pretty good in the outfield, but whatever Dimaggio had, Devon White must have somewhere picked up on it, as well. The way people talk about Dimaggio in the outfield, is very similar to the way I saw Devon White play. Long graceful strides, with speed and the ability to read a ball off the bat. White thought that he could track down every ball in the outfield, although his bat wasn’t like Dimaggio, his feeling was legendary and it is a well deserved comparison. So, below you will see the catch (2nd most famous play in Blue Jay history) immortalized in this design of Devo with a gold glove. Getting to a ball that he had no business even getting to, starting a double play that should have been a triple play, in Game 3 of the 1992 World Series against Atlanta.
How amazing was that catch? Take it from Vin Scully, Dodger announcer that witnessed Willie Mays’ legendary catch. “I saw Mays’ catch,” Scully said. “And this one, to me, was better.” “The big thing with Mays,” Scully went on, “was that he had a wide-open area. He didn’t have to be concerned with the wall. And that’s a major concern. So I’m inclined to think that White’s catch might have been better than Mays’.”
Something ‘we Blue Jay fans’ can be very proud of. In a time where our pride is taking a hit.