With August, mercifully, almost over, out eyes turn to September and the possibility of some prospects being called up, giving us something to cheer.
The SB Nation baseball blogs are looking at past September callups, trying to pick out the most memorable one in their franchise history.
We've had a few pretty memorable September callups:
- Rob Ducey was an September callup a few different times, but in 1990, he was very good in his September callup. He hit .302/.387/.396, with 5 doubles, 5 runs, 7 RBI and 7 walks in 19 games, mostly playing left field, moving George Bell over to DH. Unfortunately, he wasn't enough to put us over the top, we finished 2nd to the Red Sox, 2 games back in the AL East.
- Glenallen Hill was a September callup in 1989. He had been up twice earlier that season, playing one game in July and one game in August. In September he played in 17 games, 13 starts, hitting .283/.313/.348, with 1 home run, 6 RBI, 2 steals and 2 walks. At the start of September we were tied for first, and we finished first, but lost out in the ALCS to the A's.
- David Wells was a September callup in 1987. Like Hill, he had pitched in a couple of games earlier in the season, but in September he was used out of the pen. He pitched in 16 games, 24 innings, putting up a 1.50 ERA and a 4-1 record, with 1 save. We were 1 game back, September 1. This, of course, was the season we lost our last 7 games and just missed out on the playoffs
- Tony Fernandez as a callup in 1983. He played 15 games and hit .265/.324/.353 and scored 5 runs.
- Ernie Whitt was a September callup in our very first season, 1977 He played in 8 games and hit .222/.300/.500 with 1 home run, 3 RBI and 2 walks.
In more recent times:
- Adam Lind was called up in September of 2006 and had a great month, hitting .367/.415/.600 in 18 games, with 8 doubles, 2 home runs, 8 RBI, 5 walks and 12 strikeouts. We thought we had something.
- Travis Snider was a 2008 callup (I cheated a little bit, he came up at the end of August) and hit .301/.338/.466 with 6 doubles, 2 home runs, 13 RBI, 5 walks (I won't mention the 23 strikeouts) in 24 games.
But then, the goal of the post was to talk about the most memorable September callup in team history. That one, to me, has to be Roy Halladay. Back in 1998 he was called up near the middle of the month. He only made 2 starts, but the last one was very memorable.
Roy was our first round draft pick in 1995, number 17 overall. He moved up our system quickly and was our top prospect. Before the 1998 season, Baseball American had him as the #38 best prospect in all of baseball. He had a pretty good season in Syracuse, before the callup, going 9-5, with a 3.79 ERA with 53 walks and 71 strikeouts in 116 innings. Too many walks, not enough strikeouts but we can forgive that.
He made his first Blue Jay start on September 20th. It wasn't great, he only went 5 innings, allowed the Devil Rays to get 8 hits off him, 3 runs, 2 earned, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts.
Roy's September 27th start, the Jays last game of the season, was something special. He took a no-hitter into the 9th. A line out and a ground out later and he was just one out away from a no-hitter. But, a Bobby Higginson home run ended that. There went the no-hitter and the shutout all in one swing. The only other TIger to reach base was Tony Clark, who got on second baseman's Felipe Crespo 2-base throwing error in the 5th inning. Crispo is lucky. If Higginson hadn't had that hit, all that we'd remember him for is ruining a perfect game. Course, without the error, Higginson might not have come to bat in the 9th.
It was a terrific start, especially for just his 2nd major league appearance. 0 walks, 8 strikeouts, 93 pitches and a 89 game score. We knew we really had something special in Doc.
It didn't all go smoothly. Halladay had the 10.64 ERA in 2000 and went back to the minors, all the was back to Dunedin. But he won 148 games as a Blue Jay, over 12 seasons.
So that's my choice for most memorable September callup, do you have a different pick?