Toronto Blue Jays Level of Excellence: What is it and who is in the elusive club?

David Corcoran
Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays
Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays / Tom Szczerbowski/GettyImages
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Pat Gillick (August 7, 2002)

For the first time the Level of Excellence saw someone from upper management acknowledged for their contribution to he franchise and it was General Manager Pat Gillick. The architect behind the Blue Jays World Series teams had a long road as he was named to the role, along with Vice President of Baseball Operations, going into their second year of existence in 1978.

While there is more than one man behind building a franchise powerhouse, Gillick gets the credit for the climb through the 1980s to the eventual back-to-back World Series in 1992 and 1993. After the team had a disappointing 1994 season Gillick stepped away from his role. In his 16 years as General Manager, Gillick helped the club reach the postseason five times, including two World Series championships.

Tom Cheek (August 29, 2004)

The first to be elected that was neither a player nor member of management was the voice of the Blue Jays, Tom Cheek. Cheek was the radio voice for the organization since the first game up until he had to step away from the game part way through the 2004 season due to his battle with brain cancer. The legendary voice broadcasted an unbelievable 4,306 consecutive games and had the legendary call "Touch 'em all Joe, you'll never hit a bigger home run in your life".

Paul Beeston (April 4, 2008)

The first Canadian to receive the honor on the Level of Excellence was also the first employee of the Toronto Blue Jays Paul Beeston. Beeston continued to rise through the management side of things where he first started as the Vice-President of Business Operations in 1976 and rising to the President and Chief Operating Officer in 1989, then finally the CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2008 where he held that role until he retired in 2015. Beeston spent almost 40 years in the Blue Jays organization which saw the successful years through the 1980s and early 1990s right until they club made their way back to the postseason in 2015.

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