The History of Our Home Openers: 1993
Apr 1, 2011; Toronto, ON, Canada; A new banner hangs in honor of former Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Roberto Alomar (not pictured) for his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in a ceremony prior to the game against the Minnesota Twins at the Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays beat the Twins 13-3. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Every run in sports has its pinnacle moments which could be defined in a plethora of ways. It is the crowning moment of a series of moments. In the Blue Jays case 1992 seemed to be their pinnacle. The years of close but not close enough were the build up to the penultimate event, this being the World Series. When we took down the Braves in 6 games it seemed like the entirety of Blue Jays Nation could take a breath and savour the moment. Except that our General Manager did no such thing.
He enjoyed the victory and asked himself if this was a team that could repeat. Repeating a World Series victory hadn’t been done since the Yankees did it in ’77 and ’78. Pat Gillicik decided that there was a need for more offence. Out was Jack Morris, in was Dave Stewart. Out was Dave Winfield, in was Paul Molitor. Left field would still be a revolving door of Darnell Coles, Turner Ward until picking up Rickey Henderson at a deadline deal. Gillick knew that it was rare that a team would win it two years in a row with the same people. The core was still there but the accessory players needed to change. Some people thought he was maaaaaad (including myself). He was not mad, just proactive. And we all know how that turned out. Did the Home Opener give the new blood a shot at proving their worth?
Date: April 9, 1993
Location: The SkyDome, Toronto, ON, Canada
Game: Cleveland Indians vs. YOUR Toronto Blue Jays
Weather: outside where it wouldn’t affect the game
These Jays were built around offence. The pitching was decent enough but it was the bats (Look up WAMCO to see what I mean) that carried them to the promised land. The Home Opener was definitely a sign of things to come. Two young fireballers were squaring off against one another. Jose Mesa was a big cannon armed pitcher for the Indians and the same could be said for Juan Guzman. In the game 7 of Toronto’s 14 hits were of the extra base variety. But with Carlos Baerga, Albert Belle and Glenallen Hill you knew that all those bases might be for naught.
2.2 innings for Mesa: 6 runs (4 earned). Guzman slogs through 5.1 innings but surrenders 8 runs (7 earned) including homers to Paul Sorrento and the aforementioned Mr. Belle. Down 9-7 going into the bottom of the seventh it didn’t look promising until a 4 spot in the seventh put us up 11-9 (highlighted by a 2-run triple by Devon White) off of eventual loser Ted Power. We tacked on two more in the 8th and Duane Ward sealed it in the ninth for our 13-10 win.
We again displayed a never say die attitude and it would hold throughout the season. Heck we were the first team in 100 years to have the top three in BA at the end of the season. We always knew we would come back. And repeat we did…so how realistic was a 3-peat? 1994 looked pretty good….