Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Buy Me Some Peanuts and Cracker Jack... by Barbara (Ruth)

Last night my sister, brother-in-law and I went to the Jays vs A’s game at the SkyDome Rogers Centre. It was my first game in years and it brought back so many memories!
Elizabeth and I hamming it up (Tom is on the left, being quite
serious - it was probably in the early, dreadful, innings and
he was rightfully concerned!) 
My grandfather and father took me to my first baseball game at Yankee stadium in the late 70’s. I remember only a few things – my grandfather’s cigar smoke, the crazy names of some of the players (Bucky Dent and Sparky Lyle), and the size and roar of the crowd. I was hooked.

When we moved back to Canada in the early 80’s I was thrilled to be so close to a Major League team, and started going to see the Jays play fairly regularly. It was back in the days of Exhibition stadium – that’s where the ambiance really made me a fan. Sunshine, the CN tower overhead, hot dogs, Cracker Jack (still so good), the 7th inning stretch, and the announcer’s call of “Llllloyd MOSEbeeee”!

The Jays’ heyday was, of course, in 1992 and 1993 when they had back-to-back world series victories. By this time I was an avid fan – when I wasn’t at the game, I listened in the car. I knew the stats of each player, (especially Kelly Gruber) could explain the most complicated plays (including the infield fly rule), and thrilled with each W that took us closer to the Fall Classic.

Me with Mark Eichorn (Ignore my hair - it was 1993!)
One of the most exciting days of my life was in 1993 when I drove a Mustang in the World Series parade. Ford was a sponsor of the SkyDome, and as a Ford employee I was in the right place at the right time and got my name on the list. In my car I had Woody Williams and Mark Eichorn, both relief pitchers, and I have to say I was rather disappointed at first. In the car behind me were Pat Butler (catcher) and Todd Stottlemyer (pitcher), and I really wanted to be their driver and get to know them. As it turns out, I was the lucky one. Mark was hilarious, and he and Woody entertained me with stories for the entire 2.5 hour parade, and even stole the car (for a few mins) to freak me out when we were parked inside the Dome. Pat and Todd, on the other hand, were barely friendly to their driver, didn’t do much more than they had to, and were generally not fan favourites at the rally.

Joe Carter and his wife Diana

This photo captures the best moment of the day for me. Meeting Joe Carter, the hero of the game, the man who lived every little boys dream by hitting it out of the park in the bottom of the 9th inning, winning the World Series for his team. I had an official team jersey with his name and number, 29, and he signed it for me and chatted for a minute. Such a nice man – he did not disappoint this fan!

Then the strike of 94-95 hit, and frankly I lost interest. All the players changed and things never felt the same. Certainly the Jays have never been the same! But I have high hopes for this year – they are 3 and 1 now, and last night was a very exciting game with a homer to win it in the 10th.

I have only one beef. What is with the new uniforms? These are not baseball pants, they are Lulu Lemon yoga warmup pants! Both teams were sporting these sloppy looking excuses for baseball pants, with a few exceptions.

C’mon baseball fans, doesn’t this

 look better than this? 

Who’s with me??? 

Never mind, LET'S GO BLUE JAYS!


  1. I've never followed them in the same way since 1994 either. But there were so many great years before then. One of my highlights was having my picture taken with Lloyd Moseby at spring training. He was my favourite!

    Now here's a memory question for you: do you remember going to a preseason game with Andrew and me and cheering for Jerry Schunk?

  2. Worth it just for the haircut photo! I agree with you on the pants!

  3. The game with Jerry Schunk is very dear to me. It was the last time that my late mother and I went to a game together, and the only time that she ever was in Skydome. Anyone know the exact date of that game (it was the game with the Jerry Schunk homer and flashing leather)?

  4. Was looking at Jerry Schunk's career minor league stats when I came upon this discussion. If it is very important to you I could find out the exact date. As Jerry Schunk's college roommate, I know that it was an exhibition game right before the season started that year. He homered off of Frank Viola and did make some great diving catches in that game. God bless you and your mother for being such great fans and remembering such a great moment for Jerry. I haven't talked to him in years but I am sure I can nail down a date for you if needed.

  5. Monty Coffman Toledo, OH24 October 2011 at 14:43

    I had trouble posting above comment. Can contact me at COFFMAN24@AOL.COM. Thank you.