Catching Blue Jays Fever
by Adrian Brijbassi
On October 20, 1992, I stood in line for nine hours to see a baseball game in Toronto. That was the night of the first World Series game played in Canada. The Hard Rock Café, which back then was nestled into a corner of the stadium, charged only $15 and a two-drink minimum — the perfect spot for a university student to witness history. I had a good view of the back of the outfield fence and the foul pole and little else. But I was there, standing shoulder to shoulder with friends as we reveled in the feverish euphoria that consumed Toronto and the nation.
Back then, the Toronto Blue Jays truly were Canada’s team, with the mania for a championship stretching far beyond Ontario. Fans today may find it hard to believe, but the Blue Jays once were the most successful team in baseball, becoming the first franchise to draw 3 million fans in one season – and, soon after, 4 million fans – and selling out home games year upon year.
It’s been 20 years since the Blue Jays won the second of their back-to-back World Series titles, though. The city has missed the electricity of those years when you felt like a champion just for living here. This year promises to be different.
In 2013, the Blue Jays are in a position they haven’t been for two decades: They enter the season as World Series favourites.
The addition of three elite starting pitchers — Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson — as well as All-Star position players Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera ensure the Blue Jays will be one of the most exciting teams to watch. Whether they truly can bring the glory days back to Toronto will not be known for months. For now, what we do know is anyone coming to the city will want to make it a priority to get a ticket to the hottest show in town.
During the TBEX Conference, the Blue Jays will be playing games in the United States, but that news is perhaps more incentive for bloggers to arrive a few days early or stick around for a week until the boys of summer return to Toronto. The Blue Jays play the Atlanta Braves — the team they beat in the 1992 World Series — from May 26-28 and come back to the Rogers Centre to face the Texas Rangers from June 7-9.
Visit the team’s website to purchase tickets.
Adrian Brijbassi is the Managing Editor of Vacay.ca and his articles are frequently syndicated by the Huffington Post and appear in the Globe & Mail. He makes regular appearances on CTV News and TSN Radio, talking about travel. A former editor at the Toronto Star and New York Newsday, Adrian has won numerous awards for his travel writing and fiction, and has visited more than 30 countries. He is also a judge for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, the creator of the Top 50 Restaurants in Canada Guide and the author of the hockey novel “50 Mission Cap.”