1996 Toronto Blue Jays season
The 1996 Toronto Blue Jays season was the 20th season in franchise history. The season involved the Blue Jays finishing fourth in the American League East with a record of 74 wins and 88 losses. The Blue Jays had a losing record for the third consecutive season.
|1996 Toronto Blue Jays|
|Major League affiliations|
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
|General manager(s)||Gord Ash|
|Local television||CBC Television|
(Brian Williams, Tommy Hutton)
(Don Chevrier, Tommy Hutton, Fergie Olver)
The Sports Network
(Dan Shulman, Buck Martinez)
|Local radio||CJCL (AM)|
(Jerry Howarth, Tom Cheek)
|< Previous season Next season >|
- December 6, 1995: Howard Battle and Ricardo Jordan were traded by the Blue Jays to the Philadelphia Phillies for Paul Quantrill.
- December 7, 1995: Otis Nixon was signed as a free agent by the Toronto Blue Jays.
- December 14, 1995: Charlie O'Brien was signed as a free agent by the Blue Jays.
- December 20, 1995: Mike Huff was signed as a free agent by the Blue Jays.
- January 16, 1996: Juan Samuel was signed as a free agent by the Blue Jays.
- February 10, 1996: Dane Johnson was signed as a free agent by the Blue Jays.
- February 22, 1996: Frank Viola signed as a Free Agent with the Toronto Blue Jays.
A new tradition would start in 1996 as the Blue Jays donned red uniforms for the first time. These uniforms would be worn only on Canada Day and would feature "Canada" on the back of their jerseys rather than a player's name. Eventual Cy Young Award winner Pat Hentgen would start the Canada Day match against the Baltimore Orioles.
The final series of the season would be embroiled in controversy. Against the American League East champion Baltimore Orioles, two events would define the Orioles season. The game on Friday, September 27, 1996, would go down as one of the most infamous events in baseball history, as former Blue Jay Roberto Alomar would spit at umpire John Hirschbeck. The Sunday game would be a coming-out party for Brady Anderson, as he would hit his 50th home run of the regular season off Pat Hentgen. The total would break Frank Robinson's team record for most home runs in a season.
1996 also marked the end of an era for the Blue Jays, as they would redesign their logo and uniforms in the following year and also radically shake up their roster.
|New York Yankees||92||70||0.568||—||49–31||43–39|
|Boston Red Sox||85||77||0.525||7||47–34||38–43|
|Toronto Blue Jays||74||88||0.457||18||35–46||39–42|
Record vs. opponentsEdit
1996 American League Records
Sources:              
|1996 Game Log: 74–88 (Home: 35–46; Away: 39–42)|
|Legend: = Win = Loss|
Bold = Blue Jays team member
Opening Day startersEdit
- Tilson Brito
- Joe Carter
- Alex Gonzalez
- Pat Hentgen
- Otis Nixon
- Charlie O'Brien
- John Olerud
- Robert Pérez
- Juan Samuel
- Ed Sprague
- May 15, 1996: D. J. Boston (minors) was traded by the Blue Jays to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jacob Brumfield.
- June 4, 1996: 1996 Major League Baseball draft
- Billy Koch was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 1st round (4th pick). Player signed August 23, 1996.
- Joe Lawrence was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 1st round (16th pick). Player signed July 1, 1996.
- Orlando Hudson was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 33rd round, but did not sign.
- June 5, 1996: Frank Viola was released by the Toronto Blue Jays.
- June 15, 1996: Luis Lopez was signed as an amateur free agent by the Blue Jays.
|1996 Toronto Blue Jays|
|1996 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|
- Juan Guzmán, Pitcher of the Month Award, April
- Juan Guzmán, American League ERA Leader, 2.93
- Pat Hentgen, Pitcher of the Month Award, July
- Pat Hentgen, Pitcher of the Month Award, August
- Pat Hentgen, Cy Young Award
- Howard Battle at Baseball Reference
- Otis Nixon at Baseball Reference
- Charlie O'Brien at Baseball Reference
- Mike Huff at Baseball Reference
- Juan Samuel at Baseball Reference
- Dane Johnson at Baseball Reference
- Frank Viola at Baseball Reference
- Jacob Brumfield at Baseball Reference
- Billy Koch at Baseball Reference
- Joe Lawrence at Baseball Reference
- Orlando Hudson at Baseball Reference
- Luis Lopez at Baseball Reference
- Blue Jays All-Stars | bluejays.com: History
- Carchidi, Sam (July 9, 1996). "Carter Likes Even the Boos at the Vet". Philadelphia Inquirer. p. D6.
- Bodley, Hal (July 10, 1996). "To Phillie fans, Carter still Public Enemy No. 1". USA Today. p. 3C.
Joe Carter...walked out onto the sizzling Veterans Stadium turf...held his head high...and heard the boos even before he was introduced. Hard-core Philly baseball fans...(will) never forgive Carter for the dramatic ninth-inning home run that won the 1993 World Series.
- Griffin, Richard (July 9, 1996). "This time, Phillies pitcher shuts down Carter". Toronto Star. p. C3.
As Carter took his first swing and the on-field introduction was made, the boos rained down.
- Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 2nd and 3rd editions. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 1997 and 2007