Interleague turns 11

Alright, there’s no denying that Interleague play has not been kind to the Blue Jays since it was adopted back in 1997. Including today’s loss in Philadelphia, Toronto now owns an 84-94 overall record against the National League. In fact, the only time the Jays finished above .500 in a season was in 2003, when they went 10-8. Meanwhile, last year was perhaps the worst of all, as Toronto suffered two three-game sweeps against the Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies.

Interleague Still, there have been some memorable Interleague moments in Blue Jay history. And I, for one, am a proponent of playing ‘our’ counterparts in the Senior Circuit. As for those who claim that Toronto has no ‘true’ National League rival, I simply direct you to the following quote from the legendary Tom Cheek on October 23, 1993: “Touch ’em all Joe! You’ll never hit a bigger home run in your life!” Tell me again why Philadelphia isn’t an intriguing matchup today? And, even though Mitch Williams surrendered that unforgettable home run to Carter, the ’93 campaign was the best the Phillies had enjoyed in years. In fact, last time I checked, they hadn’t been back to the Series since.

But enough about that. Let’s get to some highlights of Interleague play over the last 11 years …

  • June 13, 1997: Bud Selig’s ‘crazy’ idea is unveiled, and the Blue Jays drop their first ever Interleague contest to — of course — the Philadelphia Phillies. Though he goes 2-for-4 with a double, there are no late-game heroics from Joe Carter on this day.
  • June 30, 1997: For the first time ever, the Toronto Blue Jays and Montreal Expos meet for a regular season contest. The Blue Jays muster just three hits on the day, and starter Pat Hentgen is the hard-luck loser, tossing a complete-game in the 2-1 loss.
  • June 8, 1998: In their first ever meeting, the Blue Jays and Marlins need 5:06 and 17 innings before Florida comes away with a 4-3 victory. Erik Hanson — one of the worst free agent signings in team history — comes on in the 17th and promptly suffers the loss.
  • July 11, 1999: Left-hander David Wells twirls a complete-game, two-hit gem to lead the Jays to a 1-0 win over the Expos at Olympic Stadium.
  • June 29, 2002: Eric Hinske caps off a 3-for-5 day by hitting a walk-off homer in the 10th inning to give Toronto a 5-4 win over Montreal.

By no means is this an extensive list. If you have a favourite Blue Jays Interleague moment, please do share …

One Response to “Interleague turns 11”

  1. Says:

    My favorite Jays interleague moment has to be that first Canada Day game against the Expos. My friend and I, Jays fans both, quietly nudging each other, trying not to jinx the no hitter that Jeff Juden was tossing.

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