Monday, January 11, 2010

On the Origin of Fandom

Alright, jw here to steer you through the second inaugural post of A Blue Jay with a Machine Gun.  Seeing as JMac already started off with a history of his Blue Jay fandom I figured I could do worse by following it up with my own.

Like him - and indeed pretty much every Canadian around my age - my earliest Blue Jay memories stem from the golden 92-93 years.  My earliest memory is of going to a regular season evening game in 1992.  I call it a "memory," but really the only thing I remember from it was how tired I was.  In my defence, I was six and it was way past my bedtime.  Oh, I also remember cheering for John Olerud, my favourite player from the era.  Unlike JMac, I then spent thirteen years away from the sport.  I was really bad at hand-eye coordination and so never really played as a kid and the '94 strike took away a lot of the interest.

The next step in the story involved living in residence at university from '04 to '06.  Here, good friends such as JMac and Bryne ( would go to the common rooms for hours at a time to watch silly things like the 04 World Series and the World Baseball Classic.  Sometimes I followed, especially if we were in good conversations.  Eventually, I actually gave the game a second chance.

My first modern baseball memory is of former teammates Josh Beckett and AJ Burnett facing off against each other for the first time.  Somehow both managed to injure themselves in the game and the game was a huge bad sign for the Jays' season.  But I was hooked.  I rarely missed a game the rest of that summer.

When I get my teeth in something I'm not likely to let go.  From there I went to the Internet, read multiple versions of each postgame story, tried to understand those weird stat things underneath the players' names.  I picked the brains of friends, learned to ignore everything Jamie Campbell said, and got to appreciate most every aspect of the game.  Memories of my childhood flooded back and I remembered those sunny day games when my aunt and uncle visited from the Maritimes, going to the Dome, cracking peanuts, and cheering for the Jays.  Nostalgia is a powerful thing.

Over the next few years JMac and I talked and debated baseball for many hours at a time.  I was more of an Internet and statistically educated baseball fan, he more of an old school talent evaluator, which led to many interesting conflicts of opinion.

Both of us were fans of Jays blogs and each wanted to start one one day.  I had a short-lived attempt last year with an economics focused blog, which led me to an even shorter-lived gig with Statistically Speaking.  We eventually concluded that our best bet would be to collaborate on a single blog, to kick each others butts in line.  Which is how this new blog started up, and how you're reading this entry.

It's a dawn of a new Blue Jays era.  New decade, new GM, new blog.  Clearly one of those things is more important the others.

Welcome to the blog, hope to see you again.

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