Retro Blue Jays – The Bank of the Blue Jays!

Posted September 18, 2014 by The Hek
Categories: Blue Jays, Retro

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Posted by CatchTheTaste.

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce was one of the founding partners of the Blue Jays. In fact, CIBC owned a 10% share of the team from 1976 to 2000.

The percentage might have been low, but that didn’t stop CIBC from bragging about being the “Bank of the Blue Jays.”

Here’s a commercial from 1985 that features Damaso Garcia. The former Jays second baseman is seen hitting an inside-the-park homerun at what appears to be either a smokey Exhibition Stadium or a film studio large enough to lay down a diamond. A distinct voice mentions how proud CIBC was in helping to establish the team and links it to community involvement.

Meanwhile, the star of the ad is definitely Garcia, with a supporting nod given to the extra who high-fives Damaso.

And no….no uniforms were burned in the making of this commercial.

Eric aka @TheHek

Yankee Stadium Brawl

Posted September 16, 2014 by The Hek
Categories: Baseball Poetry Project, Blue Jays

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A giant welt rests
on Jesse Carlson’s forehead.
So began my grudge against Jorge Posada.
Some might say it’s foolish.
Others will ask, “What took so long?”

Eric aka @TheHek

Episode 42: Farm Report!

Posted September 11, 2014 by The Hek
Categories: Blue Jays

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Several minor league prospects made their MLB debuts with the Blue Jays this season.

Doug Fox of Clutchlings discusses the recent call-ups and provides an update on the Jays’ farm system.

Episode 42 Direct MP3 Download

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Buffalo’s Coca-Cola Field – Home of the AAA Bisons.


Retro Blue Jays – The CTV Years

Posted September 4, 2014 by The Hek
Categories: Blue Jays, Retro

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Posted by Travis Doucette, CatchTheTaste, Angela Grace Carriere and boobycluck.




It seems like there’s at least one “hate tweet” directed at Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler during every Blue Jays game. Sometimes, it’s appropriate constructive criticism. Sometimes, it’s over the top and unnecessary. Regardless, this running critique of the Sportsnet broadcast team recently inspired me to reflect on what Jays games use to look like on television.

When I was a child, the Jays’ television rights were usually divided among three networks: CTV, TSN and CBC. Sportsnet didn’t exist back then. Since my house didn’t have cable TV (go rabbit ears!), I could only watch games on CTV and CBC.

The CTV broadcasts hold a special place in my heart. The first time I ever watched the Blue Jays, it was on CTV. The first time I ever watched  the All-Star game and World Series, it was on CTV. Every Wednesday night at 7:30pm, I would turn the channel to CTV’s Toronto affiliate – CFTO, Channel 9, Cable 8 – and watch Labatt’s Blue Jays Baseball. Wednesday night was easily my favourite night.

Sadly, there doesn’t appear to be a website the chronicles the history of the Jays on television. Therefore, I have to rely on Wikipedia and my memory.

CTV aired games from 1981-1996. The broadcast would feature on-field reporter Fergie Olver, who usually started things off with “How about those Blue Jays!” Colour commentary was first provided by Tony Kubek and later by Tommy Hutton, who currently works on the Miami Marlins’ broadcasts. Play-by-play duties were handled by the late Don Chevrier.

Chevrier was a versatile broadcaster. He was knowledgeable and had a great voice. It’s a shame most fans born after 1993 missed out on watching him call games.

The clips in this post represent what a CTV broadcast looked like.

The first clip is a promo for an upcoming game. The second clip features a video intro, graphics and one of the theme songs. Clip three features different graphics, plus live intros from Olver, Chevrier and Kubek.

The final clip is a half-inning from the May 1, 1991 broadcast – Nolan Ryan’s seventh no-hitter. One common trait of a CTV broadcast would be taped interviews conducted by Olver that would occasionally play between at-bats. Chevrier and Hutton provide the play-by-play and commentary.

You’ll also notice how Ryan dominated the Jays that faithful evening. It also helps when the home plate ump has a generous strike zone. Not that Ryan needed it, of course ;)

Eric aka @TheHek

Re. John Mayberry Jr.

Posted September 1, 2014 by The Hek
Categories: Articles, Blue Jays

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I guess you can call this the obligatory reaction post.

John Mayberry Jr. follows in his father’s footsteps and is now a Toronto Blue Jay.

His career stats are alright. I’m not crazy about what he’s done so far this season. The fact he’s coming off the DL after a wrist injury is a little concerning. Nevertheless, he provides another option for the outfield. This is useful since Colby and Melky become free agents at the end of the season.

In exchange, the Jays gave up a minor leaguer who just reached the AA level.

Overall, I’m indifferent. Jays get a player with “alright” big league numbers, for a player who may or may not make it to the big leagues. Safe gamble.

Eric aka @TheHek

Episode 41: Awful August

Posted August 28, 2014 by The Hek
Categories: Blue Jays

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Complete this sentence: The Blue Jays were ________ in August.

A) Atrocious
B) Abysmal
C) Awful
D) All of the above

Michael Wray of discusses the team’s dreadful performance this month, September call-ups and Daniel Norris.

Episode 41 Direct MP3 Download

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A solitary Joey Bats. (Photo:

A solitary Joey Bats (Photo:


Retro Blue Jays – 8mm Style

Posted August 21, 2014 by The Hek
Categories: Blue Jays, Retro

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Posted by Travis Doucette.

This clip speaks for itself: 8mm footage of a 1978 regular season game.

It was an afternoon affair, played at Exhibition Stadium. The Kansas City Royals were the opponents and it appears the weather was nice and sunny.

When I came across this clip, I was excited to track down the game’s stat sheet on Unfortunately, someone in the comment section did the work for me. After doing some of my own research, I can confirm the match took place on August 13, 1978. The Blue Jays needed 10 innings to beat the Royals, 3-2.

My favourite part of the clip occurs at the 1:05 mark. Yes, that is none other than Alan Ashby chasing a ball to the back stop.

The footage is a unique time capsule. When it was filmed, the Jays were in their second year of existence. They were a young franchise with a developing fan base.  This clip features more than some random, late-70s baseball game. It captures the starting point of what will be an exciting journey.

Remember, it’s 1978, not 2014. There are no expectations. No one is yearning for a return to the glory years because they haven’t happened yet. The fans are far from being frustrated. They are just simply enjoying the moment.

You can’t ignore the late-70s fashion either. Oh, the fashion.

Eric aka @TheHek


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