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Historical Roster Routes: How John Mayberry turned into Joey Hamilton

John Mayberry Sr. (left) and John Mayberry Jr. (right)
John Mayberry Sr. (left) and John Mayberry Jr. (right)
Left: Focus on Sport/Getty Images; Right: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Only current Blue Jays players are show on the Roster Tree Route Map, meaning there are a bunch of historical roster routes associated with departed players. Some of these routes are pretty long, connecting decades of Blue Jays players who have come and gone through the 37-year-old franchise.

The first historical roster route we will take a look at involves John Mayberry Sr., who played for Toronto from 1978 to 1982. This look back was inspired by the Blue Jays’ recent acquisition of his son, John Mayberry Jr., who made his real debut on Friday night, after being a "ghost pinch hitter" the day earlier. Junior came to the club via a trade for Gustavo Pierre, who was signed by the Jays as an amateur free agent, so his line is quite short and not very interesting:


Usually in roster trees we look back in time to see the strings of players and transactions that led to a particular player. As many lines can be spawned from a single player looking forward, I searched for the longest line on which we can find Senior instead. It turns out that we can connect John Mayberry Sr. on a single line all the way to HAMILTON—not the odourous city in Ontario, but pitcher Joey Hamilton, who also stunk:


Let’s recap the string of transactions that led to Hamilton:

  • December 12, 1998: the Blue Jays traded Woody Williams, Carlos Almanzar, and Pete Tucci to the Padres for Joey Hamilton.
  • June 1996: Williams was a regular draft pick and Almanzar was an amateur free agent signing, but Tucci was a compensation draft pick, a selection that arrived via the Orioles after Roberto Alomar signed there the previous offseason.
  • December 5, 1990: we all know that Alomar was acquired (along with Joe Carter) by the Blue Jays in a trade, again with the Padres, for Tony Fernandez and Fred McGriff.
  • December 9, 1982: Fernandez was an amateur free agent signing, but McGriff came from the Yankees (along with Dave Collins and Mike Morgan) in exchange for Dale Murray and Tom Dodd.
  • May 5, 1982: Murray signed as a free agent with the Blue Jays after his release from the Expos, but Dodd (along with Dave Revering and Jeff Reynolds) was acquired through a trade with the Yankees, for John Mayberry.
  • April 4, 1978: Mayberry terminates the line as he was acquired for cash from the Royals.

Who would've thought that the blockbuster Blue Jays-Padres trade would be a part of the Mayberry-Hamilton line?

Source: As always, Baseball-Reference provided much of the transaction information. Best baseball resource on the Internet.