TSN had on their website the best Blue Jays of all time, by position. It was an interesting look back and see who was chosen. Because the team is a relativity new expansion team (in the grand scheme of the game) the names are for the most part only made up of players that the majority of fans remember or have seen play. It is not like the Yankees and you have to choose between Babe Ruth or Roger Maris...Mickey Mantle or Joe DiMaggio. The sample size is much smaller and we can remember the Jays guys better.
THE LIST is one that I for the most part agree with. Here is the players by position:
C - Pat Borders
1B - Carlos Delgado
2B - Roberto Alomar
3B - Kelly Gruber
SS - Tony Fernandez
LF - George Bell
CF - Devon White
RF - Joe Carter
DH - Paul Molitor
SP - Dave Stieb
CP - Tom Henke
Set-up Man - Duane Ward
Manager - Cito Gaston.
This was in the first pack of cards I bought (except mine was O-Pee-Chee)
Outside of this list there is not a whole lot of possible debate. This is both good and depressing. I was a Kelly Gruber fan when I was young. When I went to a game I wanted them to have Kelly sit the day before to ensure he was in the line up when I was there. Looking back it may have been greedy but I was there to see him play. Now, in the reflection of top players in the franchise`s history, this is not the most stellar of line-ups. I like all the players, I like the team, but when you see a Kelly Gruber, Pat Borders and Tony Fernandez as your all time infielders it is not nearly as impressive as a lot of other teams line up. Granted, Fernandez was a great SS in his day and was good enough to be brought back some 5 times. When you take in his body of work it pales in comparison to many other teams short stops. And Pat Borders, it is not cool that he is still on the list and outside of maybe Ernie Whitt I don`t know who else would fit the bill. This is about as far a cry from a Hall of Fame lineup as one will find.
I guess maybe down the line Jose Bautista could crack through in Right, ahead of Carter, but he will need a few more good years and Carter still has a lot cred based on that little hit he had back in `93, as some may recall.
The one thing that is also a bit depressing is the time period that all these players played are far removed to where the team is now. This list , for the most part could have been done in 1995 and would look just about the same. It is a bit of a shame that there has not really been a player worthy of cracking this lineup in the last 16 or so years. not to place any blame for that but I can`t seem to feel that JP Ricciardi has something to do with that.
If you have other players that you feel are more deserving I would like to hear who they are and the rational behind it.
In an upcoming blog I will be posting about an interesting story that I have recently come across. To some it may be old news, to some it will be surprising. I for one had not heard this version of the story and it is very far from proven and only alleged but very interesting none the less. So stay tuned for that.