Posted tagged ‘throwback Thursday’

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

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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

Retro Blue Jays – Dunedin of the 80s (and 2012)

March 8, 2018

Posted by PeterGross144, Pat French and AllBlueJays (via MLB).

I’ve never attended spring training in Dunedin and I’m jealous of anyone who has. Sure, I’ve watched spring training games in person – 2000; a double header between the Jays and Cleveland at Skydome. But despite the installed palm tree behind the outfield wall and a few players jogging on the warning track, it just wasn’t the same.

Spring training in Dunedin is one of the few things that hasn’t changed since 1977. The Jays have reinvented their identity multiple times, there have been thousands of players who have worn the uniform and the front office has undergone a few transformations. But every spring, despite the state of the team, our focus has always turned towards Dunedin.

Even the word “Dunedin” conjures up all those fuzzy, cliched feelings associated with spring training: The near-arrival of warm weather, optimism and a fresh start.

So in that spirit, here are a few videos where Dunedin and spring training are featured prominently.

The first two are from long-time broadcaster Peter Gross from his days with City TV.

I first saw this years ago on Big League Stew. Gross uses a Michael Jackson classic to preview the 1984 Blue Jays. Can you spot Buck Martinez?

Then Gross does a feature on Dave Stieb. The ladies in this video might’ve been impressed, but Tony Kubek and Joey McLaughlin definitely weren’t.

Had to include this TSN promo. Where else can you find Kelly Gruber admiring a pre-season dinger?

Finally, one of my favourites: J.P. Arencibia and Ricky Romero take us on a tour of the Jays’ spring training complex in 2012. I bet you’ll smile seeing young Eric Thames; maybe John Farrell too(?).

[Just a link for the last one. The ability to embed the video was disabled.]

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 – A curveball for the senses

August 25, 2016

Posted by Homonculus Entertainment.

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Last week, Tom Ford Cologne was all the rage!

The product – worn by Josh Donaldson – helped defused tension after Donaldson and John Gibbons verbally sparred during a match against the Yankees.

All the fodder that followed reminded me of a previous time the Jays dabbled in the world of fragrance.

Remember CHACIN Cologne?

The Blue Jay Hunter provides a terrific account of this famous giveaway. Essentially, two Toronto-area radio hosts joked how pitcher Gustavo Chacin’s last name sounded like a brand of cologne. Sure enough, a product was created with help from the left-hander and small vials of it were given out to fans attending the game on June 27, 2006.

Remarkably, the whole Chacin Cologne episode went viral at a time when social media wasn’t as extensive as it is today. Just imagine if it had occurred in 2016!

ER

 

 

 

Retro Blue Jays – Jeff Juden ruins Canada Day (in an awesome kind of way)

June 30, 2016

Posted by rskhtv.

Tomorrow is our nation’s birthday, which means RED will be the dominant colour at the BLUE Jays game.

I’ve had the pleasure of attending five Canada Day games; six after tomorrow. Out of all these matches, one truly stands out:

July 1, 1997
Expos 2
Blue Jays 1

Sadly, this would be the only time Canada’s teams would meet on Canada Day. It was hot and Skydome was packed. When the match concluded and the post-game fireworks began, I had one thought: Who the hell is Jeff Juden and how dare he out-pitches the Rocket?!

I was obsessed with Roger Clemens during his two seasons with the Jays; similar to my fascination with Roy Halladay and R.A. Dickey. And remember, this was well before his alleged steroid use was brought to the surface. So I was understandably excited to watch Rocket Roger for the first time live on that faithful day.

But Mr. Juden upstaged Clemens and his performance 19 years ago is still remembered.

Here’s Rob Sinclair’s report on the match.

Here’s what I also remember about the match:

– It started at 2pm. The original start time was 1pm, but was pushed back so the Jays could honour military personnel and first responders with an hour-long ceremony.

– BJ Birdy and Youppi were working together. The two mascots came into my section (500s LF) and led a Canada Day-themed cheer.

– Joe Carter struck out four times and fans were pissed.

– The final out was a deep fly ball that was caught on the warning track.

– The previous match on June 30/97 marked the first time the teams played a regular season contest. The pitching match up was Pat Hentgen vs. Pedro Martinez. The next day during a pre-game ceremony, Cito Gaston and Felipe Alou presented both starters’ uniforms to a representative from the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

– It was a sell out, which had become a rarity for the Jays. It also felt like a 50/50 split between Blue Jay and Expo fans.

ER


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