Toronto Blue Jays Poll: Greatest of All Time Rd3
By Shaun Doyle
Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Matchup 2: Duane Ward vs Tom Henke
In order to get to the matchup we all knew was coming, Ward had to beat out Paul Quantrill in Round 1 and Mike Timlin in Round 2. Meanwhile, The Terminator beat Casey Janssen and Brett Cecil. The fact that these two are up against each other is only fitting. By far, they are the two relievers that folks will look back on and say were “great”.
Toronto Blue Jays
It might be a tough call, though because both of these guys were with the club at roughly the same time. While Ward started in 1986, Henke came a year earlier for that magical 1985 season. It was during those years that Henke served as the closer collecting a total of 217 saves, which puts him in first place on the franchise’s all time list. Ward backed him up, but wasn’t exactly second fiddle. The club relied on him in an incredible 81 games in 1991. From 1988 through ’92, he picked up 76 saves of his own and totalled 561 innings to Henke’s 563 during his entire 8 seasons.
Ward would end up with 650 innings under his belt as a Blue Jay. When Henke left and Ward took over the closer’s role, he picked up 45 saves and finished 70 games. According to Fangraphs.com, Henke put up 16.2 WAR as a Blue Jay. Ward totaled 14.9 in 8 seasons. Though, one of those seasons saw him return to the club after a year’s absence and put up -0.1 in 2.2 innings. Ward has gone on to be a heavy contributor to Blue Jays youth programs, etc.
So, the choice is yours. Who do you vote for? Is it as tough as it seems?
Our next matchup asks you to choose between two of the best sluggers the franchise has ever known.
Next: Matchup 3: How Much Do You Value Winning?