In their short history, the Toronto Blue Jays have accomplished much. From a team that routinely lost 100 games in those first years (1977-1979), they quickly became championship caliber, capturing American League East Division titles in 1985, 1989 and 1991, before bowing in the American League Championship Series. That too, changed abruptly, with the Jays winning back-to-back East Division titles, ALCS and World Series championships in 1992 and 1993. Through it all, some great players on great teams graced the old open air Exhibition Stadium field and then finally the Skydome or as it’s now known the Rogers Centre. All-time greats like Dave Stieb, Devon White, Joe Carter, Tony Fernandez, George Bell, Jimmy Key, Kelly Gruber, Duane Ward, Tom Henke, Dave Winfield, Paul Molitor and Pat Borders brought championships to Toronto. Contemporary stars Carlos Delgado, Jose Bautista, Roger Clemens and Roy Halladay piled up individual accolades.
The Blue Jays debuted, in a bit of a snowstorm, on a converted football field in the not-s0-quaint confines of Exhibition Stadium. Awarded a franchise in 1976 for the relatively paltry sum of $7 million, paid by a consortium that included, fittingly, Labatt Breweries. Over 44,000 brave souls showed up that first day to see the Blue Jays and veteran starting pitcher Bill Singer do battle with the White Sox. It would turn out to be a successful start for a team that would win just 53 more, and lose 107 before the end. First baseman Doug Ault became an instant fan favourite that day, clubbing two home runs in the 9-5 victory.