Fact Check

Did Toronto Blue Jays Star Joe Carter Wear a Misspelled "Torotno" Jersey?

The 1994 game was a defeat for the Blue Jays in more ways than one.

Published Jul 19, 2023

 (Screenshot via Twitter)
Image Via Screenshot via Twitter
Claim:
In 1994, baseball player Joe Carter of the Toronto Blue Jays wore a jersey during a game that misspelled Toronto as “Torotno.”

While we all have made our fair share of typos, this one made it onto an international stage. In July 2023, a number of people remembered an incident in July 1994, when Joe Carter, a baseball player with the Toronto Blue Jays, wore his team uniform with the name of his city misspelled as "Torotno." 

This was a real incident at a baseball match between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Texas Rangers on July 14, 1994. Carter wore the jersey with the misspelling for most of the game. 

The Associated Press covered the moment, and a photograph shows the typo on his jersey. Numerous newspapers poked fun at the incident as well, with headlines like "At least, an 'e' wasn't added to spell 'Torotno.'"

 
(Philadelphia Daily News/Associated Press/1994)


(Chicago Tribune/1994)

The jersey misspelling was caused by the manufacturer Wilson Sporting Goods, according to a Blue Jays spokesperson. Carter was unable to use his primary uniform worn during travel because it had a patch attached to it from when he played an All-Star Game earlier in the week. The misspelling was discovered when the team took out its backup uniforms before the Texas game, but it was too late to do anything about it. Carter switched to the other uniform with the All-Star patch later in the game. 

Jim Calhoun, public affairs director for the sporting goods manufacturer, called the gaffe "embarrassing," according to The Chicago Tribune

"It's something that slipped through our quality control people, through the clubhouse people, through Joe Carter," he said. "The last time this happened is something we call the 'Steve Gravey incident.'"

He referenced a similar typo on the uniform of Garvey, another baseball player, in the mid-1980s. 

The jersey snafu wasn't the only embarrassment for the Blue Jays—they lost the game and were in last place in their division.

Given the media coverage from 1994 on this incident, we rate this claim as "True." 
 

Sources

"Chicago Tribune 15 Jul 1994, Page 74." Newspapers.Com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/167179299/. Accessed 19 July 2023.

"Intelligencer Journal 15 Jul 1994, Page 19." Newspapers.Com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/564721111/. Accessed 19 July 2023.

"Midseason Jersey Switch Spells Trouble in Toronto." Christian Science Monitor, July 19, 1994. https://www.csmonitor.com/1994/0719/19141.html. Accessed 19 July 2023.

"Philadelphia Daily News 15 Jul 1994, Page 125." Newspapers.Com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/186484072/. Accessed 19 July 2023.

"The Town Talk 15 Jul 1994, Page 9." Newspapers.Com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/218542444/. Accessed 19 July 2023.
 

Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.