The Bandwagon

I’ll admit it. I’m checking the win column daily. Which is weird for someone who doesn’t really care for the Toronto Blue Jays.

It isn’t that I don’t like baseball. It is more that as someone raised in Montreal I remain a die-hard Expos fan. Political wrangling inside Major League Baseball saw the Expos leave for Washington in 2004, but my allegiance hasn’t changed to Canada’s other major league team. (Nor am I wiling to cheer for Washington.)

But as summer moves to fall, the Blue Jays have caught on fire and gotten my attention. They have won 13 of their past 16 games and pulled themselves into playoff contention. Even I am beginning to get excited at the prospect of a trip to the World Series, to the point where I am wondering about buying tickets.

Admittedly, that is a little problematic given that I don’t live in Toronto, but it is only a five hour drive. More of an issue would be ticket availability, not to mention pricing.

Pandemic regulations limit the stadium to just 15,000 fans. The entire upper section, the cheap seats where I usually sit, is closed. I went to a game last month, and the cheapest seat was about $60. Multiply that by ten for the World Series.

I was in Toronto anyway. I went to the game because it seemed a “normal” thing to do and I am craving normal these days. I think we all are.

Also, I wanted to see Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in action. I used to watch his father play for the Expos more than 20 years ago.

Other than having to wear a mask, it did feel like old times. Vlad Jr. crashed two home runs, the pitching was strong, and I was thoroughly entertained. I think it must have been at least six years since the last time I was at a professional baseball game, and more than a decade since I last attended a major league game.

This pandemic has reminded me that I shouldn’t take things for granted, especially being able to gather with others in public places to enjoy professional sports or a concert from my favorite band.

Which is why I bought season tickets to see the Ottawa RedBlacks football team. And why I am going to an outdoor concert next week to see a band I saw for the first time more than 50 years ago.

Maybe that is a valuable lesson learned. I hope so.

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