Chris Woodward turns 46 today.
The Blue Jays picked Woodward in the 54th round of the 1994 draft. He’s the only player from that round, that year, to make it to the majors. He made it to Toronto in 1999 and played as a utility infielder for us for the next six seasons. His best year was 2002, where he played 90 games, hitting 13 home runs, with 45 RBI and a .276/.330/.468, the only time in his career that he would slug over .400.
He signed with the Mets, as a free agent, after the 2004 season. After that he bounced around, playing a bit for the Braves, Mariners, Red Sox, and Mariners again and then the Jays signed him before the 2011 season to a minor league contract. He played Triple-A for the Jays in 2011 and 2012, getting a couple of call-ups in 2011, earning 10 at-bats.
I have a fair amount of affection for the guy. You have to cheer for someone who makes it after being picked in the 54th round of the draft. Who doesn’t like the gritty middle infielder type? In 659 MLB games, he has 33 home runs, 191 RBI and a .239/.296/.365 line.
My affection was dampened when he became manager of the Rangers in 2019. He’s still doing the job four seasons later. He has a 194-260 record as their manager, but, as they have been tanking (until this year), the record isn’t a fair gauge of his abilities.
Happy Birthday Chris. I hope it is a good one.