Based in Toronto, Ontario, the Toronto Blue Jays are a Major League Baseball team having the distinction of being the only team to win the World Series from outside the United States. They are in the Eastern Division of the American League (AL). 2006 was the Blue Jays' 30th season. Being Canada's only MLB franchise, and the only team in the Major Leagues outside the United States, 2006 was their 30th season. Home to the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League until 1967, Toronto had been mentioned as a potential major league city several times. Formed in 1976 as one of two teams slated to join the AL for the next season, the Toronto Blue Jays were owned by Labatt Breweries, Imperial Trust and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. The last two were the minority owners. Their first game was played against the Chicago White Sox on April 7, 1977, led by Doug Ault's two home runs. They successfully won the snowy affair 9-5. Their worst performance was during1978 and 1979 when the team lost over 100 games in each year. Shortstop Alfredo Griffin was named American League co-Rookie of the Year in 1979. Bobby Mattick became manager of the team in 1980. Toronto Blue Jays finished in last place in the American League East in both halves of the season in the strike-divided season of 1981.
Toronto Blue Jays first solid season was in 1982 when they finished 78-84 and their pitching staff was led by starters Dave Stieb, Jim Clancy and Luis Leal, and the outfield featured a young Lloyd Moseby and Jesse Barfield. 1983 saw Toronto Blue Jays first winning record, 89-73, as they finished in fourth place, only 9 games behind the eventual World Series champions, the Baltimore Orioles.
They continued to perform well in 1984 when they finished with the same 89-73 record, but this time they ended up in second place behind another World Series champion, the Detroit Tigers. Strong pitching and a balanced offense enabled the Toronto Blue Jays to gain the victories in 1985. This when they won the first of their five American League East division titles. The mid-season call up of relief pitcher Tom Henke also proved to be important and they finished 99-62 (the franchise record for most wins), two games in front of the New York Yankees.
Strong pitching and a balanced offense enabled the Toronto Blue Jays
to gain the victories. Their mid-season call up of relief pitcher Tom Henke also proved to be important and they finished 99-62 (the franchise record for most wins), two games in front of the New York Yankees. They faced the Kansas City Royals in the American League Championship Series (ALCS), and took a 3 games to 1 lead but Kansas City won the series 4 games to 3.
Success could not be duplicated despite an excellent season from right fielder Jesse Barfield in 1986, as he hit 40 home runs.
In 1987, Toronto Blue Jays lost a thrilling division race to the Detroit Tigers by 2 games, finishing with a 96-66 record. It was their second best in the major leagues, but to no avail. George Bell was named MVP of the American League. Toronto Blue Jays tied with the Milwaukee Brewers for third in the division in 1988, as the first baseman Fred McGriff hit 34 home runs and Dave Stieb had back-to-back starts in which he lost a no-hitter with two out in the ninth inning.
In 2006, the "new" Toronto Blue Jays played at Rogers Centre in 2006. They had 87 wins and 75 losses and were second in division.