With Josh Donaldson’s return to Toronto being tonight, what’s a better way to spend the day leading up to first pitch than looking back at the golden days.
So here are, in my opinion, Josh Donaldson’s three biggest moments in a Toronto Blue Jays uniform.
Bare-handed in the seventh
Josh Donaldson’s defence is spectacular. He plays the hot corner to perfection. He is no Nolan Arenado but you’re never nervous when the ball is hit in his direction. He made plenty of eye-catching grabs during his tenure in Toronto but it’s hard to ignore the play he made during the famous seventh inning of game five in the 2015 ALDS against the Texas Rangers.
In a 2-2 game, in the top of the seventh with one man out Rougned Odor was at second base and Delino DeShields at the plate. DeShields hit a chopper to Donaldson’s left and as he ran towards it, the ball bounced to his right. Donaldson snagged it with his bare hand and made the throw to first.
We all know what happened in the rest of the inning, imagine if Donaldson didn’t get that second out. Things could have seriously unravelled.
The bringer of rain’s 2015 MVP campaign is unforgettable for all Blue Jays fans. Easily the most dominant single season by a Blue Jay that I’ve ever witnessed. Ending the season with 41 HR, 123 RBI, and a stat line of .297/.371/.939. His WAR for the year was 8.5, the 11th best season from a position player since 2010. Five of those seasons being accomplished by Mike Trout.
On the final home game of that season the Blue Jays were tied with the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-4, in the bottom of ninth. With two outs Donaldson stepped up to the plate and did what he did the rest of that famous 2015 season. He came in clutch and sent the ball into the second deck. All Brandon Guyer could do in left field was watch the ball fly over his head to end the game.
While the Jays still had six more games to play, Donaldson’s walk-off was the perfect ending to a dominant season of crushing the baseball at the Rogers Centre.
ALDS Walk-off Slide
Extra innings of game three of the 2016 ALDS, what does Donaldson do? He comes in clutch again. Not with his bat this time, but with his base running. Tied 6-6 in the bottom of the 10th Donaldson was at second base. Edwin Encarnacion was at first and Russel Martin at the plate. With one out, Martin rolled over on a fastball to short for a tailor made double play. But Donaldson didn’t stop running. Odor’s throw took Mitch Moreland off the bag and Martin was safe. But Donaldson never stopped running, as Moreland collected the ball he turned and threw to home, what happened next is one of the most famous moments in Blue Jays history.
JD’s heart, drive, and competitiveness that he showed on a nightly basis just took the Toronto Blue Jays to the ALCS for the second consecutive season.
Without Josh Donaldson, the two back to back ALCS appearances would have never happened. While they didn’t end in a World Series victory, they are still two years I’ll never forget.
One of your favourite moments not make the list? Leave it down below in the comment section.