Blue Jays: Former player once wore a goalie mask during a game
Dave Parker finished his 19-year MLB career playing his final 13 games as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, however, his claim to fame may come from a peculiar incident back in 1978.
Long before Dave Parker ever signed with the Blue Jays, the brash young slugger was playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1978. During a game on June 30th, Parker who was affectionately known as the “Cobra” throughout his career was involved in a collision at home plate with New York Mets catcher John Stearns.
The collision resulted in Parker breaking his jaw and being forced out of the Pirates lineup. At the time of the injury, the outfielder was hitting .316/.377/.535 and setting the groundwork for what wound up being an MVP season for Parker.
The “Cobra” convinced the Pirates training staff to allow him back into action on July 16th. However, the stipulation was that Parker had to wear a protective mask in order to allow his broken jaw time to heal.
More from Toronto Blue Jays News
- Blue Jays: Alek Manoah on pace to succeed in possible postseason
- Blue Jays: Bradley Zimmer has carved himself a valuable role
- Anthony Bass has been the shutdown reliever the Blue Jays needed
- Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. open to a long-term contract
- Blue Jays: Snapping cold streaks at the right time
Parker and the Pirates head trainer retrofitted a hockey goalie mask that would fit underneath his helmet. The slugger personalized the helmet with the Pirates team colours and prepared for duty versus the San Diego Padres.
You have to remember, Parker was an imposing figure without the mask, the slugger stood 6’5″ and weighed 230 pounds. Now add the “Jason” style mask to the equation, and for the record, the Friday the 13th horror films did not debut until 1980, so maybe they got the idea from Parker.
Nonetheless, he would pinch-hit in the 11th inning while wearing a goalie mask and ironically he was intentionally walked. The mask wound up being shortlived as Parker swapped it out for a football style helmet that allowed him better peripheral vision while hitting.
Parker had a cup of coffee with the Blue Jays in 1991 playing in 13 games after signing with the team in September. The outfielder was released by the California Angels on September 07th and wound up latching on with Toronto on September 14th. Parker would finish the campaign north of the border and subsequently retire after the season concluded.
Another piece of Dave Parker useless trivia, the outfielder was traded from the Milwaukee Brewers to the California Angels in 1991 for none other than Dante Bichette.
There ya have it folks, a goalie mask-wearing slugger before Friday the 13th had even made it cool.