The Toronto Blue Jays are a professional baseball team based in Toronto, Ontario in Canada. They’ve been in existence since 1977, so compared to many baseball teams in the United States, they are relatively ‘new’. They’re sometimes known as the Blue Jays or just the Jays.
Let’s look at some interesting tidbits about this popular Canadian team!
1. The Name
The name of the team is derived from the blue jay bird. In fact, the team logo and the cap insignia both feature this bird. At the beginning, when the expansion team had to come up with a name, a contest was held and the winner was Dr. William Mills of Etobicoke, Ontario, who chose the name “Blue Jays”.
2. Doesn’t Get More Canadian, Eh?
— Archives of Ontario (@ArchivesOntario) June 5, 2017
Their first-ever game was played in April of 1977 against the Chicago White Sox. Over 40,000 were packed into the home stadium. However, just before the game started, there was a snowstorm! Groundskeepers had to squeegee the snow off the ground. Mother Nature played it’s part in helping the Blue Jays win their first game.
3. “That” Joe Carter Moment
Blessed today. My highschool Millwood dedication of the Baseball field. pic.twitter.com/9bHAQldIJU
— Joe Carter (@JoeCarter_29) March 7, 2017
Oklahoma-born Joe Carter produced perhaps the greatest moment in the history of the Blue Jays. In a “where were you when Kennedy was shot” moment in Canadian baseball history, Carter thumped a bottom of the ninth three-run homer that clinched the World Series (again) in 1993. A moment that will never be forgotten in Canadian baseball history, it was remarkable in that it was the only time in the game’s history that a player hit a home run at the bottom of the ninth with his team trailing in a championship-clinching game.
4. Back-To-Back World Series Champions
— Baseball by BSmile (@BSmile) November 2, 2016
As of 2017, the Toronto Blue Jays are the only team outside the United States to win the coveted World Series. They achieved this feat in 1992 and managed to win it again the following year, thanks to that unforgettable last-gasp home run by Joe Carter.
5. Cito Gaston Creates History
— Vincent M Williams (@VinceCTV) March 17, 2016
The greatest manager in the history of the Blue Jays is undoubtedly Cito Gaston. Born in Texas, he was manager when he led the Blue Jays to successive World Series titles. Most people know that these were the only times a non-United States team won it, however, Cito Gaston, as of 2017, is the first and only African-American manager to lead a team to a World Series triumph.
In August of 2017, the Blue Jays will be playing at Chicago Cubs, the reigning World Series champions. The game in the Windy City’s Wrigley Field promises to be a thriller. If you’re a Jays fan and happen to be in Chicago, make sure you don’t miss it!