Everything to know about new Blue Jays outfielder Daulton Varsho

Dec 27 2022, 6:11 pm

Happy holidays Blue Jays fans!

Your new gift on the roster is former Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder, Daulton Varsho.

He’ll be one-third of the Blue Jays’ new-look outfield for Opening Day 2023, which also includes veteran Kevin Kiermaier.

Since Varsho played in the desert in the National League West, he flew under the radar of most, but moving to a contending team closer to the East Coast like the Blue Jays has suddenly thrust him into the spotlight.

With just three seasons of big league experience, the 26-year-old has already made a name for himself as one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball. And did we mention he can also play catcher, too?

Here are a few other cool things about the Toronto Blue Jays’ newest outfielder.

1. He’s named after his father’s teammate, Darren Daulton

Not only do the Blue Jays have four players whose fathers were former MLB players, (Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio and Varsho), they have two players who earned the namesake after their father’s teammates or favourite players.

Bo Bichette is the first, named after his father Dante’s favourite player Bo Jackson and teammate Joe Girardi, but Daulton was named after his fatherā€™s teammate, Darren Daulton.

During his final season in the big leagues in 1995, Gary Varsho crossed paths with All-Star backstop Darren Daulton. The two became good friends, so much so that Gary named his son after his Phillies teammate.

The next year, when Daulton was born, Darren gifted the Varshos a signed jersey, bat and baseball cards. According to the Marshfield News Herald, Daulton signed the jersey with: “It’s an honour to share the same name with you.”

Darren Daulton passed away in August 2017 due to brain cancer, but his name lives on thanks to the Varsho family.

2. His first MLB home run splashed into McCovey Cove

The list of left-handed hitters who have pulled a home run into McCovey Cove outside of Oracle Park in San Francisco is quite small, but Varsho is the only visiting player in MLB history to splash their very first MLB home run into McCovey Cove.

The first home run of Varsho’s career came on September 5, 2020, against San Francisco Giants starter Trevor Gott. Although a little negotiation was involved in retrieving the baseball, eventually he got the souvenir ball back into his possession.

3. He caught a no-hitter the day after hitting a walk-off home run

Nobody in the world might’ve had better luck from August 13 and 14, 2021 than Mr. Varsho. On August 13, he hit a walk-off home run for the Diamondbacks against the San Diego Padres. The very next day, he caught a no-hitter.

Making his very first start in the big leagues, Tyler Gilbert blanked the Padres through nine innings of no-hit ball, and Varsho was there behind the plate guiding him every step of the way.

Although the bulk of his MLB games have been in the outfield, Varsho has plenty of experience behind the dish with 82 career games at the catching position.

4. He grew up in a small town. Like, a really small town

Never has the name of a town been so apt for where it’s located. Chili, Wisconsin, is a town of about 187 people about two-and-a-half hours from Green Bay. Since it’s on the west side of Lake Michigan, they’re all too familiar with unforgiving winters.

Varsho went to high school at nearby Marshfield High School and attended college in-state at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In high school, he met his now-wife Brook, and he played both varsity football and baseball during his formative years.

5. His favourite player growing up was Jim Thome

Growing up the son of a Major League Baseball player, Varsho was surrounded by baseball all his life. Every youngster seems to idolize one player growing up, and for Varsho, that player was Hall of Famer Jim Thome.

Daulton’s father Gary was the bench coach with the Philadelphia Phillies from 2002 to 2006, and that meant the Varsho family spent a lot of time around Philly fixtures like Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Shane Victorino. But Varsho gravitated towards a fellow lefty hitter in Thome.

“Jim Thome is the best baseball player, best human being that you could ever meet in your life,” Varsho told Nevada Sports Net. Varsho reminisced about growing up around the Philadelphia Phillies clubhouse and having Thome throw balls to him during batting practice.

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