The best players ever in the Toronto Blue Jays 40-year history, by position
Written by George Kipling
Photos by Keith Allison
It was 40 years ago - April 1977 - when the Toronto Blue Jays played their first ever game in the Major Leagues. Well four decades, and two World Series Championships (1992-93) later, here are the best players in Jays franchise history by position.
Catcher – Pat Borders: Excellent defensively and his timely hitting made him the MVP of the 1992 World Series so he gets the nod behind the plate.
First Base – Carlos Delgado: The franchise leader in home runs, RBI’s, runs scored, slugging % and many other major offensive categories makes him a no brainer to start at first.
Second Base – Roberto Alomar: The finest all around player (offensively and defensively) in team history is the only member of Baseball’s Hall Of Fame donning a Blue Jays Cap. Enough said.
Third Base – Josh Donaldson: Although he hasn’t been a Blue Jay for a long time – 2017 being just is his third season in The Six – they’ve advanced to the American League Championship Series in his first two seasons, and, oh yeah, he became the franchise’s second MVP in history when he picked up the award in 2015.
Shortstop – Tony Fernandez: A slick glove (four Gold Glove awards from 1986-89), three All Star appearances as a Jay and drove in a record – for a shortstop - nine runs in their 1993 World Series triumph.
Left Field – George Bell: Three Silver Slugger Awards (1985-87) and the 1987 AL MVP put him in left.
Center Field – Vernon Wells: Gave a decade of decadence from 1999-2010 which included three All Star Selections & Gold Glove Awards as well as many stalwart seasons with the bat.
Right Field – Joe Carter: Consistent power numbers and of course, the memorable home run that won 1993 World Series.
Designated Hitter – Jose Bautista: Although a right fielder, he’s the DH because he led the Majors in home runs in 2010-11, which included a team record 54 in 2010.
Pitcher – Roy Halladay: Best pitcher in franchise history was an eight time All Star (six with Jays) and also won two Cy Young Awards, the first in T-Dot in 2003.
Pitcher – Dave Stieb: He is the all time leader in wins, was a 7 time All Star and threw the first no hitter in Blue Jays history. Not to mention he won the second most games for any pitcher in MLB in the 1980’s.
Pitcher – Pat Hentgen: The first Cy Young winner and second 20 game winner in team history who also helped club to the 1993 title.
Closer – Tom Henke: The Kansas City native was 9th inning man for the initial glory days from 1985-92.