Today, the Blue Jays start yet another new season trying to capture their first World Series in more than 20 years. But those glory days of the early 1990s weren't the first time a Toronto baseball team won a championship. To find the city's first baseball heroes, you have to look back more than 125 years, to the star-studded old-timey Toronto Baseball Club of 1887.
It would not, of course, be our last. For the next few decades, Toronto was a major hub for Minor League baseball. The Toronto Maple Leafs are listed five times on the official MLB list of the top 100 greatest Minor League teams ever. Some of the biggest stars in the history of the game played in the new stadiums that replaced Sunlight Park — three of them were built at Hanlan's Point over the years. Babe Ruth famously hit his first professional home run right into our harbour.
Toronto's last Minor League ballpark — the majestic Maple Leaf Stadium at the foot of Bathurst Street — was finally torn down in the 1960s, when the team was sold off and moved to Kentucky. But a decade later, the Blue Jays came to town. Twice they've been crowned as champions. And tonight, at what was once the futuristic SkyDome, the newest cast of star players and memorable characters will try to carry on the winning tradition that started on the banks of the Don River all those years ago.