Jesse Barfield turns 54 today and R.A. Dickey turns 39.
Jesse Barfield was one of my favorite players.
He was a 9th round pick in the 1977 amateur draft, the first year the Jays (and Mariners) were part of the draft. MLB gave them the last two picks of each round (the big hearted folks they are).
Jesse made it up to the majors in 1981 and spent 9 years with the Blue Jays. He's near the top of the franchise leader boards in several categories:
- 3rd in WAR among position players, 29.4
- 2nd in defensive WAR, 9.2
- 8th in slugging average, 483
- 10th in games played, 1032
- 5th in home runs, 179
- 7th in RBI, 527
As well as having a great bat, he was a terrific defensive player, with a strong and accurate arm in right field. There are a lot great little stories about Jesse's arm, that he could stand at the plate and throw the ball over the center field wall. I remember seeing him catching a line drive on a bounce, throw to first and get the batter out at first, more than once. Barfield lead the AL in assists 3 years in a row (1985 to 87) which was more amazing because teams didn't run on Barfield's arm. He also had 8 outfield double plays in 1985 (and 21 from 1985-1987), better than most teams would get in a season.
He, Lloyd Moseby and George Bell played together for several season and were easily the best outfield we've ever had. Jesse won two Gold Gloves, one Silver Slugger and made the All-Star team once as a Blue Jay.
He was trade to the Yankees in 1989 for Al Leiter, not once of our better trades.
Happy birthday Jesse, I hope it is a good one.
R.A. Dickey, well you know the story, I don't have to retell it here. We were hoping for better, this year, but maybe next year will be better. As Minor League posted, Dickey got the Fielding Bible Award as top defensive pitcher, for a birthday present. With luck, he'll get a Gold Glove later today.
Hope you have a great day too R.A.
It's also Dana Eveland's 30th birthday today. Dana made 9 starts for us, in 2010, putting up a 6.45 ERA. Happy birthday to you too Dana.