As part of the 1977 Major League Baseball expansion, the city of Toronto, Ontario in Canada received their very own MLB franchise, and the Toronto Blue Jays were born. Though they were once one of two Major League teams located in Canada, the 2004 relocation of the Montreal Expos to the Washington D.C. area left the Blue Jays as the only MLB team to be located any place other than an American city. As you might guess, the name of the team is derived from the blue jay bird, and they proudly wear the jay logo on their uniforms.
The Toronto Blue Jays are well known for being the only non-American team to win the World Series. They also hold the record for American League expansion teams winning the Series, as they did it in only sixteen years from their creation. Those Championships came in 1992 and 1993, largely as a result of the team’s ability to make timely trades for key role players and pitchers. For example, the Blue Jays traded for Jack Morris, the Minnesota Twins pitching hero of the 1991 World Series prior to the 1992 season, as well as the explosive hitter Dave Winfield. Other acquisitions followed, and they yielded immediate results in the ’92 campaign as the Blue Jays won 96 games and the American League Easter Division title. That regular season campaign was memorable for one other reason: no team managed to sweep any series against the Toronto team. After defeating the Oakland As to win the American League Pennant, the Blue Jays advanced to the World Series.
The 1992 World Series
That Series, against the powerhouse Atlanta Braves, saw phenomenal pitching from the Jays’ bullpen, with the relief and closing pitchers managing to not give up a single run until the closing innings of the deciding sixth game. That final game was a nail-biter for Toronto fans, went eleven innings, and was won by Winfield’s two-RBI double in the top of the eleventh inning and the defense’s ability to hold the Braves to only one run in the bottom of that inning. After the World Series win, the jays released Winfield and several other players, but picked up other veteran talent like Dave Stewart in the process.
1993 and a repeat
The Toronto 1993 season turned out to be nearly as prolific as the previous campaign. In fact, the team managed to win one game shy of their prior year’s total. This set the stage for them to win their division for the third year in a row, and catapulted them into the American League Championship Series once again – this time against the Chicago White Sox. After defeating the Sox in six games, the stage was set for the Jays’ second straight appearance in the World Series. After an exciting and often high scoring Series (the fourth game of the series ended with a score of 15 to 14, which continues to hold the record for the most points scored in any single World Series game), the Blue Jays prevailed once again in six. Their second Championship in two years would prove to be their last to date.