Happy Father’s Day. Or: Another non-White Sox post

So, for a change, I’m going to talk about a utility player today. :)

(Oh, stop laughing.)

So, this is one of the non-White Sox that holds a special place in my baseball life and is definitely worth a little attention on Father’s Day. This is John MacDonald.

Johnny Mac has played for the Blue Jays for the last 5 years (after a long stint in Cleveland with one Omar Vizquel). He’s your typical super-sub, with gold glove-worthy defense, but a bat that keeps him out of the line-up most days, barring injury to someone in the starting line-up. And, he’s definitely grown to be beloved in Toronto. He’s a generally all-around nice guy (Canadians love that!) and Blue Jays fans know that when he’s at 3rd or SS, it’s going to be an easy day for your left outfielder. And, it’s nice to see that, instead of leaving him on the bench for a possible defensive replacement move today, he gets to start the day at 3B.

In 2010, John MacDonald came back from bereavement leave 5 days after losing his dad to cancer. Before his dad passed away, his dad had told him that John was going to hit his next home run for him. John is not really known for his power-bat and he told his dad that it could happen quite a few years from then in a weekend softball game. He had only 13 home runs in 12 MLB seasons, and hadn’t hit one that year.

His first game back was on Father’s Day. In his first at-bat (a pinch-hit in the bottom of the 9th), he knocked a 2-run homer over the left field wall.

The Jays had too big of a deficit to overcome in that game, so they didn’t win that day, but that’s not the point of this story.

The radio announcers said it best: “We were all up here in the booth, blowing that one out.”

Happy Father’s Day for anyone with something and someone to celebrate or commemorate today.


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4 responses to “Happy Father’s Day. Or: Another non-White Sox post

  1. McDonald is one of those sparkplug utility guys that always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Circumstances, or higher salaried players block him from being “the Guy”, but he still takes his swings and gets his uniform dirty whenever he gets the call.
    Those guys are the backbone of a good, and possibly playoff team. Defense in baseball as in the NFL does lead to championships.
    Guys like McDonald give a team that extra push, that certain something that can end with a sip of bubbly, or a big gawdy ring…..Do not count out the Blue Jays until the last out, of that last game of the season.

    • I don’t really keep up with everything going on in the Jays’ camp these days, but I get the impression that they really are trying to to be something to worry about in the next year or so…

      But, yeah, I really think that having someone on your bench that hits to contact and who you can plug in pretty much anywhere to fill a defensive need can win you a fair number of ballgames you might otherwise lose.

      And, when they’re just a good guy, it makes it even better.

  2. Johnny Mac said that when he promised his dad he’d hit a home run for him, in the back of his mind he thought he’d have to wait until he was retired and playing softball. He doesn’t usually show a lot of emotion when he plays, but you could tell when he hit that homer that it meant a lot to him.


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