As Blue Jays fever gripped Toronto and the team headed to its first post-season in 23 years, TheStar.com asked readers to select an all-time lineup of favourites. The results were at times surprising, but underlined a strong attachment to two dominant teams.
The early results are in, but there’s still time to have your say in picking the All-Time Blue Jays line-up.
Through the first two days of voting the city appears to be torn between the love of two eras.
The current Jays squad is well represented among the early all-time squad leaders, earning three positions.
Three-time 40-home run hitter Jose Bautista and 2015 MVP candidate Josh Donaldson are holding down right field and third base, respectively. Their popularity speaks to the love affair the city is having with the current Jays squad as they continue to eclipse former all-stars and franchise favourites like Joe Carter, Kelly Gruber and Jesse Barfield.
Meanwhile, Canada’s own Russell Martin currently has a slim lead at catcher over 1992 World Series MVP Pat Borders.
Speaking of the World Series, the 1992 and ’93 championship teams are the other era that has dominated the early voting.
Five players that earned at least one championship ring with the Jays sit atop their positional brackets, including: second baseman Roberto Alomar, shortstop Tony Fernandez, centre fielder Devon White, reliever Tom Henke and designated hitter Paul Molitor.
The MVP of the 1993 Series, Molitor’s lead indicates a strong allegiance to the championship squads as his three seasons with the club have left a greater impact on readers than current DH Edwin Encarnacion, who sits sixth on the Jays’ all-time home runs list with 197 over parts of seven seasons.
The remaining three positions are split between the lone player to actually have earned an MVP trophy with the club and two Jays that thrived while the franchise toiled in mediocrity between 1993 and 2015.
Franchise home run leader Carlos Delgado is the early favourite at first base, ahead of the likes of John Olerud and Adam Lind, while 2003 Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay continues to lead the starting pitcher debate ahead of franchise wins leader Dave Stieb and fellow Cy honourees Pat Hentgen and Roger Clemens.
However, there’s still time to have your say.
Think Ernie Whitt’s 12 years with the club are being overlooked? Wondering why the man that hit the most iconic home run in club history is not among the fan favourites? Feel like organizing a late campaign for Billy Koch’s 100 m.p.h. fastball and wispy goatee?
Pick your all-time roster here and have your say in the comments below.