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Happy Birthday Rob Ducey

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OlyBball_BW01_080204—former Toronto Blue Jay Rob Ducey stretches prior to the Canadian Olympic base Photo by Bernard Weil/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Rob Ducey turns 55 today. It seems funny, I still think of him as a young man.

Rob was born in Toronto. He signed as a minor league free agent with the Jays in 1984. That year Rob started his professional career in Medicine Hat and hit very well .302/.406/.523. He moved up the system quickly, hitting above .300 most seasons, with good power and a good number of walks and some stolen bases.

Rob made it to the Jays in 1987 and played was them for most of May, hitting just .148 and was sent back to Triple-A, to be recalled in September. He spent bits of the next 6 seasons with the Jays, but it was tough to break into the Jays outfield when we had Bell, Moseby, and Barfield. In May of 1992, the Jays traded Rob and Greg Myers to the Angels for Mark Eichhorn, a pretty good deal for the Jays.

Over the next few years, Ducey bounced around through a bunch of different teams. From the Angels, he went to the Rangers, then Mariners, Phillies, back to the Jays, Phillies again, and the Expos.

Over 13 seasons, he played 703 games and hit .242/.331/.396 with 31 home runs and 146 RBI. He never really became the player we hoped he would maybe because he didn’t get a real chance at the right moment.

Ducey played for Canada in the 2004 Olympics and coached for us in the 2006 WBC and the 2008 Olympics. The Jays employed him as a scout for the Pacific Rim until October 2009. Now he works as the Farm Director for baseball team Mexico.

I have fond memories of Rob, and it was unfortunate that he was blocked our by the best outfield we’ve ever had. And then, when it looked like he was going to get a full-time job, he fell on wet turf at SkyDome and wrecked his knee. It just wasn’t meant to be for the guy, though he had a long major league career.

Happy birthday Rob, hope it is a good one.

It is also Wilmer Font’s birthday. He turns 30. Happy Birthday Wilmer.