#TBT: Rickey Henderson, The Man In White, And The 2014 Blue Jays Tease

Bored?! Here’s a bunch of cool and random stuff that happened between May 26th and June 1st in Blue Jays history!

May 26, 2015: I think this was when the Josh Donaldson legend in Toronto really began. This was a very pre-trade deadline 2015 Toronto Blue Jays game. R.A. Dickey allowed five runs in five innings, but the offence kept them in it. The bullpen blew leads, but the offence brought them back. Then, in the bottom of the ninth down by two runs, Josh Thole singled, Jose Reyes doubled, and Donaldson clubbed a walk off homer off of David Robertson.

May 28, 2011: In a game against the Blue Jays, the 11-time Gold Glover Omar Vizuqel made his first career appearance at first base. I include this because it reminded me that he played for the Blue Jays in 2012.

May 28, 2014: The 2014 Blue Jays were such a tease. On May 28, 2014, they capped off their ninth straight win when Kevin Pillar, who was pinch running for Dioner Navarro, scored on a errant throw after an Anthony Gose bunt. The team won behind six weirdly good innings from pre-relief transition Liam Hendriks, who was drilled hard but was saved by multiple defensive gems.

May 29, 2014: I told you this team was a tease, though. The next day, with a chance to win their 10th in a row, Jose Reyes happened. There’s a few things to note about this game. First, Edwin Encarnacion belted a home run, which was his 16th homer of the month, a franchise record. This was also the game that Jose Bautista threw out Billy Butler at first base from right field. Edwin’s 16th homer of the month?! A gun from Jose to first?! Ten in a row?!? Hell yeah! Nope! In the ninth inning, Casey Jassen allowed a two-out single to Alex Gordon. Jarrod Dyson pinch ran and stole second base. One out away from ending it, Jansen got Sal Perez to ground out to short, but fuckin’ Reyes booted the throw and Dyson alertly scored on the error. The Royals would score two in the tenth and snap the Jays streak.

If you ever feel like not appreciating Troy Tulowitzki, just remember this:

May 29, 1990: Soon-to-be Blue Jays legend Rickey Henderson breaks Ty Cobb’s 62-year-old American League record for stolen bases when he swipes No. 893. After doubling with two outs in the sixth inning of Oakland’s 2-1 loss to Toronto, Henderson steals third on a 2-0 pitch from David Wells to Carney Lansford. Blue Jays catcher Greg Myers juggles the ball and doesn’t throw. In 1993, the Jays acquired Henderson, who didn’t do a hell of a lot offensively, but was on base when Joe Carter hit his famous World Series winning walk off home run against the Phillies.

May 30, 2006: Vernon Wells clubs three home runs against the Boston Red Sox. 2006 was arguably the best of Wells’ career, and this was probably his best game. He hit two solo homers off of Josh Beckett and one off of David Riske en route to an 8-5 win. A hilarious note about this game: Pete Walker, the Blue Jays current pitching coach, tossed two-thirds of an inning of relief after Gustavo Chacin tossed five innings. Wells finished the season with an .899 OPS and ended up 22nd in MVP voting on a team that went 87-75 but was nowhere close to a playoff spot. Bless the second Wild Card.

May 30, 2012: The return of the Man in White! Edwin Encarnacion, Colby Rasmus, Brett Lawrie, and Rajai Davis each club a solo homer off of Jason Hammel, and the Jays beat the Orioles 4-1. After the game, Hammel accused the Jays of stealing signs, something the team was familiar with.

“The swings they were taking on the breaking stuff, it was pretty amazing to me,” Hammel said. “I don’t think you can take swings like that, not knowing they’re coming. I don’t know. That’s all I can say.”

This came a couple years after the Jays were accused of having some man in white in sitting in the stands feeding them signs, because teams were confused that the team had a good time hitting in their hitter-friendly ballpark.