Monday, January 11, 2010

Dr. JMac or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Blue Jays


Welcome to A Blue Jay with a Machine Gun.

I hope that you're reading this while we're still the newest Jays blog in the blogosphere. That way when we're famous, or something like it, you'll be able to say that you were a reader - and hopefully a commenter - from the beginning. Then you'll be able to pat yourself on the back. Seriously. You can even brag to your friends if you want to, but no one likes a show-off.

So, good time to start a blog. New decade, new GM, new...other stuff. Whatever, you get the point and you probably think it's pretty cheesy. I don't blame you, I think it's cheesy too. Really, I just needed a way to transition into the the meat of this post, the part where I actually write about the Blue Jays.

Okay, so maybe I'm not really going to talk about the current Blue Jays yet. Instead, I'll tell you about how I came to love the Blue Jays.

It starts with back-to-back World Series titles. I was seven years old in September of '92. My baseball experience at that point included nothing but a little bit of T-ball in the back yard, and a lot of wall-ball at recess. I'm sure I'd watched bits and pieces of games prior to the playoffs that year, but I don't remember them if I did. My earliest Jays memory is seeing Dennis Eckersley pitching in the ALCS...I hope that it was the game four home-run that Robbie Alomar hit, but all I actually remember is the mustache and the hair.

Fast forward a little bit now to Game 6 of the World Series in Atlanta and we have my next clear Blue Jays memory. I'm pretty sure I slept through most of the game before my dad woke me up, at what felt like super-late o'clock, to tell me that I was about to see the World Series winning hit. He was right. He had woken me up just in time to see Dave Winfield's game winning double in the top of the 11th inning. I stayed awake for the rest of the game and thought that Joe Carter was a hero for catching the final out, even though he was playing first base and didn't really do anything. I also learned to hate Otis Nixon that Mom said he looked like a troll, and I was afraid of trolls.

The next summer I signed up to play baseball and the Blue Jays won again. Naturally, I paid attention this time and have way too many memories from '93 to be able to share them all. There's really only one that's worth writing about anyway. You can even guess which one, if you want to...Did you guess Carter's dinger off Mitch “Wild-Thing” Williams in Game 6? Good.

Like everyone else, Carter's blast is my favorite baseball memory of all time. We had all the kids my age that lived in the neighborhood over that night to watch the game, and most of them had fallen asleep by the ninth. Not me, though. I was hooked.

I was laying in front of the TV and under the coffee table in the rec-room, watching nervously as the Jays seemed poised to lose the game. This is the one and only time in my life that I can remember praying outside of dinner with my grandparents, funerals, or weddings. I clasped my hands together, I shut my eyes, I bowed my head, and I whispered to myself, “Please Joe, please do it for me.” And did he ever. The next thing I knew my whole family and our six or seven young guests were screaming and yelling and dancing around the rec-room (it was a dance that my then five year old brother had invented called the turkey dance, in case you were wondering). The Blue Jays had won the World Series, and Joe Carter had done it for me. I still have the full page picture of him jumping around the bases that appeared in the next day's Toronto Star.

Obviously, there's never been another moment quite like that since. I could be disappointed, but really, how many people have ever seen one of their favourite players on their favourite team hit a World Series winning walk-off home-run. Not very many. There's been a lot of time since then to lose faith, but that faith is easily restored when I can fondly remember the Blue Jays' magic of my childhood.

Thanks for reading. I sincerely hope that you'll enjoy this blog.


  1. great post... I look forward to reading more. (Ps- please post circa-1992 pics of Roberto Alomar. Thanks).

  2. Welcome to the blogosphere, and I LOVE the name of this blog. The Johnny Mac picture at the top with an AK-47 is hilarious!

  3. Thanks, Ian. We're glad to be here. I'm glad you like the name, it took a few hours worth of brainstorming before, finding ways to stick Blue Jays into hundreds of movie, book, and album titles before JW had a stroke of genius and came up with that one. Needless to say, we agreed on this name instantly.

    Martha, thank you too. I'll see what I can do about Alomar. I'm glad you'll be coming back.

  4. It says a lot about how much the 1993 World Series meant to me when I can name more players from that Jays team than I could now. Watching that live is second on my all-time list of favourite sports moments (number one is Joe Sakic's goal in the 2002 Olympic Gold Medal game -- I literally jumped out of my seat and landed back down on my ass after that one).

  5. The 2002 Gold Medal game was pretty great, but I think I was more excited during the Christmas '08 World Juniors as far as hockey goes. The '93 World Series probably THE defining moment for me as a sports fan, though.