Forget the Green Jacket of The Masters… The Blue Jays are the masters of the Blue Jacket.
For just over a month, Toronto has given new meaning to the term “sports jacket.” After clubbing a home run, batters are fitted with a tailor-made blazer sporting the names of all countries represented in the Blue Jays’ clubhouse.
In all its glory:
Its ‘official’ name is “The Barrio Jacket”. It’s got “The Blue Jacket” written down one sleeve, and at the bottom on the back is “La Gente Del Barrio”—”the people of the neighbourhood.”
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As reported in The Daily Hive, the inspiration for the jacket came from the team’s interpreter, Hector Lebron. He wanted to pay homage to the many different “neighbourhoods”/nationalities that comprise not only the Jays’ player roster, but also its coaching staff and clubhouse crew.
Countries represented include everywhere from Latin America (Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba), to South America (inc. Columbia, Brazil, Venezuela), to Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, all the way to the other side of the globe (Korea, Japan, China, Greece), and more.
Blue Jays HR Jacket is a welcome addition to the Toronto neighbourhood
The jacket has captured the imagination of players and fans alike, even inspiring homemade mini-versions:
After his homer, Espinal told The Athletic, “As soon as I got that home run, I’m like, ‘Oh man, now I get to wear the jacket.’ When I was running I was just thinking, ‘the jacket, the jacket,’ so it was cool.”
Lest the “Jacket Ceremony” become a little too commonplace, a newcomer to the celebratory festivities showed up Monday night, as manager Charlie Montoyo got in on the fun, helping Vladdy don the jacket—twice—after he hit dingers no. 37 and 38.
As George Springer told The Athletic’s Kaitlyn McGrath, part of the fun is watching his teammates squeeze into the jacket after rounding the bases. “It’s actually funny to watch guys try to get their arms in the sleeve ’cause it is a little bit harder than it looks, but it’s all good.”
Whenever the Jays are strutting their stuff in their tailor-made HR suit, it’s definitely a beautiful day in the Blue Jays’ “neighbourhood.”