Pulaski Blue Jays
The Pulaski Blue Jays of Pulaski, Virginia, played four seasons in the Appalachian League. For that brief period of time, they served as the Rookie Advanced level affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays era began when the Pulaski Rangers broke their ties to Texas and came to an agreement with the Canadian club.
There really isn’t much to say about the Pulaski Blue Jays. The Appalachian League doesn’t always get the hottest prospects, and this team wasn’t around long enough to strike the occasional gold. Their biggest name alum is Travis Snider, for what that’s worth. To my mind, the most interesting aspect of the P-Jays’ existence is their logo, which was a very creative play on Toronto’s short lived muscular blue jay logo of that era. Pulaski changed the side of the letter that the bird peeks out from, and the ball that he’s tossing brilliantly sits directly in the eye of the P. The best detail is the arm tattoo, where the parent club’s red maple leaf is replaced by the state of Virginia. I would argue that this take on the logo is superior to Toronto’s version.
It’s pure speculation, but it seems that a major reason that few big prospects were sent to Pulaski is that Toronto didn’t really need the P-Jays. During the same time-span that the Appy League team existed, the Jays also had a Class A-Short Season affiliate in upstate New York–much closer to their Ontario home than rural Virginia. Though the Short Season level is nominally a step higher than Rookie Advanced, in practice, the two are interchangeable, and it’s fairly rare for an MLB team to have an affiliate at both levels. After the 2006 season, Toronto did what many MLB teams do, and fashioned a “complex” Rookie level team to play in their spring training facility in Florida and join the Gulf Coast League. Pulaski’s empty nest was was soon filled, though that was a short stint as well. After six years as the Pulaski Mariners, they became what they are today–the Pulaski Yankees.