Way back on Friday there was an amazing piece at Getting Blanked by the always superb Dustin Parkes. As you can see for yourself it chronicles the part baseball played in his life journey. While I’m not aiming to simply ape him completely I felt compelled to write a similar piece because when you boil it all down you don’t love baseball because you were able to figure out why your third starter has an extremely high WHIP to start the season, or other statistical anomalies. You love it for the memories you create watching and experiencing the great game, so without further delay (shakes fist at long weeekend) here is my life’s journey with the Blue Jays
1992-1993: Glory Daze
I call this the glory daze because they were the greatest years in Blue Jays history, but happened when I was too young to really appreciate how awesome they were or what was happening. I know I cheered the Blue Jays and I remember hearing the Brave’s fans cheers blaring through our 13″ TV in ’92 and that ’93 implanted “Whoop there it is” in my head. But I also remember running around like crazy with my friend when we won. I know as a six year old I got the bottom pennant and as a seven year old the top one. I had a ball with all the autographs on it, which I can only hope and assume was fake as I lost that puppy long ago. I also remember having a decent amount of the Mc-Blue Jays cards, and when playing baseball with my friends outside I would always be one of of Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter, or Dave Winfield…. oh and my mom really liked John Olerud That’s the extent of my early Jay’s fandom.
1998??:The Thin Red Line
After the World Series years a combination of the players strike and an as of yet unresolved man crush on Doug Gilmour pulled me away from the Blue Jays. However there was one occasion in this era that I went to a game, for all I know it may have been my first Blue Jays game as I have no prior memories of the Sky Dome. Anyways I don’t know exactly what year it was I know I got a program and Shaw Green was on the cover and that Carlos Delgado was on the team but besides that I was pretty oblivious. My most clear memory from the game actually involves a piece of licorice. I attended the game with students from the school my mom taught at, there was also other teachers there one of whom my mom was fairly good friends with. She gave me one piece of licorice as she munched away on a very hefty bag of it all to herself. I watched enviously for some time, this woman had a mean sour look to her but my young mind rationalized, she was friends with my mom she must be nice.
I finally built up the courage and piped up and asked for another piece and got a very stern reply that no further licorice would be reaching my mouth, crushed I resumed watching the game and that was that, essentially my only Blue Jays memory for a very long period of time.
2006: No Clever Subtitle, but Troy Glaus looks a lot like Matthew Perry
At this point in my life I’m not even sure how I would classify myself I was 19 had been working at McDonalds for 4 years and hadn’t cut my hair in 2 of those years. It was safe to say I needed guidance. It was in this dark point in my life that I saw the light of the Sun. In our break room every day we had several copies of the Toronto Sun, with the new content the paper having an incredibly blatant right wing biased I began to read the sports on break to pass the time.
The Leafs were in the early stages of their 9 years of no playoffs and the Blue Jays played every day providing me with fresh things to read about. I got to read about how Josh Towers and Casey Janssen were going to be the stalwarts to fill out the rotation behind Roy Halladay and once the oft injured A.J. Burnett and Gustavo Chacin returned we would be unstoppable.
While those bold prophecies never did come true it planted the seed in me and a couple days after getting my license in July some friends and I went on a road trip to a game. We left at 12:15 from Waterloo and made it by the second inning. The Jays shellacked the Yankees 13 – 5 and Jeremy Accardo made his debut on the “sinking ship” that was the Jays in that game. I had found my love
From that point on I have lived and breathed Jay’s ever since, from the agonizing 9th inning balk by Jeremy Accardo at Yankee stadium to the elation of Greg Zaun’s walk off Grand Slam against the Raysthe team has taken me through many highs and lows. They were there for me on a rainy night, there on a warm Sunday afternoon to drift off too while digesting a hearty breakfast and the remainder of Saturday night’s beverages. Whether I was watching the game on TV on the couch, listening on the radio while out in the car, or just constantly refreshing game logs and box scores while at work the Blue Jays have become a part of what makes me tick.
Hopefully reading about my journey with the Jay’s can bring up some of your own fond memories of the team, and you can cling to those memories instead of the memories of Ramon Ortiz still starting for the Jays.