Posted tagged ‘exhibition stadium’

Retro Blue Jays: When 60 wins was the benchmark

July 3, 2019

Posted by Retrontario.

Given the current state of affairs, this might put a smile on your face…or make you angrier.

Whatever.

It’s a City-TV/CityPulse sportscast from September 12, 1980, detailing the Jays’ 7-5 win over Baltimore. It was a significant achievement, marking the first time the team had recorded 60 victories.

Look how much fun Peter Gross was having. He was fully aware the team was in last place at the time and didn’t care. He’s not whining or reminding the viewer how bad things are/were, nor is he begrudgingly talking about the Jays. Don’t hear him shitting on the front office or calling anyone tone deaf either. Maybe he’s being a little sarcastic, but he’s also embracing the pain.

Check out how the highlights are presented. They’re all from one solitary camera, stationed behind home plate at Exhibition Stadium. It’s literally one angle, one point of view. A strong reminder of a time when not every single game was televised.

ER

Retro Blue Jays – The Best and Worst from ’79

November 29, 2018

Posted by xtHabs789

Based on record alone, 1979 was a hideous season for the Blue Jays.

The team managed to win just 53 games, finishing dead last in the AL East; 50.5 games behind division-winner Baltimore. According to Baseball-Reference.com, the ’79 Jays hold the club record for lowest winning percentage (.327) over a 162-game schedule.

Meanwhile, the Montreal Expos were a stark contrast. They finished the ’79 season with a sparkling record of 95-65, narrowly missing the NL East title by two games.

The vast distance between the two Canadian teams was well-illustrated in this report for the CBC program, NEWSMAGAZINE.

It highlights the nuances of baseball; even touches on the volatile political situation in Quebec at the time. Regardless, reporter Mark Philips conveys the excitement at Olympic Stadium and the subdued atmosphere at Exhibition Stadium.

All the Expo clips are positive; players are flashing big grins. There’s even a small part dedicated to the legendary Bill “Spaceman” Lee.

Different appearance with the Blue Jay clips. They’re mostly negative with beleaguered faces, nicely captured by then-Manager Roy Hartsfield trying to find something nice to say about his team. A valiant effort was also made by then-President Peter Bavasi with his message of “selling entertainment; not a win-loss record.”

If anything, this feature reminds us of a time when the Expos were “Canada’s Team,” while the Jays were simply a punchline.

The metaphoric tide was not even close to turning.

ER

Finally! I found a Pearson Cup game!

March 23, 2018

I’ve always had a fascination with the Pearson Cup; the mid-season exhibition match between the Blue Jays and Montreal Expos that took place from 1978 to 1986 and revived for the teams’ regular season series in 2003 and 2004.

Before interleague play and not including whatever took place during spring training, this was the only time the Jays and Expos would go toe-to-toe.

Being born in the early 80s, I never had a chance to experience the Pearson Cup’s original concept. I’m actually surprised there’s never been much chatter about the games. Odd since it seemed like a great opportunity for fans of both teams to embrace the rivalry.

I was overjoyed recently when I discovered one of the Pearson Cup games on YouTube. It’s the French language broadcast of the 1982 match from Exhibition Stadium.

If you have a couple of hours to spare, I highly recommend watching it before a certain league office realizes there wasn’t any expressed written consent. 😝

[Posted by Mart Lat]

ER

Retro Blue Jays – Hit the showers, Jimmy

September 14, 2017

Posted by Travis Doucette and Retrontario.

It appears the hot water supply at Exhibition Stadium was worth bragging about.

Here are a couple of Ontario Hydro commercials featuring the Blue Jays. Based on the sleeve patches, it appears the ads were filmed mostly in 1984 (Thank you, Mr. Creamer).

The first commercial features three Blue Jay hurlers – Jim Gott, Roy Lee Jackson and Jimmy Key – soaking their troubles away.

The second one shows the Jays laying into a team of scrubs. Willie Upshaw delivers the knock out punch with a homerun that makes its way to Nathan Philips Square.

Not sure if that’s even geographically possible.

 

ER

Retro Blue Jays – Baseball and the Public Broadcaster

June 1, 2017

Posted by Pat French.

I don’t know who Pat French is, but I’m very glad this person created a YouTube account. It’s filled with dozens of retro Canadian sports clips; a portion of which come from CBC broadcasts. If you want to see old baseball promos, black-and-white clips from Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts or even an advertisement for the 1978 Commonwealth Games, make sure to spend some time on Pat’s account.

A previous “retro” post highlighted a couple of clips involving the CBC’s French language service, Radio-Canada. On the English side, the Mother Corp and the Blue Jays have crossed paths at various times. As a kid, I knew CBC was the network to turn to on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons for Speedy Muffler Blue Jays Baseball. Of course, during the NHL playoffs, that schedule was modified.

The public broadcaster aired games at three different points in Blue Jay history: Late 70s/early 80s, early 90s to early 2000s and a handful of games from 2008-2009. Here are some clips from those periods.

From 1977 – Explaining the role of the Third Base Coach.

Also from 1977 – Not sure who the pitcher and catcher are (could be Alan Ashby behind the plate). However, the hitter is the unmistakable Rusty Staub.

From 1978 – Ensuring both Canadian teams get equal screen time.

From 1992 – A pre-game intro featuring Ken Daniels (before he started doing play-by-play for the Detroit Red Wings), the legendary Don Chevrier and former Blue Jay Tommy Hutton. I always loved the opening graphic and theme song.

From 1994 – Can’t promote an upcoming broadcast without a smiling Joe Carter.

From 2000 – Ironically, no one in Quebec was apparently able to watch this Jays/Expos match.

From 2008 – When broadcasting in HD was still a novelty.

ER

Retro Blue Jays – No Beer at The Ballpark

August 11, 2016

Posted by CBC Digital Archives.

In 20-plus years of attending Blue Jay games, I can probably count the number of times I’ve had a beer on one hand. Of those times, only twice have I actually purchased an alcoholic beverage.

I like beer and I have no problem with anyone who purchases alcohol at sporting events; but personally, I can do without it. The lineups are way too long, the prices are way too high and far too many people drink excessively, ruining the fun for passionate fans. It continues to be an issue, especially since the Jays have become popular again with casual fans. Let’s not forget all the idiots that chucked beer cans on the field during game five of the ALDS; not to mention the dozens of fans who likely pre-drink before arriving to the game. There’s even been a few times when the stadium has had its liquor licence temporarily suspended.

Things were quite different during the Jays’ infancy. From 1977-1982, fans were unable to purchase alcohol at Exhibition Stadium. Just imagine that for a moment: No Labatt Blue, no taps or cans being cracked open, nobody shouting “Ice cold beer!”

That all changed midway through the ’82 season and understandably, it was newsworthy. Here’s a link to a news clip from the first game where beer was available for purchase.

[Just a link, I’m afraid. The embedded code offered by CBC Digital Archives either doesn’t work or doesn’t get along with WordPress.] 

ER

Retro Blue Jays – This Week In Baseball

February 11, 2016

Posted by ClassicMLB11.

Fans of a certain generation may recall walking into Skydome before a match and catching a few minutes of This Week In Baseball (TWIB) on the Jumbotron. TWIB was MLB’s flagship show, highlighting the league’s stars and story lines. Hosted predominantly by Mel Allen, the program aired for several years.

The Blue Jays and TWIB also have something in common: Both debuted in 1977.

Here’s an episode reportedly from July 12, 1977 that presents a feature on the expansion Jays.

Allen tells the viewer how the young team is “kicking up a fuss” and then points out a few players on the roster. Interspersed throughout the segment are interviews with manager Roy Hartsfield and players Bob Bailor (who would later become a coach with the Jays) and Ron Fairly.

Fairly’s interview is easily the best part of the segment. He presents himself as a father-figure and talks about helping his young teammates get accustomed to big league life. It just oozes with professionalism!

As an added bonus, the episode then moves from the Jays to the up-and-coming Montreal Expos and features an interview with Gary Carter. As a whole, the segment presents Canada in a positive light. One could also argue it foreshadows the excitement Canadian baseball fans would experience in the 80s and 90s.

Point of interest: The episode has a run time of 21:38. However, the segment on the Jays and Expos occurs in the first 8:19 of the program.

ER


%d bloggers like this: