So here we are, opener No. 30 for the Jays -- and there they are, my tickets to No. 1, way back on April 7, 1977. My brother and I went, sitting one behind the other (that was all that was left at the box office, a month or so before) and to this day, I've never been colder at any sports event, sitting over first base, no more than five rows from the top. Every inning we'd run down under the stands to warm up. I remember talking to former Leaf Billy Harris on one of those trips -- he was doing the same thing.
Not much left to add, after the bloggers' roundtable took care of the heavy lifting in this spot. But the comments are open below, and my email box. Send along your opening day thoughts, memories, predictions, whatever, and I'll randomly select some prize winners from among the flotsam and stuff that's washed up on my desk.
I've already got one for Jon Banack, and many thanks to him for sending in this one over the weekend, recalling the rowdy days of the mid-1980s down at Inebriation Stadium, when ejections of over a hundred fans each opening day was the norm:
My dad used to let me skip school on Opening Day back at the old Exhibition Stadium. There was always a biting wind coming off the lake as we trekked from the parking lot, past the boarded-up midway booths, towards the ballpark. We would stop at the Meester Mike's chip truck outside the gate and get a big box of fries and load it up with salt and malt vinegar.
For a few years people were obsessed with running on the field. One year in particular a young man jumped out of the left-field stands and on to the warning track. He was wearing only a pair of white briefs. He started running towards centre field. Just as he passed the 400' marker he did a little jig, jumped out of his underpants and kept on running. The crowd was going nuts. The security guards were chasing him with a blanket so as to cover him up, but the streaker managed to avoid them for about a minute. He zigzagged his behind all over the field. With every missed tackle the crowd cheered louder. When they finally caught him and escorted him from the field the crowd booed. I can still see him smiling and waving like a an idiot - surrounded by police and wrapped up in that blanket.
I couldn't tell you who the Jays played that year, or even if they won. But I'll never forget seeing a naked guy doing a jig in centre field on opening day.