Detroit Pistons

The Detroit Pistons are a National Basketball Association team based in the Detroit, Michigan metropolitan area.

Founded: 1941 as Ft. Wayne Zollner Pistons in National Basketball League; joined Basketball Association of America (forerunner of the NBA) in 1948; relocated to Detroit in 1957.
Formerly known as: Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons (1941-48), Fort Wayne Pistons (1948-57)
Home Arena: The Palace of Auburn Hills
Owner: Bill Davidson
Uniform colors: Red, white and blue
Logo design: A basketball with "PISTONS" superimposed upon it.
Mascot: Hooper
NBL Championships: 1944, 1945 (in Fort Wayne)
NBA Eastern Division Championships: 1954, 1955 (in Fort Wayne)
NBA Central Division Championships: 1988, 1989, 1990, 2002, 2003, 2005
NBA Eastern Conference Championships: 1988, 1989, 1990, 2004, 2005
NBA Championships: 1989, 1990, 2004
2004-2005 Record: 54-28


Franchise history

The franchise was founded in 1941 in Fort Wayne, Indiana by Fred Zollner, owner of a General Motors subsidiary that manufactored pistons. It is the oldest existing franchise in the NBA. Led by star forward George Yardley, the Fort Wayne Pistons were a popular franchise and appeared in the NBA Finals in 1954 and 1955, losing both times. In 1957, Zollner moved the team to Detroit, a much larger city that did not have an NBA franchise; the Detroit Gems had folded after one season of existence. The new Detroit Pistons played in Olympia Stadium for their first four seasons, then moved to Cobo Arena. The franchise was a consistent disappointment, struggling on both the court and the box office. In 1974, Zollner sold the team to Bill Davidson, who remains the team's owner. Displeased with the team's location in downtown Detroit, Davidson moved it to the suburb of Pontiac in 1978, where it played in the mammoth Silverdome, a structure built for professional football. (The Silverdome was the home of the NFL's Detroit Lions at the time.)

The franchise's fortunes finally began to turn in 1981, when it drafted point guard Isiah Thomas out of Indiana University. In early 1982, it acquired center Bill Laimbeer and guard Vinnie Johnson. The three, along with later aquisitions Joe Dumars, Rick Mahorn, and Dennis Rodman, formed the core of a team that would rise to the top of the league. With their physical style of play, and intensity with opponents, the Pistons gained the nickname "Bad Boys." Coach Chuck Daly took the team to the NBA Finals three consecutive years (1988-90) and won NBA championships in 1989 and 1990. The team moved into the lavish Palace of Auburn Hills in 1988 and remains there today.

The franchise went through a lengthy transitional period as its key players either retired or left. Though Grant Hill emerged as a gifted player, the team was unable to win a playoff series, losing to the Orlando Magic in 1996, the Atlanta Hawks in 1997 and 1999, and the Miami Heat in 2000. In the summer of 2000, Hill indicated his intentions to leave to Orlando, and Dumars – appointed the franchise's president of basketball operations that year – dealt Hill to the Magic in return for a pair of largely unheralded players. One of them, Ben Wallace, would prove to be a cornerstone for the franchise's revamped roster. Under Dumars's leadership, the Pistons have since surrounded Wallace with rising stars Chauncey Billups, Richard "Rip" Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Tayshaun Prince. Coached by Hall of Fame inductee Larry Brown, the Pistons returned to prominence, winning the 2004 NBA championship.

Current season

On November 19, 2004, the Detroit Pistons were involved in a massive brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills during a losing home game against the Indiana Pacers. After fouling Pistons' Ben Wallace, Pacer Ron Artest was hit by a cup while lying down on the scorer's table. This caused Artest to rush into the stands and attack some fans. Other Pacers such as Jermaine O'Neal fought with fans who had walked onto the court. A month later, five Pacers and seven fans were charged after being involved in the "basketbrawl."

See also: The Malice at The Palace.

Presently, the Pistons are considered a strong contender to win a second consecutive title in 2005. Seeded second in the Eastern Conference in the playoffs, they defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 4-1 and then rallied from a 2-1 deficit to finish off the Indiana Pacers 4-2. In the conference finals, the Pistons again fell behind, three games to two, but then won the final two games to defeat the Miami Heat and become Eastern Conference Champions. In the process, the Pistons became the first team to win a game 7 on the road since the L.A. Lakers did so at the Sacramento Kings in 2002.

The Pistons are currently facing the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals, the first two games of which were played at the SBC Center in San Antonio. Games 3 and 4 and 5 will be played at The Palace of Auburn Hills, and games 6 and (if necessary) 7 will be in San Antonio. The Spurs have won the first two games, and Detroit the second to, all by margins of 15 to 31 points. Game 5 is scheduled for Sunday, June 19th at The Palace of Auburn Hills at 9 P.M. Eastern on ABC.

Current Roster

Starters

  • SF - #22 Tayshaun Prince (Kentucky)
  • PF - #36 Rasheed Wallace (North Carolina)
  • C - #3 Ben Wallace (Virginia Union)
  • SG - #32 Richard "Rip" Hamilton (UConn)
  • PG - #1 Chauncey Billups (Colorado)

Reserves

  • G - #30 Carlos Arroyo (Florida Int'l)
  • C - #41 Elden Campbell (Clemson) - free agent
  • G-F - #20 Carlos Delfino (Argentina)
  • F - #12 Ronald Dupree (LSU)
  • F - #8 Darvin Ham (Texas Tech) - free agent
  • G - #10 Lindsey Hunter (Jackson State)
  • G - #5 Horace Jenkins (William Paterson) - restricted free agent
  • F-C - #24 Antonio McDyess (Alabama)
  • C - #31 Darko Miličić (Serbia)

Players of note

Basketball Hall of Fame Members:

  • Dave Bing
  • Bob Lanier
  • Earl Lloyd (inducted as a contributor, not as a player or coach)
  • Isiah Thomas
  • Chuck Daly (Inducted as Coach)

Not to be forgotten:

  • Adrian Dantley
  • Grant Hill
  • Rick Mahorn
  • Dennis Rodman
  • John Salley
  • Jerry Stackhouse

Retired numbers:

  • 2 Chuck Daly (never played in the NBA; represents the two NBA championship teams he coached)
  • 4 Joe Dumars
  • 11 Isiah Thomas
  • 15 Vinnie Johnson
  • 16 Bob Lanier
  • 21 Dave Bing
  • 40 Bill Laimbeer

Coaches and others

Basketball Hall of Fame Members:

  • Larry Brown
  • Chuck Daly
  • Earl Lloyd (inducted as a contributor, not as a player or coach)
  • Gregory Johnson

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Basketball Hall of Fame Members:. Rank: Tied for 3rd in the American League East, 6.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles. Reserves. Winning Percentage: .500. Starters. Losses: 33. Eastern on ABC. Wins: 33.

Game 5 is scheduled for Sunday, June 19th at The Palace of Auburn Hills at 9 P.M. Losses: 10. The Spurs have won the first two games, and Detroit the second to, all by margins of 15 to 31 points. Wins: 16. Games 3 and 4 and 5 will be played at The Palace of Auburn Hills, and games 6 and (if necessary) 7 will be in San Antonio. (instead of retiring numbers, the Blue Jays instead honour their players and personnel of the organisation with a spot on the Level of Excellence, a series of banners featuring player names that can be seen in the 500-level outfield decks of the Rogers Centre). The Pistons are currently facing the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals, the first two games of which were played at the SBC Center in San Antonio. However, the club has been pleasantly surprised with the performance of rookie callup Aaron Hill so far.

Lakers did so at the Sacramento Kings in 2002. The Jays were hit when third-baseman Corey Koskie broke his finger, taking him out of the lineup for 6-8 weeks. In the process, the Pistons became the first team to win a game 7 on the road since the L.A. So far in the regular season, the Jays have been able to translate their success in spring training into a excellent start-- the team led the AL East from early to mid-April and as of mid June, they are holding steadily around .500. In the conference finals, the Pistons again fell behind, three games to two, but then won the final two games to defeat the Miami Heat and become Eastern Conference Champions. The Blue Jays finished spring training with a 16-10 record. Seeded second in the Eastern Conference in the playoffs, they defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 4-1 and then rallied from a 2-1 deficit to finish off the Indiana Pacers 4-2. Owner Ted Rogers also promised a payroll increase to $210 million over the next 3 years, which will allow them to have a team payroll of $80 million per year.

Presently, the Pistons are considered a strong contender to win a second consecutive title in 2005. Most importantly, the old AstroTurf surface was replaced by the more natural-looking FieldTurf. See also: The Malice at The Palace. By the start of the season Rogers had upgraded the stadium with a new "Jumbotron" videoboard and added other state-of-the-art video screens around the stadium. A month later, five Pacers and seven fans were charged after being involved in the "basketbrawl.". On February 2, 2005, several days after finalising the purchase of SkyDome, Rogers Communications renamed the stadium the Rogers Centre, much to the chagrin of the general public. Other Pacers such as Jermaine O'Neal fought with fans who had walked onto the court. Toronto is hoping Hillenbrand and Corey Koskie can team up to fill the power void created after Delgado left.

This caused Artest to rush into the stands and attack some fans. One month after Koskie was inked, the Jays traded pitching prospect Adam Peterson to the Arizona Diamondbacks for the services of third/first-baseman Shea Hillenbrand. On November 19, 2004, the Detroit Pistons were involved in a massive brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills during a losing home game against the Indiana Pacers. After fouling Pistons' Ben Wallace, Pacer Ron Artest was hit by a cup while lying down on the scorer's table. Koskie alone wouldn't be enough to replace Delgado. Coached by Hall of Fame inductee Larry Brown, the Pistons returned to prominence, winning the 2004 NBA championship. The signing signals that third baseman Eric Hinske will either move across the diamond to fill the hole at first base left by Delgado, or will leave the team. Under Dumars's leadership, the Pistons have since surrounded Wallace with rising stars Chauncey Billups, Richard "Rip" Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Tayshaun Prince. Just days after superstar Carlos Delgado became a free agent after the club refused arbitration, the Jays announced the signing of Manitoban third baseman Corey Koskie, formerly of the Minnesota Twins.

One of them, Ben Wallace, would prove to be a cornerstone for the franchise's revamped roster. Rogers Communications, the owner of the Jays, purchased SkyDome from Sportco International in November 2004 for approximately $25 million Cdn (US$21.24 million), just a fraction of the construction cost. In the summer of 2000, Hill indicated his intentions to leave to Orlando, and Dumars – appointed the franchise's president of basketball operations that year – dealt Hill to the Magic in return for a pair of largely unheralded players. A few days after Christmas, the Jays also mourned the loss of former first baseman Doug Ault, who hit two home runs in the team's inaugural game; he was 54. Though Grant Hill emerged as a gifted player, the team was unable to win a playoff series, losing to the Orlando Magic in 1996, the Atlanta Hawks in 1997 and 1999, and the Miami Heat in 2000. Mattick had also served as the Vice President of Baseball Operations for the Jays. The franchise went through a lengthy transitional period as its key players either retired or left. More losses to the Jays family came in the offseason, Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame member Bobby Mattick, the manager from 1980 to 1981 and perhaps the best baseball man in the organisation, suffered a stroke and passed away at the age of 89.

The team moved into the lavish Palace of Auburn Hills in 1988 and remains there today. However, the Jays' annus horribilis continued after the game, when it was announced that former pitcher and current TV broadcaster John Cerutti died suddenly of natural causes at the age of 44. With their physical style of play, and intensity with opponents, the Pistons gained the nickname "Bad Boys." Coach Chuck Daly took the team to the NBA Finals three consecutive years (1988-90) and won NBA championships in 1989 and 1990. One day later, the Blue Jays finished the 2004 campaign with a 3-2 loss against the New York Yankees in front of an announced crowd of 49,948. The three, along with later aquisitions Joe Dumars, Rick Mahorn, and Dennis Rodman, formed the core of a team that would rise to the top of the league. On October 2, 2004, the Toronto Blue Jays announced the dismissals of pitching coach Gil Patterson and first-base coach Joe Breeden, effective at the end of the season. In early 1982, it acquired center Bill Laimbeer and guard Vinnie Johnson. Rookie pitchers David Bush, Gustavo Chacin and Jason Frasor have also shown promise for the club's future.

The franchise's fortunes finally began to turn in 1981, when it drafted point guard Isiah Thomas out of Indiana University. Alexis Rios has been regarded among the MLB Rookie of the Year Award candidates; however, his chance of winning the award may have been limited by playing time and the performance of Bobby Crosby of the Oakland Athletics. (The Silverdome was the home of the NFL's Detroit Lions at the time.). Adams hit his first major league homerun in his second game, in which Gross also earned his own first major league grand slam. Displeased with the team's location in downtown Detroit, Davidson moved it to the suburb of Pontiac in 1978, where it played in the mammoth Silverdome, a structure built for professional football. Nevertheless, prospects Russ Adams, Gabe Gross, and Alexis Rios provided excitement for the fans. In 1974, Zollner sold the team to Bill Davidson, who remains the team's owner. Cheek had to take more time off later to remove a brain tumor, and by the end of the season, Cheek only called the home games.

The franchise was a consistent disappointment, struggling on both the court and the box office. The Jays' trying year also affected long-time radio announcer Tom Cheek, who had to break his streak of calling all 4,306 regular season games since the franchise started playing 1977 in bereavement of his father. The new Detroit Pistons played in Olympia Stadium for their first four seasons, then moved to Cobo Arena. With the team struggling in last place and mired in a five-game losing streak, manager Carlos Tosca was fired on August 8, 2004 and was replaced by first-base coach John Gibbons through the end of the season. In 1957, Zollner moved the team to Detroit, a much larger city that did not have an NBA franchise; the Detroit Gems had folded after one season of existence. The once highly-regarded slugger Josh Phelps was limited to playing against lefthanded pitching and was traded to the Cleveland Indians for first baseman Eric Crozier. Led by star forward George Yardley, the Fort Wayne Pistons were a popular franchise and appeared in the NBA Finals in 1954 and 1955, losing both times. The highly-tauted Quiroz was promoted from the minors near the end of the season.

It is the oldest existing franchise in the NBA. Cash continued to struggle from an offensive standpoint and would be moved in the offseason. The franchise was founded in 1941 in Fort Wayne, Indiana by Fred Zollner, owner of a General Motors subsidiary that manufactored pistons. Myers was injured in a collision at home plate early in the season and was out for the season; Estalella was called up, but quickly became injured as well; and Zaun landed the regular catching responsiblility for the rest of the season.
. Five different catchers were used: Greg Myers, Bobby Estalella, Kevin Cash, Gregg Zaun, and rookie Guillermo Quiroz. The Detroit Pistons are a National Basketball Association team based in the Detroit, Michigan metropolitan area. The offense was no better due to the injuries of Wells, Delgado, Catalanotto and others.

Gregory Johnson. Most starting pitchers do not pitch further than the sixth inning; the thus overused bullpen contributed to frequent relinquishing of early scoring leads. Earl Lloyd (inducted as a contributor, not as a player or coach). Rookies and minor league callups David Bush, Jason Frasor, Josh Towers and others filled the void in the rotation and the bullpen; however, inconsistent performances were evident. Chuck Daly. Although the additions of starting pitchers Ted Lilly and Miguel Batista and reliever Justin Speier were relatively successful, veteran Pat Hentgen faltered throughout the season and retired on July 24. Larry Brown. Much of that is due to the injuries of All-Stars Carlos Delgado, Vernon Wells and Roy Halladay among others.

40 Bill Laimbeer. They started the season 0-8 at Skydome and never started a lengthy winning streak. 21 Dave Bing. The 2004 season was a disappointing year for the Blue Jays right from the beginning. 16 Bob Lanier. The Jays also announced that a new logo and new uniforms would be used as of January 1, 2004. 15 Vinnie Johnson. Roy Halladay won the 2003 American League Cy Young Award and Carlos Delgado was second in voting for the American League MVP although the Jays were in third place in divisional standing.

11 Isiah Thomas. After the spectacular turnaround in May 2003, which helped the team trail just few games behind the wildcard occupant Boston Red Sox, team performance slowly retained normalcy as predicted by team management. 4 Joe Dumars. The top four pitchers of the rotation then included Halladay, Lilly, Miguel Batista from free agency signing, and Pat Hentgen. 2 Chuck Daly (never played in the NBA; represents the two NBA championship teams he coached). Instead Bobby Kielty, another outfielder with a much lower batting average than Stewart's, was obtained from the Minnesota Twins and later traded in November 2003 to the Oakland Athletics for starter Ted Lilly. Jerry Stackhouse. Trade speculation had focussed on the acquisitions of pitching at the expense of hitters, but in the end the team simply divested itself of impending free agent Shannon Stewart without getting a pitcher in return.

John Salley. Kelvim Escobar and former NBA player Mark Hendrickson were inserted into the rotation with their places in the bullpen filled by waivers Doug Davis and Josh Towers. Dennis Rodman. Only two of the starting pitchers on opening day - Halladay and Cory Lidle - have pitched well, despite the offseason signing of veteran starter Tanyon Sturtze (assignied to the bullpen in May), Doug Creek and Jeff Tam. Rick Mahorn. Despite their hitting successes, poor pitching continues to plague the team. Grant Hill. Minor league call-up Howie Clark entered the mix at third after Hinske underwent surgery on his right hand, which had been broken and went unnoticed for several months.

Adrian Dantley. The middle infield positions remains a gametime decision - Bordick plays short and third, Dave Berg second and third, Chris Woodward short and Orlando Hudson second, with no promising prospect or proven players to start regularly. Chuck Daly (Inducted as Coach). Delgado took over the major league lead in runs batted in, followed closely by Wells. Isiah Thomas. The stunning turnaround was achieved mainly by hitting. Earl Lloyd (inducted as a contributor, not as a player or coach). After a poor April, the team had its most successful month ever in May.

Bob Lanier. The 2003 season has been a surprise to both team management and sport analysts. Dave Bing. Promising young players were assigned to key roles, including starting third baseman Eric Hinske and 23-year old center fielder Vernon Wells who had his first 100 RBI season. C - #31 Darko Miličić (Serbia). Ricciardi was credited for dumping Raul Mondesi in mid-season to the New York Yankees to free up his salary, which in turn was used for the off-season signing of Mike Bordick, Frank Catalanotto and Tanyon Sturtze. F-C - #24 Antonio McDyess (Alabama). The hitters were led once again by Carlos Delgado.

G - #5 Horace Jenkins (William Paterson) - restricted free agent. Roy Halladay was the team's top pitcher, finishing the season with a 19-7 record and a 2.93 ERA. G - #10 Lindsey Hunter (Jackson State). They went 58-51 under Tosca to finish the season 78-84. F - #8 Darvin Ham (Texas Tech) - free agent. He was replaced by third base coach Carlos Tosca. F - #12 Ronald Dupree (LSU). Buck Martinez was fired about a third of the way through the season, with a 20-33 record.

G-F - #20 Carlos Delfino (Argentina). The Blue Jays started the 2002 season with slow progress in performance. C - #41 Elden Campbell (Clemson) - free agent. During the off-season, the team traded or let go several regular players, including Alex S. Gonzalez, Paul Quantrill and closer Billy Koch. G - #30 Carlos Arroyo (Florida Int'l). Ricciardi, a former assistant to Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane, is known as one of the more sabermetrically aware GMs in the game. PG - #1 Chauncey Billups (Colorado). Ricciardi was named general manager and was expected to make the lineup younger and faster, to take advantage of the artificial turf at SkyDome.

SG - #32 Richard "Rip" Hamilton (UConn). J.P. C - #3 Ben Wallace (Virginia Union). After the 2001 season ended, the Blue Jays let go general manager Gord Ash, who had taken over from Pat Gillick following the 1994 season. PF - #36 Rasheed Wallace (North Carolina). Delgado led the team again with 39 home runs and 102 RBI. SF - #22 Tayshaun Prince (Kentucky). The Blue Jays were back under .500 for 2001, finishing at 80-82, with mediocre pitching and hitting.

Buck Martinez, a former catcher for the Blue Jays, took over as manager before the 2001 season. maintaining 20% interest and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce relinquishing its 10% share. purchased 80% of the baseball club with the Labatt Brewing Company Ltd. On September 1, 2000, Rogers Communications Inc.

Carlos Delgado had a stellar year, hitting .344 with 41 home runs, 57 doubles, 137 RBI, 123 walks and 115 runs. 2000 proved to be a similar season, as the Jays had an 83-79 record, well out of the wild card race. The offensive picked up somewhat in 1999, but the pitching suffered without Clemens, as the Blue Jays finished 84-78. Johnson was replaced with Jim Fregosi, who managed the Phillies when they lost to the Blue Jays in the 1993 World Series.

They also fired Tim Johnson, after Johnson lied about several things (including killing people in the Vietnam war, to motivate Pat Hentgen). Before the 1999 season, the Blue Jays traded Roger Clemens to the Yankees for starting pitcher David Wells, second baseman Homer Bush and relief pitcher Graeme Lloyd. The pitching was strong, again led by Clemens (20-6, 2.65 ERA, 271 strikeouts), but the hitting was mediocre, and the Blue Jays finished 88-74, in third place, 26 games behind the New York Yankees, who posted one of the greatest records in baseball history. Gaston was replaced with Tim Johnson, a relative unknown.

Before the start of the 1998 season, the Blue Jays acquired closer Randy Myers and slugger José Canseco. Cito Gaston, the manager, was fired at the end of the year. This was not enough to lead the Blue Jays to the postseason, however, as they ended the year 76-86. Clemens had one of the best pitching seasons of the 1990s as he won the pitcher's Triple Crown, leading the American League with 21 wins (against 7 losses), a 2.05 ERA and 292 strikeouts.

The Blue Jays started 1997 with high hopes, as they signed former Boston Red Sox ace Roger Clemens to a $24,750,000 contract. Ed Sprague had a career year, hitting 36 home runs and driving in 101 runs. 3.22 ERA). 1996 was another mediocre year for the Blue Jays, highlighted by Pat Hentgen's Cy Young Award (20-10.

Gonzalez, Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green, did show a lot of promise for the future. Three young players, Alex S. 1995 was an even worse season for the Blue Jays, as they finished 56-88 in another strike-shortened season. Carter, Molitor and Olerud enjoyed good years at the plate, but the pitching fell off. Juan Guzmán slumped considerably from his first three years (40-11, 3.28 ERA), finishing 1994 at 12-11 with a 5.68 ERA.

It was their first losing season since 1982. Expectations were high for the Blue Jays for the 1994 season, following back-to-back championships, but they slumped to a 55-60 record before the players' strike. In the regular season, three Blue Jays, Olerud, Molitor and Alomar finished 1-2-3 for the AL batting crown. In the bottom of the 9th inning, in SkyDome, Joe Carter hit a one-out, three-run "walkoff" home run to clinch the series, off Phillies closer Mitch Williams.

Game 6 saw the Blue Jays lead 5-1, but give up 5 runs in the 7th inning to trail 6-5. The Jays beat the Chicago White Sox 4 games to 2 in the ALCS, and then the Philadelphia Phillies, 4 games to 2, for their second straight World Series victory. The final featured several exciting games, including game 4, in which the Blue Jays came back from a 14-9 deficit to win 15-14 and take a 3-1 lead in the series. The Blue Jays cruised to a 95-67 record, 7 games ahead of the New York Yankees, winning their third straight division title. In August, the Jays acquired former nemesis Rickey Henderson from the Athletics.

The Blue Jays had seven all-stars, hitters Devon White, Roberto Alomar, Paul Molitor, Joe Carter and John Olerud, starter Pat Hentgen and closer Duane Ward. After the 1992 season, the Blue Jays let Dave Winfield and Tom Henke go, but acquired Paul Molitor from the Brewers and Dave Stewart from the Athletics. However, Morris pitched well in the regular season, becoming the Blue Jays' first 20-game winner, with a record of 21-6 and an ERA of 4.04. Oddly, Morris was acquired in large part for his reputation as a clutch postseason pitcher, but he went 0-3 in the playoffs.

The Blue Jays became the first team outside of the United States to win the World Series. The Braves would again come within one run in the bottom of the 11th, but reliever Mike Timlin retired Otis Nixon for the final out. The game was decided in the 11th inning, when Dave Winfield doubled, driving in 2 runs. Toronto was one strike away from winning in the bottom of the 9th inning, 2-1, but Jeff Blauser singled in the tying run off Blue Jays' closer Tom Henke.

Game 6, with the Blue Jays leading 3 games to 2, was a very close game. The pivotal game in this series turned out to be game 2, in which reserve player Ed Sprague hit a 9th-inning 2-run home run off Jeff Reardon to give the Blue Jays a 5-4 lead, which would hold up. The Blue Jays faced the Atlanta Braves in the World Series. The Blue Jays rallied back from a 6-1 defict, scoring 4 runs off reliever Dennis Eckersley on their way to an 11-inning, 7-6 win, to lead the series 3 games to 1.

The pivotal game of the series was game 4. They met the Oakland Athletics in the ALCS, winning 4 games to 2. The regular season went well, as the Jays finished 4 games in front of the Milwaukee Brewers, with a record of 96-66. After the 1991 season had ended, the Blue Jays acquired pitcher Jack Morris, who had led the Twins by pitching a 10-inning complete game shutout in Game 7 of the previous World Series.

Toronto became the first club ever to draw over 4,000,000 fans in one season. Once again, they fell short in the postseason, losing to the Minnesota Twins, who were on their way to their second World Series victory in five years. This would prove to be an excellent trade, as the Blue Jays again won the division. During the offseason, the Blue Jays made one of the two biggest trades in franchise history, sending shortstop Tony Fernandez and first baseman Fred McGriff to the San Diego Padres for outfielder Joe Carter and second baseman Roberto Alomar.

Dave Stieb pitched his first and only no-hitter, beating the Cleveland Indians 3-0. In 1990, the Blue Jays again had a strong season, but as in 1988, ended up 2 games behind the Boston Red Sox. In the divisional series, Rickey Henderson led the Oakland Athletics to a 4-1 series win. The club had a 12-24 record at the time of the firing, but recorded a 77-49 record under their new manager to win the American League East by 2 games.

Early in the season, in May, management fired Jimy Williams and replaced him with hitting instructor Cito Gaston. 1989, which saw the opening of the Jays' new retractable-roofed home, SkyDome, also marked the start of an extremely successful five-year period for Toronto. Dave Stieb had back-to-back starts in which he lost a no-hitter with 2 out in the 9th inning; one was a potential perfect game. The season was highlighted by Fred McGriff's American League leading 34 home runs.

In 1988, Toronto again finished 2 games behind, this time trailing the Boston Red Sox. George Bell was named MVP of the American League. The Blue Jays finished with a 96-66 record, second best in the major leagues, but to no avail. 1987 saw the Blue Jays lose a thrilling division race to the Detroit Tigers by 2 games, after being swept in the final series by the Tigers.

The Blue Jays could not duplicate their success in 1986, despite an excellent season from right fielder Jesse Barfield, who hit 40 home runs. However, Kansas City won three consecutive games to win the series 4-3, on their way to their first World Series championship. The Blue Jays faced the Kansas City Royals in the American League Championship series, and took a 3 games to 1 lead. They finished 99-62, two games in front of the New York Yankees.

Their mid-season acquisition of relief pitcher Tom Henke also proved to be important. The Blue Jays featured strong pitching and a balanced offense. 1985 was Toronto's first championship of any sort. The Blue Jays' progression continued in 1984, finishing with the same 89-73 record, but this time in second place behind another World Series champion, the Detroit Tigers.

In 1983, the Blue Jays compiled their first winning record, 89-73, finishing in fourth place, 9 games behind the eventual World Series winners, the Baltimore Orioles. Their pitching staff was led by starters Dave Stieb, Jim Clancy and Luis Leal, and the outfield featured a young Lloyd Moseby and Jesse Barfield. Toronto's first solid season came in 1982 as they finished 78-84. 1981 was the strike season, and the Blue Jays improved their winning percentage but still finished in last place in the American League East in both halves of the season.

1980 saw Bobby Mattick take over the role of manager from Roy Hartsfield, the Blue Jays' original manager. 1979 was highlighted by shortstop Alfredo Griffin being named co-Rookie of the Year in the American League. The Blue Jays fared poorly in both 1978 and 1979, losing over 100 games in each of those seasons. They won 9-5, led by Doug Ault's two home runs.

The Blue Jays played their first game ever on April 7, 1977 against the Chicago White Sox. The franchise was originally owned by Labatt Breweries, Imperial Trust and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. The Toronto Blue Jays came into existence in 1976 after a vote by the American League owners. They are the only remaining Canadian-based team in the Major Leagues after the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington, D.C. to become the Washington Nationals after the 2004 season.

They are in the Eastern Division of the American League. The Toronto Blue Jays are a Major League Baseball team based in Toronto, Ontario, notable for being the first team from outside the United States to win the World Series. Pulaski Blue Jays. Dunedin Blue Jays
Lansing Lugnuts
Auburn Doubledays.

New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Syracuse SkyChiefs. American League
. Pitching Strikeouts: 292 Roger Clemens (1997).

Pitching Wins: 22 Roy Halladay (2003). Hitting Streak: 28 games Shawn Green (1999). Stolen Bases: 60 Dave Collins (1984). Triples: 17 Tony Fernandez (1990).

Doubles: 57 Carlos Delgado (2000). Runs: 134 Shawn Green (1999). Hits: 215 Vernon Wells (2003). Batting Average: .363 John Olerud (1993).

Runs Batted In: 145 Carlos Delgado (2003). Home Runs: 47 George Bell (1987). 42 (Jackie Robinson) (retired throughout baseball). 14 Mickey Brantley (hitting).

12 Ernie Whitt (bench/first base). 52 Bruce Walton (bullpen). 38 Brad Arnsberg (pitching). 55 Brian Butterfield (third base).

Coaches

    .   5 John Gibbons. Manager
      . Manager, 1980-81, Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Bobby Mattick

        . AL Rookie of the Year, 2002. Eric Hinske
          . Cy Young Award, 1996.

          Pat Hentgen

            . Cy Young Award, 2003. Roy Halladay
              . AL Rookie of the Year, 1979.

              Alfredo Griffin

                . Cy Young Award, 1997-98. Roger Clemens
                  . AL Championship Series MVP, 1992.

                  Roberto Alomar

                    . Radio Announcer, since 1977. Tom Cheek
                      . General Manager, 1983-1994.

                      Pat Gillick

                        . Team's career wins leader. 37 Dave Stieb
                          . Manager, 1989-1997.

                          43 Cito Gaston

                            . Team's career hits leader. 1 Tony Fernandez
                              . Helped Jays win 2 World Series.

                              29 Joe Carter

                                . American League MVP, 1987. 11 George Bell
                                  . Dave Winfield.

                                  Phil Niekro. Paul Molitor.

09-01-15 FTPPro Support FTPPro looks and feels just like Windows Explorer Contact FTPPro FTPPro Help Topics FTPPro Terms Of Use ftppro.com/browse2000.php Business Search Directory Real Estate Database WebExposure.us Google+ Directory Dan Schmidt is a keyboardist, composer, songwriter, and producer.