Medicine Hat Blue Jays
The Medicine Hat Blue Jays were the Toronto Blue Jays rookie-level affiliate in the Pioneer League located in Medicine Hat, AB, Canada. They began play in 1978 and remained with their parent club for 25 seasons. They played their home games at Athletic Park. Over the years, the club generally struggled on the field and with attendance, but the Jays did have some noteworthy seasons. In 1982, they captured their only championship. They reached the championship series again in 1995 but lost the title to the Helena Brewers. The Blue Jays only reached the playoffs one other time, losing to the Great Falls Dodgers in 2000. After the 2002 season, Toronto ended their affiliation with the club (switching to the Pulaski Blue Jays), and the Pioneer League abandoned Medicine Hat.
The team arrived in Medicine Hat in 1977 as an affiliate of the Oakland A's, relocated from Boise, Idaho, where they played two seasons as the Boise A's in the Northwest League. The A's were previously in the Northwest League at Lewiston, Idaho, as the Lewiston Broncos.
Greg Morrison, a native of Medicine Hat, played for the Medicine Hat Blue Jays in 1997. That season, he won the Pioneer Baseball League's Triple Crown by recording a .448 batting average, 23 home runs, and 88 runs batted in. He also won league MVP and his 23 home runs set a league record for the most in a single season. This accomplishment remains the Pioneer League single season record.
Drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1994, Greg played in Great Falls and Savannah within the Dodgers system in 1995 and 1996. After his stint with the Medicine Hat Blue Jays in 1997, he played in Hagerstown and Dunedin in 1998 and 1999 within the Blue Jays system.
Over the years, some of the most notable players to wear a Medicine Hat uniform included:
- Chris Carpenter
- David Wells
- Lloyd Moseby
- Fred Manrique
- John Cerutti
- Gustavo Chacín
- Randy Knorr
- Jimmy Key
- Pat Borders
- Mark Eichhorn
- Mike Timlin
- Jay Gibbons (won the league's Triple Crown (1998))
- Spokane Daily Chronicle – Teams added for Pioneer – 1976-10-14 - p.34
- Lewiston Morning Tribune - Pro ball returns to Boise after absence of 11 years – 1975-06-18 - p.B1
- "The Greg Morrison Story". Western Major Baseball League. Retrieved 2011-01-13.
- "Individual Batting – Pioneer League". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved 2011-01-13.