By Melissa Verge
Post season baseball has been non-existent in Toronto for 22 years. I was three years unborn.
The atmosphere is absolutely electric.
The cheering is so loud it echoes throughout the Rogers Centre.
I have never heard anything like it. Three claps then “TU-LO.” –It is an affectionate cheer for Troy Tulowitzki, the Blue Jays shortstop. “TU-LO” the crowd screams in unison. My heart is beating to “TU-LO.”
A total of roughly 50,000 people in the stands with different opinions and different lives, but right now, they have one voice.
They cheer together, and they stay silent together. There is no in-between.
There are points when the silence is so pronounced it feels louder than the cheers. I close my eyes, and I could be alone. If I sneeze, would 50,000 people hear it?
Tension is so thick at these points of silence it’s like I can see waves of it rolling off the fans. Every inning feels like it’s the bottom of the ninth.
Some of them probably have a lot of money counting on a win from the Jays. Others are just band wagoners.
The majority I assume are hard core Jays fans who have waited 22 years for a moment like this one.
A fully grown man, who is well through middle age, stands in a seat behind me sucking on his thumb. He looks to be part of the “hard core Jays fan” group. His hands are clasped together in a position of prayer.
The lady beside me is constantly waving her rally towel enthusiastically in the air. It spins around like an out of control top and threatens to hit me in the head.
My friend beside me is screaming “bull shit,” when a call doesn’t go the Blue Jays way.
This is exactly the way I wish every baseball game could be.
The passion the crowd has is beautiful.
People are #comingtogether because of this game. I watch two people who don’t know each other high five on the concourse.
The Rogers Centre is not even recognizable as the same place it was in April, when the ratio of empty blue seats to full ones was equal.
Now walking on the concourse pre-game has become a challenge. Doing the motions of the breast stroke aggressively might be the only way to pry your way through this crowd.
During the game, the concourse is empty. Fans have given the game priority over another can of beer or a crunchy popcorn snack. Their bellies can wait.
They have a game to watch.