Coming into the 1993 season John Olerud determined to alter his method at the plate.
In the course of he not solely helped the Blue Jays win a second straight World Series, but in addition received the American League batting title.
As a part of the Blue Jays celebrations commemorating the 25th anniversary of back-to-back World Series wins, Olerud together with teammates Paul Molitor and Roberto Alomar have been featured as bobble heads handed out on Saturday at the Rogers Centre.
The trio completed 1-2-Three in the 1993 American League batting title race.
“I believe my focus was actually on conserving my fingers inside the ball and simply having an actual quick path to the inside pitch,” Olerud recalled. “Not worrying about hitting the inside pitch laborious, simply getting the barrel to it and I used to be simply very environment friendly getting the bat to the ball and the exterior pitch, I felt I might have extra time to get to it and I did not should battle to get the barrel to that exterior pitch.
“I simply did a good job of getting barrel to that inside pitch and my timing was good.”
The Seattle, Wash. native completed the season main the American League in batting common (.363), on-base proportion (.473) and doubles (54). He additionally posted profession highs in dwelling runs (24), RBIs (107), runs (109), and hits (200).
He went on to hit .235 with two RBIs and a house run as the Blue Jays defeated the Phillies to win the World Series.
“As I look back at it, I keep in mind I might by no means hit over .300 earlier than that season so I acquired off to a good begin, I used to be actually in a good groove, had a good method at the plate, was hitting the whole lot laborious and I simply needed that to final so long as it might,” Olerud mentioned.
“It felt prefer it was method higher whenever you’re simply making an attempt to hit the ball laborious and you are not excited about hitting. I used to be ready to do this into August rather well.”
Push for .400
Initially drafted by the Blue Jays in the third spherical of the 1989 draft, Olerud flirted with .400 for a lot of the ’93 season and was above .400 till late August. Regardless of the numbers, Olerud says he was by no means centered on the .400 mark.
“I actually do not suppose I used to be pondering .400 in any respect, I simply needed to hit the ball laborious each time up and see the place the ball went till about August,” he mentioned. “In August I believe I acquired to the level the place I assumed, ‘You recognize what? I have been doing this for 4 months, possibly I can end up these final two months and do it’.
“Then I struggled slightly bit in August and September, comparatively talking, however for the most half, the whole lot was going good for me. You at all times have ups and downs. My downs simply occurred to be, you realize, after August.
After eight seasons with the Blue Jays, Olerud joined the Mets for the 1997 season and frolicked along with his hometown Mariners, the New York Yankees and the Boston Crimson Sox earlier than retiring in 2005.
Olerud completed a profession .295 hitter with 1,230 RBIs and 255 dwelling runs over 17 seasons.
“From my standpoint, could not have drawn it up any higher to have an incredible yr offensively, to have an incredible yr as a staff, profitable the World Series, it simply was a dream season,” Olerud mentioned of ’93. “I might say that is the season I might evaluate all my seasons to.”