During the history of the Toronto Blue Jays there have been so many great reasons to come to the ballpark. At the Old Exhibition Stadium it may have been a day game and a night on the Midway. At
SkyDome Rogers Centre, it was to see an architectural marvel in action as the lid closed and opened. Each park was also bearing the fruit of the sponsored giveaways! Giveaways that have become fewer and farther between.
As a kid, to see the big league players was cool since they were on maybe twice a week at most on TV (yes kids…TWICE). You came to put the faces to the names Tom Cheek announced every day. There were also the giveaways “to the first 25,000 fans”. Your friends wouldn’t have one of these gifts…unless they went next year…lol. These are the three most memorable giveaways from my younger days…with all my hair…
1. Mr. Sub Bag Day: Made of cheap tent-like fabric, this red, white and blue bad signaled to everyone that you were a Blue Jays fan. I used it to carry my equipment, cleats, glove etc. to my ballgames as a kid. Had to write your name in Pen on it so you didn’t mix it up with the other ones sure to be littered around the dugout;
2. Seat Cushion Day: I cannot recall the sponsor of said cushions but I loved mine. Brought it to games, camping, anywhere I needed to plant my butt I used it. Over the years we accumulated quite a few of those. Dad or Mum or Grandparent would get the $2 Dominion tickets and you would get the first come, first served seats in left field. With those seats the cushions were necessity (even moreso in the right field bench seats…seriously);
3. Kodak Photo Day: I list this third because you had to do all the work…lol. Who am I kidding? You would go down on the field with your camera and wait in big gobs of people mobbed around the front of your Toronto Blue Jays…no lines or anything. You knew where Stieb and Bell and Whitt were located by the size of their throngs. I just dug it because I was able to stand on the green
concrete floor turf.
These days it’s all about collectibles, special series trading cards or bobble heads. It all comes down to the value of whatever thing you are being given has. Aside from a calendar day or hat day the cheap fun giveaways seem to have been neglected in Toronto for decades. Sometimes it’s about having that tangible part of the baseball experience that hooks you in. I had those cushions for years. My dad still has one of those old bags somewhere. The memories stay strong due to these trinkets. With the rebirth of our team the Jays should go all out on old school promotions. Let these new memories last not just online but in our hands as well.