Pat Gillick has always liked to have Roberto Alomar around. This summer, he’ll get another chance to spend time with Alomar, when both are part of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2011.
Twice in his role as general manager Gillick acquired Alomar, an All-Star second baseman who garnered 10 Gold Gloves and four Silver Slugger Awards in his 17-year career. Alomar moved around a lot, playing for seven teams in eight different stints. Gillick, never afraid to make a bold move to help his teams, first grabbed Alomar in one of the biggest trades in baseball history in 1990.
On December 5, 1990, Alomar and San Diego teammate Joe Carter were dealt to Gillick’s Blue Jays for Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez. All four players were All-Stars, making it a headline-grabbing deal.
“We just got one of the best players in the game,” Gillick chirped in reference to Alomar. “‘[He’s a] guy who can make a team go.”
Alomar did just that, batting near the top of the order for Toronto while helping them to back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 and 1993. For Gillick, who gained election to the Hall of Fame via a special veterans committee last December, having a player like Alomar on his team was special. When he was later hired to be the GM of the Orioles, Gillick didn’t hesitate to get one of his favorite players back on his side.
After the 1995 season, Alomar was a free agent, one of the most sought-after on the market. Gillick, in his first full season as the O’s general manager, inked Alomar to a three-year deal, bringing him to Baltimore to be his second baseman. As an Oriole, Alomar continued to excel, pairing with Hall of Fame shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. to form one of the best double play duos in baseball history.
In 2002, Gillick was honored by the Blue Jays when he was added to the Level of Excellence, the highest honor that can be bestowed by that franchise. Six years later, Alomar was similarly honored. Both men are also members of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.
In July the two men will be on the same team for the third time – as members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.