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November 13, 2017

Statements From The Team: Your First Sports Memory

In what we hope becomes a regular segment, here are some stories from Outta The Park listeners. These were submissions for our first pitch topic regarding “your first memories of a sporting event.” 

Many thanks for the responses!

Name: Shawn

My first memory of a professional sporting event is getting tickets from Dave Stieb and sitting up in the nosebleeds at exhibition stadium

Name: Jen

My 1st sport’s memory. 1984 Exhibition Place first Jays game! Don’t ask me who won…I sat in old bleachers with a glove on my hand and stars in my eyes. Loved it. Jays fan ever since.

Name: Anthony

Hey guys, great job so far! Also Barry may not remember me but he was our ball hockey goalie a few times with his buddy Paul Bruno so hi Barry. My first story is a bit PG-13 but it was in 1998 at Maple Leaf Gardens, Leafs vs Sens. The Leafs were down 2-0 early in the game but stormed back with goals by Derek King and Stumpy Steve Thomas. The game went to overtime and Thomas scored on a breakaway to win the game. However that wasn’t the craziest part of the game. To give some context, I was seven years old at the time. During the third period a lady in our row continued to flash the crowd. I’ll never forget my dad constantly trying to cover my eyes and me pulling his hand off of them as the police tried to take the lady out. The crowd was chanting and it was a pretty crazy moment in my life. Always thought that’s what sparked the comeback! Cheers guys

Name: Jennifer

I’ve been a fan of the Jays since the late 80s. I remember watching the World Series in 92 & 93 with my mother and jumping along with Carter as he circled the bases. I collected everything Blue Jays (I think I still have it all) and came from a less than affluent home so made myself a shirsey with Alomars name on it… still have it lol. My dream was to go to the Skydome and stay in the hotel. Honestly, the Jays of the early to mid nineties made for some of the happiest moments in a childhood that wasn’t very happy. Watching games everyday stopped for a time because of my work schedule and hectic life, but 2015 brought hope and the rejuvenated Coca Cola brought back those happy and missed memories. They came when I needed them the most. I actually cried when I heard the jingle for the first time in so long. I made a decision and gained agreement from my 13 year old to forgo the bulk of Christmas gifts and other money saving options to spend a week in Toronto during opening week 2016. I didn’t get to stay at the hotel until later in Aug when I got to meet Barry lol, but we were within walking distance and spent too much time in the cold waiting for the gates to open with other fans, who were courteous and wonderful to talk to. We saw the final game of the opening series vs Boston and the whole Yankee series. It’s weird, I thought the Dome looked bigger on tv ha! The experience of a live ballgame is second to none. Even my daughter, who is not a sports fan, was converted. It had to come to an end though. Seeing the Dome as it came into view when we flew into TO brought me to tears, standing in front of the Dome did the same as did the taxi ride in the early morning hours to leave TO. It was a priceless experience that took me until the age of 37 to get there and was able to share with my daughter. Sorry this was a long winded entry… just not something I could abbreviate more that I did already 🙂

Name: Linda

My first pro sports experience was a Blue Jays game in the summer of ’93. I had a summer job in Halifax that required travel to do research, including a trip to Ottawa. Once in Ottawa, I took the train to Toronto for the weekend to attend two Blue Jays games, staying in the SkyDome hotel overnight. After arriving, I wandered around the area to figure out my surroundings and spotted a sandwich board on the sidewalk – Pat Borders (my favourite player) was inside a small sports memorabilia shop, signing autographs. I couldn’t believe my luck. I headed inside, met him, told him that this was my first ever Jays game, and he signed my Jays ticket for that night (will send photo via Twitter DM). That evening, I had terrific seats behind home plate, and at some point before the game started, Pat Borders came out, looked back right at me, and then disappeared into the dugout. A short time later, my big face was on the Jumbotron (with the typical young kids behind me leaning in to wave their arms at the camera). I don’t know if that somehow happened thanks to Pat Borders or what, but the whole day was amazing. I wrote a newspaper article about it afterward, but I unfortunately haven’t been able to open my old electronic file of it. However, some things stay forged in my memory, and this is one of them.

Name: Nate

Aug. 30, 1985, Exhibition Stdm. Jimmy Key got win for #Bluejays. Drunks ran on to turf behind RF fence for HR balls.

Name: That One Guy

Opening night hockey in portland Oregon. Portland vs Kamloops in 1992. I was 7

Name: Andrew

Grandpa took me to see Dave Stieb get shelled by Indians near the end of his career.  People left in the first inning.  I loved being there.

Name: Tim

Back in the early 80’s at exhibition stadium sitting in the bleachers with the gulls.

Name: Kevin

1st game at Skydome in 1990. Moved from Canada, 2nd was only in 2014! Since then following them to other mlb parks: Wrigley will be park 15

Name: Tanvi

Watching a #Bluejays game. Exhibition stadium. When i was 12-13, i even had one of those pitching/fielding net thingies. Do they still exist?

Name: Miss Liza

First Sports Memory. I wish it was baseball, but it was a Toronto Maple Leaf game with my Dad in the late 70s. My best friend’s father was the bodyguard of the Ontario Premier Bill Davis and gave us the Premier’s seats…GOLDS behind the Leaf bench. My Dad was a sports junkie, phys ed teacher and grew up in Leaside, so this was special to him. I was probaby 9 or 10 at the time and didn’t know alot about hockey, but remember it very well because I was with my Dad. At one point, we were walking back to our seats with popcorn and for some reason, Tiger Williams was standing in the hallway. He said to me “can I have some popcorn” and I ran like a bat out of hell. He was scary looking and with his skates on, very tall! Anyway, not a bad first memory to have. I enjoyed alot of sports events with my Dad. I’d give anything to share a Jays game with him today, but he passed away 10 years ago. So if you’re lucky enough to still have your Dad, take him to a ball game! Thanks Barry & Matt, Love love love the podcast. Keep up the good work!

Name: Daryll

Hamilton Fincups game at the Forum on Barton st in Hamilton. Many years ago, google it

Name: Michelle

The first professional sporting event I remember attending is in fact a Blue Jays game. My grandpa used to take us to games once a summer. It was a group thing, we’d go on a bus trip with people from his church. We’d sit in right field just behind Joe Carter 🙂 Have to be honest, I do not remember who they were playing or the outcome of the game…but it wasn’t about that then, it was about family.

Name: Jane

First Pitch response (first professional sports event): Labour Day Classic- Toronto Argos vs Hamilton Ti-Cats at Ivor Wynne Stadium, my 2nd year at university. I remember coming out from below the stands into the seats and being dazzled by the bright lights and the size of the crowd. Lifelong CFL fan…

Name: Bryan

Hey guys, I’m not from a big city, so my first sporting event was not a professional league. The first recollection I have was going to a Medicine Hat Tigers game at 7 or 8 years of age. This was in the old “Arena” downtown. I remember the smell of the ice as soon as we entered the main doors, which is still an amazing smell to me to this day. The next sense to engulf me was the unmistakable sound of pucks hitting off the glass during warmup. I remember pucks bouncing off the seats as we made our way to ours. The entire warmup and the speed the pucks were traveling was mesmerizing to me as a little kid. Then came the refs skating onto the ice and circling. To this day I remember the distinct sound of belligerent fans hollering obscenities every time the ref passed that particular section. The Medicine Hat arena wasn’t the classiest place to watch a hockey game, but it’s left a tonne of memories!

Name: Alana!

My first memory of a sporting event was when I was a kid — I have no idea how old, to be honest — and it begins at the CNE. My dad was trying his hand at a putting contest. He did really well and won us dinner at the restaurant overlooking the then-Skydome! I don’t remember much of the game, but I remember that the restaurant had a lot of cake. Priorities.

Name: Annamae

My first sports experience was in grade 5 when we did a class trip to see the Jays. Our class was sitting in the highest seats and I was petrified. I’m afraid of heights and all I worried about was falling down and dying. Didn’t particularly enjoy the game due to fear. So pathetic! (I try to sit in the 100s section these days.)

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