1989 Toronto Blue Jays season
The 1989 Toronto Blue Jays season was the franchise's 13th season of Major League Baseball. It resulted in the Blue Jays finishing first in the American League East with a record of 89 wins and 73 losses. They lost the ALCS in five games to the eventual World Series champion Oakland Athletics. It was the team's last season at Exhibition Stadium, before moving to SkyDome halfway into the season. The Blue Jays hit eight grand slams, the most in MLB in 1989.
|1989 Toronto Blue Jays|
|1989 AL East Champions|
|Major League affiliations|
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
|General manager(s)||Pat Gillick|
|Manager(s)||Jimy Williams, Cito Gaston|
(Don Chevrier, Tony Kubek, Fergie Olver)
The Sports Network
(Fergie Olver, Buck Martinez)
|Local radio||CJCL (AM)|
(Jerry Howarth, Tom Cheek)
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- October 9, 1988: Carlos Delgado was signed as an amateur free agent by the Blue Jays.
- December 6, 1988: Mauro Gozzo was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays from the Kansas City Royals in the 1988 minor league draft.
- December 22, 1988: Cecil Fielder was purchased from the Blue Jays by the Hanshin Tigers (Japan Central).
- December 24, 1988: Mike Flanagan was signed as a free agent by the Blue Jays.
- January 18, 1989: Bob Brenly was signed as a free agent by the Blue Jays.
- March 9, 1989: DeWayne Buice was traded by the California Angels to the Toronto Blue Jays for Cliff Young.
The regular season would represent a turning point for the Blue Jays in many different ways. The Blue Jays started the 1989 season in Kansas City against the Royals. Behind the pitching of Jimmy Key, the Jays won the first game of the season 4-3. The rest of the month would result in a losing record for the Jays. After the first month of the season, the Blue Jays had 10 wins and 20 losses and sat 6.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the standings. The result was that Pat Gillick made his first trade in 605 days. On April 30, Gillick sent Jesse Barfield to the New York Yankees in exchange for Al Leiter. The reason for the deal was that management was convinced that Rob Ducey was ready to be an everyday outfielder. The spot eventually went to the surprising Junior Felix that year, and Ducey never became the everyday player the Jays imagined him to be.
The Blue Jays had never fired a manager in the middle of the season. After the Jays were swept by the Minnesota Twins in a three-game series, including a 13-1 loss in the final game of the series, the Jays had 12 wins and 24 losses. The Jays had also lost 15 of their last 19 games. Gillick decided that a change was needed. On Monday, May 15, Jimy Williams had become the first Jays manager to be fired in mid-season. Williams would be replaced by Cito Gaston, the first black manager in the history of the franchise.
The Blue Jays' last game at Exhibition Stadium was against the first team they played there, the Chicago White Sox. From there, the Blue Jays opened the new Skydome with a loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. On September 30, they clinched the American League East division title at the new ballpark.
- April 16, 1989 – Blue Jays third baseman Kelly Gruber hits for the cycle in a 15-8 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
- May 4, 1989 – In a game versus the California Angels, Junior Felix hits a home run in his first Major League at-bat, becoming only the 60th Major Leaguer to achieve the feat.
- May 28, 1989 – The Blue Jays play their final game at Exhibition Stadium, a 7-5 10-inning win over the Chicago White Sox. Coincidentally, the White Sox had been the Jays' opponents in their first game at Exhibition Stadium (also the first game in franchise history) twelve years before.
- June 4, 1989 – The Blue Jays stage a remarkable comeback in a game against the Red Sox in Boston. Trailing 10-0 after six innings, they slowly close the gap, finally taking an 11-10 lead on a ninth-inning grand slam by Ernie Whitt. Boston ties the score in the bottom half of the inning, but Junior Felix smokes a two-run home run in the top of the 12th inning, giving Toronto a 13-11 victory.
- June 5, 1989 – The Blue Jays play their first game in the brand-new SkyDome, a 5-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.
- August 4, 1989 – With the Blue Jays leading the New York Yankees 2-0, Dave Stieb comes one out away from pitching a perfect game, but the Yankees' Roberto Kelly cracks a double into left field to break it up. Steve Sax then singles Kelly home to cut the lead to 2-1, but the Blue Jays ace holds on for the victory. It marks the third time in two seasons that Stieb has lost a no-hitter with two out in the ninth inning.
- September 30, 1989 – In the next-to-last game of the regular season (and the last edition of NBC Sports' Saturday afternoon Game of the Week before the series moved to CBS the following season), the Blue Jays clinch their second American League East division title. Tom Henke strikes out the Baltimore Orioles' Larry Sheets for the final out.
Opening Day startersEdit
- Jesse Barfield
- George Bell
- Pat Borders
- Bob Brenly
- Kelly Gruber
- Jimmy Key
- Manuel Lee
- Nelson Liriano
- Fred McGriff
- Lloyd Moseby
|Toronto Blue Jays||89||73||0.549||—||46–35||43–38|
|Boston Red Sox||83||79||0.512||6||46–35||37–44|
|New York Yankees||74||87||0.460||14½||41–40||33–47|
Record vs. opponentsEdit
1989 American League Records
Sources:              
- April 30, 1989: Jesse Barfield was traded by the Blue Jays to the New York Yankees for Al Leiter.
- June 12, 1989: Dane Johnson was released by the Blue Jays.
- July 31, 1989: Jeff Musselman and Mike Brady (minors) were traded by the Blue Jays to the New York Mets for Mookie Wilson.
- July 31, 1989: Lee Mazzilli was selected off waivers by the Blue Jays from the New York Mets.
- August 24, 1989: Tony Castillo and Francisco Cabrera were traded by the Blue Jays to the Atlanta Braves for Jim Acker.
- August 26, 1989: Paul Spoljaric was signed by the Blue Jays as an amateur free agent.
- June 5, 1989: John Olerud was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 3rd round of the 1989 amateur draft. Player signed August 26, 1989.
- June 5, 1989: Aaron Small was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 22nd round of the 1989 amateur draft. Player signed June 8, 1989.
|1989 Toronto Blue Jays|
|1989 Game Log|
|1989 Playoff Game Log|
Starters by positionEdit
Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in
|= Indicates team leader|
October 3, 1989, at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum
|W: Dave Stewart (1-0) L: Dave Stieb (0-1)|
|HR: TOR – Ernie Whitt (1) OAK – Dave Henderson (1), Mark McGwire (1)|
October 4, 1989, at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum
|W: Mike Moore (1-0) L: Todd Stottlemyre (0-1) S: Dennis Eckersley (1)|
|HR: OAK – Dave Parker (1)|
October 6, 1989, at SkyDome
|W: Jimmy Key (1-0) L: Storm Davis (0-1)|
|HR: OAK – Dave Parker (2)|
October 7, 1989, at SkyDome
|W: Bob Welch (1-0) L: Mike Flanagan (0-1) S: Dennis Eckersley (2)|
|HR: OAK – Rickey Henderson 2 (2), José Canseco (1)|
October 8, 1989, at SkyDome
|W: Dave Stewart (2-0) L: Dave Stieb (0-2) S: Dennis Eckersley (3)|
|HR: TOR – Lloyd Moseby (1), George Bell (1)|
- George Bell, Player of the Month Award, August
- Tony Fernández, Gold Glove Award
- Fred McGriff, Player of the Month Award, April
- Fred McGriff, American League Leader in Home Runs (36)
- Fred McGriff, Silver Slugger Award
- "Team Batting Event Finder: 1989, All Teams, Home Runs, With Runners on 123". Baseball Reference. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
- Carlos Delgado at Baseball Reference
- Cecil Fielder at Baseball Reference
- Mike Flanagan at Baseball Reference
- Bob Brenly at Baseball Reference
- Diamond Dreams: 20 Years of Blue Jays Baseball, Stephen Brunt, p.230, Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-023978-2
- Diamond Dreams: 20 Years of Blue Jays Baseball, Stephen Brunt, p.231, Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-023978-2
- Diamond Dreams: 20 Years of Blue Jays Baseball, Stephen Brunt, p.232, Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-023978-2
- "Home Run in First At-Bat". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
- Kelly, Cathal (August 18, 2008). "Red-hot Jays burn hole in Bosox". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on May 8, 2009. Retrieved March 20, 2009.
- "Jays, Down by 10-0, Stun Red Sox, 13-11". The New York Times. Associated Press. June 5, 1989. Retrieved March 20, 2009.
- "Blue Jays Open the SkyDome but Lose". The New York Times. Associated Press. June 6, 1989. Retrieved March 20, 2009.
- Martinez, Michael (August 5, 1989). "A Perfect Night for Stieb Is Ruined by Kelly". The New York Times. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
- Gammons, Peter (October 9, 1989). "Oh, What A Relief It Is". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved March 20, 2009.
- Al Leiter at Baseball Reference
- Dane Johnson at Baseball Reference
- Jeff Musselman at Baseball Reference
- Lee Mazzilli at Baseball Reference
- Jim Acker at Baseball Reference
- Paul Spoljaric at Baseball Reference
- John Olerud at Baseball Reference
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 11, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Blue Jays All-Stars | bluejays.com: History
- Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 2nd and 3rd editions. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 1997 and 2007