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Where were you when the Jays opened? (Or when they won the World Series?)

  • It was April 7, 1977, that the Toronto Blue Jays played their first game - on a snow-covered field - to a crowd of more than 44,000 fans. Were you there? Or did you watch it on TV?

    Or perhaps you remember 20 years ago, when the team won the first of its back-to-back World Series titles.

    Jays fans, we want to hear your stories. Share them below, and if you have pictures, send them to channay@globeandmail.com. We'd like feature some of your best stuff in time for the Jays' home opener on Monday.
  • I was 16 years old, skipped school and bought a $2 Grandstand ticket...Awesome game, Doug Ault smacks 2 over the fence. Kept the ticket and program and framed them.
  • 1992 feels like yesterday - I was a student at Carleton University in Ottawa. The Blue Jays had steadily risen with great management and the best outfield in baseball with Moseby, Bell and Barfield into the early 1980's with a terribly infamous bullpen costing the Jays 1983 versus Baltimore, then the Detroit Tigers going an insane 35-5 to open 1984, and alas, the Jays teased us all with complete heart break and blowing a 3-1 lead as Jim Sundberg wrapped a home run off the foul pole off Dave Steib in Game 7 of the ALCS in 1985. After that, it was more close calls (1987, 1989) and falling short of expectations in the other years as perrenial World Series favourites. Thus, 1992, there we were at Thanksgiving Dinner 1992, with my friend Steven visiting from England and all of Toronto going crazy over the Blue Jays as they played those talented and scary Oakland A's in the ALCS...a team that had used Toronto as its whipping boy. Of course, future Hall of Famer Robbie Alomar came up in the top of the ninth against the unhittable Dennis Eckersley and one could only vainly hope "please get a hit, take a walk, anything"...just not in our dreams sitting there could we have imagined the bolt out of the blue..A HOME RUN! Are you kidding me? This does not happen to Toronto sports teams, just does not happen...I jumped up and my head grazed the ceiling of our basement, my friend from England knocked over the coffee table....never heard so much cheering amongst a group of people...Yes, we can do this!

    Off to the World Series, how on earth can the Blue Jays beat the Atlanta Braves? The best pitching in baseball with surefire future hall of famers. Before Steroids almost killed the game, every pitch, every bunt, every defensive play mattered in this seres...six games of excruciating close baseball. The mind and blurred memories are drawn back to Ed Sprague hitting a huge home-run off Jeff Reardon into the Atlanta night in Game Two to even the series, Devon White going Willie Mays with a catch against the wall in Toronto like Spiderman that triggered what should have been a triple play and saved a huge inning and probable defeat, Robbie Alomar tomahawk chopping his way around third base as he scored the winning run in another, and then of course, in the minds eye in the Game 6 finale: Candy Maldanado almost throwing the ball within inches from going over the backscreen with his throw to home from the outfield that would have lost the game (but kept it tied), Dave Winfield's huge double to score the go ahead run in the extra inning, then inexplicably, Atlanta's speedy Otis Nixon who was killing us in the Series decides to bunt with a man in scoring position on third base with two out, Mike Timlin tosses to Joe Carter...WOW, OH JOY, COMPLETE SHOCK, it does not get any better than this, a Toronto sports team of all things finally succeeded and did not screw it up on the big stage...the pub in Ottawa on Elgin Street where I watched just exploded and the street party afterwards will always be memorable all the way into the Market, calling friends through the night..."yes they did it, they really did it, as Fergie Olver always used to crow "How 'bout them Jays!". Oh yes, my friend Steven from England was flying back home that evening on Air Canada and the pilot came on and announced the final score of Game 6, and he said the plane erupted in long and loud cheers.
  • In 1992, I was at the Skydome watching the Jays win the World Series. The game was in Atlanta, but they opened the Dome up for fans to watch the game on the Jumbotron. We were there early and got seats in the first row of the Upper Deck so our necks wouldn't hurt looking up all game. My favourite memory was watching hundreds of people run around the field and the bases after the Jays won. Pretty epic!
  • In my hometown remember Ralph Garr using catchers kneepads as snowshoes and the two homers by the late Doug Ault
  • In '92, I was 10 years old. I was sitting on the living room floor with my parents watching the game in my PJ's and so excited that my parents let me stay up to watch the game. I had been playing baseball since I was 5 so had as good a grasp on things as a 10 year old could.

    I remember Otis Nixon coming up to bat and saying to my dad, "he's really fast, but not a good hitter." When he bunted, I jumped up and screamed "BUNNNNNT" and then next thing I remember is jumping up and down like Joe Carter and my Dad was crying.

    I just kept yelling "We Won, We Won, We Won..."
  • In '77, I sat in my parents' room and watched it on their TV, as my mom ironed. Seems to me, it came on right after "The Edge of Night." Could be wrong -- I was 6.5. In 92, I was at the Loose Moose in Toronto, and that's all I remember ;-)
  • 1992 - I was in my final year of undergrad studying for a final exam that was taking place the next morning; trying to concentrate amidst the screaming, yelling and fireworks outside my window and feeling sorry for myself that I couldn't join in or even watch the game prior to that!
  • In '92 I was sitting at home watching the Jay's beat Atlanta. I kept yelling "We Won!!" - '93 I was there, watched the ball fly over the wall, after that it was madness. I was on the field that day, I knew two of the ushers who worked at the SkyDome. That was a great day!
  • In 1977 I was in grade 8. We had a substitute teacher who allowed us to wheel a CRT tv in on a cart (remember those?) and watch the game. I remember watching the snow fall and some of the players "ski" around on catcher's pads. A love affair with the Jays that persists to this day was born.
  • I had a small A/V company then, so I rented a TV for the day just to watch the first game of the newly minted Toronto Blue Jays. A truly historic moment for me and for the city!
  • In 1977 I was going to Ryerson. We all gathered around the few TV's to watch the game between classes. I remember the snow! Still a big Jays fan.
  • Although I do remember where I was both years for the final game.
  • I do remember where I was for the last games of both World Series wins they are not my most memorable.
  • For the home opener in 1977 I drove in from London, Ontario with a friend. It was cold and snowy up in the bleaches at exhibition stadium. my ticket and program can be seen in the book An Illustrated History of the First 12,000 Years of Toronto.
  • For the 1992 World Series I was in Israel attending my brother's wedding. The only information on the games came several days after in the Herald Tribune. When they won I said my luck the Blue Jays win their only World Series in my lifetime and I missed the whole thing. Thanks G-d for 1993.
  • I was sitting in the centre field seats thinking-in no particular order-: Baseball-all right!; This place is a dump; Man it's cold out here; I really love big league baseball and finally "We want beer!"
  • In 1992 I was at a wedding. While everyone else was glued to a small tv with terrible reception, I was dancing with a friend's blind date. Three years later, my dance partner and I got married and we've been happily married ever since. Of course I did take a few minutes to see Joltin' Joe jumping up and down on 1st base.
  • I was there on opening day. Really. While there must be at least three million people who claim to have been there, I remember clearly thinking "I'm under-dressed". Beer was the last thing on my mind. In 1992 I was in Section 500 and could only see the game on the big screen. I still have the ticket stubs on my studio wall. I couldn't speak for a week.
  • The scar on my right hand is from the night the Jays won the world series in 1992. It was a family affair at our home in Ottawa. Cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, pets gathered in the living room to root for "the boys". Golden Palace Chinese food was warming in the oven and in haste -- because I couldn't stand being away from the game on TV for more than a minute -- I burned my hand on the oven, as I pulled out the Cantonese Chowmein. The scar means I have a daily reminder of the Jays' 1992 victory. Now that I live in the USA, I use it as a conversation catalyst for my Canadian roots whenever I can!
  • I was way out in the center field bleachers with my university friend Lorne and another friend Glenn. In about the fourth inning we went down to the field behind the outfield fence and crossed over to the right field stands. There we unfurled a big "We Want Beer" sig and carried it around the main stands. The whole place was chaos. Security was non existent and after everyone had left, we went under the stands and into the White Sox change room where there was a lone 12 year old lid digging mud out of the Sox's cleats We went iupstairs via the elevator and into the Labatts private box and a couple more. We could have robbed the place blind. Gawd we had a lot of fun.
  • I was with a group of friends at a Yuk Yuks club in Hamilton - something we had booked weeks in advance without considering the '92 WS schedule. All of the comics were kind enough to cut their sets down to 5 or 10 minutes so we could get out in time to catch the last few innings (probably a smart careeer move for most of them). By then, we couldn't get into anywhere with a TV, so we ended up standing on the sidewalk watching the victory on a TV that had been left on the game in an electronics store window display.
  • Had just arrived from india.. and watched them win it in 92.. went out in the streets.. honking and screaming.. what a welcome to new country Canada ! Thank you Blue Jays !!
  • I was at the second game ever, against the ChiSox... I think my ticket was only a couple of bucks, and there weren't many of us out in the left field cheap seats.. but Jays won that one too!
  • Eleven years old shivering in the outfield seats with my eight year old brother and my baseball-crazy uncle watching a Texan named Doug Ault hit two home runs as scores of fans marched around in the snow chanting 'We want beer!' Yes, Virginia, there was a time when you couldn't get beer at the ball park. Didn't matter to me then and now a beer costs nearly ten times the ticket I had that day. Pretty sure my uncle wrote us a note to get us out of school. It was an amazing day that I will cherish always.
  • I went to public school from 1970 to 1978. There were only 2 occasions in all those years that the school brought in a TV and had us all go to the gym to watch. One occasion was Game 8 of the '72 Canada-Soviet series, the other was the first Blue Jays game.
  • I was in Kenora for the first game in 1977. From the dim TV images I watched, it appeared to be as cold in Toronto as it was on the shores of Black Sturgeon Lake.
  • In 1992, when Alomar homered in the ALCS off Eckersley, I got so excited I dumped an entire pitcher of grape koolaid over my head (and on the carpet). I was 11. My mother was not amused.
  • ..I wasnt there for the 1st game, but week 2, I saw back 2 back Wed/Thurs games, I think that week 2 was after a small road trip, cant remember for sure...do remember that I cut high school classes to get down early to both games...I was at the 1st ever Jay playoff game against KC....Stieb started, Mulroney & Bush Sr threw opening pitches & the crowd chanted "TUNA...TUNA...TUNA"..'cause at that t9ime Starkist tuna had released bad product to both U.S. & Canadian markets...God, I am old...hehehe
  • Cut out early from my Grade 12 classes to rush home and watch the 1977 opener on a 12" black and white TV. Just seeing the playing conditions made me shiver. The Jays have come a long way since Bill Singer tossed that first ever pitched ball for the home side. Go Jays Go!
  • I skipped my Gr. 13 Calculus class to meet my dad at the game. I missed the first inning or two, but I saw both of Doug Ault's home runs and have been a fan ever since. Still have the ticket stub from that game and the one from the first home playoff game against KC (1987, I think). Great times - Exhibition Place was a great place for a ball game.
  • I, too, skipped school that cold April day. Bill Singer warmed up inches away from me. In the first inning after Garr, Bannister and Orta batted, Richie Zisk hit a line drive home run over the centre field wall. I knew then the Blue Jays had a long,long way to go to respectibility. That night,waiting for the bus back to Niagara Falls, we watched Re
  • Red Kelly's Maple Leafs play the Penguins in the first round of the NHL playoffs. Toronto had a new element to heir sports culture that day.
  • I, like a bunch of my grade 8 classmates snuck out of school around 11 on April 7, 1977. When we arrived at the ballpark, my friend's dad parked his Buick in a parking lot right beside the stadium on the 1st base side. We walked in about an hour before the first pitch at which point it began to snow. One of the White Sox utility players strapped on a pair of catcher's shin guards on his feet and did his best impression of a guy snow-shoeing across the infield. Doug Ault's blasts were memorable, as was a shot by outfielder Alvis Woods. It was cold, and it was memorable.
  • 15 years later, I was a graduate student at the University of Florida, and one of my classmates gave me a pair of tickets for games 6 and 7 in Atlanta (if you do some digging, you'll figure out who the generous donor was - just see famous alums from UF MBA class of '94). I sat in the first row right beside the Braves bullpen, and seemed to be the only guy wearing a Blue Jay cap. When the final out was made, it seemed as though everyone in my section wanted to kill me, but I cherished the moment, particularly because I had been with the Blue Jays from the beginning. I am still with them today, as I pass the torch onto my 8-year-old, who possesses the same degree of savvy for the game, I had when I was 19. I love this game - it has a way of getting in your bones.
  • In 1977 I was in my last year of high school and my three friends and I skipped off school to watch the opener at Exhibition Place. When it started to snow we thought, baseball in Canada, how fitting! Sixteen years later I was in Skydome when Joe Carter launched his famous home run. When the Jays clinched their second world series title, the emotion in the stadium was palpable. People had tears in their eyes. Two of my favorite sporting memories.
  • We just arrived at my mothers residence with 1 yr. old on hip and old family friend pointing out the snowy CNE. That's it , fun to see the way the MLB and Jays had to play this day . My in five years it was World Champions .rb
  • In 1977 the baseball world finally made sense; from the old Toronto Maple Leafs of my childhood and a decade of travelling to Jarry Park, finally my old teammate Ian and I and our other roommates in a Whitehills townhouse at UWO could watch a Toronto team well-named "Blue Jays" play in the big leagues. Like the game Ian and I'd played in years before at Cooperstown, it didn't even matter that we won; the experience was awesome.
  • In 1992 I was playing pool with friends in a Vancouver establishment, rivetted to the TV but certain if I watched too hard it just couldn't happen after all the near-misses... then Carter is jumping up and down and I simply collapsed on the pool table. My brother Pete told me later that the 2 million fans on the street celebrating in pure joy (i.e. without destroying a thing) downtown could be heard ten miles away at Yonge and Finch, for hours. A great day - and let's not forget they would have been the team of the '90's after an epic World Series with the Expos and third consecutive win, if the big shots hadn't shut 'er down in '94. That Jays team would have been a 3 time champ at the very least; but two was pretty damned sweet. More please!
  • I attended my first Blue Jays' game on Easter Sunday in '77 versu the Chicago White Sox. Jerry Garvin won 3-1 that day. My "field level chair" ticket (the best in the house) cost $7, a program, a hot dog and a Coke cost about $3 more for a total of $10.
  • it was the very last day of regular classes at u of t of my last year.
  • it was the last day of regular classes of my last year at u of t. we went downtown for dinner, hit a few bars, and ended up at the Brunswick House. A bunch of guys who could get into the game showed up with hot dogs just to show that they had been there. The big deal was if they could sell beer in the ball park, as they had stopped seling it at the Gardens
  • I had followed the Blue Jays in the late 80's and early 90's and watched them come close and I remember them as being a team that frequently came back from behind to win in the late innings. Here is my regret (can't think of a better word). My wife and I were transferred to England in the summer of 1992 and returned to Canada in 1994. Although we had a fantastic time in England, sadly I think we are the ony two Canadians who missed it all for both years. I am anxiously waiting for the next time.
  • I was at The Very First Game in 1977. I dropped The NY'Ys and became a Jays Fan and still am. I was at all Home games in 92 and 93. I Still live those years as I await the next time they win it all. Maybe this year..I was also an Expo's Fan. Too bad both Canada's teams did not meet for the big show. Would not matter who could have won, I still would have felt like a winner.
  • My father-in-law passed away the same day the Jays won their first World Series title
    . What helped get us through that first day was watching his Jays play that awesome game. We knew he was watching from above, sipping Scotch with a buddy and cheering them on.
  • I was 14 and won tickets to the Jays at Exhibition stadium.
  • I remember sitting on the cold, metal benches on the 1st base side, watching the other team, Rangers I think bounce the ball on the turf like it was a basketball. I remember thinking, you don't play ball on fake grass, and to this day, hate the artificial turf stadiums!
  • In the early 80's they had a deal where you could get $5 tickets at the IGA when you bought your groceries there. My brother and I would take the Bathurst streetcar down to the lakeshore on lazy hot summer evenings after work. More than once we got seats just past the third base dugout, right up front. For 5 bucks ! Nice memories.
  • Where was I? I was in the North Stand on Opening Day. I had immigrated to Canada from England 2 years previously. My knowledge of baseball was "low" but I was already convinced that this was the sport-of-sports and that I was going to be the expert-of-all-experts on all things baseball and Blue Jays. Full of a sense of my own self-worth, surrounded by total strangers, I spent half the game pronouncing on management strategies and the other half of the game wondering why everyone in hearing distance was shunning me. I was, it seems, full of "hot air". About my attendance at the game I can offer only this: I enjoyed it fully and, if indeed I was full of "hot air" I think the spectators close by me could at least have thanked me for warming them up. I guess not - they were Canadians and expected to play and watch their sports in sub-zero temperatures!Baseball - and largely formed from my memory of Opening Day - has remained my passion for 3+decades, thanks to the Jays.
  • Watched the game on television in Chicago. There was a problem with the television transmission -- so there was only one shot available -- a long one from down around the dugout. That was the day I became a Jays fan as I'm from Pittsburgh -- home to a AA team at best.
  • dont know when but u of t buddy initiated me into the world of jays baseball at the cne. glad he did.
  • I was at the game. I was 16 years old and a life long ball fan. My Dad got two seats adn he gave them to me and my brother. I still ahve the ticket stub. what a thrill
  • I was in grade 6 in 1977 and our teacher wheeled a TV on a stand into our portable for us to watch. It was a huge deal. For many years after while in high school and university, my friends and I went to the home openers at Exhibition Stadium. In 1992, my husband and I were living in London England and lay in bed listening to the Jays win the World Series over CBC radio! Quite something.
  • October 16 1992- I gave birth to our gorgeous 10 pound son, Colin. I will always remember lying beside my husband on the tiny maternity ward bed, sharing a set of headphones and watching the Jays. Every now and then you'd hear cheers through the ward and know others were quietly watching the same games. No wonder Colin grew up to be a big baseball fan.
  • I was at the opening game in '77 with my Dad and especially remember two things about the game. The first is that it was starting to snow as we left for Exhibition Stadium and both my Mom and my wife said"they won't play in this weather". My Dad replied "they'll play in snowshoes if they have to", little did we know that a Chicago player would put the catcher's shin pads on his feet and start to snow shoe across the field before the game. The second is that Richie Zisk for Chicago hit a line drive home run to centre field that shattered the wooden seat in the north grand stand and my Dad commented, "this is indeed the big leagues".
  • We were season ticket holders, but moved to FL in 1991. I flew up to T.O. in October 1992. Luckily, we met a great guy outside the then-Dome by the name of Mike O'Reilly from Chicago who sold us his 2nd level outfield tickets for Game 4 for face value ($75) of the World Series. Jimmy Key pitched us to a win that night, and the rest - as they say - is history.
    y niece and I also took in the post-WS parade downtown.
  • I was in the bleachers, four rows back from where Doug Ault hit his first home run. I remember the crowed weren't that used to home runs and there wasn't much of a fight for the ball. By the end of the month, we were all clamoring for an Otto Velez homer.
  • Thanks for the stories, everyone. We loved reading them, and we hope you enjoyed each others. Some stories were selected for publication in Monday's newspaper.
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