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The Blue Jays will retire Roberto Alomar’s number

Jul 19, 2011, 2:03 PM EDT

Roberto Alomar Jays

I was kind of surprised when I read that the Blue Jays had not retired anyone’s number apart from the league-wide 42 for Jackie Robinson. Then I thought about it and realized that there really hasn’t been any strong candidate for the honor. Dave Stieb, maybe?  Hey, we all love the guy, but he doesn’t necessarily scream “eternal honor.”  He really screams “this is the best we could do.”

But that changes on July 31st, as the Jays are going to retire Roberto Alomar’s number 12.  That is, Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar’s number 12.

Which is both appropriate and cool.  Probably the best second baseman of my lifetime. At least the baseball-aware portion of my lifetime. All apologies to Joe Carter, but Alomar was easily the most important player on those 1992-93 Jays teams. A great choice for the first time the honor is to be used in Toronto.

Next up: Kelly Gruber.

  1. b7p19 - Jul 19, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    Two more numbers I think they should retire:

    Joe Carter – Because mentioning his name here is good payback for the Phillies fan that made a crack about the Padres earlier.

    Rickey Henderson – Because every team Rickey played on should be required to retire Rickeys number.

  2. Detroit Michael - Jul 19, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    Top 4 in b-rWAR for Toronto: Dave Stieb, Roy Halladay, Carlos Delgado, Tony Fernandez. Alomar of course only spent 5 seasons in Toronto, so while his entire career his better than those guys, he doesn’t rise to the top of the Blue Jays’ leaderboard. Roger Clemens holds the single season WAR mark for Toronto.

    Yes, looks to me like Alomar is the right choice. Eventually Jose Bautista might be next, but that’s several years in the future before we could crown him as an elite player.

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 19, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    In 10 more years(hopefully) the Blue Jays will retire the # of Hall of Fame pitcher Roy “Doc” Halladay

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 19, 2011 at 3:30 PM

      Doc is next. Too many names debases the houour.

      • explodet - Jul 19, 2011 at 6:31 PM

        Delgado is effectively retired. Halladay is better than ever. How would it be Doc before Papa Carlos?

  4. dirtyharry1971 - Jul 19, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    I will never forget when Alomar went to the mets and started stinking up the joint and blamed his bad average on “high grass” . Has to be the worse excuse ever!

  5. royalsfaninfargo - Jul 19, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    Dave Steib, another mustache with a body attached to it!

  6. superpriebe - Jul 19, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    I moved to Toronto in 1996 after having grown up in America, and there were several puzzling things going at Blue Jay games. At the time, they were playing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in the third inning, while playing their own “Okay Blue Jays” game in the middle of the 7th (though they do now play “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in the 7th, but only after “Okay Blue Jays”).

    The other puzzling thing was the number retirements, or lack thereof. They have a “Level of Excellence” which I assumed served the same purpose as retiring numbers. They display the names and numbers of great ballpayers and personalities in a manner consistent with retiring numbers, and I always assumed it was essentially the same thing. As such, this news about Alomar is puzzling to me, because it seems to indicate that the Level of Excellence is somehow a lesser honor than retiring a number. I do not understand it.

    Here is the team’s information page on the Level of Excellence:
    http://mlb.mlb.com/tor/history/level_of_excellence.jsp

    • Detroit Michael - Jul 19, 2011 at 4:54 PM

      Thanks, especially for the link. The first sentence claimes that “The Level of Excellence is the highest award bestowed by the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club, recognizing tremendous individual achievement,” which would make requiring a number superfluous.

  7. nategearhart - Jul 19, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    Is anybody wearing 12 for Toronto now?

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 19, 2011 at 4:00 PM

      Nobody on the Jays is currently wearing #12.

  8. flpunx - Jul 19, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    John Olerud!!!!!!

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