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.