I’ve got one more baseball game from the summer of 2012 to write about. Like last year, I took a bit of a hibernation after the baseball season was over. It’s nice to take a break from things and I always find that in November, my website and blog traffic dip considerably. But, never fear! In addition to this post about my last game of the year, I’ve got a ton of off-season posts to fill the weeks between now and Opening Day.
If you read my last post, you’ll know that my brother and I caught the New York Yankees in town to play the Blue Jays on a Saturday. The next day, we were back at Rogers Centre for the series finale, which also marked the Jays final home game of 2012. We stayed with relatives just west of the city, and drove into Toronto bright and early on the Sunday:
We then took a long walk around the entire outside of the stadium. This is something I usually do, but this time, I took a photo every few steps. I’m in the process of making all the photos into a slideshow/video that I’ll soon post on my YouTube channel, so watch my Twitter account for that. It’s looking pretty neat.
When we finished the walk, we grabbed our tickets …
… and went right down to field level, where there wasn’t much action. I thought that because it was the team’s final home game, and also “Fan Appreciation Day,” there might be some guys signing, but that wasn’t the case:
After wandering around for a bit, we grabbed some food and went to our 100 Level seats in the outfield. This time, I got the Bill Cosby Triple Decker sandwich, which I ate last May during a game in Toronto. Last year, it was awesome. This year, the opposite was true. The big issue was that the sandwich was on the cold side; the meat was lukewarm at best, while the bread and cheese were actually cold. Add room temperature mustard and sauerkraut to the equation, and you’ve got one chilly sandwich. It was disappointing, given how much I enjoyed it last year, but that’s the chances you take sometimes. Here’s the sandwich:
My brother liked the foot-long hot dog he had the day before enough that he ordered another one. This time, however, he didn’t load it up quite as much, making it a little easier to eat:
When we finished eating, I grabbed this panorama to show the view from our section. In the show below, you can actually see the faint outline of the football field for the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts (and that’s the extent of my wish to discuss the CFL):
If I’m going to buy a ticket and actually sit in that seat at Rogers Centre, I like the 100 Level outfield seat. The tickets are expensive given how far you are from home plate, but the sections toward the batter’s eye are sparsely populated, which allows you to stretch out.
Come to think of it, we had a good run-in with an usher, as is the norm in Toronto. Our tickets were on the aisle in section 140, but given that that particular area was crowded, we moved over into section 141, which was mostly empty. Instantly, an usher swarmed in on us and I flashed my ticket to show that while we weren’t in the right section, we were still in the correct price range. No big deal, right?
His response? “OK, but the second I see you acting up, I’m gonna make you go over the other section right away.” My brother actually laughed right out loud, and the usher scurried back to his usual standing spot to continue thinking about Dungeons and Dragons. Or at least that’s how he seemed.
From these seats, photos of home plate don’t tend to turn out too well, but the outfielders are well within range. Here are Ichiro, Curtis Granderson and Raul Ibanez:
And Jays outfielders Moises Sierra, Anthony Gose and Rajai Davis:
I met Gose and got his autograph last year in New Hampshire, so it was neat to see him as a Blue Jay in person.
The Jays repeated the same lack of magic as a day earlier, and ended up losing:
After the game, we made a quick stop in the team shop, where I bought an awesome player-used souvenir I’ll eventually share here, and then just sort of hung out and watched the stadium empty. I’ve always wanted to see how long I could linger after a game, and sure enough, we were able to stay for quite a while, until Rogers Centre looked like this:
And this, in panorama form:
Eventually, we were told to leave the concourse, and went outside where my brother snapped this photo of me:
As always, thanks for reading, and please follow me on Twitter for updates throughout the off-season. I’ve got a huge list of things I’ll blog about, including entries about my souvenirs from the summer, highs and lows, an updated top 10 food list, apparel I bought, a rundown of my press passes, and much, much more. I’ll also be sharing plans for 2013 road trips, because they aren’t that far away.
And as I mentioned, I got a few autographs that I’m excited to share. Last fall when I visited Manchester, I got current Blue Jay Edwin Encarnacion and future Jay Adeiny Hechavarria on balls, and even ran into Encarnacion in my hotel the morning after the game.
Anyway, prior to the game on July 28, I got a ball signed by six different guys on the Fisher Cats.
In the first photo, from top to bottom, are the signatures of shortstop Jonathan Diaz, third baseman Craig Stansberry and the Fisher Cats bullpen catcher, whose name I can’t recall:
In the photo below, you’re looking at the autographs of speedy centerfielder Anthony Gose, third baseman Mark Sobolewski and a guy (#12) I can’t identify. The current #12 on New Hampshire’s roster is Danny Perales, but this signature isn’t his. If anyone knows, I’d love to know!
Of all the autographs, I’m pretty excited to have Gose’s signature. He should be a Blue Jay in the next season or so, thanks to his speed. This season, he has 61 steals through 126 games; in 2010, he swiped 45 bases and a year earlier, he had 76!
Here’s a picture of Gose signing just after I got him: