I know, I know. It was three days ago now. This was a great moment for a Blue Jays fan (not to mention Bautista and the team!) and that is all there is to it.
My mom, at 72, is perhaps the best and most faithful Blue Jays fan in Canada. She has been watching them since before they won a World Series and has stuck through all the trials and disappointments. She knows and remembers all the statistics on all the players - and keeps track of most of the rest of the American League. If you go to mom's house on game day the conversation will have to keep pausing while we catch the action. If you invite mom over to your house on game day, she will go where the tv is, (even if, like my house, it is in the basement). She may not stay with the tv the whole time she is over, but she will go and look at it fairly often.
My mom's brother is a court reporter. He works for an international company and the last few years he has been working in Singapore and Hong Kong. He amasses a lot of airline and hotel points. This past August he gave her a trip to Toronto and a room in a nice hotel. My dad doesn't fly. Mom would never have gone alone, so I went with her.
Our hotel was far enough out of downtown that it was about a 50 minute train ride to Union Station. The first day we went up to Dundas Square - Mom needed to get a Hard Rock Toronto t-shirt for my uncle. We had a late lunch and then walked to the Stadium. When we got within sight of the Dome, she said she thought she might cry. Once inside, as we crossed the concourse and the field, bright and green and lovely under the open roof, came into view, she clutched at my arm and really did cry. She was so excited I thought her knees might actually give out. That was August 28. Mom's 72nd birthday.
We saw the whole series with the Detroit Tigers. On the Friday night the Jays had just finished a fabulous road trip and the fans were overjoyed to have them home. That might have been the funnest thing I have ever done in my life, spending three hours with 46,000 happy people. It was definitely the highlight of my mom's decade. She was excited almost to tears dozens of other times that weekend, but the last and best was when her all time favourite Blue Jay, Mark Buehrle, took the mound on Sunday.
I remember watching baseball when I was a kid. (I had a rebellious crush on George Brett when I was 10? 12?) I was never as interested as my mom, but I like a good game and I cheer on the Jays because they are mom's team. Mom's been on the bandwagon for as long as I can remember, but she has always held seats for the rest of us. I haven't missed a game since she invited me to go to Toronto, and every game I see on tv now is so much better because I can conjure up that Friday night in Toronto.
I love watching the Blue Jays this last half season. They seem absolutely connected to each other. Every great bullet Bautista throws in to third, or Donaldson fires to first, every lightning quick play by some combination of Goins, Tulo, Colabello, Smoak and Pennington, every great diving catch made by Pillar (2/3 of the planet is covered by water; the other 1/3 is covered by Pillar!) and every great at bat (Encarnacion hat trick anyone?) just looks like choreography. Having been in that crowd of 46,000 happy fans, I am happy for them that this is happening. I am happy for these Jays, who also seem like genuinely nice guys (R.A. Dickey diving into the stands to hug the fans). And I am happy for my mom, who is able to just really enjoy great ball playing - and this time for a longer season!
PS. Read my friend Ken's great post on the Blue Jays from a few weeks ago - complete with George Carlin's wonderful take on why Baseball is better than Football!