Originally drafted by the Texas Rangers, Jim Clancy was snatched away by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1976 expansion draft that was set up to stock the two new American League teams for the ’77 season. A strong righthanded pitcher, Clancy just missed making the Blue Jays rotation out of their inaugural spring camp and was sent to Triple-A to start the 1977 campaign. However he was called up by the Jays in July of that year. He spent the next twelve years as a member of the Blue Jays, one of the longest-serving pitchers in franchise history.
Clancy won between 10 and 16 games eight times for Toronto, helping to solidify their rotation. He was often slotted behind ace Dave Steib in the pitching order. The two righthanders teamed for 245 wins in their decade together with Toronto, Stieb winning 131 and Clancy 114.
His 345 starts rank second behind Stieb in Toronto franchise history, and his 128 wins are third behind only Stieb and Roy Halladay.
Clancy, catcher Ernie Whitt, and infielder Garth Iorg were all selected in the 1976 expansion draft by Toronto. All three later proved valuable to the team as they matured and became contenders in the 1980s.