Heat the oven to 300F. Remove the lids from the jars and place them upside-down on a cookie sheet, careful not to touch the orange seal. Place the glass jars on a cookie sheet lined with a towel and place into the hot oven. Turn the oven off and let the jars sit in there until you are ready to fill them.
Set a strainer over a large pot. Pour the cherries into the strainer, reserving the syrup in the pot. Spoon the cherries into the hot jars, packing them tightly. Bring the syrup to a boil and remove the bay leaves. Once boiling, pour the syrup over the cherries until you reach the ¼” mark on your jars. Clean any juice or cherry bits off of the top of the jars. Close the jars and prepare your water bath.
Heat a tall stockpot filled nearly all the way with water and bring to a boil. Carefully place the jars in the pot, making sure they have 3” of water above their lids. You may need to do this in stages depending on the width of your pot. Boil for 20 minutes. Remove jars carefully from the water bath and repeat with remaining jars if needed.