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In the maternity ward or in a blizzard: the fond remembrances of Jays fans

Toronto Blue Jays fans wave rally towels at the team's MLB American League baseball home opener against the Boston Red Sox in Toronto April 9, 2012.

Fred Thoronhill/REUTERS

I've always had a fondness for baseball, and a big part of that is due to the Toronto Blue Jays. I was a youngster during the momentous back-to-back World Series wins in the early '90s, and, like most Canadians, I got swept up in the fandom.

I even had a signed picture of my hero Joe Carter. (Sadly, I lost it years later.)

Many Globe readers feel the same way about the Jays' glory years, judging by the responses when we asked for your favourite memories.

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Just in time for this season's home opener, we wanted to know where you were when the team first hit the field on April 7, 1977, and when they won their first World Series 15 years later.

For fan dedication, few stories beat Carla's: "October 16 1992 – I gave birth to our gorgeous 10 pound son, Colin. I will always remember lying beside my husband on the tiny maternity ward bed, sharing a set of headphones and watching the Jays. Every now and then you'd hear cheers through the ward and know others were quietly watching the same games. No wonder Colin grew up to be a big baseball fan."

Reader meadowlark had another family story: "My father-in-law passed away the same day the Jays won their first World Series title. What helped get us through that first day was watching his Jays play that awesome game. We knew he was watching from above, sipping Scotch with a buddy and cheering them on."

From south of the border, Michael Rubenstein in Oklahoma remembers the '77 opening day fondly.

"Opening day was a big deal for me since I grew up with baseball in my blood," Mr. Rubenstein wrote in an email. "My buddies and I has left field seats in old Exhibition Stadium. We were wrapped up in our parkas, gloves, and scarves. The pregame blizzard left a bunch of snow on the field and the snow removal equipment was put to work before play could begin.

"The teams couldn't take regular pre-game fielding practice due to the snow, so in order to loosen up and have some fun before game time, both teams played some touch football in the blizzard! It was quite a sight and one I'll never forget. The Jays won their first game ever played and to this day, I follow the Jays religiously. Every summer I take my family on at least one road trip to Dallas or Kansas City for a Jays game. We've also made a few back at the Rogers Centre."

(Mr. Rubenstein's account was included in the reader responses published in Monday's Globe and Mail newspaper.)

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Do you have your own story of watching a memorable Jays game? Share it in the comments or below.

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About the Author
Assistant editor, Ottawa

Chris Hannay is assistant editor in The Globe's Ottawa bureau and author of the daily Politics newsletter. Previously, he was The Globe and Mail's digital politics editor, community editor for news and sports (working with social media and digital engagement) and a homepage editor. More

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