Toronto Blue Jays 40th Birthday!

Since the 1950s, Major League Baseball had been intent on expanding beyond US borders.

It seemed that Havana would be the city chosen for it, with the Cuban Sugar Kings, but political events on the island, which brought Fidel Castro to power, forced the Elders to look in another direction.

That place was the neighboring Canada and in 1969 were born in the National League the Expos in the city of Montreal.

But the Expos, in French-speaking Montreal, failed to attract the entire Canadian fan, despite the country’s socio-economic conditions for hosting a Major League franchise.

In January 1976, then-owner of the San Francisco Giants, Horace Stoneham, agreed to sell the equipment to a group of Toronto investors headed by Don McDougall.

But the group of investors did not stand by and with the stadium ready, began to negotiate with the Major Leagues to obtain the rights of a new franchise expansion.

The road was not easy, then US President Gerald Ford pressured MLB to have a team again in the nation’s capital after the Washington Senators moved to Arlington in 1972 and became the Texas Rangers.

However, Ford’s presidential efforts failed and the Major Leagues gave him the right to the Canadian city.

On April 7, 1977, before 44,649 fanatics filled the Exhibition Stadium, the Toronto Blue Jays played (and won) the first game of their history against the Chicago White Sox.

Canada then had two major league teams, the Montreal Expos in the National League and the Toronto Blue Jays in the Americana.


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