Reminiscences of October Baseball Part I

As you may be aware, and I suspect that you are, ‘the hottest tix in the 6ix’ to be had right now, are the ‘Boys of Summer’, or as I prefer to refer to them, the ‘Broom Boys’, also known as the ‘Toronto Blue Jays’. As it stands as of this moment, the ‘Jays are the hottest team, in all of the land, poised to make a run into the playoffs, and end an embarrassing postseason drought of nigh two-score years, currently the mark for futility, in all of professional sports. As I get to World Series dreaming, I can’t help but reminisce, about those magical years of my adolescence, when the Jays were not the laughing-stock of sports-fans around the continent…

Disclaimer: You will have to forgive my idiom, since I have decided to phrase this work in the high-style, that befits an epic such as this.

The year was 1992, I was enduring the tail end of my boyhood at the young age of twelve. My summer had been a magical one of playing sandlot baseball and watching the Blue Jays trounce the competition thoroughly while winning their fourth American League East title. The date was October 24, incidentally the day before my birthday. The Jays were about to play the biggest game in their history on the road in the World Series. My mother had asked me what I had wanted for my birthday, I responded with two things, my ear pierced(it was the early 90’s) and a genuine Blue Jays fullback hat. My mother, true to her word obliged me at the mall in the early afternoon hours. So it was as I came home with a red and sorely aching left lobe and a spiffy new hat when I received a phone call from one of my friends from the park league I had organized with some excellent news…

Since the game was in Atlanta, I had pretty much expected to be relegated to catching the broadcast, but most fortuitously the game was being shown on the Jumbo-Tron at the Sky-Dome itself, what is more, entry was not to be charged but for a donation of food, for the impoverished. Being but ready to enter my thirteenth year, and under the charge of my mother, I needed permission, and the response was ever uncertain. I had prepared any number of suitable arguments, and summed up all of my powers of rhetoric and persuasion, and delivered an oratory upon my mother. To my infinite gratitude, she assented cheerfully, even though I was one of the oldest of the group that was going, and thusly, also in the charge of several boys, as well as myself. It was also the first time I had ever taken public-transport to downtown Toronto, unescorted; despite living in the north of the city for much of my youth…

So there we were, a host of ardent young Blue Jays fans, on an adventure to the Colosseum, to the holiest of baseball temples. Even though I was but still a youth, I keenly probed with the gate-man to enquire if the seating was to be of a general-manner, as I made the offering of alms for the poor, I informed the boys in my charge that we should head up to the level of two-hundred, where the seats were cushioned such as were not to be found on any other level. It was there that we watched and cheered, such as we had never done before, in a match that was hotly contested. Somewhat about the fourth inning I had commented to my associates that we might want to consider shifting, to the very wall, nearest home-plate, towards the end of the match. I had hatched a plan, in the depths of my wickedness, that we should charge upon the very field, should the Blue Jays be Champions that very night, though I kept it secret, for nearly four more innings…

It was in the intermission, ‘twixt the bottom-of-the-eighth, and the top of the ninth, that I had mobilized the boys in my charge and we marched impetuously; through all resistance; straight to the wall, nearest home-plate, on the the side of the third-base. The score was two-to-one for the home-team; and to this day I have no knowledge of the top-of-the-ninth; In the bottom-of-the-ninth inning I had put my plan into action, I brazenly mounted the wall, and exhorted the crowd, such as I hd never done before, to a chant of ‘Charge the Field!’…unfortunately the Braves of Atlanta had; though much chicanery, scored the tying run; even against the great-giant, known by the honorific of the Terminator, right at the height of the furor I’d had cultivated in the rabble of the Blue Jays faithful, such that it took to the gnashing of my teeth, or at least the biting upon my fingernails as the winter birds of blue were due up in extra-time…

Much to my astonishment, the home-team managed, by happenstance, to eek out a go-ahead run in extra-innings.The hero of the day was a great-giant-of-a-man, named Winfield. There again, I brazenly strode upon the battlements, and extolled the vast mob of the ‘Jays faithful, and all of the brethren; whom had suffered the utmost extremities, for many a season; to be held finally true-vindicated, again and again, raising the chant, ‘Charge the Field’…Here it was, the very moment of their triumph; and of mine as well, poised to be the first man o’er the wall. Naturally, unknowable providence would see to my comeuppance, when catching my foot, just as I strode on to the field of victory, and fell earth-ward upon my face…

I rose quickly, and closed the distance, with my compatriots of the nation of Blue Jays, lost in the exuberance of the ultimate victory. The boys in my charge and I slid-in to all of the bases; mimicking those mighty heroes. I alertly happened upon a discarded spirit-vessel, and dutifully gathered offerings of that sacred earth, from those places of World-Series honour; I made a gift of them to my father, who retains them to this day. The remainder of that evening was spent in much fervent revelry, in the streets, with the crush of the throng of all of the city-folk, although somewhat boisterous, nary a tumult was to be seen. Also in the merriment, it occurred to me that it was now the anniversary of my birth; in my thirteenth year, an age at which, in the east, you would consider it to be the age of a man. I had left that day with boys in my charge, but none were to be found, for forever thereafter there were only my men…

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