|TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO|
|At least they didn't botch the anthem.|
Going back to 1992 today, and another fine moment in local lore with the Blue Jays' first appearance in the fall classic.
What's to remember about this one? Couples: Winfield and Morris, Jane and Ted. The upside-down Canadian flag on the U.S. colour guard. Devon White's catch (and the ensuing blown triple play call). The tomahawk chop. Pat Borders, MVP. And Bobby Cox, who'd left the Jays after their initial '85 ascension to playoff baseball, in the opposite dugout. A less celebrated but quite gratifying element was that the clinching game 14 years ago today took place in Atlanta, thus silencing one of the most annoying fan rituals in sports.
Most infamous personal moment, though, came in Game 5 at the nee-SkyDome. I was there with my brother in our usual spot in section 525, way up high, behind the plate and just shaded toward third base (we'd had season tickets, sharing with a group of half a dozen since 1984, when it became impossible to walk up to the Exhibition Stadium windows and get a decent seat). We'd never got so much as a sniff of a foul ball, and being up in the fifth deck having one come within even a couple sections was about as close as it got. A righthanded power pitcher and a lefty fastball hitter was the best combo to launch it just off target up to that altitude, but it never happened when we were there. Still I hoped for a Blue Jays Series-clinching win - and a baseball.
|TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO|
About the third inning I went out to get a drink. When I came back, Warren nudged me. "You won't believe it," he said. "A foul ball came up here. And it hit your seat."
I thought he was kidding me, but he was absolutely serious. Then the guy in front turned around, brandishing the ball and flashing a way-too-wide grin, and you ever get that kick-yourself-in-the-ass moment? The rest of the game was agony. Every 10 minutes, it seemed, I'd turn to Warren with one of those "I can't believe what I just did" looks. Words couldn't do justice, etc.
And of course the Jays got hammered that night, thus delaying the celebrations until they were back in Georgia.
As for tonight we're on to Game 3, Joe D. in the comments is still calling for a classic - I'm not sure yet, but that Game 1 win by the Cardinals certainly has put some juice into this one, not to mention on Kenny Rogers' hand - and hey, if someone hits a homer to left, it's free tacos. For the whole freakin' United States.
Update: From a link supplied by reader Dave Lake from the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, Tribe didn't scoff at Rogers' scuffing, about a moment four years ago from the dossier of Mister Rogers:
Four years earlier, the Indians did more than wonder about Rogers. They blatantly accused him of dirty dealing during his start for Texas on Aug. 9, 2002, at Jacobs Field. The most interesting part? The Indians leveled the charges while Rogers was attempting to pitch the second perfect game of his career.
After Rogers retired Karim Garcia on a grounder in the sixth for 17 up, 17 down, Tribe interim manager Joel Skinner informed plate umpire Andy Fletcher that the Indians had noticed scuff marks on the same spot of ball after ball they collected. Each of 12-15 balls was scuffed between the logo and the seam, team personnel said.