The Toronto Blue Jays are a Canadian baseball team which joined Major League Baseball in 1977 as an expansion club joining the American League East Division. The team has been through a range of highs and lows taking in the struggles of an expansion team entering the MLB to the successes of the mid-80s to the mid-1990s when the team took home their first World Series victories.
The Blue Jays play their home games at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. They are one of only two baseball franchises owned by a corporate group, in the form of the media and cable company, Rogers Communications. Here’s more information about them:
History of the Toronto Blue Jays
The founding of the Toronto Blue Jays came about largely because of a U.S. court case which barred the move of the San Francisco Giants to Toronto in 1976. Horace Stoneham, the Giants owner at the time had agreed to sell the Californian baseball franchise to a consortium consisting of the Labatt Breweries Group, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and Vulcan Assets Ltd. The deal for the Giants would have seen Major League Baseball arrive in Toronto in 1976, but the arrival of baseball was delayed until 1977 when Major League Baseball agreed to award an expansion franchise to the city for the start of the 1977 season.
Like almost every expansion franchise in the U.S. sports industry, the Blue Jays struggled to find a foothold in the AL East Division for its first few years. The arrival of Hall of Fame manager Bobby Cox in 1982 saw a turnaround in the fortunes of the Blue Jays with their first winning season coming in 1983. By 1985, the Blue Jays had won the first title for the Franchise with its AL East division title victory followed by a loss to the Kansas City Royals in the American League Championship. After the shock resignation of Bobby Cox at the end of the 1985 season, the Blue Jays failed to repeat their success until the naming of Cito Gaston as the manager in 1989. Under the leadership of Gaston, the team won its first two World Series titles with back to back wins in 1992 and 1993.
Stadium and Name
The arrival of baseball had been scheduled in Toronto in 1976 with the City and the regional government of Ontario helping fund the redevelopment of the multipurpose Exhibition Stadium. The high levels of funding inspired the MLB to accept Toronto as an expansion franchise prompting a name the team competition to be established. The involvement of the Labatt’s Brewing Company is thought to have inspired the decision for the team to play in blue, red, and white uniforms and led to the team being named for the local Blue Jay bird. In 1989, the team moved into the multi-purpose SkyDome Stadium which coincided with the teams most successful period. Following the change of ownership to Rogers Communications the name of the stadium was changed to the Rogers Centre.
The Toronto Blue Jays are one of the main sports teams in the city and are one of the most successful in the history of Canadian sports. Most professional sports teams in Toronto traditionally play in red uniforms which also sets the Blue Jays apart from their counterparts in basketball, football, and soccer.