Toronto Blue Jays News & Information
The Toronto Blue Jays - nicknamed the Jays and named after the bird of the same name - have been playing baseball since 1977. They originally played in the now demolished Canadian Exhibition Stadium, although anyone purchasing Toronto Blue Jay tickets today will find themselves visiting the Rogers Centre. The Centre was formally known as the SkyDome before it was purchased and renamed by the current owners, Rogers Communications.
Of course, Blue Jay Ticket holders can expect more than just the excellent facilities of the Rogers Centre when they come to watch them play – they'll also be shown some world class baseball. The Toronto Blue Jays are not just the only team outside the United States to win a World Series; they're also the only Major League team left in Canada after the Montreal Expos departure to Washington, D.C.
The team joined the American League on January 27, 1977 along with the Seattle Mariners. The team name of Blue Jays was chosen by their original owners, "Labatt Breweries," in the hope that the people of Toronto would nickname their team the "Blues," which happened to also be the popular term for their particular brand of beer. Any Toronto Blue Jays fan will know, of course, this never actually happened, as the team almost automatically adopted the nickname of "Jays" right off the bat. This may not have really made much difference either way though, with blue being the traditional colour of Toronto sports teams for well over one hundred years.
It wasn't until quite a few years later in 1985 under their fourth manager, Bobby Cox, that the Toronto Blue Jays ticket buyers were treated to any major success, however. Entry to the World Series was just missed after the team was beaten 4 games to 3 despite an early 3 to 1 lead. Painfully, this was the same year the rules had been changed in League Championship games from a "best of 5" setup, and the Toronto Blue Jays saw their first chance of the World Series slip away.
It wasn't until 1992 under Manager Cito Gaston that the Toronto Blue Jays finally laid their hands on a World Series title. A year earlier, the Jays had become the first team to draw out a massive four million fans in one season. Indeed, they had come very close to a title in that year as well, only to fall to the Minnesota Twins in the post season.
Fast forwarding, the 2008 season was bittersweet for Blue Jays ticket holders, with their incredible 10 game winning streak being abruptly ended with a 6-5 loss to the Chicago White Sox.
Those not fortunate enough to be able to purchase Toronto Blue Jay tickets and see them play live at the Rogers Centre are able to listen to the radio play-by-plays on the local station, The Fan 590. The Jays former announcer was the famous Tom Cheek, who managed a streak of 4,306 consecutive regular games and 41 postseason games until June 3, 2004 where Cheek took time off in the wake of his father's death. Sadly, Cheek himself died only a year later. He has been immortalised at the Roger Centre in the Blue Jays' "Level of Excellence," his play number listed as 4,306.
Other Jays' personnel on the level of Excellence include their current and previous president and vice president Paul Beeston, and manager Cito Gaston. The Jays have never retired a number except for Jackie Robson, which was an entire league retirement.
With Manager Cito Gaston back in the driving seat, the Blue Jays have a promising future ahead of them, and it's a sure bet anyone purchasing Blue Jays tickets is certainly going to see some nail biting baseball.