Saturday, March 2, 2013

March 2- Toronto Blue Jays

My computer is still out of commission, so I’ve found myself back in the doldrums of the University of Oregon library to write this post before I have to go to work at 4:00 PM. It’s currently 2:37.

The 2003 Toronto Blue Jays cap came as a bit of a surprise to me; mostly because they only used this cap for one year. It was an interesting concept with the Hulked out bird with a Maple Leaf logo tattooed on it's arm, but it was also a bit too busy. I could have sworn I remember them using it for more than that, specifically I recall Roger Clemens wearing it. Upon further review; however, it turns out I was wrong. I’ve never been a big fan of the one and done concept with hats on the field, but at the same time I also don’t mind bolstering my collection with them. It gives me something new to write about, but at the same time I am left with a lack of historical value to it other than a specific moment, a specific player, or a specific accomplishment for the team/player. With a lot of the other hats that I’ve written about I can embellish a bit. With this one, not so much. Sad Ben is sad.

2003 turned out to be phenomenal years for two particular players. I think you’ll agree that my choices on numbers really can’t be argued. Well, sort of.

#24- When I marked up this cap in December of 2011 I had my sights set on this particular player, Shannon Stewart. From what I can recall, I always saw him in the highlight reels making sweet plays and clutch hits. Plus, he had a brief stint with the Oakland Athletics in 2007; so he got bonus points for that. The one thing I had forgotten about, and somehow didn’t notice when I was doing my stat research was that he was traded to the Minnesota Twins midway through the season. Trust me, I feel like the biggest Gomer right now after making that connection. From 1995-2003 and then again in 2008 Stewart donned a Blue Jays uniform and made a name for himself quickly as a fan favorite. He was exactly the best player on the team, but he always did his best to prove that he was. In 2003 he started off hot; hitting .294 with seven home runs and 3d RBI, but as I mentioned a little bit ago, he finished his season with the Twins to the tune of .322/6/38. His grand total was .302/13/73, which was good enough for a fourth place finish in the American League MVP voting. Who finished ahead of him? Carlos Delgado at number two; which turned out to be his best finish in the MVP race. Oops!

#32- From 1998-2008 Roy Halladay was a pretty decent pitcher for the Blue Jays. And of course when I say pretty decent, I mean he was a dynamo. 2002 was the first year he made the All-Star team, an accomplishment he repeated in 2003 as well. Halladay started a League high 36 games and completed a League high nine of them. He pitched in a League high 266 innings and went 22-7 with a 3.25 ERA that season. His 22 wins were also a League high. But what’s most surprising is that 2003 was the first of two years that he’s won the Cy Young award; the second coming his first year with the Philadelphia Phillies. Like Stewart, I recall seeing way more highlights of Halladay, as the two plus Delgado were really the only notable and consistent players year after year. But still, I could have sworn that Halladay had more hardware in his trophy case.

1 comment:

  1. It's funny that this hat goes all the way back to 2003 as a one-and-done, because if you look at what MiLB clubs have been coming up with a decade later (especially designs from the house of Brandiose), this logo would be perfect if the Toronto Blue Jays were a minor league club. It's totally got that minor league look about it.

    But, they aren't a minor league club. This logo represents the culmination of the jay bird's evolution on Toronto hats, from the original ornithological facsimile of the 70s, to the more stylized design of the 90s, to this cartoonish character. Some days I like that evolution, other days I can see how it led right into the crap design that followed in 2004.

    But anyway, I like this hat. The big red T is unique for a Blue Jays hat, as is the flash of yellow from the bat, and the cartoon bird is kind of cute. In the food court across the street from where I live, I often see an old Asian man sitting with his friends, wearing this hat, and never any other one. It's got staying power.