Thursday, February 16, 2012

1985 Blue Jays 3rd base platoon

Good Thursday to you all, hope that your week has gone well so far.

I was flipping through some Blue Jays cards this evening and saw these two side by side, and they took me back to the platoon that the Blue Jays employed for several years during the 80's at third base.

I chose the 1985 season to look at because that was the first year the Jays captured the AL East title. 

Garth Iorg and Rance Mulliniks were an interesting combination for the hot corner.  Neither of them would ever be confused as your prototypical power hitting 3rd baseman.  They were very much a 2 headed monster, in many ways.

Both were 5'11".  Both were born in California.  Iorg was only 14 months older than Mulliniks. 

Their stats in 1985 combined were excellent.  They combined for 198 hits and a .302 batting average.  They also between them hit 17HR and drove in 94 runs.  Iorg played 104 games at the hot corner, Mulliniks 119.  They often pinch hit for each other during games.  They weren't considered base stealing threats by any stretch of the imagination, but combined they were 9 for 9 in stolen bases that season. 

Considering that they both played multiple infield positions during the season as well, their defense wasn't too bad at 3rd; they combined for 16 errors in 429 chances. (.963 field pct.)

During their 7 game loss to Kansas City in the ALCS, they combined to go 6 for 26 (.231).

Garth Iorg played for 2 more seasons and retired after the 1987 campaign, which statistically was his poorest at the plate.

Rance Mulliniks played for 7 more years, with his last game coming in 1992, the year the Jays won their first World Series.

By then, the two of them had been replaced with a newer model 3rd baseman, one who played against all pitchers....Kelly Gruber.

Thanks for reading, Robert


  1. i remember loving Mulliniks' card in strat-o-matic one year - maybe it was '85... might also have been '84, he hit .324 that year... at that position, he was like a mini-George Brett!

  2. Awesome. The stoicism of Rance; the batting stance of Garth. Awesome. Plus Rance told Ed Sprague to jump on Jeff Reardon's 1st pitch as he pinch hit in the 9th in the World Series. Homer. Awesome.