Rance Mulliniks turns 65 today.
We’ll be writing about Rance sometime next month, so I’ll keep this short.
Rance was one of my favorite players because he seemed to get the very most out of his natural abilities. He wasn’t big, or fast. He wore glasses. A left-handed hitter, kind of geeky looking, wore glasses, how could I not like him?
When you looked at him you didn’t think ‘professional athlete’. I often say he looked like an accountant (not meaning to insult him or accountants).
But he became a good baseball player because he worked hard and he was smart.
I also consider him a success story for Cito Gaston, our hitting coach at the time. Cito had guys that he did not work well with (Shawn Green, John Olerud), because he sometimes had a ‘one size fits all’ philosophy. But for some, and I count Rance, Ernie Whitt among those, he worked great.
In Rance’s 5 part seasons before joining the Blue Jays, he hit .232/.288/.309 with 5 home runs in 619 PA. With the Jays he hit .280/.365/.424 with 68 home runs in 3470 at-bats. He became so much better, some much more patient. He learned how to turn on his pitch, and he was smart enough to wait for his pitch and take a walk if it was offered. I’m sure part of that his ability to learn, that he was a smart baseball player, but part of it was learning from Cito. I’m not smart enough to know how much came from each.
I wasn’t a fan of his work as an analyst on the Jays broadcasts. He knew the game but he seemed to be afraid to allow any dead air. I prefer them to let the game breathe at times. But then I’m less of a fan of Tabler’s. I try to remind myself that the analyst isn’t talking to me or you but talking more casual fans of baseball.
The book “The Wax Pack” had a chapter on Rance. He called Rance “a scrappy overachiever with the physique of a librarian who managed to play sixteen seasons in the big leagues”. He told us that Rance was working as a realtor and he had a baseball academy.
Happy Birthday, Rance, I hope it is a good one.
It is Tim Mayza’s 29th birthday.
Tim was a 12th round draft pick in 2013. He made it to the majors in 2017 and spent that season and 2018 bouncing back and forth between Toronto and Buffalo.
In 2019 he spend the full season in the Jays bullpen, or he did until September 13th, when he blew out his elbow on the mound, one of the ugliest injuries we’ve ever witnessed during a Jays game. He didn’t pitch in 2020 after Tommy John.
Career he has a 4.67 ERA in 124 games.
I’m hoping that 2021 goes well and we see him on the mound a lot.
Happy Birthday, Tim.