Christian Ortiz started the Boston Blue Jays in 2014 as a tribute to the Toronto Blue Jays, an MLB squad that had a league-leading eight Dominican players on the roster. With a squad of 12 Hispanic players of his own, Ortiz began hosting workouts in local community centers. The group of inner-city Boston residents practiced with tennis balls so as not to damage the hardwood floors. Equipment like pitching machines and batting cages were luxuries that Ortiz couldn't provide at the time.
"The goal was to create a program in the city for kids to use as a gateway to a college education," Ortiz said. "What better way to do that than playing the game they love? It's been tough, but the kids worked hard and found the means to get better."
The 2021 MLB Draft marked a milestone for the Boston Blue Jays with the first MLB Draft selection of a club alumnus, Joshua Baez, who was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the second round. The program's gateway to a college education has also been successfully established. A total of 15 Blue Jays in the Class of 2022 plan to play college baseball.
The Blue Jays have benefitted from more conventional baseball facilities after the pandemic forced the closure of the Boston community centers that were previously used for workouts. In 2021, the Blue Jays began using Extra Innings Watertown (Mass.) and 5 Tool Performance in Dedham, Mass.