Blue Jays: Reflecting on All-Star games of the past
This season, the Blue Jays have but one All-Star, the consistent and calm southpaw by the name of J.A. Happ. With this lack of Blue Jays representation this year, it’s time to look back on a time when the Blue Jays practically ruled the festivities.
Frankly, I do not envy my father for many things. I do not envy his lack of access to the internet in his youth and I certainly don’t envy his questionable sense of style in the 1980s. However, I greatly envy the fact that he was alive to witness the Blue Jays World Series championships, while I was not.
As a child, I’d always been recounted tales of the legendary squads of ‘92 and ‘93, left only to dream that someday a team so special might once again return to this great city. After years of watching baseball, it still hasn’t happened yet. The teams of 2015 and 2016 offered a glimmer of hope into realizing that dream, but an American League Championship Series is as close as I’ve ever gotten to witnessing baseball that makes history.
One of my favourite bits of trivia from the 1993 season is the fact that there were seven, yes seven, Blue Jays on the American League All-Star roster that season. As a fun little exercise, I encourage you to try and guess as many of the seven as you can – I got five.
Paul Molitor, Joe Carter, Devon White, Duane Ward, Roberto Alomar, John Olerud and Pat Hentgen excellently represented the sole Canadian team at the All-Star game in Baltimore. Led by Blue Jay skipper Cito Gaston, the American league trampled the National League squad 9-3.
Funnily enough, fans at Camden Yards booed every Jays player as they were announced, protesting the lopsided, Blue Jay heavy roster put together by the American League. The crowd wasn’t particularly in a bad mood that night overall, as they lovingly applauded Oriole superstar Cal Ripken Jr. as he was introduced.
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I guess it just makes you think. 25 years ago, the Jays were at the top of the baseball world, ruling the league with sluggers and speedsters alike. Today, the lowly Jays are facing a potential rebuild and have one single player represented on the All-Star roster.
Still, it is my sincere hope that Blue Jays fans everywhere enjoy the All-Star festivities. While they can often be frivolous and sometimes over the top, this break in the action serves as a constant reminder to us that baseball is, in fact, a game, meant to be enjoyed and shared with others.
As the season’s depressing and rather bleakly realistic second half approaches with rigorous speed, this pause can help all individuals involved in baseball reset and re-calibrate and get ready for the luscious summer baseball that lies ahead.
Next: Blue Jays: Could Ryan Merritt be a worthwhile investment?
Special thanks to 1993 Jays In Real Time (@RealTime93Jays) on Twitter for the inspiration and information of this article. Their feed tweets out live updates in real time as if the current season were the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays season.