Raul Mondesi 2001
Really cool jersey that Raul Mondesi wore for Negro League day with the Toronto Blue Jays. The game was played on July 15th, 2001 in New Yorks Shea Stadium. The Mets beat the Jays that day 6-2 but not before Mondesi hit his 17th home run of the season and 55th and 56th rbi, sporting this exact jersey. Rick Reed gave up that bomb in the 4th inning for the New York Mets to get the jays their only runs of the ball game. The jays wore these special Chatam All Stars replica jerseys to commemorate the Negro Leagues of the past. These are tough jerseys to find as most of the players got to keep these for themselves. This particular one, comes directly from Gord Ash’s collection. He was the general Manager of the club at the time and 2001 was his last season at the helm.
Nice photo match comes in the form of the Mondesi Fleer Baseball card from the 2002 printing. The other photo is what the actual jerseys looked like when the real players wore them. The pants are marked with 40 27 01 to denote waste size uniform number and year. I would think these were worn together as they came as a set so Mondesi may have just worn these pants or number 27 Chris Latham wore them when he pinch hit late in the ball game.
Raul Mondesi had 27 home runs and 84 runs batted in during the 2001 season for the Blue Jays. Mondesi spent his first 7 seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, then went on to play for The Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, California Angels, Pittsburgh Pirates and ended his 13 year baseball career with the Atlanta Braves. He hit 271 home runs and drove in 860 for a really nice career totals. Raul was yet another player to come from the baseball rich island of The Dominican Republic. He is from the town of San Cristobal and had he been playing during the era that this jersey was used to commemorate, he would also not have been allowed to play. Amazing to think that Baseball did not allow the best players to play in the league due to their skin colour.