Thursday, March 20, 2008

Love him or hate him

Roberto Alomar is going to receive the Jays highest honour: being elevated to the club's Level of Excellence. It's all going down April 4th, the home opener against the Red Sox. Alomar's public image sorted of mirrored his career. As his skills on the field deteriorated, so did public opinion of him. Whatever you want to say about him, this guy could flat out fucking play. At the height of his career he was one of the most valuable players in the league. I grew up playing 2nd base, and tried as hard as I could (failing miserably I'm sure) to emulate his type of game, especially in the field. Sure, he spit on an umpire and developed a horrible attitude as he grew older, but I sure drank a lot of McCain punch while trying as hard as I could to "catch the taste".

Alomar wore the Jay uniform from 1991 through the 1995 season and was a member of what is arguably one of the best teams in MLB history, the 1993 Jays. He was an integral part of the 1992 and 1993 World series winning teams and in my mind hit the biggest home run in Jay history, with his epic shot off of Dennis Eckersley in game four of the 1992 ALCS. Eckersley spent much of the season being untouchable and Alomar shut him and the A's the hell up, effectively sealing their fate.

Roberto Alomar retired during Spring Training in 2005 after 17 seasons in the Majors. During his career he was named to 12 all-star teams, captured four Silver Slugger awards, won 10 Gold Gloves and was named MVP in the 1992 ALCS and 1998 all-star game. His 10 gold gloves are the most of any second baseman in MLB history.

Alomar become eligible for induction into the hall of fame in 2010 and has said that if he's lucky enough to be selected for induction, he wants to go in as a Blue Jay. He always maintained although he had good years with other teams, his years in Toronto were the best of his career.

His career ended kind of abruptly due to failing vision, deteriorating skills and chronic aches and pains. Tough to say whether or not he'll be inducted. I personally think he's worthy but am probably somewhat bias. Whether he does or doesn't end up in Cooperstown, it's nice to see he's being recognized for his contributions in Toronto, love him or hate him.

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