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The Toronto Blue Jays have the talent of a National League team but play in the American League. They have a monsterous task at hand as they look to over take the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees in the Eastern Division.
The Toronto Blue Jays came into existence in 1976. The name "Blue Jays" came about when the team held a "name the team" contest, Blue Jays was the most popular choice and was chosen by majority owners Labatt Breweries because the word "blue" was their main brand of beer.
Before the team's inaugural season in 1977, Peter Bavasi was chosen as the general manager, and Pat Gillick was assistant general manager.
On April 7, 1977, 44,649 fans brave snow and freezing temperatures as Major League baseball made a successful debut in Toronto. Doug Ault becomes an instant hero hitting two home runs in the Blue Jays 9-5 win over the Chicago White Sox. The Blue Jays finished the season in last place in the AL East, with a record of 54-107. In their second season, the Blue Jays would finish in last place again losing 102 games.
Under new manager Bobby Cox, Toronto's first solid season came in 1982 as they finished 78-84. Their pitching staff was led by starters Dave Stieb, Jim Clancy and Luis Leal, and the outfield featured a young Lloyd Moseby and Jesse Barfield. 1982 was also the Blue Jays first outside of last place, as they finished sixth in the East.
In 1983, the Blue Jays recorded its first winning season, finishing in 4th place with an 89-73 record, finishing 9 games out of first.
In 1985, Toronto win their first American League East division title. They finished 99-62, two games in front of the New York Yankees. The Blue Jays faced the Kansas City Royals in the American League Championship Series, and took a 3 games to 1 lead. However, Kansas City won three consecutive games to win the series 4-3.
In 1987, the Blue Jays lost a thrilling division race to the Detroit Tigers by two games, after being swept on the last weekend of the season by the Tigers. The Blue Jays finished with a 96-66 record, but it wasn't enough.
In 1989, the Blue Jays clinched their 2nd playoff appearance with an 89-73 record. However, in the ALCS the Jays were overmatched, and lost in 5 games to the Oakland Athletics.
After the 1991 season had ended, the Blue Jays acquired pitcher Jack Morris, who had led the Minnesota Twins to victory in the World Series by pitching a 10-inning complete game shutout in Game 7 and had been named the World Series MVP. To add veteran leadership to their explosive offense, Toronto signed future Hall of Famer Dave Winfield to be the team's designated hitter.
In 1992 the Blue Jays won the AL East with a 96-66 record. They went the entire season without being swept in any series. The Blue Jays met the Oakland Athletics in the ALCS, winning 4 games to 2. The pivotal game of the series was Game 4, considered by many to be one of the most important games in Blue Jays history: the Blue Jays rallied back from a 6-1 deficit after seven innings, capped off by Roberto Alomar's huge game-tying 2-run homer off Hall of Fame A's closer Dennis Eckersley in the top of the ninth. This paved the way for a 7-6 victory in 11 innings, and 3 games to 1 lead in the series and an eventual 4-2 ALCS series win.
In the 1st International World Series the Blue Jays would face the Atlanta Braves. The Blue Jays lost game 1, and in game 2, the Blue Jays were trailing 4-3 in the 9th Inning when pinch hitter Ed Sprague delivered a 2-run game winning home run to tie the series up.
The series moved to Toronto for game 3 where the Blue Jays would win the first World Series game played outside the US in the 9th inning as Candy Maldonado knocked home Roberto Alomar with the winning run. In Game 4 the Jays would grab a 3-1 series lead thanks to the dominating pitching of Jimmy Key. After being blown out in Game 5 the Jays were forced to return to Atlanta where they still needed 1 win to close out the series. In the 11th Inning of Game 6, Dave Winfield knocked home 2 runs with a double to give the Jays a 4-2 lead, but the Braves would prove pesky scoring a run and had the tying run on base with 2 outs when Otis Nixon tried to bunt his way on. Nixon's bunt would be scooped up by Mike Timlin who flipped it to 1B Joe Carter, as the Jays claimed their first World Championship.
- Cito Gaston 2008-Present
- John Gibbons 2004-2008
- Carlos Tosca 2002-04
- Buck Martinez 2001-02
- Cookie Rojas 2001
- Jim Fregosi 1999-2000
- Tim Johnson 1998
- Mel Queen 1997
- Cito Gaston 1989-97
- Gene Tenace 1991, 1994
- Jimy Williams 1986-89
- Bobby Cox 1982-85
- Bobby Mattick 1980-81
- Harry Warner 1978
- Roy Hartsfield 1977-79
- George Bell 1987
Rookie of the Year
- Vernon Wells 2003
- Carlos Delgado 1999-2000, 2003
- Shawn Green 1999
- Jose Canseco 1998
- Paul Molitor 1993
- Dave Winfield 1992
- Joe Carter 1991-92
- Roberto Alomar 1992
- Kelly Gruber 1990
- Fred McGriff 1989
- George Bell 1985-87
- Jesse Barfield 1986
- Lloyd Moseby 1983
- Damaso Garcia 1982
- Orlando Hudson 2B 2005
- Vernon Wells OF 2004-2006
- Shawn Green OF 1999
- Devon White OF 1991-1995
- Roberto Alomar 2B 1991-1995
- Kelly Gruber 3B 1990
- Jesse Barfield OF 1986-1987
- Tony Fernandez SS 1986-1989
Record Per Season
Minor League Teams
- Triple A: Syracuse Chiefs, International League
- Double A: New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Eastern League
- Advanced A: Dunedin Blue Jays, Florida State League
- Single A: Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League
- Short A: Auburn Doubledays, New York-Penn League
- Rookie: Gulf Coast Blue Jays, Gulf Coast League
- Rookie: VSL Blue Jays, Venezuelan Summer League