Jimmy Key
Election Date: February 6, 2024
Induction Date: June 15, 2024
Birth Date / Place: April 22, 1961 in Huntsville, Alabama
Primary Position: Pitcher
Bats: Right
Throws: Left
Years: 1982-1998
Teams: Toronto Blue Jays, NY Yankees, Baltimore Orioles

Jimmy Key

“I would like to thank the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and their Executive Committee for this great honour. This recognition caps off nine great years that I played in Toronto for the Blue Jay organization. To be a part of the first professional baseball World Championship team in Canada, is the highlight of my career.”

Born in 1961 in Huntsville, Ala., Jimmy Key was selected in the third round of the 1982 MLB draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. After posting a 2.30 ERA in five starts for the Rookie ball Medicine Hat Blue Jays during his first professional season, the crafty left-hander rose through the team’s ranks to make his big league debut on April 6, 1984. He would make 63 relief appearances for the Blue Jays that season and set a franchise rookie record with 10 saves before becoming a key member of their rotation the ensuing campaign. 

In 1985, the Blue Jays’ first division-winning season, the steady southpaw posted a 14-6 record and a 3.00 ERA in 212-2/3 innings in 35 appearances to earn his first All-Star selection. Over the next seven seasons, Key continued to be a top-end starter for the Blue Jays, registering at least 12 wins in each campaign.  

His finest season with the Blue Jays was in 1987, when he went 17-8 and topped American League pitchers with a 2.76 ERA while tossing a team-leading 261 innings. For his efforts, he was named the American League Pitcher of the Year by The Sporting News and finished second in the American League Cy Young voting.  

Four years later, he almost equaled his 1987 campaign, when he registered 16 wins and a 3.05 ERA and was named to his second All-Star team. In 1992, he notched 13 regular season victories and added two more in the World Series against the Atlanta Braves to help the Blue Jays capture their first championship. 

In his nine seasons with the Blue Jays, Key established himself as one of the greatest pitchers in franchise history. He ranks near the top in many of the club’s all-time pitching categories (minimum 1,000 innings pitched), including tied for first in ERA (3.42) and WHIP (1.20) and fourth in wins (116), games started (250), innings pitched (1,695-2/3) and shutouts (10). In 2017, Sportsnet ranked him ninth on their Greatest Blue Jays of All-Time list. 

Following the 1992 season, Key signed with the New York Yankees and amassed a career-best 18 wins in 1993 and then led the AL with 17 victories in the strike-shortened 1994 campaign. He was named an All-Star in both seasons. He’d pitch for the Yankees for two more seasons, securing another World Series ring in 1996, before completing his career with the Baltimore Orioles in 1997 and 1998. In total, in his 15-year major league career, he registered 186 wins and finished with a 49.0 WAR. 


386 Church St. S., PO Box 1838
St. Marys, ON  N4X 1C2
[email protected]

Stay in touch

Registered Charitable Organization 106843477RR0001

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved