My first visit to Canada was many moons ago as a teenager and surprisingly one of my souvenir gifts was a “very cool” Toronto Blue Jays T-Shirt.
Today, after all those years this is the first time I am going to see the Blue Jays play. I always thought it was a cool if not strange idea to have professional baseball teams in the land of ice hockey. Yes, I know there is only one team here now. However, the Washington Nationals were once the Montreal Expos.
Parking at the TTC Islington Station for a flat rate of $2 after 6pm, I board an almost empty subway headed downtown. However, two passengers in another car catch my eye. They are Blue Jays fans. Asking for directions from them, my plans to navigate to Rogers Center just got a lot easier. Making a subway change at St. George, I follow them through Union Station until I know I am headed in the right direction.
Next, it is time to find tickets which becomes easy with scalpers operating right in front of the stadium and local security cops.
My first impression of baseball north of the border is an almost stiff but proper one. Arriving at my seating section, I am made to wait until the next batter comes to the plate. A nice touch not to block the view of others that might not want to miss the action on the field.
“Popcorn, here, Popcorn!”,
“Ice Cold Beer, Get Your Ice Cold Beer Here!”.
Maybe it is the proper thing for the stadium vendors to be low key but I prefer the way it is done south of the border.
As the game wears on it does not look like my secret mission will be accomplished as the Yankees are struggling at the bat. Furthermore, the Orioles are playing great fall baseball and it looks like the division championship is going to go right down to the wire.
Although I am a Yankees fan in the AL, it is nice to see Baltimore and a few other teams playing so well.
Being here I do get to see a few of my favorites play like Jeter and Escobar whose gear I bought cheap when he was traded a few seasons ago from the Braves.
Although earlier attempts at “The Wave” are weak, a Blue Jays home run gets the crowd energized. We manage to get a decent wave going late into the game. Not bad for a stadium that is only about one third full if that.
“Blue Jays, Blue Jays, Let's Play Ball... OK, OK.” Then it is “Take Me Out To The Ball Game”, Canadian style with just as much fun.
The Yankees fail to put a run across the plate and lose the series opener to the Blue Jays 6-0. Hopefully a minor setback for the Yankees on the way to the Fall Classic.