Toronto Blue Jays Poll: Greatest of All Time Rd3
By Shaun Doyle
Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Matchup 1: Tony Fernandez vs Jose Bautista
Fernandez made it to Round 3 by beating out Jesse Barfield and then Vernon Wells. Bautista defeated Damaso Garcia and Joe Carter to advance. Both of these guys have earned their way into Blue Jays lore, but in very different ways.
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Fernandez spent 11 years (off and on) with the Blue Jays and leads the franchise in games played with 1450. HE also has the most hits all time with 1583. He’s third all time with a .297 average, 9th with a .353 OBP and 5th in walks with 439. He’s also scored the 4th most runs in franchise history with 704. He was an All Star with the Blue Jays 3 times (once more with San Diego) and a 4 time Gold Glove winner. He was also a big part of the mid to late 1980’s winning years, averaging well over 4 WAR during that time. He ranks 3rd all time with a 37 WAR. It should be noted that he played 161 games in 1985 and 163 the next year. How much do you value consistency and winning?
Bautista is no slouch, himself. He’s ranked 12th in games played with 962. But, it is what he’s done in that number of games that will sway you. In 8 seasons with the Blue Jays, Bautista has shot up to 2nd in HR with 243, 6th in runs (630), 4th in OBP (.384), 2nd in SLG (.538) and 2nd in OPS (.922). He’s a 6 time All Star, 2 time HR champ, 2 time Silver Slugger who finished in the top 5 in MVP voting twice (2 more in the top 10). He also led the league in walks twice. He currently ranks 5th on the team with 36 WAR and is averaging nearly 5 WAR per season, peaking at 8.1 in 2011. While he hasn’t been on many winning teams, he may have made up for ti with his performance in the 2015 post season; a showing that included one of the greatest single moments in club history: the 7th inning 3-run HR and bat flip that rocked the world.
Our next matchup asks you to choose between the two greatest relievers this franchise has ever had.
Next: Macthup 2: Blue Jays' Greatest Relievers of All Time