Donaldson’s explosive first season with the Blue Jays reached its apex as Major League Baseball announced the American League and National League MVPs Thursday night. The brash and bold Blue Jays third baseman, who helped put baseball back on the map in Canada with a mixture of power, finesse and ferociousness, became the second Blue Jays player to win the award, and the first since George Bell in 1987. Donaldson’s contributions played a leading role in bringing the Blue Jays their first playoff appearance in more than two decades.
Although he was the favourite, Donaldson was in tough against the reigning MVP, Angels center fielder Mike Trout, and Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain.
Nov. 28 – Donaldson came to the Blue Jays in a surprise off-season deal with the Oakland A’s, giving Toronto the best third baseman in baseball. As The Globe and Mail’s Cathal Kelly wrote at the time, the deal turned the Blue Jays into a win-now team.April 17, 18 – He announced his arrival with a monstrous two games in mid-April. After swatting his first two home runs of the season in a loss to the Braves, Donaldson came through with a walk-off homer a night later.
May 16 - When the Blue Jays were going through early-season growing pains, the ultra-competitive Donaldson dropped one of his best phrases of the season.
“This isn’t the try league, this is the get it done league. Eventually, they’re gonna find people who’ll get it done.”Donaldson, after the Blue Jays fell to 17-21 and sat in fourth place in the AL East.
May 26 – If he was heating up in April, by May, Donaldson was on fire. His best showing of the entire season came in a 4-for-4, two-homer, walk-off showing against the White Sox.
June 15 – Don Cherry’s endorsement on television and social media came as a welcome boost to Donaldson’s All-Star Game campaign.
1) Josh Donaldson has proven he is the best 3rd baseman in the American League. Among the 3rd basemen in the AL he is first in HR’s, RBI’s,— Don Cherry (@CoachsCornerCBC) June 15, 2015
2) runs scored, slugging percentage. But he is 2 million votes behind the 3rd baseman in Kansas City.— Don Cherry (@CoachsCornerCBC) June 15, 2015
3) We must not let the Kansas City guy start the All Star game ahead of Josh Donaldson. Like I said in Coach’s Corner they will say— Don Cherry (@CoachsCornerCBC) June 15, 2015
4) “yes, he is the best but he plays in Canada and did not get the votes.” Here’s how you can vote http://t.co/5xzqoXOlSU— Don Cherry (@CoachsCornerCBC) June 15, 2015
5) You can vote up to 35 times. As the old saying goes, vote early and vote often. Lets Go Canada!— Don Cherry (@CoachsCornerCBC) June 15, 2015
June 24 – Donaldson proved his fearlessness with this insane catch against the Rays.
July 12 – With legions of Canadian fans behind him, Donaldson set a new record for most votes (14,090,188) by fan ballot, sending him to his second straight All-Star Game.
Aug. 2nd – Donaldson stoked the flames in the Blue Jays-Royals rivalry when he mock-charged the mound after Kansas City right-hander Edinson Volquez threw at him twice, and later flipped his bat on a walk.
Aug. 22 –The Bringer of Rain drove home six runs and had four hits against the Angels and defending AL MVP Mike Trout while crossing the 100-RBI mark.
Sept. 2 – Donaldson’s dynamic slide into home plate against Cleveland showed that the 29-year-old excels in all facets of the game.
Sept. 9 – The Donaldson zeitgeist hit critical mass when his iconic man-bun was inserted onto the Blue Jays logo by fan Tim Spencer.
Sept. 27 – He came through with another crucial home run against the Rays two days later – his third walk-off homer of the season.
Sept. 30 – Donaldson knocked in his AL-best 123rd run of the season to help the Blue Jays clinch their first division title since 1993 with a 15-2 win over Baltimore.
Oct. 5 – A Donaldson superfan penned and recorded a tribute song to Toronto’s favourite third baseman.
Oct. 7 – Never one to mince words, Donaldson scoffed when asked by reporters why he was so confident heading into the Blue Jays’ American League Division Series against the Texas Rangers.
“Have you looked at our lineup? That’s why I’m confident. Our lineup is legit. One through nine I feel like we have probably the best lineup in baseball.”
Oct. 31 – Donaldson won his first of four awards, taking home the Hank Aaron Award as the American League’s top offensive player as voted by fans and a panel of Hall of Famers.
Nov. 9 – His peers agreed that Donaldson’s season was the best in baseball in 2015, naming him MLB Player of the Year and the AL’s most outstanding player at the Players Choice Awards.
Have to give a S/O to all my teammates,coaches,and fans. I am grateful my peers chose me for these 2 awards. #blessed— Josh Donaldson (@BringerOfRain20) November 10, 2015
Nov. 12 – Donaldson won the Silver Slugger as the American League’s top offensive third baseman.
Nov. 19 – Donaldson became the second Blue Jays player to ever win the AL MVP, and the first since George Bell in 1987.