STRATFORD, P.E.I. – Lloyd Moseby was told he wasn’t good enough for a baseball team he tried out for in back-to-back years.
He made it the third time around and went on to play 12 Major League Baseball (MLB) seasons – mostly patrolling centre-field for the Toronto Blue Jays.
“If you work hard, good things could happen. I got cut when I was 10. I got cut when I was 11,” Moseby said Thursday.
Moseby spent two years as the team’s bat boy but refused to quit.
“I was competitive. My friends were playing, and I was kind of embarrassed,” he said.
“Pride and the willingness not to give up are key ingredients in anything. This isn’t about baseball.”
He said it is a life lesson that is good for everybody to learn.
Moseby is in Prince Edward Island as the Blue Jays Baseball Academy runs its Honda Super Camps. The two-day camp began Thursday and wraps up today.
Moseby dreamed of making it to the NBA to help support his parents. He ended up making the pros in a different sport after being drafted second overall in the 1978 amateur baseball draft.
The Jays first season was 1977. Moseby made his debut in 1980 and had his breakout season three years later.
Like many expansion teams in that era, there were some lean years. Moseby lived through many of them but was part of the first wave of competitive teams in the 1980s that challenged for division titles at a time when MLB only had four divisions.
“When Bobby (Cox) came, it was like validity,” he said of his former manager, who joined the Jays in 1982.
“The beginning was believing that we’re going to be good,” he added, and “you knew this guy was not going to tolerate stinking.”
Some of the Jays top prospects started to move through the farm system and arrive with the big league club, giving Toronto the needed talent to contend.
“We got good in hurry when guys like (Jesse) Barfield and (George) Bell came up,” said Moseby, who formed a lethal outfield that was known as the Killers Bs with them.
They were added to a core of players like Dave Stieb, Jimmy Key, Tony Fernandez, Willie Upshall and more to push for the post-season.
Moseby was part of division winners in 1985 and 1989 but was gone when the Jays won back-to-back World Series in 1992 and 1993.
He was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame earlier this year.
“It means everything,” Moseby said. “The Blue Jays have done everything for me. Everything I have is because of the Blue Jays.”
Need to know
Who – A former Toronto Blue Jays centre-fielder.
Hometown – Moseby was born in Portland, Ark., but graduated from high school in California.
Age – 58.
Did you know? Moseby was drafted second overall in the 1978 amateur draft by the Blue Jays. The Atlanta Braves took third baseman Bob Horner with the first pick while the rest of the top five being Hubie Brooks (New York Mets), Mike Morgan (Oakland Athletics) and Andy Hawkins (San Diego Padres). The draft also included Cal Ripken Jr., Rob Deer, Dave Stieb, Frank Viola, Tim Wallach, Steve Sax, Ryne Sandberg and Howard Johnson.
Nickname – Shaker. Moseby said it comes from his basketball days as a point guard. “Shake and bake is better than frying, right?”