Odds are against it, but I’m hoping I’ll get to keep my streak of annual summer baseball journeys to new parks intact. Last summer, I met up with my nephew Toby and his family for an Indians game at Progressive Field (his first first there). We caught a Blue Jays-Tigers game at Comerica Park (my first time) in Detroit the next day. They had to return home, but I went on to Toronto.
This would be my second ballgame in what is now called Rogers Centre (nee Skydome), hosted again by my friend Scott, a fellow wire service alumnus. We’ve been friends for three decades, and we had not seen one another in more than 15 years.
While my friendship with Scott is rock solid, I have a love-hate relationship with domed stadiums. The accent probably goes on the second word in that pairing. The Kingdome was a miserable place, save only for those games playable because the dome kept out the seemingly constant Seattle rain. I attended one game at Miller Park in Milwaukee, grateful that the roof was open.
Although the weather was decent for my drive into Ontario, some light rain moved in early in the evening and the Rogers roof stayed shut. I saw the Blue Jays play for the second day in a row: never before had I seen a team in one stadium one day, another the next.
Over those two days, I got a good look at the Jays and their up-and-coming star, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. I was a week too early to see Bo Bichette, who put on one of the most exciting rookie seasons (nearly half of one, anyway) since Fred Lynne broke in with the Red Sox in 1975.
The game also gave me a second look at the Indians, whom I had seen Saturday night in Cleveland. I had never seen Oscar Mercado play (OK, I had barely even heard of him) until then. He was midway through a strong rookie season.
Since I was going to be in Toronto for less than 24 hours, I wanted to make a ritual visit to a Tim Horton’s and also to try some poutine, which I got from a Rogers Centre concession stand. I’ll just say the poutine was better when I had it at a roadside shack in Quebec many years ago.
Although short, my visit to Toronto was thoroughly enjoyable. I’ve visited four of the Canadian provinces and have friends from all across the Great White North. So go see a Blue Jays game someday, eh?