Established in 1977, the Toronto Blue Jays have proudly become symbolic of baseball in Canada. Winning two World Series in team history, Toronto has also been called home by many of the game’s greats.
Who are the best players ever to have ever worn a Blue Jay uniform?
Catcher – Ernie Whitt (Member of Blue Jays from 1977 – 1989)
An original member of the Jays, Whitt played in 1,218 games for the team. He hammered 131 home runs to go along with his 888 hits. He compiled 310 extra base hits.
First Base – Carlos Delgado (1993 – 2004)
From 1996 to 2004, Delgado was one of the most feared hitters in all of baseball. During those nine years, he averaged 36 home runs with 114 runs batted in per season. He is the team’s all-time leader in homers with 336.
Second Base – Roberto Alomar (1991 – 1995)
He won two World Series with Toronto and went to the All-Star game each year he played there. He batted .480 in the 1993 Series with a 1.159 OPS. Alomar collected 10 Gold Gloves during his career. He entered the Hall of Fame in 2011.
Third Base – Kelly Gruber (1984-1992)
From 1988 to 1991, Gruber was one of the best third basemen in baseball. He collected 586 hits, batting .274. His best season came in 1990 when he belted 30 home runs with 118 runs batted in. He won one World Series with the team.
Shortstop – Tony Fernandez (1983 – 1990; 1993; 1998 – 1999; 2001)
Fernandez is the Blue Jays’ all-time leader in hits (1,583) and games played (1,450). He was a five time All-Star who also won four Gold Gloves.
Outfield – Joe Carter (1991 – 1997)
A two-time World Series winner, Carter ranks third on the team’s all-time home run list with 203. In 12 World Series games, he hit four homers to go along with 11 runs batted in.
Outfield – George Bell (1981 – 1990)
A three-time All-Star, Bell was the 1987 American League MVP. During that season, he hammered 47 home runs to compliment his 134 runs batted in. He hit .286 during his ten year career with the team.
Outfield – Shannon Stewart (1995 – 2003; 2008)
A .298 hitter with the Jays, Stewart swiped 166 bases as a member of the team. He is fourth on Toronto’s all-time list in hits (1,082), doubles (222) and runs scored (595).
Designated Hitter – Jose Bautista (2008 – present)
Despite having played just 534 games with the Jays, Bautista is already sixth on their all-time home run list (140). In 2010 and 2011 he lead the American League in home runs with 54 and 43 respectively. He is the team’s current all-time leader in OBP, SLG, and OPS.
Starting Pitcher – Roy Halladay (1998 – 2009)
From 2002 to 2009, Halladay won 130 games versus just 59 losses with an ERA of 3.13. He took home the 2003 Cy Young Award, a year he won 22 games. He appeared in six American League All-Star Games.
Starting Pitcher – Dave Stieb (1979 – 1992; 1998)
Stieb is the team’s all-time leader in wins (175), strikeouts (1,658), and games started (408). He won ten or more games ten times and was a seven-time all-star. He led the American League in ERA (2.48) in 1985. Stieb also owns the only no-hitter in franchise history.
Starting Pitcher – Jimmy Key (1984 – 1992)
Key compiled a 116-81 record in 250 starts with the Jays. In the 1992 World Series versus the Atlanta Braves, Key went 2-0 with an ERA of 1.00. He is fourth on the team’s all-time wins list.
Starting Pitcher – Roger Clemens (1997 – 1998)
Clemens was absolutely dominant during his two year tenure as a pitcher for the Blue Jays. He won the American League Cy Young Award both years, posting a combined ERA of 2.33. He won 41 games versus just 13 losses, striking out 563 in 498.2 innings pitched.
Starting Pitcher – Jim Clancy (1977 – 1988)
While Clancy was hardly elite in any manner, his resilience resulted in 128 wins (third all-time) as a pitcher for the Jays. A member of the original team, his 1,237 strikeouts is good for third on Toronto’s all-time list.
Lefty Specialist – Scott Downs (2005 – 2010)
During his six year tenure with the team, Downs appeared in 347 games. He threw 407.2 innings yielding just 360 hits and striking out 341. He had a 20-18 record and 3.13 ERA.
Setup Pitcher – Duane Ward (1986 – 1995)
Ward is second on the team’s all-time games pitched list with 452. One of the most proficient setup men in baseball, Ward would eventually go on to save 121 games. He struck out 671 batters in just 650.2 innings pitched.
Closer – Tom Henke (1985 – 1992)
Henke was one of the top closers in the game of baseball during his tenure with the Blue Jays. He is the team’s all-time leader in saves with 217. His career ERA with the Jays was a stingy 2.48. Appearing in two All-Star games, he lead the American League in saves (34) in 1987.
Backup Catcher – Pat Borders (1988 – 1994; 1999)
An underrated catcher, Border was the American League leader in assists for three consecutive years starting in 1992. That same year, he was World Series MVP hitting .450. He won two World Championships with the Jays.
Backup Infielder – Paul Molitor (1993 – 1995)
By the time Molitor was a member of the Jays, he was primarily a designated hitter but he had a major impact during his short tenure with the team. Molitor was the 1993 World Series MVP batting .500 with two homers and eight runs driven in. During his three year stint with the Blue Jays he hit .315.
Backup Outfielder – Vernon Wells (1999 – 2010)
Wells was a three-time All-Star and Gold Glove winner with Toronto. He currently ranks second in team history in home runs (230), runs batted in (813), doubles (339), hits (1,529), and runs scored (789).
Sources: Yahoo! Sports
Robert Watkins is former investment professional and partner. A passionate baseball fan and sports enthusiast, Robert made his first visit to the SkyDome (currently the Rogers Centre) in 1994 just prior to the strike. An avid fan of Joe Carter and Duane Ward, he is a frequent contributor to Yahoo! Sports and News.