The Blue Jays have announced that on July 31st 2011 they will give Robert Alomar the highest honour the team has ever bestowed on someone. For the first time in Blue Jays history they will retire a number as Roberto Alomar's number 12 will be honoured (Of course not including the great Jackie Robinson's number 42 which is retired in all of baseball).
Thanks to Durga2112 for putting a fanshot right away on the side bar. Official press release is after the jump. Congratulations to Alomar!FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011
BLUE JAYS TO RETIRE ALOMAR's No. 12
Hall of Fame second baseman ROBERTO ALOMAR will be given the TORONTO BLUE JAYS highest honour on July 31, 2011 when his uniform number will be retired in a pregame ceremony at Rogers Centre. Alomar's number 12 will be the first number retired by the Blue Jays in their 35 year history. Jackie Robinson's number 42 was retired by Major League Baseball on April 15, 1997.
"Roberto is a very special part of the Toronto Blue Jays organization and arguably the greatest second baseman of all-time," said Toronto Blue Jays President and CEO, Paul Beeston. "His number deserves to be retired so that his contributions and excellence can stand as a model for all those who have the honour of wearing a Blue Jays uniform."
Alomar was elected to the Hall of Fame on January 5, 2011 by the Baseball Writers Association of America. He received over 90% of the ballots which represents the highest percentage of any non first ballot electee.
"This is an honour that I was not expecting," said Roberto Alomar. "I knew my numbers were worthy of consideration for the Hall of Fame but for the Blue Jays to select my number 12 to be the first number they retire is a great honour. I am truly blessed to be a Blue Jay and I‘m looking forward to the ceremony on July 31st."
Fans are encouraged to join Roberto and some special guests for an on-field celebration of Roberto's career on July 31st. On Roberto Alomar day the first 20,000 fans entering the stadium will receive a collectable Roberto Alomar Hall of Fame bobble head. Our ceremonies will honour Alomar one week following his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, July 24th in Cooperstown, New York.
Alomar played five seasons with the Blue Jays including the World Championship teams in 1992 & 1993. In each season with the club, from 1991 through 1995, he was selected to both the All-Star game and awarded Gold Glove honours for fielding excellence. His .307 career average as a Blue Jay is the highest mark in club history (min 2000 plate appearances). He also ranks 2nd in stolen bases (206) and 5th on the Blue Jays list in triples (36).
His best work, however, may have been reserved for the post-season. The 1992 American League Championship Series Most Valuable Player batted .373 in 29 playoff games as a Blue Jay, with eight extra base hits and 18 RBI. His 9th inning home run against Dennis Eckersley in Game Four of the 1992 ALCS remains one of the greatest moments in club history.
Alomar completed his 17-year career in 2004 with 12 All-Star game selections, an ALCS MVP award (1992), an All-Star game MVP award (1998), four Silver Slugger awards (1992, 1996, 1999 & 2000) and 10 Gold Glove awards. The 10 Gold Gloves are the most for any second baseman in Major League history and the four Silver Slugger awards are second to only Ryne Sandberg.
He was inducted into the Blue Jays Level of Excellence on April 5, 2008.