The Blue Jays’ first manager, Roy Hartsfield, passes away at 85

The Blue Jays’ first manager, Roy Hartsfield, passes away at 85

Roy Hartsfield (1925-2010) 

Roy Hartsfield, the first manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, passed away on Saturday at the age of 85. Hartsfield managed the Jays for three years between 1977 and 1979 with varied success for the then-new team.

President of the Toronto Blue Jays Paul Beeston remembers Hartsfield fondly as a storyteller with plenty of material spanning a 40-year career in professional baseball. Prior to working for the Blue Jays, Hartsfield played in the minors from 1950 to 1952 as a second baseman for the Boston Braves, then turning to management and working with the Hawaiian triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres.

That was the connection that brought him to Toronto. When Peter Bavasi, the Padres GM at the time, moved to the Jays, he took Hartsfield with him. While Hartsfield’s time here was short-lived, several successful players got their start under him, including Ernie Whitt, Jim Clancy and Dave Stieb.

A memorial service will be held January 22 at Ellijay First United Methodist Church at 2 p.m. in Georgia where Hartsfield retired.

• Blue Jays’ 1st manager Hartsfield passes away [CBC News]
• Remembering Roy Hartsfield [Toronto Star]