March 26, American League votes to expand to Toronto, awarding franchise to group consisting of Imperial Trust, Ltd., Labatt's Breweries, and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce... June 18, Franchise fee of $7 million (US) determined and Metro Baseball, Ltd., appoints Peter Bavasi, Executive Vice-President and General Manager of new franchise... August 12, Directors select "Blue Jays" from over 4,000 names and 30,000 entries in a "Name the Team" contest... August 25, Blue Jays announce Dunedin, Florida as new spring training site... September 22, Roy Hartsfield appointed field manager for inaugural season... October 8, Club reveals distinctive "Blue Jays logo", as season ticket sales begin... October 22, Blue Jays acquire first player in purchase of catcher Phil Roof from the Chicago White Sox... November 5, Blue Jays announce first trade at conclusion of expansion draft, sending Al Fitzmorris to Cleveland for catcher Alan Ashby and infielder outfielder Doug Howard.
March 11, Blue Jays defeat New York Mets 3-1 at Dunedin, Florida, in first spring training game... April 7, 44,649 fans brave snow and freezing temperatures as Major League baseball makes 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... August 9, Blue Jays defeat Minnesota 6-2 in front of 23,450 fans, which pushes the home attendance to 1,219,551 and establishes a new attendance record for a first-year expansion club after only 50 home dates... September 10, Roy Howell drives in nine runs with five hits, including two home runs and two doubles as the Blue Jays inflict a 19-3 loss on the New York Yankees. Jays' total is most runs scored against the Yankees in New York in over a half century... September 15, Blue Jays awarded 9-0 forfeit win over Baltimore Orioles as Orioles' manager Earl Weaver removes team from field in fifth inning... October 2, Blue Jays complete their first year with a 54-107 record with 1,701,052 fans having made their way to Exhibition Stadium to see the team in their inaugural season... November 24, Board of Directors names Peter Bavasi, President and Chief Operating Officer of Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club.
April 22, Jim Clancy gets the credit for a 4-2 Jacket Day win over the Chicago White Sox in front of 44,327 including Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and in doing so helps his own cause by starting the Blue Jays first ever triple play... June 26, Blue Jays explode for 24 runs on 24 hits en route to a 24-10 shellacking of the Baltimore Orioles.
Two experienced hitters -- Rico Carty and John Mayberry -- joined Toronto for 1978, and although each hit 20 homers and combined to drive in 138 runs, the team was outscored by 185 runs during the season.
Rookie center fielder Rick Bosetti, who had 17 assists, established what would prove to be a Blue Jays tradition of fast, young outfielders. Roy Howell had 10 home runs and drove in 61 runs.
Jim Clancy won 10 games while Victor Cruz topped relievers with nine saves and a 1.71 ERA. Tom Underwood got the win in the highest-scoring game in Jays history, a 24-10 win over Baltimore on June 26.
Good news was on the way, however. Toronto selected outfielder Lloyd Moseby in the June draft, and future pitching star Dave Stieb was switched from the outfield to the mound in the minor leagues.
Rick Cerone became the club's No. 1 catcher in 1979, driving in 61 runs. Shortstop Alfredo Griffin was acquired from Cleveland and went on to share the AL's Rookie of the Year Award after hitting .287 with 179 hits and 21 stolen bases.
On June 26, a talented rookie pitcher completed the leap from Class A ball to the majors in one season. Dave Stieb, a converted outfielder, was 5-0 with Dunedin, 5-2 with Syracuse and 8-8 with Toronto to finish a combined 18-10.
Other prospects in the minors included Lloyd Moseby, 1978's No. 1 draft pick who batted .332, and Jesse Barfield, who drove in 71 runs.
September 23, Blue Jays complete their home schedule and announce a expansion attendance record total of 4,695,288 fans have come to see Blue Jays baseball in the first 3 seasons... October 18, Bobby Mattick named Field Manager for the 1980 season... November 26, Alfredo Griffin named co-winner of the American League's Rookie of the Year Award... December 2-7, the Blue Jays play host to the first Winter Meetings held outside the United States since 1936.
Bobby Mattick, the Jays' scouting supervisor, was promoted to field manager, and he led the team to its best record in its first four years. Tom Underwood and Rick Cerone were sent to the Yankees for Paul Mirabella, Damaso Garcia and Chris Chambliss, who was dealt to the Braves for outfielder Barry Bonnell and reliever Joey McLaughlin.
John Mayberry slugged a club-record 30 homers. Alvis Woods hit .300, and Bonnell drove in 56 runs. Ernie Whitt became the team's No. 1 catcher, and Lloyd Moseby and Willie Upshaw both earned spots in the lineup.
Jim Clancy and Dave Stieb became the club's top two starters. In the bullpen, Jerry Garvin recorded a 2.28 ERA while McLaughlin, Mirabella and Jesse Jefferson all pitched more than 120 innings.
September 12, Blue Jays defeat Baltimore 7-5 to win their 60th game of the season and in doing so set a new club record for victories in a single season... September 26, Continuing to break all records for expansion teams, the Blue Jays reach the 6 million mark in home attendance... October 5, Toronto defeats Boston 4-1 to chalk up their 67th win of the season, 8 more victories than ever before.
In a season split in half by a players' strike, the Jays combined the worst start and the strongest finish in the club's five-year history. Dave Stieb became the Jays' first regular starter to post a winning record, going 11-10 with an ERA of 3.19. Right-hander Luis Leal was 7-13 with a 3.68 ERA. Joey McLaughlin recorded 10 saves and a 2.85 ERA, and Roy Lee Jackson, acquired from the Mets for Bob Bailor, had seven saves and a 2.61 ERA.
Damaso Garcia had an excellent second half, batting .375 before breaking his wrist in late August. Jesse Barfield and George Bell began to play regularly, joining Lloyd Moseby in the outfield. In his first full season with Toronto, Moseby tied John Mayberry for the club lead with 43 RBI.
October 7, Bobby Mattick resigns as Field Manager to become Executive Co-Ordinator, Baseball Operations... October 15, Bobby Cox, former Atlanta Braves Manager (1978-81), named Blue Jays Manager for the 1982 season... November 24, Peter Bavasi, President & Chief Operating Officer resigns.
Bobby Cox's first season as manager saw Willie Upshaw take over at first base after John Mayberry was traded. Upshaw had 75 RBI and 21 homers. Damaso Garcia hit .310 and stole 58 bases. Jesse Barfield hit 18 homers and finished second in the league with 15 outfield assists.
Platooning was an important part of Cox's strategy. He utilized Garth Iorg and Rance Mulliniks at third and the tandem of Ernie Whitt and Buck Martinez behind the plate.
Dave Stieb led the league in innings pitched and complete games while winning a club-record 17 games. Jim Clancy was 16-14, and Luis Leal gave the Jays a reliable third starter with a 12-15 record. Dale Murray was the relief ace, going 8-7 with a 3.16 ERA and recording 11 saves.
July 22, N.E. Hardy appointed Chief Executive Officer... July 30, beer is sold at Exhibition Stadium for the first time, each one cost $1.75... September 11, Blue Jays set a new club mark for road attendance, surpassing the previous mark of 1,285,409... October 3, Blue Jays set new club marks for best home (44-37) and road (34-47) records... Club establishes an American League record for the fewest games behind an American league leader for a last place club (17) since divisional play started in 1969... Toronto wins 78th game to tie Cleveland for sixth place, the first season that the club did not finish in 7th place.
The Jays became contenders in 1983. The club's designated hitters - primarily Cliff Johnson and Jorge Orta - hit 34 HRs and 113 RBIs. The Jays' .277 average led the A.L.
Lloyd Moseby, who became the first Jay to score more than 100 runs, hit .315 with 18 home runs, 81 RBIs and 27 stolen bases. Willie Upshaw became the first Jay to record 100 RBIs, hitting 27 homers to share player of the year honors with Moseby. Damaso Garcia had another strong year, finishing at .307 with 31 stolen bases. The outfield featured Jesse Barfield, who hit 27 home runs, and newly-acquired Dave Collins, who platooned with Barry Bonnell and George Bell. Bonnell hit .318.
The pitching staff consisted of Stieb (17-12), Clancy (15-11), Leal (13-12), Jim Gott (9-14) and Doyle Alexander (7-6), who had been released by the Yankees in June. The 1983 season marked Toronto's first exposure to pennant fever.
May 23, Lloyd Moseby becomes third consecutive Blue Jays player to capture AL Player of the Week honours (others being Luis Leal and Dave Stieb) marking only the second time in league history that one club had captured the honour for three consecutive weeks... July 4, Blue Jays lead the AL East at the All-Star break, a club first... July 25, Blue Jays are tied for first place, setting a new mark for the latest date that the club was ever in first place... August 2, 45,102 fans (a new record) see Blue Jays sweep TN-DH from the Yankees... September 19, Lloyd Moseby becomes first Blue Jays player to score 100 runs... September 20, Willie Upshaw becomes first Blue Jay player to drive in 100 runs... October 2, Blue Jays finish season at 89-73, good for 4th place, 9 games back, and also the first time the franchise had finished with an above .500 record.
In an attempt to improve their bullpen, the Jays acquired relievers Dennis Lamp and Bryan Clark.
After a streak of 19 one-run victories in the first half of the season, the Jays dropped 25 of 40 one-run games over the rest of the schedule. They finished with 89 wins, finishing in second place behind the Detroit Tigers.
Dave Collins won Player of the Year honors with 41 extra base hits and 60 stolen bases. Lloyd Moseby hit .280 with 18 homers and 39 stolen bases. Rance Mulliniks hie .324, the best mark on the club.
Doyle Alexander had a great year on the mound, going 17-6 with 262 innings pitched and 11 complete games. Stieb had another fine year at 16-8 with an ERA of 2.83. Jim Clancy and Luis Leal each won 13 games.
For the first time in franchise history, more than two million fans made their way to Exhibition Stadium. The Jays were a good team, but a piece or two was still missing from the championship puzzle.
April 17, Blue Jays set a new team record with 9,104 season tickets sold... April 28, Blue Jays gain sole possession of second place, a position they would never relinquish... May 27, Alfredo Griffin has his major league leading consecutive game streak snapped at 392 games... June 2, Blue Jays win their 19th one-run game in a row... August 5, Blue Jays steal seven bases in a 5-3 win at Baltimore... August 5, Cliff Johnson sets a new major league record with his 19th career pinch-hit home run... September 2, Blue Jays reach 22-games over .500 (79-57) for the first time in club history... September 19, Blue Jays become the 18th major league franchise to surpass the two million mark in home attendance... September 23, Blue Jays draw 2,110,009 at home, a new franchise mark... September 29, Blue Jays clinch second place, their highest standing ever.
The Jays won the A.L. East on October 5, 1985 when Doyle Alexander beat the Yankees 5-1. The Jays finished with 99 wins and went on to play the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS, losing a tight seven-game series.
Newcomers included relief ace Bill Claudill, and lefthander Gary Lavelle. Dennis Lamp moved to middle relief and compiled an 11-0 record. Jimmy Key, who went 14-6, joined the starting rotation, while Bell, Barfield, and Fernandez were now everyday players. Tom Henke became the closer in July.
The Jays' bullpen had 47 saves and a 35-20 won-lost record, with Henke saving 13 of 15 games. Bell hit 28 Hrs, Barfield hit 27 and Ernie Whitt had 19. Garth Iorg hit .313. Tony Fernandez hit .289.
April 16, Blue Jays place an 11,500 ceiling on season tickets... May 1, Jimmy Key becomes the club's first starting LHP to win a game since Oct. 4, 1980 (614-games)... May 20, Blue Jays gain sole possession of 1st place, a position they would not relinquish for the remainder of the season... June 8-9, Blue Jays draw back-to-back 40,000 fan home crowds for the first time ever... June 27, Blue Jays surpass one million mark in home attendance, the earliest date ever... July 21, Blue Jays win their 10th straight home game and push their first place lead to a club record 9.5-games... July 27, Blue Jays average home attendance, surpasses the 30,000 mark for the first time ever... September 12-15, Blue Jays and Yankees set an AL record for a 4-game series with 214,510 fans in attendance... September 29, Blue Jays move to a club record 41-games over .500 (98-57)... October 4, 47,686 see the Blue Jays play New York - a new club attendance mark... October 5, Blue Jays captured first division title (American League East)... October 6, Blue Jays draw 2,468,925 fans at home - a new club mark... October 25, Jimy Williams succeeds Bobby Cox as manager.
The Jays 10th season saw both Jesse Barfield and George Bell drive in a club record 108 runs. Barfield hit a Jays record 40 homers, while Bell hit 31 dingers and 38 doubles. Tony Fernandez led the club with a .301 average. All three were selected to post-season All-Star teams and Barfield and Fernandez became the first members of the Blue Jays to win Gold Glove awards. Rick Leach hit .309, with ten pinch hits.
Inconsistency plagued the starting staff. Jim Clancy lost his final seven decisions while Dave Stieb lost his first six decisions to finish at 7-12. Lefthander Jimmy Key, also winless in his first starts, finished at 11-11. Mark Eichhorn, who won 14 games and set the club record for lowest ERA at 1.72 was selected as rookie relief pitcher of the year by The Sporting News. Tom Henke continued as the team's top stopper, finishing with a club record 27 saves.
Blue Jays place a ceiling of 14,000 on season tickets in celebrating their 10th anniversary season... April 15, Club's first home rainout since July 4, 1983. The game vs. the Orioles was made up the next day ... May 6, Jesse Barfield cracks 2 home runs vs. Oakland to become the club's all-time franchise leader at 93... June 20, Cliff Johnson homers vs. Detroit for his major league leading 20th career pinch-hit home run... June 27, Damaso Garcia ties a major league record with four doubles vs. New York... July 10, Damaso Garcia becomes the first player to register 1000 hits in a Blue Jays uniform... July 28, Jim Clancy becomes the first pitcher to record 100 wins in a Blue Jays uniform... September 22, Tony Fernandez becomes the first Blue Jays player to reach the 200 hit mark in one season, while he and Jesse Barfield become the first Blue Jays to win a Rawlings Gold Glove for defensive excellence.
In one of Baseball's most dramatic pennant races, the Jays and the Tigers played seven one-run games over the last ten days of the season. Toronto finished two games back with 96 wins, the second-highest in the majors.
The Blue Jays led the A.L. in attendance, and registered the sixth-highest home run total in league history with 215, including a major-league record 10 home run game on September 14.
George Bell (47 HRs and 134 RBI) earned A.L. MVP honors. Jimmy Key compiled a 17-8 record with a 2.76 ERA. Tony Fernandez hit .322 with 32 stolen bases. Tom Henke led the A.L. in saves with 34.
Rookie Fred McGriff hit 20 homers while Jeff Musselman finished 12-5. Mike Flanagan pitched well after being acquired from Baltimore on August 30. David Wells was effective in middle relief, appearing in 18 games.
June 2, Blue Jays embark on a club record 11-game win streak... July 1, Blue Jays set a club record when a Canada Day crowd of 47,828 fans saw the Yankees... July 14, George Bell participates in the All-Star Game and is the first Blue Jay ever selected by the fans... September 14, Ernie Whitt becomes the second Blue Jays player to have a 3 home run game as Blue Jays set a Major League Record with 10 home runs in a game vs. the Orioles... September 30, Blue Jays final home attendance reached 2,778,429, the most ever for an AL East team and the club led the AL in attendance for first time ever... November 17th, George Bell named AL MVP... December 8th, George Bell is named the ML Player of the Year by The Sporting News.
The Jays were plagued by injuries and a slow start in 1988 and trailed the A.L. East leaders by 11.5 games in mid-July.
After the All-Star break, the Jays played consistent baseball, posting the Division's best second-half record with 45 wins, 22 of these coming in the stretch drive.
The Jays led the league in home runs (158), triples (47), total bases (2330) and slugging percentage (.419). Fred McGriff's 34 homers led the A.L., as did the pitching staff's 17 shutouts. George Bell stroked 24 homers and added 97 RBIs. Jimmy Key recovered from arm trouble to go 12-5 and Dave Stieb tossed three one-hitters over the course of the campaign. Tom Henke saved 25 games while Duane Ward posted a 9-3 mark in 64 appearances.
Newcomers Pat Borders (.273) and Rob Ducey (.315) were pleasant surprises. Kelly Gruber (16 home runs) and Tony Fernandez (.287) solidified the infield with excellent defence and made consistent contributions at the plate. The future looked bright.
April 3, George Bell becomes the first major leaguer to hit 3 home runs on Opening Day... April 11, Blue Jays defeat the Yankees in their home opener before their largest Opening Day crowd (45,185)... May 31, Dave Stieb tosses his first career One Hitter, defeating Milwaukee 9-0... June 4, Blue Jays complete a 4-game sweep at Fenway Park, their first sweep ever in Boston... July 12, Dave Stieb makes his sixth All-Star game appearance, placing him tied/7th on the All-time pitchers list... September 5, George Bell is named AL Player of the Week for the period ending September 4 and in doing so was the only league player to be twice honored in 1988... September 30, Dave Stieb became the sixth modern ML pitcher to toss consecutive one hitters... October 2, Blue Jays finish the season with a 22-7 September/ October, a club record.
The Jays won their second A.L. East crown in 1989, enduring a slow start and a managerial change before putting together a strong second half.
The club played its SkyDome opener on June 5, recording a 17-10 mark for the month. By the All-Star break, the club was tied for fourth place. In early August, Lee Mazzilli and Mookie Wilson were added. With a team record 20 wins in August, the Jays pulled into a first place tie with Baltimore on the last day of the month. Back-to back wins over the Orioles on the last weekend of the season clinched the A.L. East Division title. George Bell (104 RBIs) and Fred McGriff (36 HRs) powered the offence.
In the ALCS, the Jays lost to the Oakland A's in five games.
January 10, Paul Beeston named President of the Blue Jays... April 16, Kelly Gruber becomes the first franchise player to hit for the cycle against Kansas City at Exhibition Stadium... May 15, Jimy Williams is dismissed as manager, replaced on an interim basis by Cito Gaston... It was the club's first managerial change in franchise history to take place during a season... May 28, Blue Jays play their final game at Exhibition Stadium, defeating Chicago 7-5... May 31, Cito Gaston is named as the fifth manager in franchise history... June 3, Blue Jays overcome a 10-0 seventh inning deficit to defeat Boston 13-11 in 12 innings... Blue Jays place a ceiling of 26,000 season tickets at Sky-Dome... June 5, Blue Jays lose 5-3 to Milwaukee in the club's first game at SkyDome... July 9, Blue Jays win 2-0 at Detroit for the club's first-ever sweep at Tiger Stadium... August 4, Dave Stieb loses a perfect game after 8.2 innings when New York's Roberto Kelly doubles... August 31, Blue Jays defeat Chicago 5-1 to move into a first place tie with Baltimore. They would remain in first place for the remainder of the season... September 4, George Bell is named American League Player of the Month for August... September 16, 49,501 watch the Blue Jays defeat the Indians as the Blue Jays set a new American League record for home attendance... September 30, Blue Jays defeat Baltimore 4-3 to capture their second division title in five seasons... October 8, Blue Jays draw 50,024 for Game 5 of the ALCS marking the 41st consecutive sellout at SkyDome... December 17, An era ends as Ernie Whitt is traded to the Atlanta Braves. He was the club's final link with the 1976 Expansion Draft.
In 1990, The Blue Jays were unable to combine pitching, hitting and defence to produce a prolonged winning streak. The club held or shared the lead throughout the final month of the schedule and stayed in the chase until key losses to Boston and Baltimore in the final week ended the team's pennant hopes.
The 1990 season did see several rookie ball players make their marks with the club. First baseman John Olerud had 14 HRs and 48 RBIs while Glenallen Hill added 12 HRs in 84 games. Pat Borders was behind the plate when Dave Stieb pitched the first no hitter in franchise history against Cleveland on September 2. Stieb also pitched the 100th complete game of his career in 1990, shutting out Oakland 1-0 on May 28.
April 10, the Blue Jays begin their first full season at SkyDome... June 29, Dave Stewart of Oakland pitches the first No-Hitter in Toronto and at the SkyDome... August 14, George Bell ties a Major League record with 3 Sacrifice Flies in a game vs the White Sox... August 18, Mr. R. Howard Webster, the Blue Jays' Honorary Chairman passes away at age 80... September 2, Dave Stieb pitches the club's first No-Hitter vs. the Cleveland Indians at Cleveland-final score: Toronto 3, Cleveland 0... September 19, with a crowd of 49,902, the Blue Jays set a Major League season attendance record, breaking the old record set by the L.A. Dodgers in 1982. Thee new record stands at 3,885,284... October 3, Blue Jays set a team record along with the Oakland Athletics for club fielding with a .986 average ... December 5, the Blue Jays make a blockbuster trade with San Diego, trading Tony Fernandez and Fred McGriff for Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter... December 14, Mr. N.E. Hardy steps down as the Blue Jays' Chairman of the Board and CEO and is appointed Honorary Chairman as Mr. William R. Ferguson is named Chairman of the Board and Mr. P.N.T. Widdrington is appointed Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
The Jays acquired Devon White, Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar for 1991.
Heros for the Jays included Juan Guzman, who set a team record with 10 consecutive victories, and Joe Carter who drove in 108 runs.
Roberto Alomar led all regulars with a .295 batting average. Tom Henke had 32 saves while Duane Ward had 23.
Despite losing to the Twins in the ALCS, the season was a successful one for the organization as the jays became the first team in baseball history to draw 4,000,000 fans.
April 8, Toronto opens the season with a 6-2 loss to the defending AL East Champion Boston Red Sox... May 1, Blue Jays extend radio contract with CJCL through 1994 and in Texas, Nolan Ryan tosses his seventh career No-Hitter (first vs. Blue Jays)... It was the third No-Hitter vs. the Blue Jays... July 1, Joe Carter named American League Player of the Month for June (.352, 11 HR, 29 RBI)... July 9, 52,382 fans watch the 62nd All-Star Game in Toronto as the American League defeated the National League 4-2. Toronto pitcher Jimmy Key was credited with the win in the game... August 13, Tom Henke's streak of consecutive saves comes to an end with a Paul Molitor home run in the ninth. Henke still sets a Major League mark for consecutive saves with 25... October 1, Juan Guzman sets a club record for consecutive wins by a Blue Jays starter with his 10th vs. California... October 2, Toronto clinches the AL East with a come-from-behind 6-5 win over the Angels at the SkyDome in the final game of the regular season... Toronto also surpasses 4-million mark in attendance, becoming the first club ever to break 4-million (4,001,526)... October 31, John Labatt Limited purchases portion of club owned by Imperial Trust and thus obtained a 90% ownership of the club (10% Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)... December 13, Mr. Peter N.T. Widdrington is appointed Chairman of the Board for the Blue Jays and Mr. Paul Beeston is appointed Chief Executive Officer... December 18, Toronto signs pitcher Jack Morris to the richest contract in Blue Jays history... December 19, outfielder Dave Winfield agrees to a one-year deal with Toronto.
The 1992 Jays were a well-balanced team supplemented by the addition of Dave Winfield, Jack Morris, Alfredo Griffin and David Cone. After clinching their second consecutive A.L. East title, the Jays cruised past the Oakland A's in six games to reach the World Series for the first time.
Toronto's opponents in baseball's first international World Series were the Atlanta Braves. After an opening game loss, the Jays won three consecutive games, two of which were the result of dramatic ninth-inning come-backs. Atlanta bounced back for a win in game five, but the Jays made baseball history in game six, winning the Series with a 4-3 victory in 11 innings. The key hit was Dave Winfield's two-out double down the left field line. Two days later, Winfield unveiled the banner the city and team had been waiting 16 years to see: Toronto Blue Jays, 1992 World Series Champs.
April 6, the Blue Jays open the season in Detroit with newly acquired pitcher, Jack Morris setting a Major League record with his 13th consecutive opening day start. He tosses a complete game as Toronto wins 4-2... April 13, Toronto's six game win streak to start the season comes to an end as the Yankees down the Blue Jays 5-2... May 1, Roberto Alomar named AL Player of the Month for April (.382, 34H, 19R, 3HR, 8SB)... September 24, Dave Winfield sets a Blue Jays record for homers by a DH with his 23rd and becomes the oldest man in ML history to register 100 or more RBI in a season... October 3, Juan Guzman gets the win as the Blue Jays clinch their fourth AL East Title... October 4, with a crowd of 50,421 the Blue Jays surpass the 4-million mark in home attendance for the second straight season and set a new ML attendance record with 4,028,318 fans... October 14, Toronto defeats the Athletics in six games earning their first ever World Series berth... October 17, Toronto plays their first ever World Series game, losing 3-1 to the Braves... October 24, the Blue Jays emerge victorious over Atlanta in 11 innings capturing the World Series and thus becoming the first Canadian team to win the Commissioner's Trophy.
The Blue Jays entered the 1993 season with eleven new faces. John Olerud, Robbie Alomar and Paul Molitor finishing 1-2-3 in the batting race and Joe Carter added 33 HRs and 121 RBIs as the Jays captured their third consecutive A.L. East Flag.
Dave Stewart won twice as the Jays eased past the White Sox in six games to win the A.L. crown, setting up as meeting with the Phillies in the World Series. The teams split the first two in Toronto before the jays captured two of the next three on the road, including a record-setting 15-14 nail biter in game four.
In game six at Skydome, the Phillies overcame a 5-1 deficit and carried a 6-5 lead into the bottom of the ninth. After Henderson and Molitor reached base, Joe Carter then drove a slider from Mitch Williams into the left field bullpen to give the Jays their second championship. Carter's blast was only the second Series-ending home run in baseball history.
April 30, Joe Carter sets a club record for RBI in April with 25... June 11, shortstop Tony Fernandez is re-acquired in a trade with the New York Mets... July 13, at Baltimore, a record tying seven Blue Jays are selected to the All-Star team, managed by Cito Gaston (Alomar, Carter, Hentgen, Molitor, Olerud, Ward, White)... July 31, Blue Jays acquire leadoff man Rickey Henderson from the A's for the stretch run in return for minor leaguer's Steve Karsay and Jose Herrera... August 2, the last day that John Olerud would be batting .400- average dipped to a season ending .363, becoming the first ever Blue Jay to win a batting title... August 23, Joe Carter collects 3 home runs vs. the Indians for his fifth career 3 homer game; an AL record... September 26, Blue Jays break their own American League attendance record with a crowd of 50,518 to push the year's home attendance to 4,057,947... September 27, Toronto clinches AL East title with a 2-0 win in Milwaukee as Pat Hentgen wins his 19th game... October 3, Roberto Alomar goes 3-5 to move into third place (.326) in the AL batting race to finish behind teammates John Olerud (.363) and Paul Molitor (.332). It is the first time in 100 years that teammates had finished 1-2-3 in the batting race... October 12, Toronto defeats the Chicago White Sox 6-3 in the sixth game of the ALCS to win their second straight AL pennant and advance to the World Series against Philadelphia... October 23, In Game Six of the World Series, the Blue Jays led by Joe Carter's 3-run home run in the bottom of the ninth, defeat the Phillies 8-6 at SkyDome to become the first team since 1977-78 Yankees to capture back-to-back World Series Championships.
The 1994 Blue Jays struggled in May and June, and despite better results at the time play was suspended, the Jays finished under .500 for the first time since 1982.
The club started strongly. Rookie Carlos Delgado hit eight HRs in April. Joe Carter established an M.L. record with 31 RBIs in the month.
After just 18 wins in May and June, the Jays rebounded with 17 victories in July. Still, when the season ended in August, the club was 16 games back. Inconsistency and injuries had figured in the result: Both Carlos Delgado and Alex Gonzalez were returned to the minors. Juan Guzman struggled and Duane Ward underwent surgery and was unable to play.
Despite the disappointing result, there were numerous highlights. Paul Molitor hit .341. Mike Huff played 80 games in the outfield, batting .304. Veteran minor leaguer Darren Hall recorded 17 saves and Pat Hentgen contributed 13 wins and an ERA of 3.40.
April 4, club defeats the 1993 AL West Champion Chicago White Sox 7-3 as Toronto opens their 18th season... May 1, Joe Carter named AL Player of the Month after setting Major League record for RBI in April with 31... May 20, Toronto extends managerial contract of Cito Gaston through the 1996 season... Same day, team President and CEO Paul Beeston is named Canada's Baseball Man of the Year for 1993 by Toronto and Montreal BBWAA... June 7, Manager Cito Gaston receives Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from University of Toronto... July 8, Duane Ward undergoes arthroscopic surgery on right shoulder... August 11, Toronto defeats the New York Yankees 8-7 in 13 innings, in what would be the final game of 1994... August 12, Major League players strike begins... September 14, Office of the Commissioner announces that the remainder of the 1994 season will not be completed... October 14, Gord Ash named Vice-President and General Manager effective October 31... October 31, Pat Gillick steps down as General Manager of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Despite disappointing Results, 1995 contained its share of highlights. Joe Carter led the club in homers for the fifth straight season. Right fielder Shawn Green set a club rookie record with 50 extra base hits and rookie backstop Sandy Martinez jumped from AA to the major leagues mid-season and led the teams in RBIs in August. Southpaw Al Leiter posted career-highs in Wins, ERA, innings and strikeouts.
Domingo Cedeno and rookie Tomas Perez played well defensively and Ed Sprague emerged as a team leader and solid presence at third base. Also impressive was the resilience of left-hander Tony Castillo and the promising contributions of rookie pitchers Ken Robinson and Tim Crabtree.
April 6, David Cone, who pitched for the Blue Jays in the 1992 World Series, is re-acquired in a trade with Kansas City... April 26, The strike-delayed season begins at home with a 13-1 pounding of Oakland, in which the Blue Jays, in front of their only sell-out crowd of the season, set a new club record scoring 11 times in the second inning... July 4, Roberto Alomar saw his string of 484 errorless chances come to an end with an error in a game in California. The 484 chances without an error was a new Major League record and the string of 104 games without an error established a new American League standard... July 13, Seattle turns the third ever triple play against the Blue Jays, in the ninth inning of their game in the Kingdome... July 28, David Cone was traded to the New York Yankees in exchange for minor league pitchers Marty Janzen, Jason Jarvis and Mike Gordon... October 1, The Blue Jays lose their fifth straight game to close out the 1995 season with a 56-88 record and finish in last place for the first time since 1979.
The Blue Jays 20th Season was highlighted by Pitcher Pat Hentgen, who became the first member of the club to win the Cy Young Award after posting a 20-10 record and leading the A.L. with 10 complete games and 265.2 innings pitched. Ed Sprague also had a big year with 36 home runs and 101 RBIs, while Joe Carter rebounded from a poor 1995 season to top 30 homers and 100 RBIs for the ninth time in his career. Juan Guzman also returned to form and led the A.L with a 2.93 ERA. Robert Perez led the team with a .327 average, while given a chance to play every day, and the result was an 18-win improvement over 1995.
January 16, Blue Jays Howard Starkman awarded Robert O. Fishel Award for Public Relations excellence in Major League Baseball... April 1, Blue Jays begin 20th season of play with a 9-6 win over Oakland in Las Vegas... April 9, Blue Jays honour George Bell and Dave Stieb as the first two players enshrined on the "Level of Excellence" as part of 20th season home opening festivities... April 16, Blue Jays promote Moose Johnson and Gord Lakey to Special Assistants to the Vice-President and General Manager... May 1, Juan Guzman named the AL Pitcher of the Month for April... August 26, Vice President, Baseball Al LaMacchia resigns to accept a position with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays... September 14, Blue Jays present first annual Bobby Mattick and Al LaMacchia Awards for excellence in Player Development and Scouting respectively. Rocket Wheeler captured the inaugural Bobby Mattick Award while Duane Larson captured the Al LaMacchia Award... September 3, Pat Hentgen captures consecutive AL Pitcher of the Month Awards, winning in July and August... September 30, Juan Guzman becomes the third Blue Jay to lead the AL in ERA posting a 2.93 mark... November 14, Blue Jays complete largest trade in club history, a nine player deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates in which the club acquires IF Carlos Garcia, OF Orlando Merced and LHP Dan Plesac... November 12, Pat Hentgen is named the American League Cy Young Award winner... November 19, Toronto Blue Jays unveil their new logo and uniforms, the first logo change in club history... December 9, Signed free agent catcher Benito Santiago to a two year deal... December 13, Blue Jays sign free agent pitcher Roger Clemens to a three-year deal.
Free agent acquisition Roger Clemens was the Blue Jays' top story in 1997. His 21 victories tied a club record and his 292 strikeouts set a new one. Combined with a 2.05 ERA, Clemens won the unofficial A.L. pitchers' Triple Crown and won the Cy Young Award for the fourth time in his career. Joe Carter passed George Bell as the club's all time home run leader while Carlos Delgado and Jose Cruz Jr. emerged a the club's new offensive stars.
February 28, Bob Engle is promoted from Assistant GM to Senior Advisor, Baseball Operations... June 2, Roger Clemens named the AL Pitcher of the Month for May... June 13, Blue Jays play first inter-league game in Philadelphia, losing 4-3 to the Phillies... June 31, Blue Jays play first ever regular season game with the Montreal Expos, three game series in SkyDome highlighted by July 1, Canada Day match-up... July 22, Paul Beeston, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Blue Jays resigns from position and accepts post with Major League Baseball as President and Chief Operating Officer... July 31, Blue Jays acquire OF Jose Cruz Jr. in a trade with the Seattle Mariners in exchange for RHP Mike Timlin and LHP Paul Spoljaric... September 2, Roger Clemens named the AL Pitcher of the Month for August... September 24, Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston relieved of his duties, Mel Queen appointed interim manager for the rest of the season... September 27, Blue Jays announce Omar Malave as the Bobby Mattick Award winner and Jim Hughes as the Al LaMacchia award winner... September 28, Blue Jays announce coaches Nick Leyva, Gene Tenace, Alfredo Griffin and Willie Upshaw will not return for the 1998 season... October 30, Interbrew S.A. announces that they are no longer trying to sell the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club, the Toronto Argonauts Football Team or their share in SkyDome... November 10, Roger Clemens named as the American League Cy Young Award winner, his fourth and the second straight by a Blue Jay... November 24, Tim Johnson appointed as Manager of the Toronto Blue Jays... November 26, Blue Jays sign free agent pitcher Randy Myers to a three-year contract and catcher Darrin Fletcher to a two-year deal... November 26, Blue Jays radio rights awarded to Headline Sports... December 8, Blue Jays sign free agent 1B/DH Mike Stanley and 2B Tony Fernandez.
It was a tale of two seasons in 1998 for Toronto. The team struggled throughout the first half before exploding into contention in August. Deals at the deadline opened up the outfield for promising youngsters Shannon Stewart, Shawn Green and Jose Cruz and also steadied the infield by opening up third base for veteran Tony Fernandez. Fernandez led the team with a .321 average, and Green joined the exclusive 30/30 club with 35 homers and 35 steals. Carlos Delgado led the Jays with 115 RBI, and Jose Canseco clubbed a team-high 46 homers. Roger Clemens earned his fifth Cy Young Award with a 20-6 record and also topped 3,000 strikeouts during the season.
February 4, sign free agent outfielder Jose Canseco... March 2, Gord Ash is promoted from Vice-President to Executive Vice President, Baseball and General Manager, Bob Nicholson from Vice President, Business to Executive Vice President, Business, Howard Starkman appointed Vice-President, Media Relations, George Holm appointed Vice President, Sales and Operations & Susan Quigley appointed to Vice President, Finance and Administration... June 17, Dave Stieb returns to Blue Jays from Syracuse and first pitches on June 18 in Baltimore... July 4, Tony Fernandez becomes the franchise leader in hits collecting his 1,320 hit as a Blue Jay off Dennis Springer of Tampa Bay... July 5, Roger Clemens becomes the 11th pitcher to record 3000 career strikeouts after fanning Tampa Bay's Randy Winn... July 26, Jose Canseco hit career HR #380 to become the All-Time HR leader for non-US born players... July 27, Toronto Blue Jays play the Baltimore Orioles in the Hall of Fame Game in Cooperstown New York... July 30, Blue Jays trade Mike Stanley to Boston for RHP's Peter Munro and Jay Yennaco... July 31, Blue Jays trade RHP Juan Guzman to Baltimore for RHP Nerio Rodriguez and OF Shannon Carter... August 6, Trade Randy Myers to San Diego for C Brian Loyd and cash considerations... September 1, Roger Clemens named the AL Pitcher of the Month in August... September 4, Shawn Green becomes just the ninth player in the history of the American League, and the first Blue Jay, to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in the same season... September 23, Blue Jays reach a multi -year agreement with CTV Sportsnet to broadcast up 42 games... November 16, Roger Clemens named American League Cy Young Award winner for the second consecutive season, his fifth and the third in club history... November 3, Name Dave Stewart as Assistant General Manager... December 13, Acquired RHP Joey Hamilton from the San Diego Padres in exchange for RHP's Woody Williams, Carlos Almanzar and OF Peter Tucci... December 8, Wayne Morgan promoted to the position of Special Assistant to the General Manager and Director, International Scouting... December 13 Roger Clemens named the AL's Joe Cronin Award winner for significant achievement.
The Blue Jays finished with an 84-78 record, which was third in the AL East. The winning season was the 13th in franchise history, and Toronto posted back-to-back winning records for the first time since 1992-93. Prior to 1999 Toronto had increased their win total in five straight seasons. The Blue Jays were in second place and in the lead for the wild card as late as August before a late-season slump cost them a playoff spot.
Jim Fregosi was named Blue Jays manager in March, replacing Tim Johnson. Prior to the season, the Blue Jays traded two-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens to the Yankees for left-hander David Wells, reliever Graeme Lloyd and infielder Homer Bush. Toronto set club records in average (.280), runs (883), hits (1,580), doubles (337) and slugging percentage (.457).
Carlos Delgado with 44 home runs and Shawn Green with 42 home runs combined to hit 86 to make them the most prolific duo in the history of the club, breaking the mark of 84 set in 1998 by Jose Canseco (46) and Delgado (38). The Blue Jays shattered their previous mark of 45 players in the 1991 season by having 53 in 1999.
January 29, Sam Pollack retires as Chairman and CEO of the Blue Jays but will continue to serve as Senior Chairman and Director of the Toronto Blue Jays... Allan Chapin appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors... Gord Ash appointed President of Baseball Operations... Bob Nicholson appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer... Terry Zuk added in the position of Vice-President, Marketing... February 20, traded RHP Roger Clemens to the New York Yankees in exchange for LHP David Wells, 2B Homer Bush and LHP Graeme Lloyd... March 17, Jim Fregosi replaces Tim Johnson as manager... April 5, Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame announces that it will induct Blue Jays Bobby Mattick... April 30, Minor League Catching instructor Ernie Whitt announced as Manager of Canada's baseball team for the 1999 Pan-Am games... June 12, traded LHP Dan Plesac to Arizona in exchange for IF Tony Batista and RHP John Frascatore... June 16, Alex Gonzalez has arthroscopic surgery and is out for the rest of the season... July 1, John Frascatore wins his third consecutive game in relief in three days to tie a ML record... July 4, Pat Hentgen becomes fourth Blue Jays pitcher to post 100 wins... July 30, Blue Jays honour Joe Carter and Cito Gaston with their appointments to the Level of Excellence... August 30, Vernon Wells called up to Toronto after starting the season with Dunedin (A)... September 17, Tony Fernandez becomes franchise leader in games after playing in his 1,393 game as a Blue Jay... October 2, Billy Koch records his 31st save which is an AL rookie record and second in the majors... October 3, Shawn Green finishes the season with a club record 87 extra-base hits and 134 runs scored... October 12, Bob Engle, Senior Advisor, Baseball Operations, announces his retirement... Cito Gaston named as hitting coach... November 8, acquired OF Raul Mondesi and LHP Pedro Borbon Jr. in exchange for OF Shawn Green and 2B Jorge Nunez... November 11, traded RHP Pat Hentgen and LHP Paul Spoljaric to St. Louis in exchange for LHP Lance Painter, RHP Matt DeWitt and C Alberto Castillo... December 10, Sign Carlos Delgado to a three year contract extension... December 20, Tim McCleary named Vice-President, Baseball Operations and Assistant General Manager.
February 10, unveil two new mascots and begin "Name the Mascots Contest"... March 4, name new mascots ACE and DIAMOND... April 22 & 23, Jose Cruz become just the second Blue Jay to hit leadoff home runs in consecutive games... April 23 Carlos Delgado ties a club record with an RBI in eight consecutive games... June 20 vs. Detroit al-lowed eight home runs to tie a franchise record... June 25 the set a new franchise record with home runs in 23 consecutive games... July 5, 1B Carlos Delgado and LHP David Wells named to the American League All-Star team... July 8, David Wells sets club record for most wins at the All-Star break with 15 and is named as the starting pitcher for the AL All-Star team... Blue Jays become the first team in Major League history to have four players with 20 or more home runs at the All-Star break (Delgado-28, Batista-24, Mondesi-22, Cruz-20)... July 24, Assistant General Manager Dave Stewart takes over as Pitching Coach for the balance of the season... August 14, Raul Mondesi has surgery on his right elbow to remove bone chips... August 27 at Texas Darrin Fletcher becomes the ninth AL catcher and the second Blue Jays catcher to hit three home runs in a game... September 1, Rogers Communications Inc. purchases 80% of the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club with Labatt's maintaining 20% interest, while CIBC relinquishes it's 10% share... Paul Godrey is named President and CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays... September 18, Carlos Delgado sets new club record for RBI with 135... September 8 reached an agreement to remain in Dunedin for spring training for an additional 15 years beginning in 2002... September 12 signed a four-year player development contract with the Auburn Doubledays of the New York-Penn State League (A)... September 19 signed a two-year player development contract with the Charleston Ally Cats of the South Atlantic League (A)... September 21 vs. the New York Yankees, David Wells becomes the second oldest pitcher in ML history to win 20 games for the first time in his career... September 25, Todd Greene hits his 4th home run and the club's 134th at home to set a new AL club record for most home runs in one season at home... The Blue Jays finish the season with a franchise record and 2000 AL high 244 home runs... Tied Major League record with four players hitting 30 or more home runs in a season... Tied AL record with seven players hitting 20 or more home runs... October 10, Gord Ash, President, Baseball Operations and General Manager, signed a three-year contract... Manager, Jim Fregosi's contract was not renewed... October 20, Carlos Delgado signs a four-year contract, replacing the previous three-year deal... Carlos Delgado named as the AL Hank Aaron Award winner... Blue Jays launch 25th season logo... October 23, Carlos Delgado named as the "Sporting News Player of the Year"... October 31, Tim Wilken named Vice President, Baseball... November 1, Darrin Fletcher signs a three-year contract... November 3, Buck Martinez named Manager of the Blue Jays... December 8 announced Paul Allamby as Senior VP, Sales and Marketing and promoted Mark Lemmon to VP, Corporate Partnerships and Business Development... December 10, signed Alex Gonzalez to a four-year contract.
January 14...Acquired LHP Mike Sirotka, RHP Kevin Beirne, RHP Mike Williams and OF Brian Simmons from the Chicago White Sox...April 1...Blue Jays open the season in Puerto Rico with a 8-1 victory over the Texas Rangers for manager Buck Martinez's first career win...Esteban Loaiza records the win and nine strikeouts to set a Blue Jays opening day record for strikeouts...April 9...April 12...Two panels of the SkyDome roof collide and force the postponement of the Blue Jays and Royals game due to unsafe building conditions...April 17...Raul Mondesi becomes the first Blue Jay player to pull off a straight steal of home plate, was accomplished against the Yankees LHP Randy Keisler...April 19...Played the longest game in club history vs the Yankees, 5:57 in a 6-5 loss in 17 innings...May 11...Carlos Delgado hits his 204th home run to take over as the franchise leader from Joe Carter (203)...June 15...Tony Fernandez returned to Toronto as a Blue Jay for the fourth time...No other player has appeared three times in a Blue Jays uniform...June 18...Blue Jays capture 1,900 career win, winning 6-5 in Baltimore...July 10...Canadian born Paul Quantrill represents the Blue Jays in the 2001 All-Star Game...August 13...The Blue Jays 25th Anniversary All-Time Roster is announced, 1B Carlos Delgado, 2B Roberto Alomar, SS Tony Fernandez, 3B Kelly Gruber, LF George Bell, CF Devon White, RF Joe Carter, C Ernie Whitt, RH starter Dave Stieb, LH starter Jimmy Key, Closer Tom Henke, DH Paul Molitor, utility player Rance Mulliniks and Manager Cito Gaston...August 17...Infielder Jeff Frye becomes the second Blue Jay to hit for the cycle, accomplished the feat against the Texas Rangers with Kelly Gruber, the other Blue Jay to hit for the cycle, in attendance...September 11...Major League Baseball is shutdown for a week after the terrorist attacks against America...September 23...Blue Jays induct Tony Fernandez into the Level of Excellence, Fernandez retired following the season as the franchise leader in games, at-bats, hits, doubles and triples...October 1...Senior-Vice President, Baseball Operations and General Manager Gord Ash is relieved of his duties with the club...October 3...Closer Billy Koch becomes the third Blue Jay to record 100 career saves in a 7-6 win in Baltimore...October 5...Blue Jays play their second ever doubleheader at SkyDome...Jose Cruz Jr. steals two bases in the second game of a doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians to make him the second player in franchise history to post 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in the same season (Shawn Green- 1998)...Shannon Stewart becomes the fourth Blue Jays player to record 200 hits in a season, also in the second game of two against Cleveland...October 7...Toronto finishes 80-82 after a 3-2 loss and following the game announce that Terry Bevington and Cito Gaston will not return as coaches in 2002...Blue Jays season attendance increases after five straight declining seasons...November 13...Dave Stewart resigns from his position as Assistant General Manager...November 14...J.P. Ricciardi is named Senior Vice-President, Baseball Operations and General Manager, the fourth general manager in club history...November 28...The first additions to the Baseball Operations department under the tenure of J.P. Ricciardi are made with the hiring of Dick Scott, Director Player Development and Bill Livesey, Special Assistant to the General Manager...December 4...Jack Gillis joins the Blue Jays as the Scouting Departments, National Crosschecker...December 7...J. P. Ricciardi completes his first trade by sending RHP Billy Koch to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for 3B Eric Hinske and RHP Justin Miller.
February 28, Blue Jays Radio Broadcast rights returned to The Fan 590... May 29, Carlos Delgado takes over the franchise lead in RBI at 741... June 3, Blue Jays name Carlos Tosca as the ninth manager in club history replacing Buck Martinez, second mid-season managerial change in club history. Club was 20-33 at the time... July 3, Eric Hinske named as American League Rookie of the Month for June, first Blue Jay to win the award which began in the 2002 season... August 4, Carlos Delgado is forced out of the line-up due to injury to end club record 432 consecutive games played... August 7, Pat Gillick is enshrined in the Blue Jays Level of Excellence... August 19, Blue Jays win 2000th game in franchise history, 2-0 vs. KC... August 30, Major League Baseball and the Players Association agree to a Collective Bargaining Agreement hours before a work stoppage was set to begin... September 3, Blue Jays award two year contract to manager Carlos Tosca and his entire staff... Josh Phelps named as the American League Rookie of the Month after recording a league leading 30 RBI in August, would also capture the award for the month of September... September 18, Vernon Wells named as the Blue Jays Roberto Clemente Award winner... October 8, Blue Jays Senior Vice-President of Baseball Operations and General Manager J.P. Ricciardi agrees to a five-year contract through the 2007 season... October 15, Tony LaCava named as Assistant to the General Manager... November 4, Eric Hinske elected as the American League winner of the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award. He is the second Blue Jay named Rookie of the Year, as Alfredo Griffin was the co-winner in 1979.
A trio of top stars led the Blue Jays back above the .500 mark for the first time since 2000 and gave the club the most wins in a season since going 88-74 in 1998. Vernon Wells, Carlos Delgado and Roy Halladay all established significant new careermarks en route to setting impressive club records and leading the American League in several important categories.
Both Halladay and the Blue Jays started the season slowly. After a breakthrough 19-7 season in 2002, "Doc" earned the starting assignment against the New York Yankees on Opening Day but took the loss in an 8-4 Yankees victory. Halladay suffered another loss and two no decisions in his next three April starts as the Blue Jays struggled out of the gate with a 10-18 record for the month. Though Carlos Delgado hit at a .366 clip with 28 RBI in April, the Blue Jays suffered through a season-high six-game losing streak between April 10-15 and fell to a season-low eight games below .500 twice during the month. One of the few highlights in the season's opening month came on April 27 when the Blue Jays scored six runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat Kansas City 10-9. Toronto had trailed 7-0 in the second inning and 8-1 through six.
Halladay helped May get started off right with his first win of the season on May 1. He would win all six of his starts in May (winning honors as American League Pitcher of the Month) as the Blue Jays posted the best monthly mark in club history with a record of 21-8. Veteran catcher and former Blue Jay Greg Myers had returned to Toronto as a free agent in the offseason. Amazingly, he would enjoy his best season at the age of 36, establishing personal highs with 121 games played, 101 hits, 15 home runs, 52 RBI and a .307 batting average. He kick-started his career year with a .361 mark in May, one of eight Blue Jays to hit .300 or better for the month. Vernon Wells, who had hit just .246 in April, batted at a .317 clip in May while driving in a club-high 28 runs. Wells went 4-for-6 with three runs scored and four RBI to pace Toronto to an 18-1 win in Kansas City on May 16. The 17-run difference marked the largest margin of victory in team history. The month also featured the first four-game sweep of the Yankees by the Blue Jays when the team took four in a row at Yankee Stadium between May 22-25.
Toronto was just two games out of first place as June began, but fell behind the Red Sox 6-0 in the third inning of their game on June 1. Roy Halladay managed to survive the shaky start and held on to pick up the win when his teammates rallied for an 11-8 victory and a three-game sweep of Boston. Halladay continued his winning ways right through June, running his record to 11-2 with a club-record 11 wins in 11 consecutive starts. Vernon Wells hit .369 for the month and socked eight homers, but it was Carlos Delgado who truly swung the hot bat. Delgado slugged 10 roundtrippers and knocked in 34 runs, breaking the club record of 32 RBI in a month he had previously shared with Dave Winfield.
Delgado entered July with 89 RBI and had a shot at Hank Greenberg's 1935 Major League mark of 103 RBI before the All-Star Break, but fell just short with 97 when the Break began on July 14. He had to settle for moving into third place on the list and becoming one of only nine players in history to record 90 RBI before the All-Star Game.
July was not kind to the Blue Jays, as they suffered through their worst month of the season with a record of 8-17. Roy Halladay continued his winning ways, however, and, with a few no decisions tossed in, ran his streak to 15 wins in a row on July 27. Working on just three days rest for the third time during the season, Halladay allowed the Baltimore Orioles just two hits in seven scoreless innings en route to a 10-1 victory. His 15 straight wins tied Roger Clemens' club record and left him just one short of the American League mark. However, Halladay and the Blue Jays were defeated 5-0 by the Anaheim Angels on August 1. The loss set the tone for another poor stretch, as Toronto managed just 13 wins in 28 games, but the final month of the season would truly be a September to remember. The Blue Jays closed out the season with a 19-7 record, including a 12-4 mark at SkyDome.
Halladay threw four consecutive complete games from September 1-17, winning them all. He went 5-1 in September with an ERA of 1.41, setting a new club record with his league-leading 22nd victory in his last start of the season on September 27. Halladay earned his second selection as AL Pitcher of the Month, putting the finishing touches on a season that would result in his winning the Cy Young Award. Carlos Delgado and Vernon Wells also finished the season in style. Wells set a new club record with his 214th hit on September 27, and ended the season with a league-leading 215 hits to join Paul Molitor as the only Blue Jays to lead the league in this category. Wells finished the year with a .317 average, 33 homers and 117 RBI. He also provided stellar defense in center field. Carlos Delgado led the league with 145 RBI, joining George Bell as the only Blue Jays to lead the league in runs batted in while becoming the first Toronto player to lead the entire Majors. Delgado's final month of the season was highlighted by a four home run performance against Tampa Bay on September 25. He became just the 15th player in Major League history to hit four homers in a game, and just the sixth to do so in four consecutive at-bats. Delgado's third home run that night was the 300th of this career.
Several other Blue Jays made key contributions during the 2003 season. Rookie Aquilino Lopez took over as the team's closer and notched 14 saves, while Josh Towers was added to the starting rotation and compiled a record of 6-1. Reed Johnson proved to be a fine addition in right field, ranking among the rookie leaders in many offensive categories. Hitting mostly in the leadoff position, he batted .294 with 10 homers, 79 runs scored and 52 RBI. Frank Catalanotto also provided a spark from the number-two spot in the batting order, with a .299 average and a career-high 13 homers and 59 RBI. Josh Phelps clubbed 20 home runs, while Orlando Hudson provided record-setting defense at second base by leading the American League with a franchise-best 477 assists.
The Blue Jays finished 19 games worse than they did in 2003, and injuries played a big part as the team got off to a slow start. Carlos Delgado, Vernon Wells, Roy Halladay and Frank Catalanotto all missed at least a month, sinking the Jays out of third place for the first time in seven seasons. They finished last for the first time since Tampa Bay entered the league, and one had to go all the way back to 1980 to find a Toronto team that lost more games.
The silver lining was strong rookie showings from Dave Bush, Alex Rios and Jason Frasor. Orlando Hudson progressed, Wells won a Gold Glove and Ted Lilly became an All-Star.
No one was sure what the first season in the post Carlos Delgado era would hold. As it turned out, the Blue Jays' youth movement -- complimented by stable veterans Roy Halladay and Vernon Wells -- was a step in the right direction. And while the playoffs once again proved just out of reach, Toronto left the season feeling that with a few key additions and even more maturation, the future is bright at Rogers Centre.
Orlando Hudson, Wells and Eric Hinske each homered on Opening Day, giving Halladay a strong first outing in a win over Tampa Bay. That start helped the Jays bolt out of the gate in '05, taking an April lead in the American League East standings while the Yankees and Red Sox stumbled. Halladay was a big part of the hot start, tallying a 4-1 record and 3.40 ERA in March and April, including two complete games.
The summer months saw a flattening out of the Jays' fortunes, and the club hovered around the .500 mark for much of the rest of the year. While 2004 All-Star Ted Lilly struggled through arm troubles and inconsistency, rookie left-hander Gustavo Chacin excelled, finishing 13-9 with a 3.72 ERA in 203 innings and winning two Rookie Pitcher of the Month Awards. Toronto needed the pitching help, since Halladay, after posting a 12-4 record with a sterling 2.41 ERA, suffered a broken tibia on a line drive hit directly at him, and was never able to return, shutting it down at the All-Star break.
Several other young Jays kept the team in the hunt. Rookie shortstop Russ Adams was solid in his first full year as a starter, while Alex Rios showed why he was one of the best prospects in the organization. Jason Frasor and Vinnie Chulk both helped anchor the bullpen. Orlando Hudson capped a stellar year with his first Gold Glove at second base. Shea Hillenbrand proved effective at first base, batting .291 with 82 RBIs. The team MVP, however, was center fielder Vernon Wells, who posted 28 homers and 97 RBIs and won a second consecutive Gold Glove for his defensive work.
In the end, however, despite improvement, the Blue Jays faded down the stretch, falling below the .500 mark in the season's last week, and finishing third in the AL East (80-82, 15 games out).
Toronto finished 2006 with 87 victories, which represented the most wins in a season during the tenure of general manager J.P. Ricciardi. The Jays also placed second in the American League East, marking their highest finish in the division since winning the World Series in 1993. Five Blue Jays (Roy Halladay, B.J. Ryan, Vernon Wells, Troy Glaus and Alex Rios) were named to the AL All-Star team, Wells picked up his third straight AL Gold Glove Award for this work in center field, and Halladay placed third in balloting for the AL Cy Young Award.
The Blue Jays slipped back into third place in the American League East in 2007, finishing with 83 victories for manager John Gibbons. The silver lining was that it marked the first time since 1998-2000 that Toronto managed consecutive winning seasons. Right fielder Alex Rios was the Jays' lone representative at the All-Star Game in San Francisco, where he finished as the runner-up in the annual Home Run Derby. It was a breakout season for second baseman Aaron Hill, who established a franchise record for doubles in a single season by a second baseman with 47, breaking Blue Jays great Roberto Alomar's mark of 41 set in 1991. Hill also launched 17 homers, tying Alomar's 1993 benchmark for Toronto second basemen. The Jays also experiened a youth movement in the rotation, with right-handers Dustin McGowan and Shaun Marcum joining the cast and each finishing with 12 wins. Ace Roy Halladay finished with 16 wins and placed fifth overall in the AL Cy Young Award voting.
For only the second time in a span of 11 seasons, the Blue Jays fell below third place in the American League East. Toronto finished with a respectable 86 wins and pieced together its third straight winning season, but the emergence of the AL-champion Rays made the division more difficult to manage. The Blue Jays' struggled offensively throughout the season, but boasted the strongest pitching staff in baseball. Toronto's 3.49 team ERA led the Majors and the group was paced by ace Roy Halladay, who won 20 games with a 2.78 ERA, was the club's lone All-Star and finished as the runner-up in voting for the AL Cy Young Award. In his first full season since 2005, A.J. Burnett won a career-high 18 games and led the league with 231 strikeouts. Midway through the season, the Blue Jays made a managerial change, dimissing John Gibbons and re-hiring Cito Gaston. Down the stretch, the Jays went 51-37 under Gaston and showed positive strides in the batter's box. Joining Gaston's coaching staff in June were hitting coach Gene Tenace, third-base coach Nick Leyva and first-base coach Dwayne Murphy. At the end of the season, Gaston, as well as all of Toronto's coaches, received two-year contract extensions. In October, Blue Jays president and CEO Paul Godfrey announced that he was stepping down from his position at the end of the calendar year. The club then re-hired Paul Beeston to serve as Toronto's interim president and CEO to help with the day-to-day operations of the team and to aid in the search for a permanent replacement. On December 2, team owner Ted Rogers, who purchased the Blue Jays in 2000 and later acquired the club's domed stadium in 2004, passed away at the age of 75 due to heart failure.
April 2, Rogers Centre and Aramark announce upgrades and enhancements to the dining experience at Rogers Centre... August 6, members of the Toronto Blue Jays team, along with heroes of the 92/93 World Series teams take to the courses at Rattlesnake Point Golf Club in support of the Jays Care Foundation 14th Annual Charity Golf Tournament... August 6-8, Blue Jays host back-to-back '92 & '93 World Series Reunion... October 3, Rogers Communications announce that J.P. Ricciardi will be leaving his position as Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations & General Manager of the Toronto Blue Jays... Alex Anthopoulos, Vice President, Baseball Operations & Assistant General Manager fills the role commencing on that day of October 3... October 9, Blue Jays made changes to their scouting department; Andrew Tinnish appointed Director Amateur Scouting, Perry Minasian appointed Director of Professional Scouting, Jon Lalonde named Professional Scout... October 26, Blue Jays name both Mel Didier and Mel Queen to the positions of Senior Advisor, Player Development... October 27, Paul Beeston appointed CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays and Rogers Centre... October 30, Blue Jays announce that Cito Gaston has signed a four-year consulting agreement to begin in 2011 after choosing to retire from managing following the 2010 season...November 12, Adam Lind & Aaron Hill named AL Silver Slugger award winners... The duo of Lind & Hill have become just the second pair in Blue Jays history to record at least 35 home runs, 35 doubles & 100 RBI in the same season... In addition the combined RBI between the two is the most by a Blue Jay duo since 2003 when Delgado (145) & Wells (117) combined for 262... This marked only the 3rd time in Blue Jays history that two Blue Jays have won the award in the same season; 1999 (Green/Delgado) & 2003 (Delgado/Wells). During the off-season, Aaron Hill was named AL Comback Player of the Year and Adam Lind was named the 2009 Edgar Martinez award winner among all designated hitters in the league... On December 16, the Toronto Blue Jays traded RHP Roy Halladay to the Philadelphia Philles in exchange for RHP Kyle Drabek, C Travis D'Arnaud and OF Michael Taylor... Halladay is among the top 3 in eight different categories among the all-time Club Pitchers list.
On April 5, Shaun Marcum starts on Opening Day for the Blue Jays, ending a streak of seven straight Opening Day starts for ace Roy Halladay (traded to the Phillies). ... On June 20, John McDonald hits a pinch-hit home run on Father's Day in his first at-bat since the passing of his father, Jack. ... On Aug. 7, rookie catcher J.P. Arencibia goes 4-for-5 with two home runs in an historic Major League debut. He became the first player in the Modern Era (since 1900) to hit two homers as part of a four-hit debut. ... The Blue Jays belted eight home runs in a 17-11 win over Tampa Bay on Aug. 7. ... On Aug. 8, right-hander Brandon Morrow came within one out of a no-hitter. Morrow ended with 17 strikeouts in a one-hit gem, defeating the Rays 1-0. ... On Sept. 17, right fielder Jose Bautista belted his 48th home run of the season, moving him out of a tie with George Bell (47 in 1987) for the most homers in a single season in franchise history. Bautista became the first player in Blue Jays history to launch 50 homers in a season on Sept. 23 and finished the year with 54 long balls. ... Bautista set a Major League record with a single-season increase of 41 home runs. ... Bautista, catcher John Buck and center fielder Vernon Wells each made the American League All-Star team for Toronto. ... The Blue Jays finished with an 85-77 record, marking the team's fourth winning season in a five-year span. ... The Blue Jays set a franchise record with 257 home runs, which were tied for the third-highest total in a single season in baseball history. ... Toronto became the first team in baseball history to have at least 20 home runs produced from nine positions, including from the designated hitter slot. ... The Blue Jays tied a club record with seven players boasting at least 20 home runs in one season. ... Bautista earned an American League Silver Slugger Award. ... Following the end of the season, Cito Gaston stepped down as the Blue Jays' manager. ... On Oct. 25, the Blue Jays named John Farrell their new manager.
The 2011 season in Toronto saw the debut of first-year manager John Farrell. The former Red Sox pitching coach implemented a more aggressive style of play on the basepaths with the goal of not having his club rely so much on the long ball to score runs. That new approach combined with another MVP caliber season from right fielder Jose Bautista enabled the Blue Jays to finish with the fifth-best offense in the American League.
Top prospect Brett Lawrie also made his debut in 2011. Lawrie represents the first true Canadian star to play for the organization and the energetic native of Langley, British Columbia, appeared to revitalize the club. He often received standing ovations from the crowd and likely established himself as the Blue Jays every day third baseman for the foreseeable future.
Despite the successful year at the plate, Toronto's young pitching staff struggled for most of the year. No. 1 starter -- and first-time All-Star -- Ricky Romero was the lone standout and the end result was another fourth-place finish in the always competitive American League East.
The Blue Jays entered the 2012 campaign riding of the wave of their most successful Grapefruit League season in franchise history. Toronto led all Major League teams with 24 wins during the Spring but all of that was forgotten with a slow start to the regular season. Any chance the Blue Jays had of reaching the postseason was then erased in June when the club lost three-fifths of its starting rotation in a span of just four days. Brandon Morrow was lost for two months while Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison never returned and it was a blow the Blue Jays ultimately were unable to overcome. The one shining light in an otherwise dark season was provided by Edwin Encarnacion. The Dominican native enjoyed his first breakout season in the Major Leagues and finished with 42 homers while posting a .280 average and 110 RBIs. Omar Vizquel's potential Hall of Fame career came to an end in a Blue Jays uniform. The 11-time Gold Glove winner made the team out of Spring Training but spent most of the year in a utility infielder role. The real news began once the season was over as general manager Alex Anthopoulos executed one of the biggest trades in franchise history. He acquired Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio in a massive 12-player trade and then followed that up by signing Melky Cabrera and trading for 2012 National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey.
The Blue Jays entered the year with lofty expectations following a dramatic offseason overhaul that saw the likes of 2012 National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, four-time All-Star Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Melky Cabrera and Mark Buehrle join the team. Unfortunately for the club, the additions didn't result in a better record, as the Blue Jays finished last in the American League East with a 74-88 record.
Injuries once again played a role, as Reyes, Brandon Morrow, J.A. Happ, Brett Lawrie, Jose Bautista, Colby Rasmus and Cabrera all missed a significant period of time with injuries. It marked the second consecutive year the club was hurt by players spending substantial time on the disabled list, and it was at least a contributing factor in Toronto ranking near the bottom of the American League in all major pitching categories.
The Blue Jays did send four representatives to the All-Star Game in New York. Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Steve Delabar and Brett Cecil made the roster, and all four players got into the game and played key roles in the AL's 3-0 victory. Encarnacion had a sacrifice fly, while Delabar and Cecil were both credited with a hold out of the bullpen.
Encarnacion followed up his breakout 2012 season with an equally impressive campaign in the heart of Toronto's order. The veteran first baseman once again surpassed the 35-homer, 100-RBI plateau and took over from Bautista as arguably the club's most valuable hitter.
Rasmus missed almost all of September but still enjoyed his best season at the plate since 2010. He reached the 20-homer mark for a second consecutive year, but this time he did it with a .276 average and an impressive .840 on-base plus slugging percentage.
The Blue Jays got off to one of their best starts in franchise history but weren't able to carry that momentum throughout the course of the regular season. Toronto took over first place in the AL East with a 21-9 record in May and held onto that spot until July 4. It was the first time since 1993 that the Blue Jays held onto first place that late into the season but injuries eventually took their toll. Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie got hurt and the club lost its grip on the Wild Card spot by the beginning of August and never recovered.
Jose Bautista led the way on offense by hitting .286 with 35 home runs and 103 RBIs. It was his first full season since 2011 and the performance resulted in the third Silver Slugger Award of his career. The second half of the season was defined by an emerging young core of pitchers that made their Major League debuts. Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez and Daniel Norris provided a glimpse at what could be a very bright future. In the end, it wasn't quite enough as the Blue Jays remained on the periphery of the Wild Card race until the final week of the regular season before eventually getting eliminated.