As the Toronto Blue Jays and San Diego Padres prepare to wrap-up their 3 game series tonight, I thought it would be fun to springboard off of Son of a Duck’s post on Friday morning and examine the players who have spent time in both a Padres and Blue Jays uniform. There are some obvious names (and we’ll get to those) that will come to mind – names seared into our collective memory. But let’s not forget Ricky Henderson and Dave Winfield who spent time in Toronto and San Diego as well.
Using Baseball-Reference.com’s multi-franchise tool I discovered that there are 58 players who have played for both the Padres and Blue Jays, 29 of whom were pitchers.
Let’s start with the current players. Justin Germano, the Padres’ 13th round pick in 2000, managed 2 IP before being optioned back to AAA (It should be noted that 2013 Padre Thad Weber is also with the AAA affiliate for the Blue Jays). Former Padres catcher Hank White is also in Toronto where he’s used sparingly – such is the plight of 41 year-old catchers.
What about players from the recent past?
Well, there’s Kyle Phillips and Orlando Hudson both epic ballplayers from the 2011 Padres squad. And who could forget David Eckstein, Jose Cruz, Michael Barrett, and, the Garfoose himself, Dirk Hayhurst? That right there is a collection of players who provide equal parts pleasure and pain for me.
Alright let’s get to it.
Among the 58 Padres-Blue Jays players who has the most blue/brown/blue blood coursing through their veins? For the purposes of this exercise, we’ll use Geoff Young’s criteria as stated in his Friday morning post:
. . . guys [who] have logged at least 162 games or 162 innings pitched for each team.
Let’s see what we get . . .
Using these parameters, 7 players (4 batters, 3 pitchers) have spent significant (1 season-ish) time as Padres/Blue Jays (Orlando Hudson narrowly misses the cut by 8 games as a Padre. Thank God! Dave Winfield missed by 6 games as a Blue Jay. Bummer!).
Let’s start with the hitters.
Roberto Alomar is a Hall of Fame second baseman who San Diego saw on display during his age 20-22 seasons. This pains me a great deal.
Roberto Alomar was dealt, along with Joe Carter, to the Toronto Blue Jays on December 5th, 1990 for Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez. I don’t think I felt any pain over this trade in 1990. I liked the players coming back to San Diego. I loved the Crime Dog, and Tony Fernandez was a fantastic SS who could also hit. It seemed like the proverbial “win-win”.
But as a kid, I also remember cutting pictures out of the newspaper and pinning them to a bulletin board in my room. One picture that hung for a very long time was that of Robbie Alomar turning a double play. He had just completed his throw and the photographer had caught him in mid-air. Robbie just stared at the camera, floating above a sliding baserunner. Decked out in the 89 pinstripes, black paint under his eyes, shades flipped-up, and a gold chain dangling from his neck I thought that Roberto Alomar would be a Padre forever. Those are the wistful thoughts of youth.
From 1986-1994 Joe Carter had a positive WAR and an OPS+ above 100 – except the one year he spent in San Diego.
I liked Joe Carter a lot but in 1990 I was a batting average whore so Carter was the pinnacle of frustration for me. He was a brutal Padre but a great dude. When I think of Joe Carter I have only one memory: Game 6 of the 1993 World Series. I expect Blue Jays fans would say the same. It was difficult to see that level of success realized in a different city but what made it more difficult though, was the fact that Carter had arrived from Cleveland for Carlos Baerga and Sandy Alomar Jr. (and Chris James) who both went on to be integral parts of Cleveland’s resurgence during the mid 1990s.
I apologize for punching you in the stomach this morning.
Tony Fernandez had 4 different stints in Toronto (83-90, 93, 98-99, 01) and he was pretty much fantastic during each one except for his final season at age 39. In San Diego he was above average but not nearly the player he was during the 1980s with Toronto. When Fernandez was traded at the end of the ’92 season to the New York Mets I didn’t lose much sleep about it. At the time, I was a college football fan, so I was probably excited that the Mets were sending DJ Dozier (Plus Wally Whitehurst and PTBNL Raul Casanova) to San Diego. DJ Dozier from Penn State!!! The running back!!! Wahoo! Dozier never made it to the big club.
I loved Fred McGriff. When I think of McGriff I think of him as a Blue Jay. Surprisingly he spent just as much time in Atlanta (5 seasons) as he did in Toronto. I can’t say enough nice things about the Crime Dog, and his 1992 season, along side Gary Sheffield and Tony Gwynn was one of my most memorable as a Padres fan.
On July 18th, during the infamous Fire Sale of 1993, McGriff was traded to the Atlanta Braves for minor leaguer Vince Moore, Donnie Elliott and Melvin Nieves. Elliott went on to pitch 35 innings across 2 seasons for the Padres while Melvin Nieves sucked the life out of fans for parts of 3 seasons.
In addition to those 4 Pad-Jays batters, there are 3 pitchers who logged at least 162 innings with each team.
Drafted out of Georgia Southern University in 1991, Hamilton made it to SD in 1994. Hamilton was decent during his first couple of seasons, regressed slightly each year, and was then dealt (with Peter Tucci) after the 1998 season for Carlos Almanzar and Woody Williams.
If I had to name players from the 1998 team I would forget Joey Hamilton. He’s forgettable, for me anyway. But Hamilton, traded in December of 1998 to Toronto, very much represents the dismantling of an NL Championship squad after the passage of Proposition C.
The Point Loma High School graduate spent time in San Diego in 2004, 2006, and 2007, playing for teams that contended during each season. In my eyes, Wells represents the PETCO era, and while his performance was far better as a Jay and a Yankee, I really liked David Wells – until the Dodgers picked him up during the 2007 season after the Padres had released him, at which time I began hating him. It’s 2013 and I like David Wells again.
I love Woody Williams. He was a fantastic competitor who, as a former SS at the University of Houston, could also swing the bat alright.
Woody Williams arrived from Toronto in the Joey Hamilton trade and represents the San Diego doldrums, a terrible time when we patiently waited through lawsuits for PETCO park to finish completion. Those were lean years and then just like that Woody was gone, traded for Ray Lankford in 2001. The fact that Ray Lankford sucked made this trade moderately annoying. What made the trade gut wrenching was that Woody Williams went on to be a 9.8 WAR pitcher in 4 seasons with the Cardinals. Woody returned to San Diego for the 2005-06 seasons but he wasn’t quite the same guy St. Louis enjoyed. I still love Woody Williams.
And those are your 7 Pad-Jays. From a historical perspective, this research was interesting and fun to do. Of course, as a fan, my heart now aches.
I contribute to Padres Public on Thursday mornings and when I’m feeling particularly inspired. I can also be found on twitter at @AvengingJM where I comment on the validity of the Vedder Cup, 7 days a week.