"I am truly blessed to be a Blue Jay and I'm looking
forward to the ceremony on July 31."
Alomar played five seasons with the Blue Jays, including
the World Series championship teams of 1992-93. He was
named to the American League All-Star team and won a Gold
Glove in each of his seasons with Toronto, from 1991-95.
The native of Puerto Rico's .307 career average as a Blue
Jay is the highest mark in club history among those with a
minimum of 2,000 plate appearances.
Alomar was elected to the Hall of Fame on Jan. 5, and will
be enshrined in Cooperstown -- portrayed in a Blue Jays cap
on his plaque -- in a ceremony on Sunday. The festivities
can be seen live on MLB Network and MLB.com beginning at
11:30 a.m. ET.
A week later on Roberto Alomar Day, the first 20,000 fans
entering the park for a 1:07 p.m. ET game against the
Rangers will receive a collectible Alomar bobblehead on the
day when his jersey number will also officially be retired.
"Roberto is a very special part of the Toronto Blue Jays
organization and arguably the greatest second baseman of
all-time," team president and chief executive officer Paul
Beeston said. "His number deserves to be retired so that
his contributions and excellence can stand as a model for
all those who have the honor of wearing a Blue Jays
The No. 12 will now forever be a part of Blue Jays history.
Alomar started his baseball career wearing No. 1, but always
had a fondness for No. 2 because that was the number of his
father -- and former Major Leaguer -- Sandy.
"I always wanted to be just like my dad," Alomar said. "No.
2 was my favourite, but when it came to a point when I had
to decide to pick a number, I said I want No. 2 when they
called me up to the San Diego Padres.
"I couldn't have it because my father was the coach. Then I
asked for No. 1, and I couldn't have it because Gary
Templeton was No. 1. So I said what about No. 12. That's
how I became No. 12."
Alomar kept that number for nearly his entire 17-year career --
save for a brief stint with the Diamondbacks. During his career, Alomar recorded 2,724 hits, 210 home runs, 1,134
RBIs and 474 stolen bases.
He finished in the top six of the American League MVP Award
voting five times and won a Major League-record 10 Gold
Gloves at second base.
Now, Alomar is set to make history by becoming the first
Toronto player to have his number retired. The only
retired number the club currently observes is Jackie
Robinson's No. 42, which was retired throughout Major
League Baseball in 1997.
"It's special that the organization blessed me with this
number first of all," Alomar said. "What else can I say? I
should take that number home. When I was a little boy I
never expected this to happen, especially because I only
played here for five years.
"It was the five greatest years of my life and now that I'm
being inducted into the Hall of Fame with the Blue Jays
cap, I am really honored and proud. I didn't play the game
to achieve that goal but I must have done something right."