No more Rain: Former Blue Jays great Josh Donaldson announces retirement

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Josh Donaldson — the Bringer of Rain and the most recent Blue Jays player to win an American League MVP award — has announced his retirement.

The 38-year-old three-time all-star, who had a mercurial time in his parts of four seasons in Toronto, made the announcement on the Mayor’s Office with Sean Casey on YouTube.

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“There was a time this off-season where I felt really good about where I was at and wanted to try to give it one more go,” Donaldson said on the YouTube show. “But being home with the family, getting married … today is a sad but also happy day for me.

“It’s sad because I won’t be able to go out and play the game I love any more, but it’s also a very happy time I get to be around the family and take that next chapter in life.”

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After being acquired by then-Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos, Donaldson was a massive part of the Toronto playoff teams in 2015 and 2016, a fit with that brash group of Jays hitters such as Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.

That 2015 season with the Jays was a thing of beauty as Donaldson, who was acquired in November of 2014, hit .297,  41 homers and 123 RBI on his way to winning the MVP award as part of that dynamic Jays offensive group.

“It was pretty phenomenal what our lineup was able to accomplish,” Donaldson said. “I felt like I was coming up with guys on base every time.”

Donaldson was a fan favourite at the Rogers Centre, an explosive bat with a captivating personality. He said he fondly remembers the playoff runs of 2015 and 2016 when the dome was electric, but also quickly learning that Toronto wasn’t just a hockey town.

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“It doesn’t get any louder in that dome,” Donaldson said. “There was so much energy in that place. Literally the Rogers Centre was shaking.

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“When I first got traded over there, everybody said I know people thinks this is hockey, but everybody is ready for a winner. In Toronto, they really do appreciate athletes and show up and they support very much.”

Donaldson praised Anthopoulos for the influence he had on his career, first with the Jays and then with the Atlanta Braves. His best years were in a Jays uniform, after all, magic that he was never able to duplicate during stops in Cleveland, Atlanta, Minnesota or New York.

“Alex is one of first people I texted and thanked him for the impact he had on my career,” Donaldson said. “To a player, Alex is very up front. What he thinks. What he likes. What he doesn’t like. I’m a straight forward shooter too.

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“Alex was a very influential person in my career, bringing me to Toronto and then Atlanta.”

His time in Toronto didn’t end with a championship nor was it positive, however, as he often clashed with the front office before being dealt to Cleveland in Aug. 2018.

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His career ends after 14 seasons in the majors. His final season in Toronto was marred by injuries. Most recently, Donaldson was a third baseman with the New York Yankees, where he didn’t finish the 2023 season.

“The last two years were tough for me because I didn’t go out there and play well, not up to my standards,” Donaldson said. “I was out there working. It’s tough to play in New York, especially when you’re not winning and especially when you’re not playing well.

“I just could have played better while my time was there. I felt I was capable of doing it, I was just unable to do it.”

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