The Toronto Blue Jays have had many partners among their organization over the past few years. This four-part series will help you with some past and present information on the Jays’ single-A teams and up. Last week we talked about a proud team in the Midwest League, the Lansing Lugnuts. This week we talk about the team that hosts the Blue Jays during the spring, the Dunedin Blue Jays.
The long standing gem of the Toronto Blue Jays and the team’s spring training home started way back in 1978. The initial team in the Florida State League was short lived as it lasted just two seasons.
Toronto was trying to build up the higher parts of their Minor League System and decided to disband the Dunedin team after the 1979 season. The Toronto Blue Jays would still call Dunedin home during this time every spring, but that team would not expand back into the Florida State League until 1987.
The D-Jays have been a successful team but have never been able to overcome some adversity in the playoffs. The team has always had plenty of talent within its roster over the years but the have not been able to bring home a League Title. Dunedin has amassed a rough 12-39 record (.286 Win %) through the years in the playoffs. This is odd seeing their regular season record is a respectable 2,222-2,024 (.525 Win %). This also includes 8 first half titles and 6 second half titles.
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The Dunedin Blue Jays have been affiliated with Toronto through their entire existence. This has created a special bond with the Jays organization and the lovely town of Dunedin. The big club is currently trying to establish a year round training facility in Dunedin that will keep the Blue Jays their indefinitely. The town is know for its great, friendly environment and the fact that it converts to a high population of Canadian citizens quickly every Spring Training. Let us just say that their is always a stable supply of Labatts and Molson on tap at the Canadian BBQ behind home plate at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
The D-Jays have have an amazing list of talent that has made it to the Majors. This list includes 15 All-Stars, Silver Sluggers, Cy Young winners, MVP’s, and a few possible Hall of Famers. Below is the list of players to dawn a Dunedin Blue Jays Jersey.
Jeremy Accardo, Derek Bell, Pat Borders, Chris Carpenter, Brett Cecil, Carlos Delgado, Kelvim Escobar, Shawn Green, Juan Guzman, Roy Halladay, Pat Hentgen, Aaron Hill, Orlando Hudson, Casey Janssen, Reed Johnson, Jeff Kent, Billy Koch, Brandon League, Adam Lind, Jesse Litsch, Shaun Marcum, Dustin McGowan, Lloyd Moseby, Kevin Pillar, Alex Rios, Ricky Romero, Travis Snider, Ed Sprague, Shannon Stewart, Dave Stieb, Mike Timlin, and Vernon Wells.
As you all an see the Dunedin Blue Jays have had the cream of the crop playing with them over the years. Looking at the roster that could be playing with them this season it could be more of the same. The D-Jays will be the home for many of the Blue Jays Top Prospects come spring time. Jon Harris and Sean Reid-Foley enjoyed solid debuts with the D-Jays this past season and will look to continue building on that success. Ryan McBroom had his coming out party this past season in Dunedin as he raked in 83 RBIs while batting .274 and hitting 24 home runs.
The future is looking brighter and brighter in Dunedin as the Blue Jays organization looks to cement the relationship with the town. As the Blue Jays and the Town of Dunedin grind out the details for their new Spring Training home, the young talent will continue to be molded into solid players ready to play Blue Jays baseball.