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As you are aware, the Blue Jays begin their regular season at home this Tuesday night when the Cleveland Indians are in town. If you happen to be in the Vancouver area, the back-to-back Northwest League champion Vancouver Canadians are inviting you to watch the game as they are hosting an Opening Day Bash at Mahony & Sons at 1055 Canada Place, Unit 36, beginning at 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time. You might even win a prize, such as a pair of tickets to see the Jays in Seattle this August.

Otherwise, how are you getting ready for the first game of 81 at the Thunderdome? Do you have a ticket? Will you be watching on TV? Listening on the radio? Checking your cell phone or iPod (that'll be me!)? How are you celebrating the return of the regular season?

This was the scene during last year's home opener. R.A. Dickey will begin the 2013 campaign with his first knuckleball for strike one at 7:07 p.m. Eastern Time.

As for my Opening Day memories, the first home opener I ever attended was in 1992 when the Jays hosted the Orioles. My older brother and I went as we made the trip from Guelph. My pop managed to score some tickets through work the day before but he was in Sudbury. My mom, the team player that she is, couriered the tickets to us by Greyhound and they arrived the day of the game. My brother, who was attending the University of Guelph at the time, had to drop off an assignment and took seemingly forever before we left city limits. As it turned out, we did not make it to our 500 level seats on the first base side until the fourth inning — when the good guys were trailing the Orioles 3-1.

The Jays chipped away in the eighth when Robbie Alomar walked and stole second base off Orioles sidearmer Todd Frohwirth. I remember telling my brother that Almoar was going to steal the bag before he did it because Frohwirth took forever in his windup. It looked like Alomar would be stranded when Joe Carter and Dave Winfield both struck out but Kelly Gruber smacked a two-run double to bring home Alomar. However, former Jay Mike Flanagan came out of the pen to get John Olerud for the final out of the inning. After Pat Hentgen held the O's at bay for a second straight inning in relief of Jimmy Key, who spun seven solid frames, Gregg Olson struck out Candy Maldonado to start the bottom of the ninth. As you may recall, Maldonado was pretty rusty as Derek Bell had the lion's share of the at-bats during spring training. Bell wound up suffering a wrist injury after being plunked by a pitch from Frank Tanana (who I'll always hate for breaking our hearts in '87) during the Jays opening series sweep in Detroit.  I remember I was not expecting much from the Candy-Man and he did not disappoint (well actually, he did disappoint, really!). Anyways, Pat Borders (previewing his World Series heroics) belted one over the wall in left to tie the game at 3-3. The newly-minted Manuel Lee (no longer Manny and wearing No. 2 instead of No. 4)  grounded out but Devon White kept the inning alive with a double. Devo would scamper home on an Alomar single for the come-from behind walk-off victory. I remember outside the stadium that a bunch of people were chanting "4-and-oh". My brother asked, "Why are they chanting Orioles?". What an idiot! ;D

Pat Borders — pictured here in his 1992 Topps card — saved the day for the Blue Jays with a game-tying home run on Opening Day that season.

I did have a nice streak of attending home openers from 2000–2007 inclusive but the 1992 game remains at the top of the list as it helped set the tone for the Jays first World Series title. I wished I could have been at the 1993 and 1994 openers to watch the presentation of the World Series rings. Sadly, Opening Nights have turned out to be a nightmare since 2005 when fans chucked schedule magnets onto the field. With all the shenanigans that have gone on, my better half and I don't feel safe in going to Home Openers and that's why we decided not to bother with them. It's too bad because I always looked forward to the opening ceremonies and cheering the introduction of the good guys. I think one way to cut down on the crap that has gone on the last few years is to schedule the home opener in the afternoon. The last time there was an afternoon home game at the Dome was in 2004 when the Tigers pounded the Jays in their brand new uniforms and graphite caps. Hopefully, everyone at the Dome Tuesday night will behave themselves and not act like asshats but I highly doubt it.

If you have any Opening Day stories, share them here!

What Are Your Plans For The Home Opener? | 20 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Saturday, March 30 2013 @ 09:19 AM EDT (#269608) #
The last time there was an afternoon home game at the Dome was in 2004 when the Tigers pounded the Jays in their brand new uniforms and graphite caps

...and we all remember what that home opener led to.  I had forgotten the home opener in 1985, so I looked it up. It was 8 days into the year, with the Jays 3-3 at that point.   Mike Mason vs. Luis Leal, with the bad guys prevailing 9-4.  Garth Iorg hit a 3 run shot in the fifth to give the fans something to cheer about.  There were 15,000 people in the stands for the next two games, but by May 14, the club was 20-11 and drawing 20,000 for weekday games and 25,000-30,000 for weekend games. 
smcs - Saturday, March 30 2013 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#269614) #
2006 against the Twins. Bengie Molina hit the facing of the 5th deck, and then BJ Ryan came in to shut the game down in the 9th. There were audible gasps when everyone realized he only threw 89-91.
Mylegacy - Saturday, March 30 2013 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#269616) #
Opening Day! Meh...

Living on the harbour, overlooking the cruise ship terminal, in Nanaimo, BC I rarely get to Opening Day. It's expensive to get and stay there and I only did it when I could take in a 6 to 10 game series (set of series') within the first two weeks of Opening Day. When not at the games - I and "She who must be...(you know the rest)" would explore the "Path", the harbour, the restaurants (did I mention food) and generally the wonderful delights of TO. Now you can understand why I've only been to two opening days - not the cost - just the lack of "wonders?" in downtown TO. Actually, we vastly prefer the Port Elgin to Collingwood area(s) to anywhere in Metro.

As to the games - both sometime in the early to mid-2000's - I can't remember who we played or who won. What I do remember however; was the noise, the drunks and most depressingly the fights. I remember being delighted during games 2 and 3 of the home series when there were more baseball fans than morons at the game. (My wife would be hard pressed to differentiate between rowdy drunks and baseball fans in general - however - she must be forgiven - the only "normal" baseball fan she knows is me - and for many reasons - not (generally) including public drunkeness and brawling she has many reasons to see me as a "moron").

However, I hope - for those assembled this year - that hope springs eternal and that most of the drunks and thugs actually get interested in the game on the field instead of...

Go Jays!!

Gerry - Saturday, March 30 2013 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#269618) #
I was there for magnet night too...Slash was the musical guest and I think more fans were there for him than for the Jays.

I had one more opening day but then decided to leave opening day to the young and crazy.
VBF - Sunday, March 31 2013 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#269624) #
Last year actually wasn't too bad, I I recall, though I am in favour of an afternoon opener - it's doable nowadays with the increased demand and all.

That 2004 Opener, actually also did have a fair share of paper airlines though looking back, I don't blame their boredom. Of course, it would be EIGHT home games in before they won a game. Thanks, Chris Gomez.
rotorose - Sunday, March 31 2013 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#269626) #
I've been to the past 10 opening days, and it is always exciting, despite the appalling behaviour of the drunks. I believe we have had a streaker almost every year, plus the magnets being thrown along with other projectiles. One year the opposing players (Yankees, I believe) even threatened to leave the field because of baseballs being thrown on the field. I hope they have extra security for this year, since of course I will be there. What has changed for the better is the number of fans wearing Blue Jays shirts and hats. In the "black Jays" era, the shirts weren't as popular.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, March 31 2013 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#269632) #
What has changed for the better is the number of fans wearing Blue Jays shirts and hats. In the "black Jays" era, the shirts weren't as popular.

That's a huge change.  You didn't see many people wearing Jays shirts in those days, and even if you did it tended to be the older style shirts.  Last year everyone was wearing Jays gear at the games, it seemed like.
Dewey - Sunday, March 31 2013 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#269633) #
Interesting article by Tyler Kepner in today’s NYT about the increase in strikeouts in recent times.  Did you know that the Jays were one of *ten* teams last year to establish all-time franchise strike-out records?  I didn’t.  It really is a significant change.  (Check the “Multimedia Graphic” as well for this.)

Hope the link works:
JohnL - Sunday, March 31 2013 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#269634) #

That strikeout article Dewey cited in the NY Times is indeed very interesting. The link is here

Ahhh... these ongoing link challenges on BBox.

Jdog - Sunday, March 31 2013 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#269635) #
Off topic:  Just wondering when we will know all the minor league assignments, I keep looking for an amazing Gerry thread on the topic.
Gerry - Sunday, March 31 2013 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#269636) #
I put it in another thread...the Jays will not release the rosters until 1pm tomorrow.

It's a bit odd that they are doing this given that the Lansing squad is in Lansing already, but it must be some sort of corporate decision for some PR reason.
John Northey - Monday, April 01 2013 @ 07:39 AM EDT (#269639) #
Never made it to a home opener... the crowds always seemed a bit much although the 1990-1994 years saw sell outs everyday.  Closest I've come is game #2 in Detroit in 1989 - Tigers vs Milwaukee iirc.  Had seats on the 1B side in the upper deck at old Tigers Stadium.  Usher had to clear bird poop off the seat (every seat had some in that area).  View was amazing though plus there was virtually no one else around me - just a family about 20 seats to one side and a few people a section or two over on the other.  Very weird given the day before they had a sell out for opening day.  The upper deck there was steep - each step seemed to be as high as my knees and you felt like you could fall onto the field if you slipped. 

Now I live up in Thunder Bay so going to opening day isn't really an option.  Of course, I'd have trouble going with Cleveland there as that logo disgusts me every time I see it - I wish the Jays would use the C logo Cleveland also has instead as it makes me not want to go to the Jays website.  Yes, for many of us that logo is that disgusting.
Thomas - Monday, April 01 2013 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#269652) #
I am still having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact the opening day lineup for the Yankees includes Vernon Wells, Ben Francisco and Jayson Nix.
John Northey - Monday, April 01 2013 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#269653) #
So if this was Jeopardy I guess the question would be "Who are 3 guys who wouldn't make the Jays in 2013"
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, April 02 2013 @ 01:31 AM EDT (#269677) #
Jeffress, Cecil and Lind.
Chuck - Tuesday, April 02 2013 @ 06:33 AM EDT (#269681) #
I am still having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact the opening day lineup for the Yankees includes Vernon Wells, Ben Francisco and Jayson Nix.

And Lyle Overbay.
Chuck - Tuesday, April 02 2013 @ 06:54 AM EDT (#269682) #
Oops, Overbay made the opening day roste but not the opening day lineup, He is platooning with Nix (with Youkilis moving around between 1B and 3B) so he will be in a starting lineup soon enough.
John Northey - Tuesday, April 02 2013 @ 09:10 AM EDT (#269688) #
Phew... how many Yankees would not make the Jays this year I wonder?
Vernon Wells, Ben Francisco, Jayson Nix, Lyle Overbay obviously (can't see the Jays wanting any of them back).  Ichiro I doubt would have a slot here either, Juan Rivera isn't impressive either.

John Northey - Tuesday, April 02 2013 @ 09:41 AM EDT (#269689) #
Oops, no Juan Rivera on the Yankees, my mistake.  Brennan Boesch doesn't catch me as someone the Jays would've chased down either though (729 lifetime OPS in RF/LF).  I'm sure many pitchers on the Yankees wouldn't displace guys here too.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, April 02 2013 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#269713) #
Since I'm working from home today (yay for telecommuting), I'm hoping to have some time at 4:00 pm local time to watch on (since I already paid for the whole season...). Can't remember the last time I was conflicted between watching the Jays or the Leafs :-)

Is there still a live chat or anything like that? Had fun with that a couple of times working late many years ago - the game where Carlson struck out 3 in extra innings..

What Are Your Plans For The Home Opener? | 20 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.