Since when does a pivotal base runner steal just six bases? If your previous career high was 3 stolen bases two years ago, saying he established a career high is meaningless. Rickey Henderson or Tim Raines establishing a career high, now that’s back of card worthy.
Similarly, two years before this card was printed McDonald accumulated 14 RBIs. It’s just not interesting (or maybe in that fact that it is so uninteresting it has become interesting) that he beat that total by two.
The author did get something right – it looks like McDonald was good defensively in 2005. He had the third best UZR of his career, so there’s that.
In actuality, 2005 was McDonald’s best season, but not because he stole six bases or knocked in 16 guys. No sir. It was the only time his average on balls in play was above .290 (his career number is .267). It’s really amazing that he has stuck around for 13 seasons. I can’t imagine the author of the back of this card lasted that long.
Still, his career isn’t without note. In 2007, he was voted the most popular Blue Jay (beating Roy Halladay). He is often known as the “Prime Minister of Defense” which, apparently, is a play on the first prime minister of Canada (yeah I thought they just let those Mounties run the country also).
But, most notably, McDonald is one of two players in major league history, according to Wikipedia, to be traded for himself.
Of course the most momentous trade of McDonald’s career would come in 2011, when the Blue Jays shipped him and Aaron Hill to Arizona for Kelly Johnson. The desert wasn’t kind to McDonald who batted just .169/.222/.203 for his new team, but he’s been average on defense!
As a glove man, he’s fantastic. As a baseball player, he’s better than Willie Bloomquist.