1997 Toronto Blue Jays season

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1997 Toronto Blue Jays
Major League affiliations
Location
Other information
Owner(s) Interbrew,
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Manager(s) Cito Gaston and Mel Queen
Local television CBC Television
(Brian Williams John Cerutti)
The Sports Network
(Dan Shulman, Buck Martinez)
Local radio CJCL (AM)
(Jerry Howarth, Tom Cheek)
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The 1997 Toronto Blue Jays season was the franchise's twenty-first season of Major League Baseball. It resulted in the Blue Jays finishing fifth in the American League East with a record of 76 wins and 86 losses. With a massive re-design of their logos and uniforms, the Blue Jays attempted to re-establish themselves in the American League East by signing Roger Clemens via Free Agency and bringing All-Stars Carlos García and Orlando Merced through trade. Although Clemens rejuvenated himself with the Blue Jays (en route to one of the best-ever single seasons by a starting pitcher, winning the Cy Young Award and the pitchers' triple crown), both Garcia and Merced ended up being flops as dismal overall hitting and an inconsistent bullpen doomed the Blue Jays once again to a last-place finish. 1997 also marked the end of the road for manager Cito Gaston, being fired near the end of the season (Gaston would eventually return to the team in 2008). Longtime fan-favourite Joe Carter also played in his final season for the Blue Jays, as he was released at the end of the season.

Offseason[edit]

  • October 2, 1996: Dane Johnson was selected off waivers by the Oakland Athletics from the Toronto Blue Jays.[1]
  • November 14, 1996: Dan Plesac was traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates with Carlos Garcia and Orlando Merced to the Toronto Blue Jays for players to be named later, Jose Silva, Brandon Cromer (minors), and Jose Pett (minors). The Toronto Blue Jays sent Mike Halperin (minors) (December 11, 1996), Abraham Nunez (December 11, 1996), and Craig Wilson (December 11, 1996) to the Pittsburgh Pirates to complete the trade.[2]
  • November 27, 1996: Jeff Ware was selected off waivers by the Milwaukee Brewers from the Toronto Blue Jays.[3]
  • December 9, 1996: Benito Santiago signed as a Free Agent with the Toronto Blue Jays.
  • December 13, 1996: Roger Clemens signed as a Free Agent with the Toronto Blue Jays.[4]
  • December 18, 1996: Juan Samuel was signed as a Free Agent with the Toronto Blue Jays.[5]
  • December 20, 1996: John Olerud was traded by the Toronto Blue Jays with cash to the New York Mets for Robert Person.[6]

Regular season[edit]

Opening Day starters[edit]

  • Joe Carter
  • Carlos Delgado
  • Carlos Garcia
  • Alex Gonzalez
  • Shawn Green
  • Pat Hentgen
  • Orlando Merced
  • Otis Nixon
  • Benito Santiago
  • Ed Sprague[7]

Interleague Play[edit]

  • June 30 - The first interleague game between the Montreal Expos and the Toronto Blue Jays took place at SkyDome. The Expos won the game by a score of 2-1.[8]

Expos vs. Jays[edit]

June 30, SkyDome, Toronto, Ontario

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Montreal 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 6 0
Toronto 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 3 0
W: Pedro Martínez (10-3)  L: Pat Hentgen (8-5)  
Home Runs: Vladimir Guerrero (4), Carlos Delgado (15) Attendance: 37,430 Time: 2:03

Batting[edit]

Montreal Expos AB R H RBI Toronto Blue Jays AB R H RBI
Grudzielanek, ss 3 1 1 0 Nixon cf 4 0 1 0
Lansing 2b 4 0 0 0 Merced dh 4 0 0 0
Santangelo 3b 4 0 0 0 Carter lf 4 0 0 0
Segui 1b 3 0 2 1 Delgado 1b 2 1 1 1
Rodriguez lf 4 0 0 0 Sprague 3b 3 0 0 0
Orsulak lf 0 0 0 0 Green rf 3 0 0 0
Guerrero rf 4 1 2 1 Santiago c 3 0 0 0
McGuire dh 3 0 0 0 Gonzalez ss 3 0 1 0
White cf 3 0 0 0 Garcia 2b 3 0 0 0
Widger c 3 0 1 0 NONE 0 0 0 0
Totals 31 2 6 2 Totals 29 1 3 1

Pitching[edit]

Montreal Expos IP H R ER BB SO
Martinez W (10-3) 9.0 3 1 1 1 10
Totals 9.0 3 1 1 1 10
Toronto Blue Jays IP H R ER BB SO
Hentgen L (8-5) 9.0 6 2 2 1 3
Totals 9.0 6 2 2 1 3

Canada Day Game[edit]

The Blue Jays and Expos played to a sold-out Skydome crowd on Canada Day. Legendary Roger Clemens would get the start as the Blue Jays donned red uniforms for the second time. Montreal pitcher Jeff Juden would have a no-hitter through the first six innings until Joe Carter would hit a dramatic home run to break Juden's bid for a no-hitter.

Season standings[edit]

AL East W L Pct. GB
Baltimore Orioles 98 64 .605 --
New York Yankees 96 66 .586 2.0
Detroit Tigers 79 83 .488 19.0
Boston Red Sox 78 84 .481 20.0
Toronto Blue Jays 76 86 .469 22.0

Notable transactions[edit]

  • May 11, 1997: Rubén Sierra was signed as a Free Agent with the Toronto Blue Jays.[9]
  • June 3, 1997: Orlando Hudson was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 43rd round of the 1997 amateur draft. Player signed May 20, 1998.[10]
  • June 5, 1997: Ryan Thompson was traded by the Cleveland Indians to the Toronto Blue Jays for Jeff Manto.[11]
  • June 16, 1997: Rubén Sierra was released by the Toronto Blue Jays.[9]
  • July 25, 1997: Omar Daal was selected off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays from the Montreal Expos.[12]
  • July 29, 1997: Mariano Duncan was traded by the New York Yankees with cash to the Toronto Blue Jays for Angel Ramirez (minors).[13]
  • July 31, 1997: Paul Spoljaric was traded by the Toronto Blue Jays with Mike Timlin to the Seattle Mariners for Jose Cruz.[14]
  • August 8, 1997: Tilson Brito was selected off waivers by the Oakland Athletics from the Toronto Blue Jays.[15]
  • August 12, 1997: Otis Nixon was traded by the Toronto Blue Jays to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Bobby Cripps (minors).[16]

Roster[edit]

1997 Toronto Blue Jays
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Manager

Coaches

Game log[edit]

1997 Game Log

Player stats[edit]

Batting[edit]

Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In

Player G AB H HR RBI Avg.
Benito Santiago 97 341 83 13 42 .243
Carlos Delgado 153 519 136 30 91 .262
Carlos García 103 350 77 3 23 .220
Ed Sprague 138 504 115 14 48 .228
Gonzalez, AlexAlex Gonzalez 126 426 102 12 35 .239
José Cruz, Jr. 55 212 49 14 34 .231
Otis Nixon 103 401 105 1 26 .262
Orlando Merced 98 368 98 9 40 .266
Joe Carter 157 612 143 21 102 .234

[17]

Other batters[edit]

Player G AB H HR RBI Avg.
Shawn Green 135 429 123 16 53 .287
Charlie O’Brien 69 225 49 4 27 .218
Jacob Brumfield 58 174 36 2 20 .207
Shannon Stewart 44 168 48 0 22 .286
Mariano Duncan 39 167 38 0 12 .228
Tilson Brito 49 126 28 0 8 .222
Tomás Pérez 40 123 24 0 9 .195
Juan Samuel 45 95 27 3 15 .284
Robert Perez 37 78 15 2 6 .192
Rubén Sierra 14 48 10 1 5 .208
Tom Evans 12 38 11 1 2 .289
Felipe Crespo 12 28 8 1 5 .286
Rich Butler 7 14 4 0 2 .286
Julio Mosquera 3 8 2 0 0 .250
Sandy Martinez 3 2 0 0 0 .000

[17]

Starting pitchers[edit]

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Other pitchers[edit]

Player G IP W L ERA
Relief pitchers[edit]
Player G W L SV ERA SO

Award winners[edit]

  • Roger Clemens, Pitcher of the Month Award, May
  • Roger Clemens, Pitcher of the Month Award, August
  • Roger Clemens, Cy Young Award
  • Roger Clemens, MLB Leader, 21 Wins
  • Roger Clemens, AL Strikeout Crown, 292 Strikeouts
  • Roger Clemens, AL ERA Crown, 2.05
  • Roger Clemens, American League Leader, Complete Games (9)
  • Roger Clemens, American League Leader, Shutouts (3)
  • Roger Clemens, American League Leader, Innings Pitched (264)

All-Star Game

[18]

Farm system[edit]

Level Team League Manager
AAA Syracuse SkyChiefs International League Garth Iorg
AA Knoxville Smokies Southern League Omar Malavé
A Dunedin Blue Jays Florida State League Dennis Holmberg
A Hagerstown Suns South Atlantic League J. J. Cannon
Short-Season A St. Catharines Stompers New York–Penn League Rocket Wheeler
Rookie Medicine Hat Blue Jays Pioneer League Marty Pevey

[19]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
1996 Toronto Blue Jays season
1997 Toronto Blue Jays Season
1997
Succeeded by
1998 Toronto Blue Jays season