With the Major League Baseball postseason just around the corner, I thought I would celebrate each of the franchise’s and their storied pasts by selecting an All-Time Team for every club.
The teams consist of one player per infield position (1B, 2B, SS, 3B, C), three outfielders, three starting pitchers, and two relief pitchers. Each American League squad also consists of a designated hitter.
The All-Time Teams will be in order, starting with baseball’s newest clubs (Rays and Diamondbacks) and conclude with the oldest franchise, the Atlanta Braves. Without further ado, here is part five of a 30-part series documenting each franchise’s all-time greats.
Toronto Blue Jays
First Base: Carlos Delgado 1993-04
The Blue Jays all-time leader in home runs (336), RBI (1,058), walks (827), and doubles (343), Delgado is the top offensive star in team history. He made his debut in 1993, and despite not playing in the postseason, received a World Series ring. By 1999 Delgado won his first Silver Slugger Award and during a career year in 2000, he was named an AL All-Star, Silver Slugger winner, and AL Hank Aaron Award recipient. He was again named an All-Star in 2003, winning a third Silver Slugger, while also recording a 4-home run game on September 25. After retiring, Delgado was inducted into the Blue Jays Level of Excellence in 2013.
Second Base: Roberto Alomar 1991-95
The lone Hall of Famer to play the majority of his career in Toronto, Alomar played his best five seasons with the club. During his five seasons, he was named an All-Star every year, winning five straight Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger in 1992. Alomar helped the Blue Jays win the AL East title in his first season, followed by back-to-back AL East, AL, and World Series championships in 1992 and 1993, winning ALCS MVP in 1992. Following his career, Alomar was inducted into the Blue Jays Level of Excellence in 2008 and became the first player in Toronto history to have his jersey retired (No. 12) in 2011 while also being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Shortstop: Tony Fernandez 1983-90, 1993, 1998-99, 2001
The Blue Jays all-time hits leader, Fernandez starred during four stints with the team. During his first stint, he was named an AL All-Star three times, winning four straight Gold Glove Awards from 1986-89, helping Toronto win AL East titles in 1985 and 1989. During his second stint, Fernandez helped the Blue Jays win the 1993 World Series, and during his third go around was named an AL All-Star in 1999. Following his career, Fernandez was inducted into the Blue Jays Level of Excellence in 2001.
Third Base: Josh Donaldson 2015-18
Despite playing just four seasons in Toronto, Donaldson left his mark on the Blue Jays franchise during his tenure. During his first season, he was named an All-Star and Silver Slugger winner, leading the AL in RBI and runs scored, taking home the AL Hank Aaron Award. After leading the Blue Jays to the AL East title, Donaldson became the second player in Jays history to win the AL MVP. He was again named an All-Star and Silver Slugger recipient in 2016, helping Toronto win the AL Wild Card. Donaldson was recently traded to Cleveland for the rest on 2018.
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Catcher: Pat Borders 1988-94, 1999
A valuable part of the Blue Jays during an eight-year run, Borders helped the club win the AL East in 1989, and from 1991-93. During Toronto’s 1992 World Series championship run, he was named the World Series MVP. Borders helped the Blue Jays repeat as World Series champions in 1993.
Outfield: George Bell 1981, 1983-90
One of the first Blue Jays stars, Bell helped the team win the AL East in 1985, winning his first Silver Slugger. After winning another Silver Slugger in 1986, he had a career year in 1987, winning a Silver Slugger and being named an AL All-Star while leading the AL in RBI. Following the season, Bell became the first Jays player to win the AL MVP. During his final two years in Toronto, he helped the Blue Jays win the AL east in 1989 and was named an All-Star in 1990. Following his career, Bell became the first player to be inducted into the Blue Jays Level of Excellence in 1996.
Outfield: Jose Bautista 2008-17
Perhaps the top hitter in Toronto history, Bautista became one of the best players in the league playing for the Blue Jays. In 2010 he was named an All-Star, winning a Silver Slugger and the AL Hank Aaron Award while leading the AL in home runs. He repeated the feat in 2011, winning the AL Hank Aaron Award and Silver Slugger while leading the AL in home runs and being named an All-Star. After All-Star selections in 2012 and 2013, Bautista was again named an All-Star in 2014, winning his third Silver Slugger Award. He was named an All-Star for the sixth straight time in 2015, helping the Blue Jays end a 22-year playoff drought, winning the AL East championship. Bautista helped Toronto win the AL Wild Card in 2016 before departing after the 2017 season.
Outfield: Joe Carter 1991-97
The author of the most memorable home run in World Series history, Carter became a star during his sevens years in Toronto. In his first season with the Blue Jays he was named an All-Star for the first time, winning a Silver Slugger while helping Toronto capture the AL East title. In 1992, Carter was named an All-Star again while winning a Silver Slugger, helping the Blue Jays win their first World Series championship. During an All-Star campaign in 1993, he helped Toronto repeat as World Series champions, hitting the Series-clinching home run in Game 6. In his final four seasons, Carter was named an All-Star again in 1994 and 1996. After his career, he was inducted into the Blue Jays level of excellence in 1999.
Designated Hitter: Paul Molitor 1993-95
Despite only playing three years with the Blue Jays, Molitor left a mark on the club. In his first season he was named an AL All-Star, winning a Silver Slugger while helping Toronto win the 1993 World Series, where he was named Series MVP. Molitor was again named an All-Star in 1994.
Starting pitcher: Dave Stieb 1979-92, 1998
The Blue Jays all-time leader in wins (175), innings pitched and strikeouts, Stieb is also the longest tenured player in team history. He was named an All-Star in his second season, and was again named an All-Star in 1981, 1983, and 1984. Stieb was named an All-Star for the fifth time in 1985, leading the AL in ERA, helping the Blue Jays win the AL East title. He was named an All-Star again in 1988, helped Toronto win the AL East in 1989, and was named an All-Star for the seventh time (club record) in 1990, throwing a no-hitter on September 2. Despite being released during the 1992 campaign, Stieb received a World Series ring. After his career, he was inducted into the Blue Jays Level of Excellence in 1996.
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Starting pitcher: Roy Halladay 1998-09
One of the top players in Toronto history, Halladay was played 12 seasons with the Blue Jays. He was named an All-Star for the first time in 2002 and during a career year in 2003, was named an All-Star while leading the league in wins, taking home the AL Cy Young Award. An All-Star again in 2005 and 2006, Halladay ended his Toronto tenure with two more All-Star selections in 2008 and 2009. Halladay was inducted into the Blue Jays Level of Excellence and became just the second player in team history to have his jersey retired (No. 32) in 2018.
Starting pitcher: Roger Clemens 1997-98
Clemens only played two years in Toronto, but compiled a 41-13 record with a 2.33 ERA with 563 strikeouts during that time. In two seasons (1997-98), he was named an All-Star twice, leading the AL in strikeouts, ERA and wins in both seasons, taking home the Triple Crown. Also during both seasons, Clemens was the recipient of the AL Cy Young Award.
Relief pitcher: Tom Henke 1985-92
The Blue Jays all-time saves leader (217), Henke became the best closer in team history during his eight-season run. After helping Toronto win the AL East in 1985, Henke was named an All-Star in 1987 while leading the AL in saves. After helping the Blue Jays reclaim AL East titles in 1989 and 1991, he helped the team win their first World Series championship in 1992.
Relief pitcher: Duane Ward 1986-95
During the 1989 season, Ward helped the Blue Jays win the AL East title, and helped the team win the division again in 1991. After helping Toronto win the 1992 World Series championship, Ward took over as the team’s closer in 1993, being named an All-Star while leading the AL in saves, delivering a second consecutive World Series championship.
Others considered: Jimmy Key, Pat Hentgen, Vernon Wells, Edwin Encarnacion, Devon White, Jesse Barfield