History of the Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays team, formed in 1977 and based in Canada, is currently the only non-US team in major league baseball. The Blue Jays won two consecutive World Series in the 1990s, but they have not seen post-season play since their second win in 1993.

In 1977, the Toronto Blue Jays were established, along with the Seattle Mariners, as an American League franchise team. Their first game in the major leagues, on April 7, 1977, was played on a snowy day in Toronto. They won that first game but they ended the 1977 season with a record of 54-107. The next year was almost as poor (59-103) and Toronto again ended the season in last place in the American League East division. The Blue Jays continued with this losing streak and last place finish until 1982.

In 1982, Bobby Cox, the current long-time manager of the Atlanta Braves, became manager of the Toronto Blue Jays and, under his leadership, the team finished the season with a record of 78-84. Although the team improved significantly under Cox, they were still in fourth place in the American League East in 1983, with a winning record of 89-73. The following year was similar, with the same win-loss record but in second place in the league.

The Blue Jays finally saw post-season play in 1985 when they finished in first place in the American League division. They played against and lost to the Kansas City Royals in the American League Championship series. Although the Blue Jays continued to have winning records, it would be four more years before the team would be in a playoff series again.

In 1989, under new manager Cito Gaston, the Toronto Blue Jays once again led the American League East division. That year they lost the American League Championship series to the Oakland Athletics. They played well in 1990, but they still finished behind the first place Boston Red Sox.

The following year, 1991, began a three-year streak of American League East division titles for the Toronto Blue Jays. They lost the pennant race in 1991 to the Minnesota Twins, but they won both the American League pennant and the World Series in 1992 and 1993. Two of the top players on the Blue Jays team during these years were future Hall of Famers Dave Winfield (1992) and Paul Molitor (1993).

In 1994, the Blue Jays experienced their first losing season in 13 years, ending in third place in the American League East division with a record of 55-60. The next year was even worse and the Blue Jays were once again the last place team in the American League East with a dismal record of 56-88. The team continued to have losing seasons until 1998, but their 88-74 record that year was not good enough for the strong American League East competition and the Blue Jays finished in third place. The next two seasons, the results were similar, and in 2001, the Blue Jays fell even further behind, posting a losing record of 80-82.

The Blue Jays recovered a bit two years later, in 2003, when they ended the season 86-76, but they were still far behind the American League East division winners. The next two years, the Blue Jays again had losing seasons.

Although the Blue Jays have had winning records for the last few seasons, they have not been able to move ahead in the standings in the American League East. This year, too, they will be competing against the four strong teams of the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, and Tampa Bay Rays, and the Toronto Blue Jays' chances of moving up past fifth place in the standings are slim.

Source for Information
Wikipedia - Toronto Blue Jays