There was something sturdy and elemental about Otto Velez. I have no memory at all of him as a Yankee (apparently he made three plate appearances in the 1976 World Series, striking out each time), but as soon as he became a member of the first Blue Jay team he somehow seemed to have always existed. All the other Blue Jays flickered half-formed like figures on the malfunctioning pads of the Starship Enterprise transporter room, not quite here yet and not even somewhere else. But Otto Velez was undeniably here. If not for him, I don’t think anyone would have ever believed there was such a thing as the Toronto Blue Jays.