The Toronto Blue Jays came relatively late in the history of MLB. The American League awarded the City of Toronto a franchise in its East Division in 1976, creating the second MLB franchise outside the United States after the Montreal Expos in 1969. The team was dubbed the “Blue Jays” in a contest the following summer, and was met by eager fans during their inaugural season of 1977.
The Jays grew formidable over the course of the 1980s, and reached the American League Championship Series (ALCS) for the first time in 1985 against the Kansas City Royals. The Jays seemed poised to rise to the World Series, but the Royals came up from behind and won the series 4-3. The Jays made it to the ALCS again in 1989, but lost to the Oakland Athletics 4-1. Their third failed attempt came in 1991, when they lost to the Minnesota Twins 4-1.
Three pins commemorating the Jays’ victories in the 1985, 1989 and 1991 ALCS.
The Oakland Athletics met the Jays in the ALCS once more in 1992, but this time it was the Jays who proved victorious. The defining moment of the series came in game four, when Roberto Alomar hit a game-tying two-run home run. The Jays proceeded to win 7-6 in eleven innings and took a 3-1 series lead. They won the championship in the sixth game 4-2, thereby advancing to the World Series. From there, the Jays beat the Atlanta Braves 4-3, with Dave Winfield hitting a two-run double in the top of the eleventh inning to thunderous cheers. The Jays were the first team based outside the U.S. to progress to the World Series, and the first to win!
A pin commemorating the Blue Jays’ victory at the 1992 World Series.
A photograph of the 1992 Blue Jays World Series winning team shaking hands with President George W. Bush at the White House on December 16th, 1992.