The City of Toronto is awarded a franchise in the American League on March 26, 1976 and name Peter Bavasi Executive Vice-President and General Manager on June 18.On August 12, the "Blue Jays" are selected by Directors from over 4,000 names and 30,000 entries in a "Name the Team" contest. Roy Hartsfield becomes the first on-field manager and catcher Phil Roof is purchased from the Chicago White Sox becoming the first player in franchise history.
On March 11, 1977 the Blue Jays play in their first spring training game, defeating the New York Mets in Dunedin, Florida by a 3-1 score. On April 7, 1977, 44,649 fans brave snow and freezing temperatures as the Blue Jays win their first ever regular season game 9-5 over the Chicago White Sox. Doug Ault becomes an instant hero hitting two home runs in the contest. In their inaugural season, highlights include a 19-3 win over the Yankees, with Roy Howell collecting nine RBI, while the home attendance of 1,701,052 sets a record for attendance by a first year expansion club.
Over the next two seasons in 1978-79 the Blue Jays see several firsts. Jim Clancy gets the 4-2 victory in front of 44,327 fans, which is marked by the pitcher starting the first Triple Play in franchise history. On June 26, 1978 the Blue Jays explode for a franchise high 24 runs. Bobby Mattick becomes the team's second manager on October 18, 1979.For his performance in 1979, SS Alfredo Griffin is named co-winner of the AL Rookie of the Year Award. From December 2-7 Toronto plays host to the Winter Meetings, the first held outside the United States.
The decade of the 1980s represented another birth for the franchise, as by the end of the decade the club rose from an expansion team to formidable AL East contender. Still in the early years in 1980 the club set a franchise record with 67 victories while pushing attendance past six million, an expansion record. Field manager Bobby Cox takes over the reins in 1982 and leads the club to new heights in his four years as manager.1982 saw the club climb out of the basement for the first time in its history, winning 78 games finishing in a tie for 6th with Cleveland.
1983 marks a significant time as the Blue Jays finish over .500 for the first time in franchise history with an 89-73 record, good for 4th place only nine games out of first. Notable performances include the first 100 RBI season by a Blue Jay (Willie Upshaw) and first 100 run scored season (Lloyd Moseby).The Blue Jays become only the second team in league history to win Player of the Week honours in three consecutive weeks, when Luis Leal, Dave Stieb and Lloyd Moseby turned the trick in May. The enthusiasm for the club continues to build as a club record 9,104 season tickets are sold for the 1984 season. They see a club that marches up the standings for a second place finish at 89-73 solidifying their position as AL East contenders. Over the course of the season the Blue Jays would win 19 one-run contests in a row, while Cliff Johnson sets a then Major League record mark for pinch hit home runs with his 19th career shot. All of this is witnessed by 2,110,009 fans, which puts the Blue Jays in elite company as just the 18th franchise to top two million fans in a season.
The ascent to AL East Champions is complete in 1985 as on the second to last day of the regular season the Blue Jays defeat the New York Yankees by a 5-1 score to secure their first post-season berth. During the 1985 season a Blue Jays ticket was a hot commodity. On July 27, the club sees average attendance top 30,000 per game for the first time. 47,686 fans show up for an October 4th contest vs. New York to set a single game mark, while final attendance reaches a new high of 2,468,925. Season ticket sales are capped at 11,500.
The Blue Jays first foray into the playoffs provides lots of drama and some solid learning experiences that may be valuable in future years. Jumping out to 2-0 and 3-1 series leads vs. the AL West Champion Kansas City Royals it appeared as though the Blue Jays would make their first World Series appearance inevitable. Unfortunately the Kansas City Royals had other ideas as they would come from behind becoming only the fifth club in Major League history to win a series after trailing 3-1. George Brett would lead the way collecting several key hits while Jim Sundberg would deliver the decisive blow off Blue Jays ace Dave Stieb, with a bases clearing wind assisted triple off the top of the right field fence in Game 7.
Heading into 1986 season tickets are capped at 14,000 as the club celebrates its 10th anniversary. On July 10, Damaso Garcia becomes the first Blue Jay to record 1,000 hits in a Blue Jays uniform, while RHP Jim Clancy becomes the first to win 100 games for the franchise. Tony Fernandez becomes the first to punch out 200 hits in a season and RF Jesse Barfield earns the franchise its first Gold Glove award. The Blue Jays drop to fourth place in the East with an 86-76 record as Jimy Williams takes over as team manager.
George Bell cements himself as the AL's best posting a .308 average with 47 home runs and 134 RBI to earn the honour as AL MVP in 1987. He became the first Blue Jay ever selected by fans to appear in an All-Star Game. The Blue Jays set several club marks, including a 10-home run game vs.Baltimore on September 14, with Ernie Whitt belting three. A franchise record 11-game winning streak begins on June 2, while attendance soars to 2,778,429.The attendance mark is an all-time high for any AL East club. On Canada Day a single game record 47,828 pack their way into Exihibition Stadium in a contest vs. the New York Yankees. The season ends in shocking fashion as a 3.5 game lead is lost in the final week with seven consecutive losses. Four of the losses came to eventual champions Detroit, with all of them being one-run losses, including two in extra innings. On the season's final day LHP Jimmy Key loses a 1-0 battle to Frank Tanana with the lone run coming from a wall scraping home run to left field by OF Larry Herndon in the 2nd inning. Key injuries to C Ernie Whitt and SS Tony Fernandez down the stretch proved to be too much to overcome.
A third-place finish in 1988 (87-75) is highlighted by some individual accomplishments. George Bell begins the season the same way he left off his 1987 MVP campaign. He becomes the first player in Major League history to hit three home runs on Opening day and is the only player over the course of the season to earn two Player of the Week awards. Dave Stieb continues his dominance of AL hitters, flirting with no-hitters on three occasions, with three one-hitters, including back-to-back one-hitters on Sept. 24 and Sept. 30. Incredibly both games see him lose the no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning.
A SIGNIFICANT CHANGE:
1989 begins with Paul Beeston being named team President on January 10. On May 15 with the team sitting with a 12-24 record manager Jimy Williams is replaced by Cito Gaston on an interim basis. On May 28, the Blue Jays play their final game at Exhibition Stadium defeating the White Sox 7-5. The team moves into the SkyDome and cap season tickets at 26,000. They open the SkyDome on June 5 with a loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.49,501 watch the Blue Jays on September 16 to set a new record for home attendance. The Blue Jays would go on to post a 77-49 record under Cito Gaston and clinch their second division title. Dave Stieb posts two more one-hitters, and comes within one out of a perfect game vs. New York on August 4, when Roberto Kelly broke up the bid with a double.
BEEN HERE BEFORE:
For the second time in five seasons the Blue Jays were East Division Champions, and for the second time they would succumb in the Divisional Series, this time to the AL West Champ Oakland Athletics. The Blue Jays were no match for Rickey Henderson as he batted .400 in the series with a 1.609 OPS and a LCS record eight stolen bases in the five game series. They were outscored 31-16 with the Blue Jays only victory coming in Game 3 behind Jimmy Key.
The Toronto Blue Jays entered the 90's as an established contender, looking to build on regular season performances that had yet to yield playoff success. With a State of the Art building in the SkyDome now their home, it was time to see this vision become reality.
In the first full season at SkyDome and the first full season under Cito Gaston the club would come up just short of a post-season berth, finishing two games behind the Red Sox with an 86-76 record. Set a Major League attendance record by passing the Dodgers 1982 mark on Sept.19.Dave Stewart tosses SkyDome's first no-hitter, pitching for the Oakland A's
AND THEN HE WAS PERFECT:
On September 2, 1990 Dave Stieb would accomplish what had appeared so elusive, by tossing his first and only no-hitter vs. the Cleveland Indians. Jerry Browne would line out to RF Junior Felix to end the contest.
1991 was a big year for the franchise in many ways. Chosen to host their first All-Star Game, 52,382 fans pack the SkyDome to see Jimmy Key pick up the win for the home side. In December of 1990 the Blue Jays cement a deal that would change the fortunes of the club by acquiring future Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar and OF Joe Carter from San Diego in exchange for SS Tony Fernandez and 1B Fred McGriff. Another attendance mark is set and the four million fan barrier is broken as 4,001,526 see the Blue Jays return to the post-season by winning the AL East with a 91-71 record. Tom Henke sets a then record for consecutive saves with 25. On May 1 in Texas, Nolan Ryan no-hits the Blue Jays for his 7th and final no-hitter.
THIRD TIME A CHARM:
The AL West Champion Minnesota Twins would await in the AL Championship Series. The Blue Jays would come home to Toronto with a 1-1 series split, primed to make their first World Series appearance. Unfortunately an 11-inning heartbreaker would see the series tide turn as Mike Pagliarulo would homer off Mike Timlin to put the Blue Jays down 2-1.In Game 5 the Twins would finish off the series by scoring three runs in the 8th inning, winning 8-5 and sending the Blue Jays home early once again.
Newly acquired RHP Jack Morris would lead the Blue Jays into the 1992 season by making his Major League record 13th consecutive Opening Day start. He tosses a complete game 4-2 win in Detroit. The Blue Jays would set a Major League attendance record again in 1992 with 4,028,318 fans. The Blue Jays would clinch their fourth playoff berth on October 3. Dave Winfield sets a Blue Jays mark with 23 home runs as a DH while becoming the oldest player to register 100 or more RBI in a season.
TIME TO CELEBRATE:
An old foe would await in the 1992 Championship series in the Oakland Athletics, a team very similar to the club that handled the Blue Jays just two seasons ago in the playoffs. The Blue Jays would split the first two games at home before heading to Oakland for Games 4, 5 and 6. Juan Guzman would give the Blue Jays a 2-1 series lead before the dramatic Game 4 would be the catalyst for the Blue Jays first ever World Series appearance. In Game 4 the Blue Jays found themselves down 5-1 after three and 6-1 heading into the 8th inning. They would come within striking distance with a three-run 8th inning before Dennis Eckersley, the games widely known "best closer," attempted to close out the game in the 9th. With a man on, Roberto Alomar would deliver the biggest hit in franchise history, belting a game-tying two-run home run to right field. They would go on to win in 11 and then the series in six games.
More drama would ensue in the Blue Jays first World Series appearance as perennial playoff club the Atlanta Braves provided the opposition. After dropping the first contest, Game 2 saw backup C/INF Ed Sprague propel the Blue Jays to their first ever World Series win with a pinch-hit two-run home run off Jeff Reardon in a 5-4 win. Game 3, the first World Series game played outside of the US, was noteworthy for 'the catch" made by Devon White in the 4th inning. Resulting in a near triple play. It was key in keeping the score tied at 2-2 in the 9th inning. Candy Maldonado would drive in Roberto Alomar for the game-winner and a 3-1 series lead. Unable to close the series out in Game 5 the Blue Jays would need one more dramatic at-bat to bring the World Series to Canada. Tied in the 11th inning, Dave Winfield would double down the left field line to drive in two and when Mike Timlin tossed an Otis Nixon bunt to Joe Carter the long journey to World Series Champions had concluded.
In 1993 a record tying seven Blue Jays are selected to the All- Star team (Alomar, Carter, Hentgen, Molitor, Olerud, Ward, White). John Olerud would flirt with a .400 average, going as late as August 2 at the .400 mark and eventually becoming the first Blue Jay to win a batting title. In fact, the top three spots at season's end belonged to Blue Jays (Olerud - .363/ Molitor - .332/Alomar - .326), the first time in 100 years this had occurred. The Blue Jays would win the AL East again and on July 31 they would acquire OF Rickey Henderson to propel them into another post-season run.
In the 1993 AL Championship Series the Blue Jays and Chicago White Sox would both win two games on opposition soil before the Blue Jays reversed the trend and won Game 5 at SkyDome. In all six games the team that scored first won the contest. Roberto Alomar once again led the way with a .316 average, including reaching base in all five plate appearances in Game 5. Dave Stewart would close out the series moving to 8-0 in ALCS play with a 6-3 victory.
In a highly entertaining series the Blue Jays would bring back-to-back championships to Canada, defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in six games. The series was highlighted by a classic Game 4 contest in Philadelphia on October 20, that saw the Blue Jays overcome 12-7 and 14-9 deficits with a six-run 8th inning.10 men would come to the plate in the 8th, with Devon White tying the contest with a 2-out RBI triple. Rickey Henderson provided the game-winning hit in a contest that took four hours and 14 minutes to play. In Game 6 in Toronto, the Blue Jays would trail the Phillies 6-5 entering the bottom of the ninth. Phillies closer LHP Mitch Williams allowed a walk to Henderson and a one-out single to Molitor before Joe Carter ended the series with a three-run home run to left field. The "You'll never hit a bigger home run in your life" quote was made famous by longtime Blue Jays announcer Tom Cheek.
1994 sees the season end prematurely on August 12 as a player strike begins. It does not end until late April of 1995. The Blue Jays would not return to the post-season during the balance of the 90's, finishing as high as third place in 1998 and 1999. Paul Beeston is named Canada's Baseball Man of the Year in 1994, while Howard Starkman picks up the Robert O. Fishel Award for Public Relations Excellence in 1996.The Blue Jays would open their 20th season in Las Vegas vs. Oakland, a season where RHP Pat Hentgen would begin a string of three successive Blue Jays winning a Cy Young Award with Roger Clemens winning in 1997 and 1998.
EXCELLENCE IS MEASURED:
The Blue Jays honour OF George Bell and RHP Dave Stieb by unveiling their names as the first, on the Level of Excellence. Over the years only the most prominent Blue Jays will see their names on the outfield facade. Joe Carter and Cito Gaston would be added in 1999.
Cito Gaston would end a glorious run with the club after being relieved of his duties on September 24, 1997. During his tenure the club would win three divisional titles and two World Series. Interleague play begins in 1997 and the Blue Jays play the Montreal Expos in regular season play for the first time. The decade closes out with some significant accomplishments after Gord Ash assumes the role of General Manager in 1998. The same year Tony Fernandez becomes the all-time hits leader and Roger Clemens becomes just the 11th pitcher in MLB history to record 3,000 strikeouts. Shawn Green becomes the first Blue Jay to post 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in 1998. Pat Hentgen is the 4th Blue Jay to win 100 games and Billy Koch posts his 31st save in 1999 to set a then AL Rookie record.
Rogers Communications assumes control of the franchise in September of 2000.During the summer of the same year the Blue Jays put on a power display becoming the first Major League team to have four players with 20 or more home runs at the All-Star break (Delgado, Batista, Mondesi and Cruz). The 134 home runs at home set a new AL mark and the 244 home runs set a new franchise record. Carlos Delgado is named Sporting News Player of the Year.
2001 sees the club open the season with one game vs. the Texas Rangers in Puerto Rico. Raul Mondesi pulls off the first straight steal of home in franchise history. Carlos Delgado assumes the franchise lead in home runs passing Joe Carter. Jeff Frye hits for the cycle on August 17, joining Kelly Gruber as the only Blue Jays to accomplish the feat.
Carlos Delgado's team record streak of 432 consecutive games comes to an end on August 4, 2002. Pat Gillick is enshrined on the Level of Excellence on August 7, 2002. The 2002 campaign came to a close with 3B Eric Hinske named as the Rookie of the Year.
On June 15, 2003 Reed Johnson becomes only the fourth player in MLB history to hit a leadoff and walk-off home run in the same game. Roy Halladay wins 15 straight decisions in 2003 on his way to a club record 22 wins and a Cy Young award. On September 2, 2003 Carlos Delgado bangs out four home runs to become the 15th player in MLB history to accomplish the feat. Legendary broadcaster Tom Cheek sees his streak of 4,306 consecutive games come to an end after the sudden passing of his father on June 3, 2004. Later in the season he is enshrined on the Level of Excellence. John Gibbons relieves Carlos Tosca of his duties on August 8, 2004. The final day of the season is overshadowed by the sudden passing of longtime Blue Jay and current broadcaster John Cerutti. Vernon Wells picks up a Gold Glove Award in 2004 and 2005.On April 4, Tom Cheek calls back-to-back home runs by Orlando Hudson and Vernon Wells in his last game as a Blue Jays broadcaster. He would later pass away on October 9, 2005.
After key signings of RHP A.J.Burnett and LHP B.J.Ryan in 2006, the team would go on to post its best finish of the decade, finishing in 2nd place with an 87-75 record. It marked the first time they would place higher than third place since the World Series winning clubs in 1992 and 1993. They would see five players go to the All-Star Game (Halladay, Ryan, Wells, Glaus and Rios).
The Blue Jays would sign free agent Frank Thomas to a two-year contract in 2007 as he would pursue his run at 500 career home runs. On June 28 in Minnesota, he would become just the 21st player in MLB history to accomplish the feat hitting a first inning home run off Carlos Silva.
Roberto Alomar would take centre stage once again on April 4, 2008 as he would see his name honoured with many Blue Jay greats on the Level of Excellence. Cito Gaston makes his return to the dugout as he replaces John Gibbons as manager with the team sitting with a 35-39 record. Gaston would lead the club to a 10-game winning streak in September and finish with a 51-37 record the rest of the way in 2008. He would be rewarded with a two-year contract following the season.
GM, J.P. Ricciardi, was replaced following the season by assistant Alex Anthopoulos on October 3. Aaron Hill and Adam Lind have stellar offensive seasons earning both a Silver Slugger Award. Hill also is named Comeback Player of the Year, while Lind is recognized as the AL's best Designated Hitter, picking up the Edgar Martinez Award.
In 2010, Jose Bautista wins the Hank Aaron award and a Silver Slugger Award, after setting a club mark with 54 home runs. Would become just the 16th player in MLB history to record 54 home runs and just the seventh player to post 50 home runs, 30 doubles and 100 walks in the same season. Overall the team would hit 257 home runs tying them for the third highest total in MLB history. Brandon Morrow would turn in one of the most impressive performances in franchise history on August 8 vs. Tampa Bay. Morrow would see his no-hitter lost with two outs in the 9th inning, however he would finish with a one-hitter and 17 strikeouts. Cito Gaston is honoured in the final home game with a pregame ceremony on September 29, 2010.
THE HALL IS CALLING:
Roberto Alomar, a 12-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winning second baseman, was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers' Association of America on July 24, 2011 at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, NY. Alomar, the two-time World Series Champion, donned the Toronto Blue Jays cap in the Hall, marking the first ever Blue Jay player to be elected into the Hall of Fame. Alomar, who was in his second year on the ballot, received 523 votes which represented the third highest total in history, for a 90% majority.
John Farrell is appointed as the 12th manager in franchise history and leads the club to an 81-81 record in his first season. Jose Bautitsa is once again the offensive leader, earning a second consecutive Hank Aaron award as the league's best hitter. He led the AL in home runs with 47, while also posting league leading numbers in walks (132), slugging % (.608) and OPS (1.056). Becomes the first player to lead the Majors in the above categories since Barry Bonds in 2001, and the first AL player since Ted Williams in 1942. The fans also recognize his dominance by registering 7,454,753 All-Star votes, then most in MLB history. In the minors, four of the Blue Jays affiliates make the playoffs, with two clubs (New Hampshire/Vancouver) winning league championships. Baseball America has the Blue Jays minor league system rated 4th up from 19th just one year prior. On November 18, 2011, the Blue Jays unveil a new logo that brings the "blue" back to the Blue Jays, by updating the original logo and recognizing the classic Blue Jays look.
In June of 2012, Jose Bautista hit 14 home runs, 30 RBI, 22 walks and 24 runs scored in 27 games to capture his 5th career monthly award. Finished tops in homers, RBI and slugging percentage (.750), T-1st in walks and extra-base hits (18). His 14 homers established a new club record for the most HR in any single month and it marked the most in a calendar month by any player since Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki hit 15 round trippers in September 2010. It also was the most for an AL player since New York's Alex Rodriguez hit 14 home runs in April 2007. On Sept.18, 2012 the club announces that they have entered into a Player Development Contract with the Buffalo Bisons of the International League (AAA). On Oct.21, 2012 the Blue Jays released Manager John Farrell from his contract as he was hired by the Red Sox to take over that same position with them, an agreement reached by both teams. On Nov.19, 2012 the Blue Jays and Marlins complete the biggest trade in baseball history, measured in number of players changing hands, as Toronto acquires RHP Josh Johnson, LHP Mark Buehrle, SS Jose Reyes, IF/OF Emilio Bonifacio and C John Buck in exchange for C Jeff Mathis, SS Yunel Escobar, SS Adeiny Hechavarria, RHP Henderson Alvarez, LHP Justin Nicolino, OF Jake Marisnick and RHP Anthony Desclafani. On Nov.20, the Blue Jays hire John Gibbons as Manager to take over for John Farrell. Gibbons becomes the second person to have two tenures as Blue Jays manager along with Cito Gaston. Gibbons served as Blue Jays manager from August 9, 2004 through to June 20, 2008 and is the second winningest manager in franchise history. GM Alex Anthopoulos made another big splash in the offseason by acquiring the 2012 NL Cy Young award winner, RHP R.A.Dickey, from the New York Mets on Dec.17, 2012. Dickey was acquired from New York along with C Josh Thole and C Mike Nickeas in exchange for two of Toronto's top prospects, C Travis d'Arnaud and RHP Noah Syndergaard along with C John Buck and OF Wuilmer Beccera.
Major League Baseball and Baseball Commissioner Allan H.(Bud) Selig named the Toronto Blue Jays as the 2012 recipient of the Commissioner's Award for Philanthropic Excellence, which was created in 2010 to annually recognize an extraordinary charitable and philanthropic effort of an MLB club.
Toronto had four players participate in the 2013 All-Star game along with Manager John Gibbons, who was one of the coaches selected by Jim Leyland. OF Jose Bautista, 1B Edwin Encarnacion, LHP Brett Cecil and RHP Steve Delabar represented the Blue Jays at the 2013 Classic. Delabar was the winner of the mlb.com Final Vote, becoming the first Toronto player to win with 9.6 million votes. On July 21, 2013, Carlos Delgado became the 10th member inducted into the Toronto Blue Jays Level of Excellence. On Dec.9, 2013, at the Winter Meetings, RHP Roy Halladay signed a contract with the Blue Jays. This agreement ensures that the legendary right-hander will retire as a Toronto Blue Jay. Halladay finished a distinguished 16-year career with a record of 203- 105 (.659 winning percentage) in 416 games, 390 starts with an ERA of 3.38.Roy is among the Blue Jays club leaders in many pitching categories, ranking 2nd in wins (148), strikeouts (1495) and shutouts (15), 3rd in ERA (3.43), starts (287), complete games (49) and innings pitched (2046.2). His 148- 76 record as a Blue Jay resulted in a .661 winning percentage which is the highest mark in club history.
Jose Bautista once again led the Majors in the 2014 fan voting (5,859,019) & made his fifth consecutive appearance at an All-Star Game. Joined Roberto Alomar as the only TOR players to earn four consecutive starts. Jose was named the AL captain for the HR Derby & got eliminated in the semi-final by the eventual winner, Yoenis Cespedes. His 10-HR in the 1st round was the most by any participant. On Sept.8, 2014 vs. CHC, Bautista hit his 200th career HR as a Blue Jay, becoming just the fifth player in club history to accomplish the feat. Edwin Encarnacion led the Majors in May, 2014 with 16-HR, 22-XBH, .763 SLG & 2nd with 33-RBI.The 16-HR in May set a club record for any month & was the most by any player in May since Barry Bonds hit a ML record 17-HR in 2001.The 16-HR in May is T-2nd on the all-time MLB list with Mickey Mantle (1956) & Mark McGwire (1998). It was the most hit in any month since Sammy Sosa hit 17-HR in August 2001. Became the 1st player in club history with four or more multi-home run games in a calendar month. His five multi-HR games in May tied an MLB record for most multi-HR games in any calendar month (Albert Belle: Sept., 1995 & Harmon Killebrew: May, 1959). Was named AL Player of the Month for May. On June 6, 2014 vs. STL, the Blue Jays celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Rogers Centre. Like they did back on June 5, 1989, they sent Jimmy Key to the mound to throw out the Ceremonial First Pitch to former catcher Ernie Whitt. Joining them to deliver the game's starting lineup was former Blue Jays Manager Cito Gaston, who managed the first game at the ballpark. On April 10, 2014 the Toronto Blue Jays announced the creation of the Howard Starkman Award to be presented annually to the Employee of the Year. Starkman officially retired on April 11 as the longest serving employee in the organization and will be the inaugural recipient of the award named in his honour. On Sept.10 the Toronto Blue Jays were named the winners of 2014 Steve Patterson Award for excellence in sports philanthropy, granted in recognition of the Jays Care Foundation's charitable and community efforts across Canada.
In 2015, the Blue Jays had 3B Josh Donaldson, OF Jose Bautista & C Russell Martin represent them in the 86th All- Star Classic. Donaldson was the MLB leading vote-getter setting an all-time record after accumulating 14,090,188 votes. Was the 1st TOR-3B & 4th TOR-INF to win a fan election, joining Roberto Alomar (1991-94), John Olerud (1993) & Carlos Delgado (2003). For Bautista, it marked his 6th straight/overall All-Star selection (2010-2015), 1st time being chosen by the players. For the fifth straight year he was selected as a starter, only Jay to accomplish that feat. The six All-Star appearances also represent the most by any Blue Jay (Roberto Alomar-5, Joe Carter-5). Prior to the July 2015 trade deadline, GM Alex Anthopoulos pulled off four separate deals as TOR acquired SS Troy Tulowtizki & RHP LaTroy Hawkins from the Rockies on July 28. Acquired LHP David Price from the Tigers on July 30 before adding OF Ben Revere from the Phillies & RHP Mark Lowe from the Mariners on July 31. Since that point, TOR posted a record of 40-18 the rest of the way (best record in baseball). On Aug.31, 2015 - Rogers Communications announced that Mark Shapiro has been appointed President & CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays and Rogers Centre, to take place following the completion of the team's 2015 season. Shapiro assumes the role from Paul Beeston, who retired at the end of the season. Clinched their first division title since 1993 after defeating the Orioles in Baltimore by a score of 15-2 in game #1 of a doubleheader.That ended the longest playoff drought by any team in professional sports.It marked the 6th time in franchise history to have won their division.Defeated the Texas Rangers in the best-of-5 Division Series after traling 2-0 in that series. In the finale, Jose Bautista put Toronto out for good after crushing a 3R-HR in the 7th inning which broke a 3-3 tie.Toronto would later lose their ALCS series vs.the Royals (4-2 in series).On Oct.29, 2015 - Alex Anthopoulos stepped down as Senior VP of Baseball Operations & GM after rejecting a 5-year offer from Rogers Communications.VP of Baseball Operations & Assistant GM, Tony Lacava was named Interim General Manager following Alex's departure. On Nov.19, 2015 it was announced that 3B Josh Donaldson became just the 2nd player in franchise history to win the AL MVP Award (George Bell in 1987 is the other). Donaldson finished with 23 first-place votes (385 points overall). Had 81 more points than the 2nd place finisher, Mike Trout of the Angels. On Dec.3, 2015 - Blue Jays named Ross Atkins as Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager.He becomes the 7th General Manager in franchise history. Tony LaCava was then promoted to the position of Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations and Assistant GM after serving as the Interim GM.
In 2016, won the top wild-card position after going 89-73. Represented it's 7th post-season in franchise history (1985, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 2015 & 2016). It represents just the 2nd time in club history to earn a post-season birth in consecutive seasons (last: 1991-1993). Defeated the Orioles at Rogers Centre in the wild-card game on Tuesday, Oct.4 after Edwin Encarnacion hit a game-winning walkoff 3R-HR in the 11th inning. TOR won the Division Series 3-0 over TEX for their 1st ever postseason sweep. Appeared in consecutive ALCS series in back to back season for just the 2nd time in franchise history (1991-93).Fell to the Cleveland Indians, 3-1, in the ALCS. Drew 3,392,099 in attendance for an average of 41,878 which represented the most in the AL & third in the Majors (LAD - 45,720 & STL - 42,525), highest total since 1994 (49,287). The pitching staff posted a 3.47 ERA on the road which represented the best mark in all of baseball (CHC rank second at 3.60). Is the third lowest mark in franchise history (3.07 in 1981 & 3.16 in 1991).It marked the second time TOR led the Majors in lowest ERA on the road (last: 3.07 in 1981) - 3rd time to lead the AL (3.89 in 2008 & 3.16 in 1991). Aaron Sanchez led the American League in ERA at 3.00 (Justin Verlander next closest at 3.04). Became the 5th different TOR pitcher to lead the AL in ERA - joining Roger Clemens-2x, Dave Stieb, Juan Guzman & Jimmy Key. J.A. Happ was one of just three pitchers to finish the year with 20 wins (Rick Porcello-22, Max Scherzer-20). Became the sixth different 20-game winner in club history (8th time) - joining Roy Halladay (2x), Roger Clemens (2x), Jack Morris, Pat Hentgen & David Wells to accomplish that feat. It marked the second time that a LHP has recorded 20 wins in a season (David Wells-20 in 2000). Edwin Encarnacion became only third player in club history to record 4 seasons of 35+HR/100+RBI (fourth time) - joining Delgado (5x) & Bautista (4x). Averaged over 1 million viewers per game on TV nationwide (Sportsnet).
The Blue Jays started the 2017 season 1-9 and finished with a March/April record of 8-17 for a .320 win%, the 3rd lowest in club history (.318 in 1979 and 2004, both 7-15). Rebounded in May with the 3rd best record in the Majors at 18-10 (.643). Came within a game of .500 on nine occasions but went 0-9 in each of those potential recordevening contests while getting outscored, 73-24, in those games. Hit the All-Star Break at 41-47, their worst first-half record since 2004 (39-49). Since reaching 11 games below .500 on April 28 (6-17), went 70-69 for a .504 win% (7th in AL, 14th in MLB). Finished the 2017 season at 76-86, 17.0 games back of 1st place Boston and their furthest back to end a season since since 2013 (23.0 GB). After 155 days in 5th place and 25 days tied for 4th in the AL East, won their final game of the year to surpass Baltimore (75-87) for 4th place in the division, moving out of the AL East basement for the first time since the season began.
The Blue Jays started the 2018 season with a 16-12 April, which provided hope the organization would be able to extend its window of opportunity by another year. The expectations soon changed when Roberto Osuna was suspended in early May for violating the league's domestic violence policy and Josh Donaldson went down with a serious leg injury. Veterans J.A. Happ, John Axford, Seunghwan Oh and Steve Pearce were traded before the July 31 deadline and Donaldson was gone a few weeks later as Toronto's rebuild began in earnest. Some bright spots emerged in September when prospects Ryan Borucki, Danny Jansen and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. stepped into the spotlight. The Blue Jays finished the year 73-89, which ultimately cost manager John Gibbons his job after five seasons. Gibbons finished with a 793-789 record across two stints, which included a pair of back-to-back appearances in the ALCS from 2015-16. Rays bench coach Charlie Montoyo took over as the 13th manager in franchise history on Oct. 25, 2018.