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History

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BLUE JAYS TIMELINE
1976-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2009 | 2010-Present
Timeline 1980-1989
 
Jimmy Key (left) and Dave Stieb combined to win 291 games for Toronto during the 80's and early 90's.
1980  - Bobby Mattick, the Jays' scouting supervisor, was promoted to field manager, and he led the team to its best record in its first four years. Tom Underwood and Rick Cerone were sent to the Yankees for Paul Mirabella, Damaso Garcia and Chris Chambliss, who was dealt to the Braves for outfielder Barry Bonnell and reliever Joey McLaughlin.

John Mayberry slugged a club-record 30 homers. Alvis Woods hit .300, and Bonnell drove in 56 runs. Ernie Whitt became the team's No. 1 catcher, and Lloyd Moseby and Willie Upshaw both earned spots in the lineup.

Jim Clancy and Dave Stieb became the club's top two starters. In the bullpen, Jerry Garvin recorded a 2.28 ERA while McLaughlin, Mirabella and Jesse Jefferson all pitched more than 120 innings.

September 12, Blue Jays defeat Baltimore 7-5 to win their 60th game of the season and in doing so set a new club record for victories in a single season... September 26, Continuing to break all records for expansion teams, the Blue Jays reach the 6 million mark in home attendance... October 5, Toronto defeats Boston 4-1 to chalk up their 67th win of the season, 8 more victories than ever before.

1981  - In a season split in half by a players' strike, the Jays combined the worst start and the strongest finish in the club's five-year history. Dave Stieb became the Jays' first regular starter to post a winning record, going 11-10 with an ERA of 3.19. Right-hander Luis Leal was 7-13 with a 3.68 ERA. Joey McLaughlin recorded 10 saves and a 2.85 ERA, and Roy Lee Jackson, acquired from the Mets for Bob Bailor, had seven saves and a 2.61 ERA.

Damaso Garcia had an excellent second half, batting .375 before breaking his wrist in late August. Jesse Barfield and George Bell began to play regularly, joining Lloyd Moseby in the outfield. In his first full season with Toronto, Moseby tied John Mayberry for the club lead with 43 RBI.

October 7, Bobby Mattick resigns as Field Manager to become Executive Co-Ordinator, Baseball Operations... October 15, Bobby Cox, former Atlanta Braves Manager (1978-81), named Blue Jays Manager for the 1982 season... November 24, Peter Bavasi, President & Chief Operating Officer resigns.

1982  - Bobby Cox's first season as manager saw Willie Upshaw take over at first base after John Mayberry was traded. Upshaw had 75 RBI and 21 homers. Damaso Garcia hit .310 and stole 58 bases. Jesse Barfield hit 18 homers and finished second in the league with 15 outfield assists.

Platooning was an important part of Cox's strategy. He utilized Garth Iorg and Rance Mulliniks at third and the tandem of Ernie Whitt and Buck Martinez behind the plate.

Dave Stieb led the league in innings pitched and complete games while winning a club-record 17 games. Jim Clancy was 16-14, and Luis Leal gave the Jays a reliable third starter with a 12-15 record. Dale Murray was the relief ace, going 8-7 with a 3.16 ERA and recording 11 saves.

July 22, N.E. Hardy appointed Chief Executive Officer... July 30, beer is sold at Exhibition Stadium for the first time, each one cost $1.75... September 11, Blue Jays set a new club mark for road attendance, surpassing the previous mark of 1,285,409... October 3, Blue Jays set new club marks for best home (44-37) and road (34-47) records... Club establishes an American League record for the fewest games behind an American league leader for a last place club (17) since divisional play started in 1969... Toronto wins 78th game to tie Cleveland for sixth place, the first season that the club did not finish in 7th place.

1983  - The Jays became contenders in 1983. The club's designated hitters - primarily Cliff Johnson and Jorge Orta - hit 34 HRs and 113 RBIs. The Jays' .277 average led the A.L.

Lloyd Moseby, who became the first Jay to score more than 100 runs, hit .315 with 18 home runs, 81 RBIs and 27 stolen bases. Willie Upshaw became the first Jay to record 100 RBIs, hitting 27 homers to share player of the year honors with Moseby. Damaso Garcia had another strong year, finishing at .307 with 31 stolen bases. The outfield featured Jesse Barfield, who hit 27 home runs, and newly-acquired Dave Collins, who platooned with Barry Bonnell and George Bell. Bonnell hit .318.

The pitching staff consisted of Stieb (17-12), Clancy (15-11), Leal (13-12), Jim Gott (9-14) and Doyle Alexander (7-6), who had been released by the Yankees in June. The 1983 season marked Toronto's first exposure to pennant fever.

May 23, Lloyd Moseby becomes third consecutive Blue Jays player to capture AL Player of the Week honours (others being Luis Leal and Dave Stieb) marking only the second time in league history that one club had captured the honour for three consecutive weeks... July 4, Blue Jays lead the AL East at the All-Star break, a club first... July 25, Blue Jays are tied for first place, setting a new mark for the latest date that the club was ever in first place... August 2, 45,102 fans (a new record) see Blue Jays sweep TN-DH from the Yankees... September 19, Lloyd Moseby becomes first Blue Jays player to score 100 runs... September 20, Willie Upshaw becomes first Blue Jay player to drive in 100 runs... October 2, Blue Jays finish season at 89-73, good for 4th place, 9 games back, and also the first time the franchise had finished with an above .500 record.

1984  - In an attempt to improve their bullpen, the Jays acquired relievers Dennis Lamp and Bryan Clark.

After a streak of 19 one-run victories in the first half of the season, the Jays dropped 25 of 40 one-run games over the rest of the schedule. They finished with 89 wins, finishing in second place behind the Detroit Tigers.

Dave Collins won Player of the Year honors with 41 extra base hits and 60 stolen bases. Lloyd Moseby hit .280 with 18 homers and 39 stolen bases. Rance Mulliniks hie .324, the best mark on the club.

Doyle Alexander had a great year on the mound, going 17-6 with 262 innings pitched and 11 complete games. Stieb had another fine year at 16-8 with an ERA of 2.83. Jim Clancy and Luis Leal each won 13 games.

For the first time in franchise history, more than two million fans made their way to Exhibition Stadium. The Jays were a good team, but a piece or two was still missing from the championship puzzle.

April 17, Blue Jays set a new team record with 9,104 season tickets sold... April 28, Blue Jays gain sole possession of second place, a position they would never relinquish... May 27, Alfredo Griffin has his major league leading consecutive game streak snapped at 392 games... June 2, Blue Jays win their 19th one-run game in a row... August 5, Blue Jays steal seven bases in a 5-3 win at Baltimore... August 5, Cliff Johnson sets a new major league record with his 19th career pinch-hit home run... September 2, Blue Jays reach 22-games over .500 (79-57) for the first time in club history... September 19, Blue Jays become the 18th major league franchise to surpass the two million mark in home attendance... September 23, Blue Jays draw 2,110,009 at home, a new franchise mark... September 29, Blue Jays clinch second place, their highest standing ever.

1985  - The Jays won the A.L. East on October 5, 1985 when Doyle Alexander beat the Yankees 5-1. The Jays finished with 99 wins and went on to play the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS, losing a tight seven-game series.

Newcomers included relief ace Bill Claudill, and lefthander Gary Lavelle. Dennis Lamp moved to middle relief and compiled an 11-0 record. Jimmy Key, who went 14-6, joined the starting rotation, while Bell, Barfield, and Fernandez were now everyday players. Tom Henke became the closer in July.

The Jays' bullpen had 47 saves and a 35-20 won-lost record, with Henke saving 13 of 15 games. Bell hit 28 Hrs, Barfield hit 27 and Ernie Whitt had 19. Garth Iorg hit .313. Tony Fernandez hit .289.

April 16, Blue Jays place an 11,500 ceiling on season tickets... May 1, Jimmy Key becomes the club's first starting LHP to win a game since Oct. 4, 1980 (614-games)... May 20, Blue Jays gain sole possession of 1st place, a position they would not relinquish for the remainder of the season... June 8-9, Blue Jays draw back-to-back 40,000 fan home crowds for the first time ever... June 27, Blue Jays surpass one million mark in home attendance, the earliest date ever... July 21, Blue Jays win their 10th straight home game and push their first place lead to a club record 9.5-games... July 27, Blue Jays average home attendance, surpasses the 30,000 mark for the first time ever... September 12-15, Blue Jays and Yankees set an AL record for a 4-game series with 214,510 fans in attendance... September 29, Blue Jays move to a club record 41-games over .500 (98-57)... October 4, 47,686 see the Blue Jays play New York - a new club attendance mark... October 5, Blue Jays captured first division title (American League East)... October 6, Blue Jays draw 2,468,925 fans at home - a new club mark... October 25, Jimy Williams succeeds Bobby Cox as manager.

1986  - The Jays 10th season saw both Jesse Barfield and George Bell drive in a club record 108 runs. Barfield hit a Jays record 40 homers, while Bell hit 31 dingers and 38 doubles. Tony Fernandez led the club with a .301 average. All three were selected to post-season All-Star teams and Barfield and Fernandez became the first members of the Blue Jays to win Gold Glove awards. Rick Leach hit .309, with ten pinch hits.

Inconsistency plagued the starting staff. Jim Clancy lost his final seven decisions while Dave Stieb lost his first six decisions to finish at 7-12. Lefthander Jimmy Key, also winless in his first starts, finished at 11-11. Mark Eichhorn, who won 14 games and set the club record for lowest ERA at 1.72 was selected as rookie relief pitcher of the year by The Sporting News. Tom Henke continued as the team's top stopper, finishing with a club record 27 saves.

Blue Jays place a ceiling of 14,000 on season tickets in celebrating their 10th anniversary season... April 15, Club's first home rainout since July 4, 1983. The game vs. the Orioles was made up the next day ... May 6, Jesse Barfield cracks 2 home runs vs. Oakland to become the club's all-time franchise leader at 93... June 20, Cliff Johnson homers vs. Detroit for his major league leading 20th career pinch-hit home run... June 27, Damaso Garcia ties a major league record with four doubles vs. New York... July 10, Damaso Garcia becomes the first player to register 1000 hits in a Blue Jays uniform... July 28, Jim Clancy becomes the first pitcher to record 100 wins in a Blue Jays uniform... September 22, Tony Fernandez becomes the first Blue Jays player to reach the 200 hit mark in one season, while he and Jesse Barfield become the first Blue Jays to win a Rawlings Gold Glove for defensive excellence.

1987  - In one of Baseball's most dramatic pennant races, the Jays and the Tigers played seven one-run games over the last ten days of the season. Toronto finished two games back with 96 wins, the second-highest in the majors.

The Blue Jays led the A.L. in attendance, and registered the sixth-highest home run total in league history with 215, including a major-league record 10 home run game on September 14.

George Bell (47 HRs and 134 RBI) earned A.L. MVP honors. Jimmy Key compiled a 17-8 record with a 2.76 ERA. Tony Fernandez hit .322 with 32 stolen bases. Tom Henke led the A.L. in saves with 34.

Rookie Fred McGriff hit 20 homers while Jeff Musselman finished 12-5. Mike Flanagan pitched well after being acquired from Baltimore on August 30. David Wells was effective in middle relief, appearing in 18 games.

June 2, Blue Jays embark on a club record 11-game win streak... July 1, Blue Jays set a club record when a Canada Day crowd of 47,828 fans saw the Yankees... July 14, George Bell participates in the All-Star Game and is the first Blue Jay ever selected by the fans... September 14, Ernie Whitt becomes the second Blue Jays player to have a 3 home run game as Blue Jays set a Major League Record with 10 home runs in a game vs. the Orioles... September 30, Blue Jays final home attendance reached 2,778,429, the most ever for an AL East team and the club led the AL in attendance for first time ever... November 17th, George Bell named AL MVP... December 8th, George Bell is named the ML Player of the Year by The Sporting News.

1988  - The Jays were plagued by injuries and a slow start in 1988 and trailed the A.L. East leaders by 11.5 games in mid July.

After the All-Star break, the Jays played consistent baseball, posting the Division's best second-half record with 45 wins, 22 of these coming in the stretch drive.

The Jays led the league in home runs (158), triples (47), total bases (2330) and slugging percentage (.419). Fred McGriff's 34 homers led the A.L., as did the pitching staff's 17 shutouts. George Bell stroked 24 homers and added 97 RBIs. Jimmy Key recovered from arm trouble to go 12-5 and Dave Stieb tossed three one-hitters over the course of the campaign. Tom Henke saved 25 games while Duane Ward posted a 9-3 mark in 64 appearances.

Newcomers Pat Borders (.273) and Rob Ducey (.315) were pleasant surprises. Kelly Gruber (16 home runs) and Tony Fernandez (.287) solidified the infield with excellent defence and made consistent contributions at the plate. The future looked bright.

April 3, George Bell becomes the first major leaguer to hit 3 home runs on Opening Day... April 11, Blue Jays defeat the Yankees in their home opener before their largest Opening Day crowd (45,185)... May 31, Dave Stieb tosses his first career One Hitter, defeating Milwaukee 9-0... June 4, Blue Jays complete a 4-game sweep at Fenway Park, their first sweep ever in Boston... July 12, Dave Stieb makes his sixth All-Star game appearance, placing him tied/7th on the All-time pitchers list... September 5, George Bell is named AL Player of the Week for the period ending September 4 and in doing so was the only league player to be twice honored in 1988... September 30, Dave Stieb became the sixth modern ML pitcher to toss consecutive one hitters... October 2, Blue Jays finish the season with a 22-7 September/ October, a club record.

1989  - The Jays won their second A.L. East crown in 1989, enduring a slow start and a managerial change before putting together a strong second half.

The club played its SkyDome opener on June 5, recording a 17-10 mark for the month. By the All-Star break, the club was tied for fourth place. In early August, Lee Mazzilli and Mookie Wilson were added. With a team record 20 wins in August, the Jays pulled into a first place tie with Baltimore on the last day of the month. Back-to back wins over the Orioles on the last weekend of the season clinched the A.L. East Division title. George Bell (104 RBIs) and Fred McGriff (36 HRs) powered the offence.

In the ALCS, the Jays lost to the Oakland A's in five games.

January 10, Paul Beeston named President of the Blue Jays... April 16, Kelly Gruber becomes the first franchise player to hit for the cycle against Kansas City at Exhibition Stadium... May 15, Jimy Williams is dismissed as manager, replaced on an interim basis by Cito Gaston... It was the club's first managerial change in franchise history to take place during a season... May 28, Blue Jays play their final game at Exhibition Stadium, defeating Chicago 7-5... May 31, Cito Gaston is named as the fifth manager in franchise history... June 3, Blue Jays overcome a 10-0 seventh inning deficit to defeat Boston 13-11 in 12 innings... Blue Jays place a ceiling of 26,000 season tickets at Sky-Dome... June 5, Blue Jays lose 5-3 to Milwaukee in the club's first game at SkyDome... July 9, Blue Jays win 2-0 at Detroit for the club's first-ever sweep at Tiger Stadium... August 4, Dave Stieb loses a perfect game after 8.2 innings when New York's Roberto Kelly doubles... August 31, Blue Jays defeat Chicago 5-1 to move into a first place tie with Baltimore. They would remain in first place for the remainder of the season... September 4, George Bell is named American League Player of the Month for August... September 16, 49,501 watch the Blue Jays defeat the Indians as the Blue Jays set a new American League record for home attendance... September 30, Blue Jays defeat Baltimore 4-3 to capture their second division title in five seasons... October 8, Blue Jays draw 50,024 for Game 5 of the ALCS marking the 41st consecutive sellout at SkyDome... December 17, An era ends as Ernie Whitt is traded to the Atlanta Braves. He was the club's final link with the 1976 Expansion Draft.

1976-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2009 | 2010-Present