Mookie Wilson (1989)
For the 1989 season, the Blue Jays fielded an outfield that consisted of veterans George Bell and Lloyd Moseby, along with rookie Junior Félix at the time. Worrying that Félix may perhaps be lacking the required experience to handle the duties down the stretch, the Jays elected to get some much needed outfield depth at the trade deadline by adding one of New York Mets’ most iconic players in Mookie Wilson.
Wilson had been struggling for much of the season in 1989 with the Mets, but given his successful track record in the past and the potential impact he could provide, the Jays believed he could be a strong contributor in the final couple of months of the season if given the opportunity to play for a contending team once again. Indeed, Wilson played a key role down the stretch as he regained his hitting mojo with the ballclub following the trade, along with quickly becoming a fan favourite as appreciating chants of “Mooooooookie” occurred whenever he stepped to the plate.
In 54 games with the Jays, Wilson compiled a .298 batting average with 32 runs scored, nine doubles, two home runs, 17 RBI, and 12 stolen bases, as he practically matched or surpassed most of his accumulated totals that year with the Mets in 26 less games played. In doing so, he eventually pushed Félix out of a starting role in September while he continued his success, as he ultimately scored the winning run that enabled the Jays to clinch the AL East division title and reach the postseason for the second time in team history.