Former Blue Jays center fielder Lloyd ‘The Shaker’ Moseby turns 63 today.
Lloyd was our first-round pick in the 1978 draft, number 2 overall. The Braves picked third baseman Bob Horner as the number 1 pick. The Mets selected Hubie Brooks with the next pick (Expos fans will remember him from the Gary Carter trade).
They rushed Lloyd to the majors (no reason not to rush him. It wasn’t like we had many good players to block his way). So the Jays brought Lloyd up in May of 1980 at 20 years old, and he was a fixture in our outfield for the next ten years. His first three years weren’t great, but he suddenly figured things out in 1983, hitting .315/.376/.499, finishing 15th in MVP voting.
Lloyd had another excellent season in 1984, hitting .280/.368/.470. He led the league in triples with 15 and stole 39 bases. Moseby scored 97 runs and drove in 92. He got some MVP votes again. As Bill James said at the time, his strengths were “hitting for power, hitting for average, range, throwing, base running, patience as a hitter. Weaknesses none.”
In 1985 his batting average dropped to .259, but he still walked 76 times, had 18 homers, scored 92 runs, and stole 37 bases. 1985 was our first playoff year. Unfortunately, we lost out to the Royals. Lloyd didn’t have a good series, hitting just .226 in the 7 games. He scored 5 runs and drove in 4. 1986 wasn’t his best year either, hitting .253/..329/.418, but still scored 89 runs and drove in 86, with 21 homers and 32 steals. With his defense, even in a down year, he was a valuable player. He made the All-Star team.
1987 was a bounce-back year. Lloyd had another good season setting career highs in runs with 106, homers 26, RBI 96, and tied for his career-high in steals with 39. He hit .282/.358/.473. Lloyd had a small part in baseball history on September 14 when he had a homer in a game where the Jays set a major league record by hitting 10.
Injuries slowed his last couple of seasons with the Jays to his back and legs (the hard playing surface in Toronto didn’t do him any favours. He would have had a longer career if he played on grass). In addition, he was being pushed out of center field by prospect Junior Felix. His last season with the Jays was 1989, and we made the playoffs again that year. Lloyd did well in our five-game loss to the A’s, hitting .313/.476/.500 with a homer.
After the season, Lloyd signed with the Tigers as a free agent. He played there for two years, then went to Japan to play for the Yomiuri Giants for a couple of years.
Moseby was part of the Jays outfield, the best outfield of the 1980s with George Bell and Jesse Barfield. He had excellent range (he needed the range with Bell playing beside him) and a decent arm. He never won a Gold Glove but likely should have.
Lloyd was one of those players who did everything well but nothing great, so he didn’t get the same attention as the guys on either side of him. Unfortunately for him, most fans at the time only focused on batting average. Yet, when he left the Jays, he was the team career leader in games played, runs, hits, doubles, total bases, stolen bases, and sac flies.
Moseby was a fun guy to watch. Always happy and smiling, my favourite kind of player, someone that enjoys the game. My youngest son went to a couple of the Jays’ Super Camps’. He came away loving Moseby. Lloyd was great with the kids. My rule has always been that I’m a fan if you are good with my kids. His outfield mate, Barfield, was another happy, smiling player. Bell went the other way to give the outfield balance, I guess.
Happy birthday, Lloyd. I hope it is a great one.
Today is also Jacob Waguespack’s birthday. He turns 29 today.
Jacob has had two seasons with the Jays. 2019 was a pretty good one, 2020 wasn’t, pitching in 11 games with an 8.15 ERA.
In 2021 he spent the season in Buffalo.
Happy birthday Jacob. I hope it is a good one.
Corey Thurman turns 44 today.
We picked up Corey in the Rule 5 draft before the 2001 season. He pitched in 43 games that year, making one start. He had a 4.37 ERA in 68 innings. He allowed 65 hits, and had 56 strikeouts, but the number that stands out is 45 walks.
He pitched in 6 games in 2003, 3 starts, and had a rough time with a 6.46 ERA. In 15.1 innings, he allowed 21 hits, 3 homers, 9 walks and 11 strikeouts. And that was the end of his MLB career. He bounced around a few teams’ minor league systems for the next few years but didn’t make it back to the majors.
Happy Birthday, Corey.
Fred Manrique turns 61 today.
Fred was an international free agent signing out of Venezuela back in 1978. The Jays were ahead of their time getting into the international market.
He got into 14 games as a 19-year-old in 1981 and then 10 games in 1984, and the Jays traded him to the Expos. After that, he bounced around the majors, going to the Cardinals, White Sox, Rangers, Twins, and A’s.
He played in 498 games over nine seasons in the majors. He hit .254/.292/.360 with 20 home runs. Most of his playing time came in his three seasons with the White Sox, when he was their regular second baseman.
Happy birthday Fred.