The creative juices have been flowing here at Mop-Up Duty. As a result, we have added new Azulejos t-shirt designs to our store and have been able to reduce prices by $8 – $12 on selected items! But what are Azulejos anyway?
When the Toronto Blue Jays first rose to prominence in 1985, the core of the roster was largely Latin-American. Players like Damaso Garcia, Tony Fernandez and George Bell – all from the Dominican Republic – made important contributions to the success of the team. In the years that followed, the Toronto Blue Jays added to their Latin core with the likes of Manny Lee, Nelson Liriano, José Nuñez, Junior Felix, Roberto Alomar, Juan Guzman, Candy Maldonado, Carlos Delgado, Tony Castillo, Tomas Perez, Jose Cruz Jr, Kelvim Escobar, Raul Mondesi and even Esteban Loaiza.
Not only was Toronto the most popular team in Canada (sorry Montreal!), but the Blue Jays were one of the most – if not the most – popular teams in the Caribbean and Latin-America because of their Latin contingent.
Of course, actual Blue Jays are native to Canada and the northern United States. There is no such thing as a Blue Jay in Latin-America. As a result, there is no direct translation for Blue Jay in Spanish. In my experience traveling to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Puerto Rico, Latin-American baseball fans lovingly refer to the Toronto Blue Jays as the Azulejos.
Screen cap courtesy of ESPN Deportes.
An Azulejo (or Azulillo Pálido) is a Blue Bird, not a Blue Jay. Also known as the Pájaro Azul, the Sialia Sialis is found in both Mexico and the Caribbean.
Photo credit: Jesus Guzman-Moya
Today, the roster composition of the Blue Jays is reminiscent of the “glory years.” No longer is Latin Flair in short supply with José Bautista, Jose Reyes, Edwin Encarnacion, Moises Sierra, Emilio Bonifacio and Melky Cabrera patrolling the field.[youtube QdDJ1_ZUyLs]
Now you can show your Azulejos pride and feel good about it in more ways than one! Order an Azulejos t-shirt (or any other item from the Mop-Up Duty store) and you’ll be helping to support the Jays Care Foundation.
Mop-Up Duty has teamed up with the Jays Care Foundation in order to raise money through our on-line store. Proceeds from merchandise go directly toward empowering children and youth in need, inspiring them to make positive choices and helping them realize their dreams by providing access to programs that support physical activity, education, and life-skill development.
All proceeds from Mop-Up Duty’s online store go directly to the Jays Care Foundation.
The funds raised by Jays Care Foundation are committed to initiatives and programs that improve the lives of kids in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond, including:
- encouraging kids to get physically active through youth baseball initiatives;
- providing grants to local charities serving children in need;
- funding capital projects that create safe youth spaces where kids can play, learn, and grow; and
- partnering to provide important educational opportunities for at-risk youth.
If the designs in our store aren’t exactly what you are looking for, leave a note in the comments section at the bottom of this post and tell us what you’d like to see! Yes, ladies, we do have shirts for you too (and not just in pink!). Check out our slim-fit Azulejos tee (in a wide range of colours!) for a more fitted look. We also have hoodies, long-sleeve tees, rally-panties… just let us know and we’ll do our best to make available whatever it is that you are looking for.
Jays fan @rallycap_andy sports one of the Azulejos t-shirt designs.
So far we’ve raised $349.75 through our charitable efforts, but we can do much, MUCH more. In order to do so, however, we depend on your help. For those headed to Dunedin for Spring Training, why not pick up an Azulejos hoody? You can show your support for the Blue Jays’ new players, all while guarding against Florida’s unpredictable winter weather.
If you’re not interested in buying anything from the Mop-Up Duty store, you can still help help us support Jays Care by making a secure online donation using your credit card. Just click on the link below:
For more information on how YOU can become a Jays Care fundraiser, visit www.bluejays.com/jayscare.
Show you care! Give today!
¡Vamo arriba Los Azulejos de Toronto![youtube yuQ4SnOKL3I] (fast-forward to 3:49)
Featured image credit: John Lott