Blue Jays: The All-Time Forgotten Players in Franchise History
Who else is in the outfield?
Centerfield – Otix Nixon (1996-1997)
Best Season: 1996 – 15 doubles, 54 stolen bases, .286 AVG and .377 OBA
This is going to surprise a lot of younger Blue Jays fans, but Otis Nixon was once a Blue Jay. Many fans remember him most as the player who tried to get a bunt single with two out trailing in extra innings in the 1992 World Series. Mike Timlin ultimately picked up the ball and threw it to Joe Carter for the final out to win the first World Series title for Canada and the Blue Jays.
Three years later Nixon would sign a two year deal with the Blue Jays worth $4.5 million and Toronto had a leadoff man. Nixon would never be mistaken for a home run hitter as he hit just 11 over his whole career. What he was known for, was a player that got on base and liked to run. In his first season in a Blue Jays uniform, Nixon got on base nearly 38% of the time and stole 54 bases; which is currently tied for third all-time by a Blue Jay in a single season.
Nixon was having a similar 1997 season, however, on August 12 with Toronto four games under .500 and 17.5 games back of the AL East, he was pulled from the game to find out he had been traded. General Manager Gord Ash had traded Nixon to the Los Angeles Dodgers for minor leaguer Bobby Cripps. Nixon played just 228 games, which was just over a season and a half, yet sits ninth all time in Stolen Bases for Toronto.
Right Field – Raul Mondesi (2000-2002)
Best Season: 2001 – 26 doubles, 27 home runs, 84 RBI, 30 stolen bases and .252 AVG
If you are a Blue Jays fan you know about right field legend Shawn Green and how amazing he was in Toronto. What some fans might not remember was the century was turning over and Green had just one year left of control. It was unclear if the team could sign him long-term, so they made a blockbuster trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers which was essentially had Green going for former NL Rookie of the Year Raul Mondesi.
While Mondesi couldn’t completely replace Green, he was a very good substitute. In his first two years with Toronto he was a 20-20 player as he hit at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases. In 2001, Mondesi was just three home runs shy of having a 30-30 season. Mondesi was built and played like a running back and had no fear. In the outfield, Mondesi had an absolute of cannon of an arm as he picked up 18 assists.
In July 2002 the Blue Jays were again under .500 so GM J.P. Ricciardi traded Mondesi to the New York Yankees for Scott Wiggins.