It feels exactly like ‘93
1993 is more than a number in these parts.
For Toronto Blue Jays fans, it means a second straight World Series title, a Joe Carter walk-off homerun and Tom Cheeks’ un-forgettabley belting out “Touch ‘em all Joe, you’ll never hit a bigger homerun in your life” when Carter’s line drive cleared the left field fence at the SkyDome. For here on out, the Roger’s Centre will be known as the SkyDome until the Jays stop winning.
So when you mention the year 1993 to a Blue Jays fan, they get a little giddy inside. Which brings me to the question.
Is it just me or does it feel like 1993 again?
I mean Blue Jays are packing the SkyDome every night, the team is mashing the baseball and they’re sitting pretty on top of the American League East this late in the season for the first time since the World Series years.
A couple of key trades for David Price, Troy Tulowitzki and Ben Revere amongst other moves, has re-ignited a passion for the team that hasn’t been seen since the championship years. There were flashes over the last couple of decades.
People got fired up when Roger Clemens signed here in 1997, but it wasn’t sustainable. The team finished 76-86 and finished fifth in the East.
Same can be said a couple of winters ago when Alex Anthopoulos made moves to acquire Jose Reyes, R.A. Dickey and others. That team, too, flamed out spectacularly en route to a losing season.
By all indications, that won’t happen with this group. There are too many no-nonsense leaders for the team to become complacent.
Let’s face it. There hasn’t been a Blue Jays team this great since those famed championship years.
Those 1992-1993 years are something of lore amongst us Blue Jays fans. They represent a time when this country thought of something other than hockey in the summer months.
It made Toronto sports fans forget about the Leafs for six months a year and made us cheer for an actual winner.
The likes of Roberto Alomar, Kelly Gruber, Ed Sprague and Devon White became heros to the millions of youngsters picking up baseball gloves for the first time.
I was in Toronto in 1993 and I’ve been to Toronto as the Jays caught fire. The energy in the Dome was the same. You can compare both years.
Fans cheered every little part of the game. If an opponent made a mistake, they let them hear about it.
That’s what winning does to a fanbase. That’s not to say that this year’s team is going to cap their season with a parade down Yonge Street.
There is too much that can happen in baseball for fans to start marking the team down for a championship.
However, getting swept up in the hoopla is allowed. Whether you gave up on the team years ago or are just now hopping on the bandwagon, enjoy the ride. Baseball works best in this country when the Jays are rolling.
The Blue Jays; They’re not just a made up answer to a Dante’s Inferno trivia question at the University of King’s College campus bar anymore.