Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Joe

Happy Anniversary, Joe. On this day 15 years ago - October 23, 1993 - you hit a home run that will stand the test of time not only in our city's sporting history, but in all of Major League Baseball. Head on over to Sportsnet.ca for a great photo gallery from that night.

I was lucky enough to be present for that moment. I was 13 years old and sitting with my parents [full disclosure: in a corporate box] at the SkyDome. The box was about half way down the third base line, and to this day I can close my eyes and literally watch as Joe's homerun ball sailed over the wall - seemingly in slow motion - and landed in the bullpen as Joe started leaping around the bases.

Its my greatest sports memory, and along with the '92 Jays, was the only time a major professional team in Toronto has won a championship in my lifetime. I was too young at that time to get involved in the parties that erupted around the city, but I sure got a taste of the honking horns, cheering fans and general revellry as we made the trek from the SkyDome to our hotel. The only thing that can come close for me in my adult life was sitting in a Toronto sports bar watching the Canadian men's hockey team win gold at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Following the win, me and 5 friends (some of whom are contributors to this site) went to Shopper's Drug Mart, bought red lipstick, took our shirts off in the dead of winter, wrote the letters C-A-N-A-D-A on our respective chests and proceeded to run up and down Yonge St. high-fiving total strangers and leading an impromptu rendition of "Oh Canada" from a construction site on the corner of Yonge and Dundas.

"Planning the parade" might be an overly used quip in our city's sports lexicon - but as we look back on this anniversary I sincerely hope we all get to experience that kind of collective joy again soon. I'm sick of the Santa Clause Parade.


3 comments:

eyebleaf said...

The greatest moment for a generation of sports fans in Toronto. I can't believe you were actually there, you lucky bastard. I was home and once that ball cleared the fence, we were doing double shots of chocolate milk in celebration. Good times.

And I love that call by Tom Cheek (RIP). "Touch 'em all, Joe! You'll never hit a bigger home run in your life." Amen.

Smokey said...

I remember that I was out on a camping trip with the Boy Scouts. One of the leaders was nice enough to drive his car out to where the tents were and let us listen to the game.

Plus, no "midnight visit" that evening was also a pleasant surprise.

(Yes, I'm kidding. And yes, it's in poor taste.)

richie said...

You wanna hear pain worse that your camp counciller dished out. My dad had tickets and he took my sister.

ouch