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 Baseball-Reference.com. 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

If I Was President…

Posted August 19, 2014 by The Hek
Categories: Articles, Blue Jays

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Shi Davidi’s article about Paul Beeston’s employment status provoked this tongue-and-cheek post from yours truly.

That tongue-and-cheek post got me thinking: What if – by some miraculous fortune – I was hired by Rogers to be the President of the Blue Jays? What would I do? What changes would I make?

I gave it some thought over a lunch of toast and blueberries. Ultimately, I came up with ten items my presidency would undertake.

1)  Bring back the 99-cent hot dogs. Technically, the 99-cent hot dogs still exist, except they now cost over five bucks. And since the penny was eliminated, I’d have to round up and call them dollar dogs. For added value, I would also bring back the dancing hot dog cartoon that use to be shown on Skydome’s  Jumbotron to advertise the product.

2)  Bring back BJ Birdy. I have nothing against Ace, except for his generic name. There’s just something about the former Jays mascot that the current one doesn’t have. Perhaps it’s because BJ Birdy conjures up memories of the glory years, while Ace is a reminder of several disappointing and frustrating seasons. I would still keep Ace for the Saturday Jr. Jays games. I’d even bring back Diamond and Domer. But at the end of the day, BJ Birdy would be the “ace” of the mascot staff.

3) Changes to the TV play-by-play crew. Almost every game features at least one hate-tweet directed at Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler. Buck is no Vin Scully, but he’s better as a colour commentator and has more experience sitting in that chair. Therefore, I would have a platoon of actual play-by-play broadcasters. More specifically, Matt Devlin and Jim Hughson. Devlin sounds great every time he fills in for Buck and Hughson has done play-by-play for the Jays before (he also worked alongside Buck for the TSN broadcasts of the early nineties). As for Tabler, he can be the third man in the booth or (more preferably) he could join Jamie Campbell and Gregg Zaun at Blue Jays Central. Of course, with Devlin and Hughson’s commitments to basketball and hockey, there might be a need for a third play-by-play man. My suggestion: Rob Faulds or Sam Cosentino.

4)  Bring back the Flashback Friday promotion. By far, my favourite in-game promotion. Powder blue throwbacks, a returning former player and a wicked music video to start things off. It’s a shame the Jays discontinued it.

5) More appearances from the Sunday organist. I have a fever and the only cure is organ music at the ball park. Having an organist helps create the perfect baseball atmosphere. It sure beats having a Friday night DJ at the stadium.

6) Eliminate the techno version of OK Blue Jays. They’ve been playing it for years and it has never sounded right. You just can’t beat the original arrangement.

7) Grass field, ASAP. In an interview with Mike Wilner last year, Colby Rasmus compared the field to “running up and down a basketball court.” That’s not good. Grass must be installed and it cannot wait for the Argos’ contract to expire. It’s not a simple or fast fix, but the process and research needs to start.

8)  Blogger Press Box. Okay, I’m a little bias for this one; but wouldn’t it be great if all us bloggers had our own spot to congregate at Skydome? We could use the football press box since it’s empty most of the time.

9) Change the stadium’s name back to Skydome. That just goes without saying. Also acceptable: Rogers Skydome, as suggested by a few individuals.

10) Get carte blanche from the Rogers brass. Definitely a daunting task. I would request a blank cheque and get it in writing. Then I would print the document on a giant flag and have it fly outside the stadium. That way, I won’t have to deal with all the “ownership is cheap and trying to screw the team” comments. There might be some truth to it, but unlimited bags of cash doesn’t lead to World Series titles either.

As for AA and Gibby…Sorry, I’m holding judgement until the end of the season ;)

Eric aka @TheHek

Photo: BJ Birdy Appreciation Page (http://www.geocities.ws/Athens/Atlantis/2816/bluejays/bjbirdy.html)

Photo: BJ Birdy
Appreciation Page (http://goo.gl/gjXdpa)

Episode 40: Montreal On The Road

Posted August 14, 2014 by The Hek
Categories: Baseball

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Montreal’s Gabriel Morissette and Adry Laurin are travelling to every MLB ballpark this summer to draw support for baseball’s return to La Belle Province. The young couple are chronicling their journey on their website, MontrealOnTheRoad.com.

Episode 40 Direct MP3 Download

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mtlontheroad.imgur.com

Adry and Gabriel at Dodger Stadium (Photo: mtlontheroad.imgur.com)

Retro Blue Jays – $1.99 Jays caps at McDonald’s

Posted August 7, 2014 by The Hek
Categories: Blue Jays, Retro

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Posted by RetroTy and Retrontario.

Once upon a time, McDonald’s sold Blue Jay hats for charity. Sadly, I was a toddler at the time and couldn’t take advantage of this wonderful promotion. Granted, I grew up in a time when one could buy hockey and baseball cards at Micky D’s. Still, I would much rather buy a cap and support a great cause.

To help with the promotion. McDonald’s enlisted the services of Bobby Cox and Ernie Whitt.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame last month, Cox has a commanding presence. The father and male cashier are immediately intimated by the sight of him. Good thing they weren’t umpires.

As for Whitt, there are three things one quickly learns about the former catcher, coach and current Team Canada manager: 1) He likes tea. 2) Even off the field, he has quick hands. 3) The female cashiers were quite smitten with him and his Magnum, P.I. looks.

It’s been a while since the Jays and McDonald’s had a partnership. But that doesn’t mean the promotion couldn’t return. I’m looking at you, Pizza Nova and/or Tim Horton’s.

And now…I’m hungry.

5.83 ERA

Posted August 5, 2014 by The Hek
Categories: Blue Jays, Baseball Poetry Project

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Joey Hamilton
Randomly appears in my mind
No reason given

Eric aka @TheHek

Episode 39: Those Young Arms

Posted July 31, 2014 by The Hek
Categories: Blue Jays

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Just before the Blue Jays acquired Danny Valencia, Nick Hansen shared his thoughts about the non-waiver trade deadline, Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez and Dioner Navarro.

Episode 39 Direct MP3 Download

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By the way, did I mention this was BEFORE the Jays picked up Valencia? ;)

Re. The Danny Valencia Trade

Posted July 29, 2014 by The Hek
Categories: Blue Jays, Articles

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1. Erik Kratz was a serviceable back up. He was also a bridge between the present (Navarro, Thole) and future (A.J. Jimenez, Max Pentecost). I’ll never forget the 2-run bomb he hit on opening day (March 31). It was the only highlight for the Jays that afternoon.

2. Liam Hendriks started three games and looked good in two of them. He was also putting up great numbers in Buffalo. There’s potential, which means it’s 50/50 as to whether he will actually meet that potential. Therefore, he’s worth the sacrifice.

3. As noted by Bob Elliot, Danny Valencia has great numbers against left-handed pitchers. That’s something the Blue Jays desperately need. Elliot also says Valencia will platoon with Juan Francisco at third base. Although’s he’s spent the majority of his professional career at third, Baseball-Reference.com shows that Valencia has seen time at second and first.

Overall, it’s definitely not a blockbuster. Valencia’s sole purpose is to provide an additional right-handed bat. Depending where Brett Lawrie plays upon his return from the DL, Valencia could continue his platoon with Francisco at third; or, platoon at second with either Munenori Kawasaki or Ryan Goins. I prefer the latter option.

Eric aka @TheHek


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