Some of my most memorable childhood experiences were going to Blue Jays games at Exhibition Place, and later Skydome, with my family.
I played in a baseball league for many years as a kid. My favourite player was Jesse Barfield. Baseball has this weird affect on me where it makes me feel like a kid all over again.
I'm one of those old school Jays fans. Although Roberto Alomar is probably my favourite Blue Jay of all time and the 1992 and 1993 World Series were so exciting for Toronto, it was Jesse Barfield, George Bell, Kelly Gruber, Tony Fernandez, and Lloyd Mosbey that made me fall in love with the team.
I now live in Ottawa, but I try to go to a few games every season.
It was for this reason that I went down to the St. Laurent Centre to get a glance of the Toronto Blue Jays during their Ottawa stop on their Winter Tour. The line up to meet J.P. Arencibia, Ricky Romero, Casey Janssen, and probably my favourite Blue Jay right now, Brett Lawrie.
I wasn't sure how many Blue Jays fans there were in Ottawa and, as a result, how long the line up would be, but there was a pretty good turn out. Seeing the crowd I wondered if this would reinforce the need for affiliate baseball. A middle aged baseball fan shared the same thoughts. He spoke to me about the bitter taste that the departure of the Lynx left in the mouths of baseball fans, the improvement in the baseball culture in the city over the past year with the Fat Cats, and how much we need the rumoured AA team.
Today's crowd has spoken- Ottawa, at least a few hundred of us, loves baseball.