When I visited the team’s store, I immediately noticed a game-used bat for sale. The name on the barrel? Randy Ruiz.
Jays fans will remember Ruiz, who had a short stint with Toronto in 2009 after a MONSTER Pacific Coast League season with Las Vegas. Through 114 games in the desert, he was hitting .320 with 25 HRs and 106 RBIs. He was called up to Toronto after Alex Rios left on waivers, and continued mashing in the big leagues.
In just 33 games with the Jays, he hit .313 with 10 HRs and 17 RBIs. Seeing minimal playing time the following spring, he asked for, and was granted, his release so that he could sign with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball.
As I eyed the bat, my wife stepped in and bought it for me!
It’s a Marucci, and the first bat of this brand in my collection:
And as you can see below, it’s got his name engraved on the barrel:
The bat shows terrific wear. It’s got a large crack in the handle and a ton of pine tar, as well as tape wrapped around the handle:
In short, it’s awesome. Earlier this summer, I bought a game-used bat from Padres prospect Ryan Skube, as you can read about here. As neat as it is, it’s pretty exciting to add a bat from a guy who once ripped it up for the Jays.