TORONTO (Apr. 8) — Tonight, just after 7 o’clock, the Toronto Blue Jays will begin their 40th home opener — facing the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre. I will be there, as I was 39 years ago yesterday for the first–ever Blue Jays game at old Exhibition Stadium, against Sox of a different color (from Chicago). Having been privileged to cover the Blue Jays between 1988 and 1994 for The FAN–590 (I turned full–time to hockey for the lockout–shortened season of January–May 1995), I accumulated a large box–full of programs, magazines and commemorations. Which, as a run–up to tonight’s ball game, I’d like to share with you here.
While so doing, I’d like to once again thank my former employers at the radio station — specifically Allan Davis, Doug Ackhurst, Larry Green and Nelson Millman — for allowing me to share in some of the greatest Toronto sporting events of all time. Among them, the 1991 Major League Baseball All–Star Game at SkyDome; the 1992 American League Championship Series (vs. Oakland) and World Series (vs. Atlanta). And, the 1993 ALCS (vs. Chicago White Sox) and World Series (vs. Philadelphia). I remember, too, working with such wonderful people as Scott Ferguson, Dan Shulman, Barry Davis, the late Tom Cheek, and his radio broadcast partner — still going strong at 70 years of age — the inimitable Jerry Howarth.
Please enjoy this baseball reflection:
FIRST–EVER BLUE JAYS GAME — vs. CHICAGO WHITE SOX.
PROGRAMS FROM EXHIBITION STADIUM IN THE BLUE JAYS FIRST SEASON — 1977.
REMEMBERING YEAR 1 OF THE FRANCHISE.
REFLECTIONS ON THE 1983 AND 1984 BLUE JAYS SEASONS.
FIRST PLAYOFF YEAR — 1985 ALCS vs. KANSAS CITY ROYALS.
COMMEMORATION BOOKLETS FROM FIRST PLAYOFF YEAR.
1986 AND 1987 TORONTO BLUE JAYS YEARBOOKS.
TORONTO SUN REFLECTION ON THE 1988 BLUE JAYS SEASON.
FINAL GAME AT EXHIBITION STADIUM — MAY 28, 1989 (ABOVE). LINE–UPS, BELOW.
FIRST GAME AT SKYDOME (NOW ROGERS CENTRE).
SECOND PLAYOFF YEAR — 1989 ALCS vs. OAKLAND A’s (ABOVE); REFLECTION BOOK (BELOW).
AT SKYDOME — JULY 9, 1991.
THIRD PLAYOFF YEAR — 1991 ALCS vs. MINNESOTA TWINS.
ATLANTA BRAVES vs. MINNESOTA TWINS.
SKYDOME PROGRAMS FROM 1992 SEASON.
AT JACK MURPHY (NOW QUALCOMM) STADIUM, SAN DIEGO.
FOURTH PLAYOFF YEAR — 1992 ALCS vs. OAKLAND A’s.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS vs. ATLANTA BRAVES.
TORONTO SUN REFLECTION ON 1992 WORLD SERIES.
1993 SKYDOME BLUE JAYS PROGRAM.
FIFTH PLAYOFF YEAR — 1993 ALCS vs. CHICAGO WHITE SOX.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES.
TORONTO STAR AND TORONTO SUN 1993 WORLD SERIES COMMEMORATIONS.
AT THREE RIVERS STADIUM, PITTSBURGH.
AND, WHO CAN FORGET…
SIXTH PLAYOFF YEAR — 2015 ALCS vs. KANSAS CITY ROYALS.