Toronto had been interested in a MLB franchise of its own before the Toronto Blue Jays came into existence. This can be seen in how the San Francisco Giants owner Horace Stoneham was convinced to sell the baseball team to a Toronto-based group for $13.25 million before the transaction was blocked by a U.S. court. Since the City of Toronto had already renovated Exhibition Stadium for the purpose of meeting MLB requirements, it should come as no surprise to learn it continued to push for a MLB franchise. As a result, a new Toronto-based group became one of the two parties that received the right to start up a new MLB franchise in 1976. It is interesting to note that said decision was not guaranteed to happen, seeing as how there are reports that no less a person than U.S. president Gerald Ford sought to convince the MLB to give the new MLB franchise to Washington, D.C. rather than Toronto. Whatever the truth of those reports, Toronto was the place that winded up with the baseball team in the end, with said baseball team having remained there ever since.
As for why the Toronto Blue Jays winded up being called the Blue Jays, well, that has to do with the color. In short, there is something of a tradition for Toronto-based sports teams to have a blue color, as shown by the Toronto Argonauts as well as the Toronto Maple Leafs. As such, it made sense for the people behind the new MLB franchise to choose from the options submitted to them a name that was connected with blue in some manner, which would serve to instill interested individuals with a sense that the baseball was indeed their baseball team. On top of this, it should be mentioned that the majority owner was the Labatt Brewing Company, which not coincidentally, is responsible for making the best-selling Canadian beer brand Labatt Blue.
How Has the Toronto Blue Jays Logo Changed Over Time?
From 1977 to 1996, the Toronto Blue Jays used the first form of a logo that remains very similar in the present times. In short, this form consisted of a blue jay head over a baseball with a red maple leaf to its side, which is supposed to symbolize the Canadian-ness of the baseball team. Over the blue jay head was “Toronto,” while below the blue jay head was “Blue Jays.” In both cases, the letters were blue as well as in a very distinctive font that sees each one split down the middle.
In 1997, the Toronto Blue Jays decided on a change. The blue jay head remained similar but nonetheless showed some minor changes. However, while the baseball in the background remained, the whole thing now had another background in the form of a much bigger maple leaf. Beneath the new logo was “Blue Jays,” which was in a somewhat similar-looking font but now looked much more solid because of the use of a blue and lighter blue color scheme rather than the previous blue and white color scheme for the letters.
For a short time in 2003, the Toronto Blue Jays made a choice to go with a much more anthropomorphic logo. In short, it consisted of a cartoonish blue jay leaning around a huge “T,” with one hand tossing a baseball upwards while the other hand holds a baseball bat over its shoulder. On the arm that is extended outwards to toss the baseball, there is a red maple leaf tattoo.
Afterwards, the Toronto Blue Jays went through a rebranding effort, thus resulting in a sleek-looking “Jays” with a sharper-looking blue jay head extending leftwards from the “J.” Said logo saw use from 2004 to 2011, which is perhaps unsurprising when it played such a huge role in the rebranding from that period.
Eventually, the Toronto Blue Jays decided to go with a new logo that is very similar to its first logo. This time around, the design is crisper-looking while the maple leaf to the left of the blue jay head is bigger and thus more important. However, the general details are the same, with one notable exception being how the “Toronto” is now in solid letters and another notable exception being how the whole thing is enclosed in a circle as though a seal. This version of the logo started seeing use in 2012 and has continued seeing use ever since.