Best Blue Jays Ever: Second Base


Well,it looks like it’s time for another instalment of  Best Blue Jays Ever. In our last post  we looked at the best players at first base, which included some of the greatest players to ever wear the blue and white. Today we are looking at the keystone position, second base, let’s hope we can continue that trend. Once again for those just joing us the rules are as follows:

We are looking at only the player’s career with the Jays

Must have played at least 3 full seasons in Toronto (no one-year wonders here)

Must have been a fairly regular player (we’ll say average of 81 games/season)

Historical impact with the club will be considered as well as overall statistics (it can’t just be about numbers can it?)

WAR will not be considered (otherwise what’s the point? I could just list them in order of WAR, and that’s no fun

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5.) Homer Bush – I remember when the Jays acquired Bush. He was part of the blockbuster trade that sent Roger Clemens to the Yankees. In return the Jays got David Wells and the aforementioned Bush. While everybody was excited about the return of Boomer Wells, there was also a lot of buzz surrounding Bush. There was hope that he would finally bring stability to a position that had been a revolving door since a certain future hall of famer left town. Statistically Bush is a prime example of what could have been. He spent four years with the Jays and struggled to stay healthy. All told he hit .283/.321/.360 with the Jays. He had no power to speak of (1o HRs), but he played solid D and was pretty darn fast to boot. I often wonder how things may have turned out if he could have stayed healthy.

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4.) Damaso Garcia – A lot of people forget about Garcia, but he was a stalwart at second for most of the 80s. He was a big part of those great teams of the era, and is often forgotten next to the more well know Jays of the time such as Jesse Barfield and Dave Stieb. Garcia was a very good second baseman during his tenure in Toronto. He slashed .288/.312/.374. He also collected some hardware along the way including two All-Star appearances and a Silver Slugger. He also was a speedster stealing 194 bases with the Jays, a number which still places him third on the Jays all time. In fact his name can still be seen near the top  of the Jays all time leader boards for second basemen. He ranks first in Games (902), Runs (453) and Hits (1028). He wasn’t without his flaws though, he have little to no power and played only average defense, which is why he ranks at just number four on this list.

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3.) Orlando Hudson – Ah, the O-Dog. He was the type of player that loved his job and you could tell. He always had a smile on his face and was always ready with a quip. My first memory of Hudson was him being taken to task in Spring Training by J.P. Riccardi because the rookie said the Jays GM dressed like a pimp. I knew from that point on he was going to be an interesting player. O-Dog was best known for his defence, in fact I recall that Jays’ officials were dubbing him to be Alomar-esque in his prowess with the glove. He even won a Gold Glove while playing for the Jays.  While he didn’t turn out to be the second coming of Robbie, he did turn into a pretty solid player. Offensively he managed to hit .270/.328/418, which are solid if not spectacular numbers. Sadly he only spent 4 short years in Toronto before being shipped off to Arizona in the deal that netted Troy Glaus. If he had a few more years in Toronto he may have ranked higher on the list, as it is the number three spot is his.

2.) Aaron Hill – It’s hard to believe that it’s only been three seasons since Aaron Hill was traded. It seems like much longer than that. He was the last real Major League calibre second basemen the Jays have had. Hill played parts of seven season with the Jays. The best of those coming in 2009 when he hit ..286 slugged 36 Home Runs and won a Silver Slugger and even got a few MVP votes. It would be nice to say that the ’09 season was the start of great things to come, but it was really more of an outlier. Hill never again came close to those numbers again with the Jays.  That’s not to say he stunk the rest of the way. He was a very good player, slashing .265/.318/.413 during his career with the Jays. Amongst Blue Jays second basemen he is first in Doubles (188), Home Runs (96), RBI ( 409) and he was an underrated fielder to boot. There are some suggesting that the Jays’ should make a move to reacquire Hill from the Diamondbacks, and I wouldn’t have a problem with that, it would give him the opportunity to pad his standing on the leader-boards.  Unfortunately all the padding in the world would unseat our number one second baseman…

1.) Roberto Alomar – Let’s be honest here, no one should be surprised by this. He is the most popular player in Blue Jays history. It’s been almost 20 years since he last suited up for the Jays and they still sell his jersey at Rogers Centre. It’s hard to believe that he only played 5 years with the Jays, but boy did he make the most of them. There really isn’t anything that you can say about Robbie that hasn’t already been said, so I’ll just let the numbers speak for themselves. Five All Star Games, Five Gold Gloves, One Silver Slugger, ALCS MVP in 1992, two World Series rings, the only player to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame wearing a Blue Jay on his hat. I get misty just thinking about it. He was a sparkplug at the top of the order for the Jays and was unreal with the glove. I have heard some say that advanced fielding statistics show him to be not that great of a fielder, which in my opinion is plain hooey.  I watched Alomar do things on the diamond that I never saw anyone else do before. I still remember vividly his catch on a Lenny Dykstra looper in Game 1 of the ’93 Series. It was one of the most amazing catches I’ve ever seen. If you haven’t seen it do yourself a favour and try to find a video of it.

So that’s our list. Like it? Hate it? Thought I left someone out? Let me know in the comments.