Posted tagged ‘flashback friday’

Retro Blue Jays – Whitt and Cheek on Community TV

August 10, 2018

Posted by Home Town Cable Network.

I’ve always had a fascination with community/public-access broadcasting. For starters, it’s obviously different than traditional commercial media. This particular format was also one of my first forays into the world of media – Ottawa’s CKCU, early-to-mid 2000s.

It’s hard to explain, but there’s something about the unpolished, raw presentation that seems authentic to me. This is prevalent with the following interviews of former Blue Jay catcher and coach Ernie Whitt and the late Tom Cheek.

Based on the setting, the footage was recorded at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, likely before the 1985 Pearson Cup.

The clips are part of the Home Town Cable Network which, according to its website and Facebook page, serves Northern New York State; with their office located in Champlain, New York.

One of the interviewers – Dick Letourneau – is no Bob Costas and calling Whitt’s team the “Maple Leafs” at the beginning of his interview was far from a smooth start. But he does ask some interesting questions.

For his part, Whitt answers the questions truthfully; though he seemed a little taken aback by Letourneau’s style of interviewing.

Tom Cheek – as he always was – told a great story, threw in a joke and always brought an incredible amount of professionalism. I wonder how many people knew he was a fill-in for Expo games before he came to Toronto.

Despite their rough look, the interviews are unique. They might not shine, but they’re fun to watch.

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As an aside, Home Town Cable Network’s website has dozens of baseball clips. The majority of which involved the Expos.

ER

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Retro Blue Jays – 2002 Time Capsule

June 29, 2018

Posted by Balsamwoods.

Thanks to social media, it’s now hard to recall a time when following the Blue Jays was a lonely experience.

This random item I recently found on YouTube captures that feeling.

It’s home video of the poster’s trip to Toronto, which included in-stadium clips of – based on the footage – the May 27, 2002 match between the Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox.

The in-game experience has certainly changed at Skydome over the years. This is evident in the video when one sees the original scoreboards, fireworks after homeruns and the bright green AstroTurf. The J-Force dancers have a completely different look, not to mention Ace and Diamond.

The video is also a time capsule and reminds us how little attention was given to the team at the time.

During the late 90s and early 2000s, the Jays were very low on the totem pole of Toronto sports. The Leafs, Raptors and Rock were putting together strong playoff runs from the fancy, new Air Canada Centre.

Showing interest in the Jays was met with disdain. Free tickets or a chance to go to a game were scoffed at.

The team’s overall performance on the field didn’t help either. This was especially the case in 2002. At the time of this particular match, the Jays were 17-30 and Manager Buck Martinez was days away from being fired.

Having said that, don’t treat this video as a cruel reminder. It has some lovely aspects to it as well.

Roy Halladay was the starter that night. Though it wasn’t his best performance, Doc was in the midst of his breakout season. You’ll also see some familiar faces like Carlos Delgado, Raul Mondesi, Nomar Garciapara and Ugueth Urbina. You might even enjoy the two Leaf fans who run on the field and troll the crowd.

[Was “troll” a term used in 2002? Maybe I should’ve gone with “punk’d.”] 😝

ER


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