When I was twelve, I got adopted. While I knew my new mother ever since I was a little girl, my new father, not so much. I mean sure, I met him but I was very young and my new mother always visited without him for he had to work. When I move to Canada it was October of 1996 and it had been about three years since the our boys of summer won a world series title.
I had no idea what baseball was at the time. I mean, baseball wasn’t the game of choice in Jamaica. For me it was cricket and soccer. One Sunday I came home from church and my father was watching this thing on television. After changing I sat beside him, staring at the screen. Being a studious fan of Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys and the epic Nate the Great, I became curious and began asking questions. Turned out, the Blue Jays was playing a game with the New York Yankees one of the greatest baseball teams to ever play the game. I didn’t see what was so great about them because of course Toronto HAD to be the team to cheer for in our household….right?
Nay, nay, as the late, great John Pinette would have said. My father watched the game for the game and not the team. He held no loyalties to any team what-so-ever which I found a little disheartening but I said nothing. I kept watching. A few years later after my mother’s dreams of me becoming a figure skating champion died, I told her, to her horror, that I wanted to play baseball. Long story short, after she put her heart back together again, I played the game, and was even lucky enough to be apart of a girl’s baseball clinic that was put on by the Toronto Blue Jays. I can say happily that I was taught how the outfield really works by the amazing Shawn Green.
But as the years went by, the Blue Jays never made it back to the greatness of 1993 and I thought for sure things would be like the Toronto Maple Leafs. At beginning of every season since I became a fan, I am ready, poise on the edge of my seat, waiting for greatness. To be honest and fair, there were sparks, inkling that the team had something amazing to give but by the time September rolled around we were so far in the hole, the heartache sets in, the disappointment imprinted to my heart and once again I found myself cheering for my second favorite team (often the Giants or the Tigers or the Rays NEVER The Yankees – at some point along the way I developed this morbid dislike for the Bronx Bombers).
Then as I got older and began really focusing on the game I realize what was happening. The Jays’ powers that be were developing these amazing talents and then trading them for players that either were not as good as the ones the Jays were giving away, couldn’t stay healthy or just didn’t pan out. They weren’t spending the big bucks like other teams to get the cream of the crop. At the end of last season I’d had enough and I wrote a blog that showed my utter disappointment, anger and just overall irritation with the whole system.
At the beginning of the 2015 season, I wasn’t as gun-ho as I usually was but I watched. I even spent my birthday (a very important day to me) at a Jays game (They won in a HUGE fashion that day). As the season progressed, I became more and more involved. Sure, I wasn’t as vocal as I usually was but I was slowly, quietly watching to see what moves would be made. When that time came, the Jays moved…Tulo, Price, Donaldson–the picked up some amazing talents and then just around the point in the year when the wheels usually fell off, the Jays bit back. I remember some Yankee players were being interviewed and one of them said “We’re playing the Jays today? I didn’t know.” I remember watching that game extremely closely and took GREAT pleasure when the Jays wiped the floor with them and sent them home. I remember thinking “That’s right – Keep underestimating the blue birds.”
And I find that was what all the teams were doing. They were coming in and not taking the Blue Jays as seriously as they should have and those who didn’t get swept, walked out with the series loss. I didn’t mind. The Jays were on fire.
The only downside was, I was working so much I missed most of the games because I either forgot to set the PVR or was at work. But I got all the news in Jays in 30 from TSN.
Now after all these years, the Jays clinched a playoff spot, FOUR games ahead of the might New York Yankees. I’m happy with that. No matter what happens next, this year the Blue Jays showed they can be contenders. They can be a team that is feared–a team that makes some waves and a team that makes moves. Let’s face it, after the last few years Toronto has had in the world’s eyes, we need something to make us look as if we’re right up there with the best. The Jays played this year – and I for one will be watching with baited breath to see what comes of all of this – I am praying I get tickets to the ALCS game when then go on sale in October – I’ve never been to a play off game so that would be ahh-maze-ing!
Hugs and play ball!