The greatest catcher to ever suit up for the Toronto Blue Jays also hit the tenth most home runs in franchise history. Ernie Whitt was one of the original Blue Jays to get drafted in the 1977 Expansion Draft after serving one year with the Red Sox. Despite playing in just 23 games that season, Whitt went on to be the longest tenured original Blue Jay, playing until 1989.
The story of Whitt’s career was never dominance. Whitt was not a star in his time, making just one All-Star Game in 1985. Still, this great backstop was the perfect model of consistency and reliability. Nine of Whitt’s seasons consisted of 11-19 home runs. He never broke 20 and he never drove in more than 75.
Whitt is not the most memorable name by any stretch, but he is the franchise leader in WAR for catchers. No other backstop even comes close, as Whitt’s WAR triples the next best WAR. Overall, he ranks:
- Ninth – WAR – 21.8
- 15th – Hits – 888
- 11th – Plate Appearances – 3977
Now, the American born Whitt is the manager of the Canadian National Baseball team. Whitt was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame back in 2009.
Most memorable home run: Ninth inning grand slam that gave Toronto the lead against the Red Sox. Down 10-7 at the time, Toronto came back from a 10-0 deficit in the last three innings.