As we're about to leave on a much-needed, much-deserved and far-too-short vacation tomorrow, it struck us that we'd better leave things on a much more happy and positive vibe. Somehow, leaving the angry, accusatory post with our absurdly confrontational, Bissinger-esque comments seemed unwise. Uncouth, even.
And so, we've reached backwards into our memory hole and picked up some of our happiest memories about the Toronto Blue Jays. And somehow, so many of them seem to involve the inimitable Lloyd Moseby, better known to you and I as The Shaker.
Moseby's numbers with the Jays don't always astound, in part because of his early years in which he was pressed into the lineup to gain much-needed experience at the Major League level. (Imagine this: Lloyd Moseby had 361 big league games under his belt before he turned 23. What a concept!) In his prime years (1983-1987), Moseby was a 117 OPS+, .811 OPS, 101 homer, 174 stolen base guy who played premium defense, and did it all with a smile and fun swagger.
Three other things we love about The Shaker in retrospect:
1) The hair/cap/helmet confluence: Moseby somehow managed to pull a cap over his sweet afro day in and day out, and would wear his batting helmet over top of his cap. (Not unusual in those days, but Moseby's combo was especially cool to see.)
2) The Power cleats: No one else that we know of wore what was then Bata's athletic shoe brand. But given Power's Canadian connection (Bata's headquarters were still in Canada at that time), we used to see Moseby's Power posters in sporting goods shops all the time.
3) The Shoestring Catch? Somehow, in our mind, we had built this into a seminal moment for the Blue Jays: Moseby comes on and makes an outstanding shoestring catch in the 1985 ALCS, only to get robbed of the call, causing the whole series' complexion to change. Except that the play actually happened in Game 2, in a game the Jays would go on to win in extra innings. The fact that we still hold onto that moment is probably a tribute to two things: The frustrating and spirit-crushing years after the 1985 ALCS but before the World Series wins, and the strict early bedtime to which I was compelled to adhere.
Obviously, there were better players in the Jays' history. But we're not sure that there is a player who we think of more fondly than Lloyd Moseby. There have been several centrefielders who you might prefer to play for your All-Time Jays roster, but if we were to sit in the stands to see such a team play, we'd be happiest to see the Shaker leading off and marshalling the middle of the outfield.