The Toronto Blue Jays came into existence in 1976, after the American League voted to expand into Canada – or more specifically, into the city of Toronto.
The Jays received their name after holding a “Name the Team” contest in ’76, involving close to 4,000 names and 30,000 entries. The results proved “Blue Jays” to be the winner, but some claimed that majority team owner Labatt Brewery had a role in choosing the name for advertising purposes. Regardless, blue had been the primary color used by Toronto teams since 1873, when it appeared on the jerseys of the Canadian Football Club’s Toronto Argonauts.
Since becoming part of Major League Baseball, the Toronto Blue Jays have had two World Series appearances and six playoff appearances. The Jays won their first World Series Championship in 1992 after taking the series 4-2 against the Atlanta Braves. During the 1993 season, Toronto would go on to capture not only their second consecutive A.L. East flag, but also a subsequent World Series Championship – downing the Philadelphia Phillies in game six. Despite their success during those two seasons, the Jays did not make the playoffs again until 2015, when they lost the ALCS match.
Over the years, the Blue Jays have kept their uniforms pretty simple – utilizing red, white, navy blue, and royal blue as their primary colors. The team has maintained a consistent look in their home uniforms by keeping them solid white with various fonts and accents in blue or red.
Continue reading to see how the Toronto Blue Jays have rebranded, transformed, and maintained their signature look since their inception into Major League Baseball.
Notable Uniform Changes
1977: The original uniform consists of a pullover shirt and elasticized pants. The team uses two types of blue, white, and red as their color scheme as well as a unique letter styling.
1989: The first major round of changes take place, adding a belt and offsetting the Blue Jay logo to one side. The team also wears a symbolic patch on the left sleeve as hosts of the All–Star game during the season.
1993: After winning the 1992 World Series, the team adds a ceremonial patch to their right sleeve for the season. Blue hats are also used with the home uniforms.
1997: Red striping is added to the sleeves and pants along with a new maple leaf logo on the hat.
2001: The team replaces the red with with blue piping through the middle of the shirt. The left sleeve features a commemorative patch celebrating the team’s 25th season while the right sleeve marks the American League’s 100th season.
2003: A new primary logo is adopted and used throughout the uniform. It combines a Blue Jay and red “T” representative of Toronto.
2004: The team rebrands with a new primary logo and color scheme. A new type style is used to display “Jays” on the front of the shirt.
2009: A red maple leaf patch is added to the right sleeve as well as a ribbon patch featuring “TED” to honor late team owner, Ted Rogers.
2012: Another rebranding features multiple uniform combinations similar to those from the team’s early days.
Looking Back to Look Forward
Traditionally, teams in the MLB tend to retire the uniform numbers of players who have displayed true strength and determination on the field. The Blue Jays follow this trend, but to a much lesser extent; they have retired only two uniform numbers to date (one of which, Jackie Robinson’s No. 42, was retired across all baseball teams).
The Toronto Blue Jays currently have two retired uniform numbers:
No. 12 – Roberto Alomar
No. 42 – Jackie Robinson
Rooting for the Jays this season? Step up to the mound and be a part of the #BlueJaysNation by decking out in the latest Blue Jays fan gear. Look no further than Fanatics – a one-stop shop for the best sports merchandise in the game!