September 26, 2006

Appreciation: 1982 Topps #203: Toronto Blue Jays Future Stars

It’s amazing how quickly people forget about players. It’s no wonder that players like Rickey Henderson and Julio Franco keep playing; they know that fans won’t remember them unless they’re in the public eye. Case in point: Jesse Barfield. Have the Blue Jays ever had a better outfield arm? Really, if you were on third and someone hit a long fly out to Barfield with less than two outs, do you trust your legs enough to get you to home before the throw? I don’t know if I’d run (then again, I get shin splints if I run more than forty feet at a time, so I know I wouldn’t make it). Barfield was part of the Blue Jay All-Star outfield of the 1980s with George Bell and Lloyd Moseby. Can you imagine if a team cultivated that kind of outfield talent today? One of two things would happen: if they were on the Red Sox, Theo Epstein would go down to the Store 24 in Kenmore Square for a cup of coffee and in his brief absence the interim co-GMs would trade the young outfielders to the Marlins for Mike Lowell, or in their third years they’d all ask for max contracts and end their days in towns with no chance of winning (like Texas).

Another thing to appreciate about this card: it’s the rookie of first baseman Boomer Wells. Has there ever been another sports franchise in the history of sport that’s had two players with the exact same name? I’m guessing Boomer’s real first name is not ‘Boomer’. So then, did the pitcher David Wells (who cut his teeth with the Blue Jays in the late 1980s) get his nickname from the first baseman, or did it arrive naturally on its own?

1 comment:

David said...

The 1962 Mets had two relievers by the name of Bob Miller - one righty, one lefty.