Big John, Young John, Jays father & son

* Young John Mayberry, Jr. joined the Blue Jays and the son of former Jays slugging 1B John Mayberry becomes the franchise's first father-and son combination. ....  2014 Canadians in the Minors … Canadians in College 2015 Canadian draft list Letters of Intent

By Bob Elliott

Big John Mayberry hit 10 doubles in 54 career games at Fenway Park.

Young John Mayberry, the other part of the Blue Jays first-ever father-and-son combination, hit his first Friday in the 10th inning.

And Young John tagged and scored from second on a fly ball to deep right field.

So, how many times did Big John, the Blue Jays first baseman for five seasons (1978-82) score from second on a fly ball?

When Big John stopped laughing, he said: “I stole home once. They put the squeeze on with Kansas City and the Oakland pitcher threw a wild pitch, so they gave me a stolen base.”

Royals manager Whitey Herzog flashed the squeeze sign with current Blue Jays broadcaster Buck Martinez at the plate. Al Cowens broke

big john

for first and Mayberry left third. Both were safe when A’s Stan Bahnsen threw the ball to the screen.

“I hope John finds a place with the Jays,” said the father from K.C. “He was hurt with Philadelphia. He can come off the bench with confidence and hit. He’s done it so long.

“He reminds me of Cliff Johnson who got pretty gone at it. Cliff could sit for three days and come on and get hits. Me? I couldn’t even handle platooning. I was an every day guy.”

Big John was a career .275 hitter (50-for-182) with eight homers at Fenway, including his 30th homer on the next-to-last day of the 1980 season off Dick Drago.

Young John is hitting .500 (4-for-8) at Fenway and played a large role in the two-run 10th with his double and scored as Allen Craig thought he’d caught the third out in right. Jays third base coach Luis Rivera waved Mayberry around and he scored on a bang-bang play.

“My wife and I are proud of him, he’s a good kid, he has his education (Stanford), he was a political science major -- I don’t know what that leads to, maybe he goes to Washington D.C. to become a politician,” said Mayberry, who had plenty of good times as an instructor in the Jays minor-league system for five years with Bobby Mattick, Al Widmar and Cito Gaston, adding “Bobby Cox was always the serious one.”

Mayberry recalled school days when teachers would assign the class an essay on the most unforgettable character ever met.

“If I had to write that now it would be about Bobby Mattick,” said Mayberry. “I never saw a man so wise and connected to the game. He knew the way the world was changing,”

Mayberry was there in 1985 at Medicine Hat when the Jays No. 1 pick Greg David was due up but the manager used a pinch hitter.

“(Coach) Larry Hardy and I were in the dugout and told the guy, a college coach, ‘don’t pinch hit, don’t do it,’” said Mayberry. “I’ve never seen Bobby so angry. The manager was trying to win a game. We’re trying to develop.”

The next spring Mattick had a meeting with minor league managers and coaches: “remember this boys, we don’t spend $4 million in the minors to develop managers. We develop players.” Point made.

Big John was 6-foot-3, 215 pounds of home run hitter with the Jays, getting up to over 300 pounds when he retired with 255 career homers. He says he has lost almost 100 pounds through walking.

Young John is a 6-foot-6, 230 pound athlete (“He looks like my rookie card,” Big John says).

“We’re glued to the tube now when the Jays are on,” said mom Janice.


Seldom seen: A called third strike in the bottom of the ninth at Yankee Stadium. We saw it when Kerwin Danley rung up Carlos Beltran on a Wade Davis pitch, with two out and the tying run on second as the Royals edged the Yanks 1-0 Friday ... Kids making September debuts with the game on the line. John Gibbons brought in lefty Daniel Norris to face slugger David Ortiz with a one-run lead and the tying run on second in the eighth on Friday Norris threw Ortiz a 3-2 breaking ball for a called strike three ... A pitcher sliding head first into home, as Marcus Stroman did scoring on an infield single by Dioneer Navarro. As Gene Mauch asked Devon White after telling him not to slide head first into a catcher’s shin pads: “would you slide fingers first into a rhinoceros or a medieval knight dressed in armour?”  ... It will take about five days for ex-Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers to get a job -- few man are as respected.


Blast from the past: In the summer of 2010 the Canadian Junior National Team was working out at the Rogers Centre.

Mississauga outfielder Dalton Pompey was taking batting practice when Jamie Lehman, the Brampton scout who drafted and signed the Oakville Royals grad, stopped by. The conversation went like this:

Lehman: “Dalton, you think you’d like to hit in this stadium as a Blue Jay in about six years?”

Pompey: “I’m thinking about five.”

Both Lehman and Pompey were wrong. It only took four seasons for Pompey to make the majors when he joined the Jays at Tropicana Field this week. Pompey will take batting practice Monday night at the Rogers Centre as the Jays host the Chicago Cubs.


Good ones gone: Gerhard Lankhof, 86, father of our Bill Lankhof, was laid to rest Thursday in Chatham. He gave his son a work ethic and a talent to string words together like pearls. Sympathies are extended to his children Gerry, John and Bill, eight grand children and three great children ... Sympathies are extended to the family of Milwaukee Brewers scouting director Bruce Seid, 53. who died Wednesday in Las Vegas. Seid has worked 17 seasons for the Brewers and was one of general manager Doug Melvin’s most trusted sets of eyes.

Briefly: Baseball America has selected Port Hope’s Cal Quantrill as the No. 1 prospect in the Coastal Plain summer college league. Pitching for Morehead City Marlins the Ontario Terriers grad, who became the first freshman to start at Stanford since Mike Mussina, walked nine and struck out 33 in 23 innings, while going 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA in four starts ... Toronto third baseman Connor Panas earned Metro Atlantic Athletic conference student-athlete of the year honours. A Louisville Slugger second-team All-American and Capital One academic second-team All-American had a 3.77 GPA, batting .362, with six homers, 51 RBIs and 1.017 OPS.