08 Oct

chasing a ring

Though he appeared in only 18 games in the big leagues, fans of the old Jackson Mets might remember that John Gibbons could play a little bit. The Toronto Blue Jays manager, a first-round pick by the New York Mets in 1980, was the regular catcher for the Double-A JaxMets in 1983 and batted .298 with 18 homers and 67 RBIs for a club that made it to the Texas League Championship Series. He was a standout on a team that included Billy Beane, Kevin Mitchell, Herm Winningham, Roger McDowell and Calvin Schiraldi. Gibbons was penciled in to start for the big Mets in 1984 before being injured in spring training. Soon thereafter the Mets traded for Gary Carter. Gibbons was up for a while with the Mets’ 1986 world championship club but didn’t play in the postseason. He was the bullpen catcher that October and got a ring, but, he told the Toronto Sun, “I didn’t really feel like I was part of that team.” He never got back to The Show as a player. Gibbons won two championships as a minor league manager in the Mets’ system but struggled in his first opportunity in the big leagues, a stormy tenure with the Blue Jays from 2004-08. Toronto gave him a much-questioned second chance in 2013, and now he has the Jays in the playoffs for the first time in 22 years. Gibbons is very much a part of this team, which many think is the favorite to win a ring. Maybe he can manage a little bit, too.

25 May