1989 Toronto Blue Jays season
|1989 Toronto Blue Jays
1989 AL East Champions
|Major league affiliations|
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
|Manager(s)||Jimy Williams and Cito Gaston|
(Don Chevrier, Tony Kubek, Fergie Olver)
The Sports Network
(Fergie Olver, Buck Martinez)
|Local radio||CJCL (AM)
(Jerry Howarth, Tom Cheek)
|Previous season Next season|
The 1989 Toronto Blue Jays season was the franchise's thirteenth season of Major League Baseball. It resulted in the Blue Jays finishing first in the American League East with a record of 89 wins and 73 losses. They lost the ALCS in five games to the eventual world champion Oakland Athletics.
- October 9, 1988: Carlos Delgado was signed as an amateur free agent by the Blue Jays.
- December 6, 1988: Mauro Gozzo was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays from the Kansas City Royals in the 1988 minor league draft.
- December 22, 1988: Cecil Fielder was purchased from the Blue Jays by the Hanshin Tigers (Japan Central).
- December 24, 1988: Mike Flanagan was signed as a free agent by the Blue Jays.
- January 18, 1989: Bob Brenly was signed as a free agent by the Blue Jays.
- March 9, 1989: DeWayne Buice was traded by the California Angels to the Toronto Blue Jays for Cliff Young.
Regular season 
The regular season would represent a turning point for the Blue Jays in many different ways. The Blue Jays started the 1989 season in Kansas City against the Royals. Behind the pitching of Jimmy Key, the Jays won the first game of the season 4-3. The rest of the month would result in a losing record for the Jays. After the first month of the season, the Blue Jays had 10 wins and 20 losses and sat 6.5 games behing the Baltimore Orioles in the standings. The result was that Pat Gillick made his first trade in 605 days. On April 30, Gillick sent Jesse Barfield to the New York Yankees in exchange for Al Leiter. The reason for the deal was that management was convinced that Rob Ducey was ready to be an everyday outfielder (ironically, the spot eventually went to the surprising Junior Felix that year, and Ducey never became the everyday player that the Jays imagined him to be).
Traditionally, the Blue Jays had never fired a manager in the middle of the season. After the Jays were swept by the Minnesota Twins in a three game series, including a 13-1 loss in the final game of the series, the Jays had 12 wins and 24 losses. The Jays had also lost 15 of their last 19 games. Gillick decided that a change was needed. On Monday, May 15, Jimy Williams had become the first Jays manager to be fired in mid-season. Williams would be replaced by Cito Gaston, the first black manager in the history of the franchise.
The team would move into the brand new Skydome and leave Exhibition Stadium behind. Their last game at Exhibition Stadium would be against the first team they played there, the Chicago White Sox. From there, the Blue Jays would open the Skydome in a loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. On September 30, they clinched the American League East division title at the new ballpark.
Notable games 
- April 16, 1989 – Blue Jays third baseman Kelly Gruber hits for the cycle in a 15-8 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
- May 4, 1989 – In a game versus the California Angels, Junior Felix hits a home run in his first Major League at-bat, becoming only the 60th Major Leaguer to achieve the feat.
- May 28, 1989 – The Blue Jays play their final game at Exhibition Stadium, a 7-5 10-inning win over the Chicago White Sox. Coincidentally, the White Sox had been the Jays' opponents in their first game at Exhibition Stadium (also the first game in franchise history) twelve years before.
- June 4, 1989 – The Blue Jays stage a remarkable comeback in a game against the Red Sox in Boston. Trailing 10-0 after six innings, they slowly close the gap, finally taking an 11-10 lead on a ninth-inning grand slam by Ernie Whitt. Boston ties the score in the bottom half of the inning, but Junior Felix smokes a two-run home run in the top of the 12th inning, giving Toronto a 13-11 victory.
- June 5, 1989 – The Blue Jays play their first game in the brand-new SkyDome, a 5-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.
- August 4, 1989 – With the Blue Jays leading the New York Yankees 2-0, Dave Stieb comes one out away from pitching a perfect game, but the Yankees' Roberto Kelly cracks a double into left field to break it up. Steve Sax then singles Kelly home to cut the lead to 2-1, but the Blue Jays ace holds on for the victory. It marks the third time in two seasons that Stieb has lost a no-hitter with two out in the ninth inning.
- September 30, 1989 – In the next-to-last game of the regular season (and the last edition of NBC Sports' Saturday afternoon Game of the Week before the series moved to CBS the following season), the Blue Jays clinch their second American League East division title. Tom Henke strikes out the Baltimore Orioles' Larry Sheets for the final out.
Opening Day starters 
- Jesse Barfield
- George Bell
- Pat Borders
- Bob Brenly
- Kelly Gruber
- Jimmy Key
- Manuel Lee
- Nelson Liriano
- Fred McGriff
- Lloyd Moseby
Season standings 
|Toronto Blue Jays||89||73||.549||--|
|Boston Red Sox||83||79||.512||6|
|New York Yankees||74||87||.460||14½|
Notable transactions 
- April 30, 1989: Jesse Barfield was traded by the Blue Jays to the New York Yankees for Al Leiter.
- June 12, 1989: Dane Johnson was released by the Blue Jays.
- July 31, 1989: Jeff Musselman and Mike Brady (minors) were traded by the Blue Jays to the New York Mets for Mookie Wilson.
- July 31, 1989: Lee Mazzilli was selected off waivers by the Blue Jays from the New York Mets.
- August 24, 1989: Tony Castillo and Francisco Cabrera were traded by the Blue Jays to the Atlanta Braves for Jim Acker.
- August 26, 1989: Paul Spoljaric was signed by the Blue Jays as an amateur free agent.
Draft picks 
- June 5, 1989: John Olerud was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 3rd round of the 1989 amateur draft. Player signed August 26, 1989.
- June 5, 1989: Aaron Small was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 22nd round of the 1989 amateur draft. Player signed June 8, 1989.
|1989 Toronto Blue Jays|
Game log 
|1989 Game Log|
|1989 Playoff Game Log|
Player stats 
Starters by position 
Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in
|= Indicates team leader|
Other batters 
Starting pitchers 
Other pitchers 
Relief pitchers 
Game 1 
October 3, 1989 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
|W: Dave Stewart (1-0) L: Dave Stieb (0-1)|
|HR: OAK – Dave Henderson (1), Mark McGwire (1)|
Game 2 
October 4, 1989 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
|W: Mike Moore (1-0) L: Todd Stottlemyre (0-1) S: Dennis Eckersley (1)|
|HR: OAK – Dave Parker (1)|
Game 3 
October 6, 1989 at SkyDome
|W: Jimmy Key (1-0) L: Storm Davis (0-1)|
|HR: OAK – Dave Parker (2)|
Game 4 
October 7, 1989 at SkyDome
|W: Bob Welch (1-0) L: Mike Flanagan (0-1) S: Dennis Eckersley (2)|
|HR: OAK – Rickey Henderson 2 (2), José Canseco (1)|
Game 5 
October 8, 1989 at SkyDome
|W: Dave Stewart (2-0) L: Dave Stieb (0-2) S: Dennis Eckersley (3)|
|HR: TOR – Lloyd Moseby (1), George Bell (1)|
Award winners 
- George Bell, Player of the Month Award, August
- Fred McGriff, Player of the Month Award, April
- Fred McGriff, American League Leader in Home Runs (36)
- Fred McGriff, Silver Slugger Award
Farm system 
- Carlos Delgado page at Baseball Reference
- Cecil Fielder page at Baseball Reference
- Mike Flanagan page at Baseball Reference
- Bob Brenly page at Baseball Reference
- Diamond Dreams: 20 Years of Blue Jays Baseball, Stephen Brunt, p.230, Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-023978-2
- Diamond Dreams: 20 Years of Blue Jays Baseball, Stephen Brunt, p.231, Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-023978-2
- Diamond Dreams: 20 Years of Blue Jays Baseball, Stephen Brunt, p.232, Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-023978-2
- "Home Run in First At-Bat". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved 2011-06-09.
- Kelly, Cathal (2008-08-18). "Red-hot Jays burn hole in Bosox". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 2009-05-08. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
- Associated Press (1989-06-05). "Jays, Down by 10-0, Stun Red Sox, 13-11". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
- Associated Press (1989-06-06). "Blue Jays Open the SkyDome but Lose". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
- Martinez, Michael (1989-08-05). "A Perfect Night for Stieb Is Ruined by Kelly". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-15.
- Gammons, Peter (1989-10-09). "Oh, What A Relief It Is". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
- Al Leiter page at Baseball Reference
- Dane Johnson page at Baseball Reference
- Jeff Musselman page at Baseball Reference
- Lee Mazzilli page at Baseball Reference
- Jim Acker page at Baseball Reference
- Paul Spoljaric page at Baseball Reference
- John Olerud page at Baseball Reference
- Blue Jays All-Stars | bluejays.com: History
- Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 2nd and 3rd editions. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 1997 and 2007
- 1989 Toronto Blue Jays team page at Baseball Reference
- 1989 Toronto Blue Jays team page at www.baseball-almanac.com
- Jays Alumni:'89 A.L. East Champ
Boston Red Sox
|AL East Championship Season
Boston Red Sox
1988 Toronto Blue Jays season
|1989 Toronto Blue Jays Season
1990 Toronto Blue Jays season