The name "Blue Jays" originates from the bird of the same name, and blue is also the traditional colour of Toronto's collegiate and professional sports teams including the Maple Leafs (ice hockey) and the Argonauts (Canadian football). In 1976, out of the over 4,000 suggestions, 154 people selected the name "Blue Jays." In addition, the team was originally owned by the Labatt Brewing Company, makers of the popular beer Labatt Blue. Colloquially nicknamed the "Jays", the team's official colours are royal blue, navy blue, red, and white. An expansion franchise, the club was founded in Toronto in 1977. Originally based at Exhibition Stadium, the team began playing its home games at SkyDome upon its opening in 1989. Since 2000, the Blue Jays have been owned by Rogers Communications and in 2004, SkyDome was purchased by that company, which renamed it Rogers Centre. They are the second MLB franchise to be based outside the United States, and currently the only team based outside the U.S. after the first Canadian franchise, the Montreal Expos, became the Washington Nationals in 2005.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Blue Jays went through struggles typical of an expansion team, frequently finishing last in their division. In 1983, they had their first winning season and two years later, became division champions. From 1985 to 1993, the Blue Jays were an AL East powerhouse, winning five division championships in nine seasons, including three consecutive from 1991 to 1993. During that run, the team also became back-to-back World Series champions in 1992 and 1993, led by a core group of award-winning All-Star players, including Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter, John Olerud, and Devon White. The Blue Jays became the first (and, to date, only) team outside the U.S. to appear in and win a World Series, and the fastest AL expansion team to do so, winning in its 16th year. As of 2019, they are one of only two MLB franchises that are undefeated through multiple World Series appearances, along with the National League's Miami Marlins. After 1993, the Blue Jays failed to qualify for the playoffs for 21 consecutive seasons, until clinching a playoff berth and division championship in 2015. The team clinched a second consecutive playoff berth in 2016, after securing an AL wild card position. In both years, the Jays beat the Texas Rangers in the AL Division Series, but lost the AL Championship Series.
The Blue Jays and the Atlanta Braves are the only two MLB teams under corporate ownership; the Blue Jays are the only American League team to be under such ownership.