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The Bringer of Rain: Josh Donaldson Reflects on the Magical 2015 Blue Jays

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Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
4 months ago
In November 2014, the Blue Jays shocked the baseball world by acquiring third baseman Josh Donaldson from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Brett Lawrie, Kendall Graveman, Sean Nolin, and Franklin Barreto. 
Donaldson was considered untouchable at the time, but general manager Alex Anthopoulos’s persistence paid off and the Blue Jays were able to land an All-Star third baseman.
The “Bringer of Rain” arrived in Toronto and ignited Rogers Centre and opposing ballparks alike. Donaldson’s relentless intensity transformed the Blue Jays from underachieving hopefuls into a force to be reckoned with. He slashed .297/.371/.568 with 41 homers, a league-leading 123 RBIs, and 352 total bases, earning him AL Most Valuable Player honours and making him an instant fan favourite across Canada.
“We all felt the same and we all knew there was one goal in mind and we knew that we were good,” Donaldson said during a recent appearance on Sportsnet 590 The FAN’s Blair and Barker. “And then, on top of that, we played really well. I remember when we came into a town, by the time we left town on the road, the teams were happy that we were gone. And that was a big compliment for us.”
Accompanied by All-Stars Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, Donaldson propelled the Blue Jays to their first postseason appearance since their 1992 and 1993 World Series victories. Their 93-69 record clinched the AL East title and led to a thrilling ALDS victory over the Texas Rangers – with the deciding Game 5 delivering the iconic “Bat Flip” moment. It was a magical time in a city hungry for star talent.

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“There were a multitude of different teams that we faced, when the starting pitcher was on the mound, we knew they were beat before the game started. That was what was so much fun for us,” Donaldson reflected. “How much we love each other — brotherhood. The large group of guys in that locker room really cared about each other [and] still [do] to this day,”
The Jays ultimately fell short in the ALCS to the Kansas City Royals, who went on to win the World Series, but the 2015 season was far from a failure. It marked a new era for the Blue Jays, re-establishing them as legitimate playoff contenders and bringing meaningful baseball back to Toronto.
“Obviously, we ran into Kansas City and they played great in that series and beat us. But there’s no doubt in my mind — we had what it took to win the World Series. It just wasn’t our series.”
Though the ultimate prize eluded them, the impact of Josh Donaldson and the 2015 Blue Jays on the city of Toronto and on baseball itself will endure. He announced his retirement on Monday after a 13-year career defined by his undeniable talent and fierce competitive spirit. A three-time All-Star, two-time Silver Slugger, and the 2015 AL MVP, his legacy in Toronto is forever secure.

ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO

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