The 10 Best Seasons in Toronto Blue Jays` History
The Toronto Blue Jays have had a storied history since the franchise's inception in 1977. The Jays were MLB's best franchise from 1983-1993, and the rosters included numerous star players.
These players ranged from Dave Stieb to Jack Morris, Jimmy Key to Tom Henke, Joe Carter to Roberto Alomar, and many more.
The Jays brought life to baseball fans in Toronto with their amazing play during the early 1990s, a period that saw them win two consecutive World Series championships in 1992 and 1993.
In this list, I count down the 10 best seasons in the history of the Toronto Blue Jays franchise.
Best Position Player: Roy Howell- .316 AVG, .386 OBP, 10 HR, 44 RBI
Best Pitcher: Jerry Garvin- 10-18, 4.19 ERA, 1.357 WHIP, 244.2 IP, 127 K
Looking at the record, you might think I`m crazy, but this was the year that Toronto finally got their major league franchise. The city proved they were worthy of having the franchise when the team finished fourth in attendance despite more then 100 losses.
The Jays started their first season in Toronto at the old Exhibition Stadium as they played the Chicago White Sox in a snow storm. The first game in franchise history was won by a score of 9-5.
By the time the season was over, the Jays finished 9.5 games behind their expansion cousins, the Seattle Mariners, but 13.5 games ahead of the New York Mets all-time worst first year performance.
Best Position Player: Lloyd Moseby- .280 AVG, .368 OBP, 18 HR, 92 RBI
Best Pitcher: Dave Stieb- 16-8, 2.83 ERA, 1.135 WHIP, 267 IP, 198 K
The Jays were able to post their first winning record ever just the year before 1984 and they followed it up with the exact same record. The signs were there that the Jays were nearly ready to break out.
Although they still finished 15 games back of the Detroit Tigers, the Jays were a young team and used the experience they gained to their advantage in later, more successful seasons.
Best Position Player: Carlos Delgado- .292 AVG, .385 OBP, 38 HR, 115 RBI
Best Pitcher: Roger Clemens- 20-6, 2.65 ERA, 1.095 WHIP, 234.2 IP, 271 K
The Jays experienced some down years after the two World Series wins, but looked to be finally turning the corner after a successful 1998 season that saw them finish four games back in the wild card race.
The 1998 Jays combined speed and power that made them one of the best offensive teams in the MLB. Unfortunately, the pitching rotation could not keep up and that is why they couldn't keep up with the teams ahead of them.
Best Position Player: Willie Upshaw- .306, .373 OBP, 27 HR, 104 RBI
Best Pitcher: Dave Stieb- 17-12, 3.04 ERA, 1.137 WHIP, 278 IP, 187 K
1983 was a great season for the Jays because they were finally able to post their first ever winning record in its seventh season in the MLB. They finished nine games back of the first place Baltimore Orioles.
The Jays finished with a league high .277 batting average as a team and held first place for a grand total of 32 days throughout the season, but their inexperience shined through during the stretch run.
Best Position Player: George Bell- .308 AVG, .352 OBP, 47 HR, 134 RBI
Best Pitcher: Jimmy Key- 17-8, 2,76 ERA, 1.057 WHIP, 261 IP, 161 K
Looking at this season from an outsiders perspective might give someone the impression that this season was a pretty successful one, but it was also the most disappointing season in franchise history.
Throughout the year, the Jays were in a battle with the Detroit Tigers for first place in the AL East. The two teams were set to face off in a series to end the season with the Jays ahead by one game.
Unfortunately, the Jays were without Tony Fernandez for the series and were swept to finish two games out of a playoff spot. All games were decided by one run.
Best Position Player: Fred McGriff- .269 AVG, .399 OBP, 36 HR, 92 RBI
Best Pitcher: John Cerutti- 11-11, 3.07 ERA, 1.300 WHIP, 205.1 IP, 69 K
The Jays combined good pitching and hitting to make the play-offs for the first time in four years in 1989. They actually started off terribly bad, going 12-24 until manager Jimy Williams was fired, making way for hitting coach Cito Gaston to take over the reigns.
The Jays went an amazing 77-49 under Gaston, finishing two games ahead of the second place Baltimore Orioles.
Unfortunately, the Jays lost the ALCS series 4-1 to the very powerful Oakland Athletics that had great sluggers such as Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco.
Best Position Player: Joe Carter- .273 AVG, .330 OBP, 33 HR, 108 RBI
Best Pitcher: Juan Guzman- 10-3, 2.99 ERA, 1.183 WHIP, 138.2, 123 K
Before the 1991 season began, the Jays completed a trade with the San Diego Padres that would forever change the franchise for the better. They traded Tony Fernandez and Fred McGriff for Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar, the best trade in franchise history.
With these two players now on the roster, the Jays were able to finish seven games ahead of the second place Boston Red Sox, but they lost the American League Championship series in just five games to the Minnesota Twins.
Best Position Player: Jesse Barfield- .289 AVG, .369 OBP, 27 HR, 84 RBI
Best Pitcher: Dave Stieb- 14-13, 2.48 ERA, 1.140 WHIP, 265 IP, 167 K
The 1985 Jays had it all: Starting pitching, relief pitching, power, speed and they combined it all to fall just short of the only 100 win season in franchise history.
The Jays would end up playing the Kansas City Royals in the playoffs, taking a 3-1 series lead and leading many to believe that they would make their first ever World Series appearance.
Unfortunately, the offense would falter and the Royals would take the last three games of the series.
Best Position Player: John Olerud- .363 AVG, .473 OBP, 24 HR, 107 RBI
Best Pitcher: Juan Guzman- 14-3, 3.99 ERA, 1.452 WHIP, 221 IP, 194 K
"Touch 'em all, Joe. You'll never hit a bigger home run in your life." These words, said by Tom Cheek, still ring through many Jays fans heads when thinking about how good the Jays used to be.
Carter's World Series winning home run off of Phillies pitcher Mitch Williams is the best moment in the history of the franchise.
1993 was an amazing season for the franchise as Olerud, Paul Molitor and Roberto Alomar finished 1-2-3 in batting average respectively and Olerud flirted with a 400 average for a while.
Best Position Player: Dave Winfield- .290 AVG, .377 OBP, 26 HR, 108 RBI
Best Pitcher: Juan Guzman- 16-5, 2.64 ERA, 1.146 WHIP, 180.2, 165 K
There was no contest for the best season in franchise history, as 1992 is the season that the Jays finally broke through and won it all. They finished four games ahead of the second place Milwaukee Brewers.
The Jays blew by Oakland in the ALCS and defeated the Atlanta Braves in six games, with the last game ending when Mike Timlin fielded a bunt and threw to Joe Carter for the final out of the greatest season in Toronto Blue Jays franchise history.