Born in Portland, Ark., in 1959, Lloyd Moseby grew up in Oakland, Calif., and was selected second overall by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1978 MLB draft. That same year, the left-handed hitting outfielder began his professional career with the Blue Jays’ Rookie Ball affiliate in Medicine Hat and quickly climbed through the club’s ranks to make his big league debut on May 24, 1980.
The charismatic Moseby would become the Blue Jays’ starting centre fielder for the bulk of the next 10 seasons. His breakout major league campaign came in 1983 when he batted .315, socked 18 home runs, 31 doubles, seven triples and swiped 27 bases. He also topped American League centre fielders with 11 assists. For his efforts, he became the first Blue Jays’ outfielder to win a Silver Slugger Award and was named the team’s Player of the Year. He was also selected to The Sporting News and Baseball America All-Star teams.
For an encore, Moseby belted 18 home runs, led the American League in triples (15) and registered 39 stolen bases in 1984. He also topped AL centre fielders with 470 putouts and his 7.3 WAR that season was second among AL position players to Cal Ripken Jr.
Teaming with Jesse Barfield and George Bell in what was considered the best outfield in the majors, Moseby possessed a potent combination of power and speed. He posted back-to-back 20-home run, 30-stolen base seasons in 1986 and 1987 and in 1986, he was selected to the American League All-Star team.
In his 10 seasons with the Blue Jays, Moseby also played a key role on two division-winning clubs (1985, 1989) and ranks among the franchise’s all-time leaders in several statistical categories, including first in stolen bases (255), second in triples (60), third in at bats (5,124) and walks (547) and fourth in games (1,392), runs (768), hits (1,319) and doubles (242).
He suited up for two seasons with the Detroit Tigers to finish off his 12-year major league career, before spending his final two pro campaigns with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan.
Following his playing career, Moseby served as a coach for the Blue Jays’ Short-Season class-A St. Catharines Stompers and the triple-A Syracuse Chiefs, before becoming the Blue Jays’ first base coach in 1998 and 1999. Since 2009, he has worked in an ambassador’s role with the club, representing the team in charitable events and serving as an instructor with the Blue Jays Baseball Academy at various kids events across the country including the Honda Super Camps and Instructional Clinics and Tournament 12.
“I really appreciate this honour,” said Moseby. “It’s still sinking in, but I’m excited about the ceremony in June.”