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Today in Blue Jays History: John McDonald Father’s Day Home Run

Plus Jays come back from 8-0 and Gibbons gets fired

San Francisco Giants v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images

Eight years ago:

Our Blue Jays came back from being down 8-0 to beat the Reds 14-9. Minor Leaguer wrote the recap.

The cliff notes version:

Liam Hendriks started and was terrible, giving up 6 earned in the second inning. Todd Redmond relieved with 2 outs and gave up 2 runs of his own. At this point, we were down to a 2% chance of winning. 8-0 Reds.

We’d score 3 in the 3rd inning on an Edwin Encarnacion homer, bringing us up to about a 5% chance at a win. 8-3 Reds

Reds got another run off Redmond in the 5th, making it 9-3 Reds.

We scored 2 more in the 6th, an Adam Lind RBI single and Jose Bautista taking a bases-loaded walk. 9-5 Reds.

We get 3 more in the 7th. A solo homer by Brett Lawrie and a 2-run shot from Juan Francisco. 9-8 Reds

We tied it in the 8th, on a Dioner Navarro double. 9-9.

Then we scored 5 in the 9th (against Aroldis Chapman). Eric Kratz gave us our first lead with an RBI double. Melky Cabrera brought in 1 more with a single. And Encarnacion hit his second homer of the game. 14-9 Jays.

Twelve years ago:

John McDonald hits a home run on Father’s Day. I did the recap. This was one of the few times I’ve stood up and clapped while watching a game at home on TV.

I’m sure you remember, but McDonald’s Father had died just five days before, two days before John had delivered the eulogy at his father’s funeral. So John got to the game late. He got into the game only because we were being blown out.

His dad told him, “I want you to hit your next home run for me. And I want you to cross home plate, and I want you to point to me”.

McDonald hit only 28 home runs in his 16-year career. That he hit one in that at-bat was incredible.

Fourthen years ago:

Blue Jays fire John Gibbons. In a year that started with high hopes, the Jays were 35-39 at that point of the season. The year before, we finished 83-79. We had added Rod Barajas, and David Eckstein. B.J Ryan was coming back from injury. Frank Thomas was in his second season with the Jays. He had 26 home runs and 95 RBI the year before.

They replaced Gibby with Cito Gaston. They did play better under Cito, going 51-37 and getting to the edge of the race before falling off in September and finishing 4th in the AL East. I think Cito was more relaxed. Gibby knew if they didn’t win, they would fire him. He managed like a man that knew every game could be his last.

Cito would be our manager for two more seasons, finishing 4th both times. We won’t mention the manager that followed Cito, but after two more 4th place finishes, Gibby was back again.