The wait is finally over. After nearly 22 years of being deprived of October baseball, the Toronto Blue Jays have ended their long playoff drought.
Even as I write this, it’s still somewhat hard to believe. A team that was devoid of a playoff appearance is guaranteed to at least be a Wild Card team. The Toronto Blue Jays are going to the playoffs. The will be playing under the bright lights in October.
If you’ve followed this team for any amount of years, you can’t even begin to describe this feeling. It’s one of excitement, relief, but also peacefulness. It’s like the ghosts of Blue Jays’ past have finally been exorcised and all those bad memories have finally been banished.
So just how long has it been since the Blue Jays last played in the playoffs? It’s been almost 22 years (11 months and three days to be exact) and 8008 days total. October 23rd, 1993 was the last day when the Toronto Blue Jays participated in a playoff game.
That’s practically an eternity when it comes to professional sports teams. You would’ve thought that after 22 years, the Jays would’ve at least fluked their way into a postseason, but that was not the case.
And 22 years is a really, really long time. I just think it’s sad that there are kids who’ve grown up without having experiencing a Blue Jays playoff experience firsthand. At least a good chunk of Jays fans today remember 1992 and 1993 in some form.
Even the early adopters of the expansion Toronto Blue Jays in 1977 only had to wait eight years until the team was playoff worthy. Up until now, it’s taken the Blue Jays more than twice as long to finally end their long playoff drought.
If you ask virtually anybody, they can tell you exactly where they were and exactly what they were doing on October 23rd, 1993. It’s a date that has been etched into the memories of millions of Blue Jays fans.
But after 22 years, those memories of Joe Carter leaping around the bases have been so well-trodden that it almost makes 1992 and 1993 feel like they happened closer to 50 years ago.
It’s no fault of Blue Jays fans because there hasn’t really been anything to cheer for since the Jays glory days of the early nineties. The Blue Jays have fielded competitive teams in the past 22 years, but for whatever reason, they just could not get over the hump.
And for many of us, that led to a great deal of cynicism building over two decades. After all, it’s not like the Blue Jays have even been all that close to even being within sniffing distance of a playoff spot.
For the past decade, some September … that’s been garbage time for the Blue Jays. But this year provided the first taste of meaningful late-season baseball since 1993.
But thanks to the 2015 Toronto Blue Jays, 22 years of disappointment has finally been exonerated. The wait for playoff baseball in Toronto will soon be over.
Admittedly, the Blue Jays still have a lot of work to do. Regardless of here on out, the Toronto Blue Jays will play in the playoffs. But their main focus of the moment is capturing the American League East title and avoiding playing in the Wild Card elimination game.
For the time being, the Blue Jays should enjoy a few cold ones and celebrate this remarkable milestone. But they may want to save the good stuff for when they clinch the division … and perhaps make it even deeper into the playoffs.
In many ways, I’m sure the Blue Jays are happy to be in the playoffs. Not many expected them to get this far this season and it’s a huge accomplishment to simply squeak into the postseason in Major League Baseball.
But players and the fans have set their sights much higher than being a Wild Card team. The division title is the next goal for the Toronto Blue Jays.
In the meantime, let’s take a moment to revel in this. It’s been a long time coming for the Blue Jays. And the best part? This may only be the beginning of something really special.