The Toronto Blue Jays will face the Seattle Mariners in the American League Wild-Card Series starting Friday.
Here’s a look back at five memorable playoff moments in Blue Jays history:
The old single wild card game format has been well received by critics, but it often delivers on drama.
Toronto and Baltimore raised the intensity even further by going overtime in their play-in at Rogers Center in 2016.
With a draw of two in the 11th round, Devon Travis and Josh Donaldson finished one of the singles for the Blue Jays.
That set the stage for Edwin Encarnacion, who beat Ubaldo Jimenez, who booked Toronto’s spot in the AL Division Series.
Encarnacion, an all-star with 42 hosts that season, raised both arms in the air after his spin. Orioles catcher Matt Wieters looked up at the launched ball and immediately began to return to the dugout.
FOR EMPLOYEES ‘ECK’
The future Hall of Famers squared off in Game 4 of the 1992 AL Championship Series when Oakland’s Dennis Eckersley faced Roberto Alomar in the ninth game.
That year, Eckersley could not have stood out more, winning a Cy Young Award and the title of MVP of the tournament. The late afternoon shadows at the Oakland Arena present another challenge for Alomar, the Blue Jays’ second-in-command.
Alomar silenced the audience with a two-legged homer and Toronto won 7-6 in 11 innings.
The Blue Jays will wrap up the series in six games before topping the Atlanta Braves for their first World Series title.
The Blue Jays endured some heartbreak during the playoffs before finally making it through in 1992.
Toronto’s first appearance after the season came in 1985 after coach Bobby Cox guided the team to a 99-win campaign. The Blue Jays took a 3-1 lead in the AL Championship Series against Kansas City but failed to disqualify the Royals.
George Brett’s third home leg came in the sixth inning of Game 6 and KC was forced to have a decisive game with a 5-3 win.
The Royals completed the comeback with a 6-2 win in game 7 at Exhibition Stadium.
SEVENTH IN THE 6IX
A failed throw back to the mound kicked off a memorable seventh inning in the decisive Game 5 of the 2015 Series AL Division between Toronto and Texas.
Rangers took the lead with unusual play. Confusion reigned after Russell Martin’s throw hit Shin-Soo Choo’s and Rougned Odor scored from Tuesday when home referee Dale Scott called the time.
The crowd at the Rogers Center was overjoyed as the run stood and the field was soon littered with debris. The benches will be empty twice in the frame and one player is ejected.
The truly memorable moment, however, came in the second half of the frame when Jose Bautista hit homer three times – complete with a next-level flip – to help the Blue Jays win 6-3.
TOUCH ‘EM ALL’
No list of Blue Jays playoff moments would be complete without the nod of Joe Carter homer walkoff for the ages in 1993.
Carter overcame Mitch (Wild Thing) Williams in Game 6 to give the Blue Jays their second consecutive World Series title.
The late broadcaster Tom Cheek made the call he is most famous for with the line: ‘Touch it all, Joe! You will never achieve a greater home run in your lifetime! “
This report by the Canadian Press was first published on October 7, 2022.
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