1985 Donruss Card....No Mustache !
Yes... Jim Clancy...or Big Jim....or Diamond Jim...or as I've seen listed James Petrosky ..whichever...it's a moot point.
The man could pitch.
The debate about the pitcher of the 80's may or may not still rage. Not here. Stieb was the shit...Morris was a jackwad ...um except for the SSS's of the 1992 season and his one year stint of colour analysis.
The point of this poorly written article is to focus on unsung Blue Jays...So if Stieb was Avis..James (from here on in referenced to as Jim) Clancy was Hertz.
I'll pause for a second while some older members explain that outdated reference.
I sing the praises of a pitcher who is woven intrinsically into our fabric as a franchise ...yet forgotten....
Why is that?
Jim Clancy was an original Blue Jay.
Powder Blues Forever!
He was selected by Texas in the fourth round of the 1974 amateur draft. Toronto, needing warm bodies selected Jim sixth overall in the November 76 expansion draft....side note: Fuck you very much Texas... you let us have him and Tom Henke...(compensation for signing Heathcliff). Yeah, yeah, Micheal Young....I still think we got the better end of things.
Jim's major league debut at the tender age of 21 came on July 26, 1977 versus the Texas Rangers...it wasn't pretty.
As you'd expect the first few years were "dicey" .
Yet somehow on an extremely shitty 1978 squad he racked up: 30 starts...a 10 -12 record with a 4.09 ERA and 7 CG's over 193 IP and a WAR of 2.4.
From here on I'll take more of a bullet list approach....I'm lazy and also too drunk to form proper sentences.
1979...Either injured or in the minors ...not sure....either way not much of an impact.
1980... 34 GS ..13-16 record ...3.30 ERA 250IP 128 BB....yoiks. 15 CG....WAR of 5.5
1981... Crappy strike shortened season.
1982... Shit Got Serious...My man led the league in: ...Game starts..(hey it's something) ...40 of em...(40!). There was a selection to the all star team and an appearance in the game (one clean inning)..His record was 16-14 with a 3.71 ERA.....11 CG 3 SO and 266 IP (a career high) and a WAR of 5.0 ... Big Jim also gave fans their first taste of an almost perfect game ...yes... Randy (Motherfucking) Bush.
Buck sounds sober!
1983... 15-11 3.91 ERA....11 CG.... but danger looms ahead...
1984... Omg.. man overboard...13-15 220 IP 249 H...yikes..5.12 ERA...not a season for the ages.
1985... Off to a good start and then....appendicitis ...big deal back then...out for ages... but 9-6 overall and an appearance in the ALCS.
Up until this point you may, or will, or should accuse me of stat vomit. Fair point...The 85 Jays made me a TRUE baseball fan. So from there on in I took greater care in following the team...and thankfully for you guys it's brief.
"Hey Coxie ..We going to The Brass Rail if I get a hit?"
1986... The year we were supposed to kick ass despite the failings of the previous year. Um..Not so much...We ended up at 86-76 ..Big Jim was 14-7 on August 18...then LOST the next 7 decisions...ye gads. Still... a 14-14 record and 219 IP with a 3.94 ERA and a WAR of 3.7 wasn't anything to cry about.
1987 - Another banner year...15-11 241 IP 37 GS with a 3.54 ERA and a WAR of 5.0....Fun fact about his 87 season: He started the 10 homer game against the Shitbirds..
That 1987 team...*sigh* ...sorry.... I got the sads for a second...7 solid innings from Jim then Eichhorn and Henke...have fun with that Shitbirds! ..no BP blips back then.
1988... Yuck...the last season with the Jays and not a great one....Jim was even relegated to some BP duty that year and then granted free agency.
From 89 to 91 Jim was primarily a BP arm with both the Astros and Braves and even seen post season duties in 1991 winning a game in the WS in relief. He signed with the Cubs in 1992 but retired before the season started.
To sum up....Jim Clancy wasn't Doc or Sir David but his name is peppered all over this franchise's pitching leaders lists. The dawn of the home satellite age allowed me to view many of his starts from 86-87 and I enjoyed watching him pitch immensely. Little ...(actually nothing) has been heard from Jim since he retired and he has never been spotted at any alumni functions or ceremonies.....Somehow I find this adds to the mystique.
He was a bulwark of our SP staff for a decade ...and yet not ever given his due.
One last fun fact: Diamond Jim was the first Blue Jay pitcher to reach 100 wins...in 1986 ..BEFORE Dave Stieb.
Some more Jim Clancy love here.
Baseball Reference Page here.
Baseball Almanac Page here.
Debate ..discuss...deride me ;)
Ummm.. obligatory music links.....
For those of a more rocking bent...
Be gentle ...first post.