Former Blue Jays Josh Donaldson on Jays fans, fatherhood and more

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1 song with ‘Uptown Funk’ by Bruno Mars in 2015, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens breaking box office records and Josh Donaldson making his record with Toronto Blue Jays, American League MVP, Silver Slugger By winning and the Hank Aaron Award.

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The award was a wild season for the Jays in his career as a third baseman. Toronto sent Donaldson to Cleveland three years later, and in 2021 the man known as ‘The Bringer of Rain’ now finds himself in the second year of a four-year deal with the Minnesota Twins.

Donaldson returned for just the third time this weekend after being traded for a series against his former club at Rogers Center. Lindsey Dunn caught the slugger before Friday’s opening pitch.


Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Lindsey Dunn (LD): Josh, welcome to Rogers Center, it’s been a moment, but when you come to the ballpark is it a moment where you are filled with memories, or is it just another day, another ball Diamond?

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Josh Donaldson (JD): There are definitely a lot of good memories here. I think wherever you go, you create some sort of way to relive those moments.

ld: You’ve seen many memorable dingers here. I remember being in the stands and listening to the home run horn sound several times. One thing that has changed since you played here is that there is a home run jacket that the Jays wear. What are your thoughts on the jacket?

range: Oh yeah, I’ve seen his jacket. We had something similar with the robe last year (in Minnesota), and then MLB told us we couldn’t use it anymore because they couldn’t sell it. So I wonder how they’re still getting away with it, but at the same time it’s good for them.

ld: When you think about your home runs is there always something more specific to you?

range: Oh definitely, the most memorable home run for me, I guess, in 2015, the year-end Walk Off, which has to be hailed as one of my all-time favorites.

ld: It’s been a few years since you’ve actually played here, but you have such a fan base of dedicated jay fans who just like you who hang around to watch you play. What do you think about these fans that makes you so attached to them?

range: Honestly, I don’t know. I mean, it was very special. I mean, Blue Jays fans immediately moved me from the first day I traded here. I think he really appreciated my personality, how I played and so on. But, you know, that being said, there have been times here where we’ve played well and maybe even given him a lot of memories. So maybe they want to come over and, you know, still show appreciation which is good.

ld: A lot has changed for you since you came here. You have become a father. What have you learned about yourself and parenthood?

range: Patience, patience (laughs). I think it’s an ever-increasing thing for me to be patient and be able to love someone as much as I love my daughter, it’s a very special feeling.

ld: Something else that feels very special is that you are opening your own development academy similar to the one you went to in high school.

range: We haven’t opened it yet, we are still working on it. But, it’s something I wanted to do back home to give kids in or around that area a real chance to succeed. You know, there’s going to be a lot of events that we’re going to be involved in, it’s not just baseball. We really want to open the doors and really provide a path to success to the children of our region.

ld: For the old times, can you do me a favor and give me the roof report?

range: Yes! I mean, today it looks like it’s open (laughs)

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