For the past two weeks, we have seen 100s of submissions to the #OurHomePlate contest through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (keep those coming.) Among these amazing Canadian baseball photos, we came across the Wood family: Jasper, Oscar, Bella, mom Charlotte and dad Benn.
And they were hard to miss.
If you have been to a Jays game this season or last, you may have had to do a double take walking by these pint sized fans, or mistaken them for the real deal while featured on the Jumbo Tron. Oscar aka Mini Bautista, Jasper aka Daniel Norris and their sister Bella are becoming quite the celebs and have even caught the eye of their biggest baseball heroes.
These dedicated doppelgangers were first in line for Bautista bobble head day last Sunday, which meant getting up at the crack of dawn, driving from Barrie area, lining up well before 9 am, getting mom, Charlotte, to secure a spot in line, and allow the kiddos to play ball while they waited hours for the gates to open. CBN went and battled the bobblemania (madness) to interview these mini’s and here’s the exclusive interview.
Height: 3ft 10 inches
Nickname: Mini Norris
2015 Team: Ivy Junior Rookie Team
Favourite part about going to Blue Jays games: I like seeing my favorite players like Daniel Norris, it is so much fun to cheer the team on and wave our signs and sometimes we get to have a treat like a Popsicle!
Best baseball moment: Last year when I played T-Ball, I caught a hit that would have been a home run when I was playing short stop. The boy that hit it was the biggest on his team and I had to jump to catch the ball – we won that game! It was great!
Final words: Baseball is the bestest sport in the world – its so much fun to play and watch! I want to keep playing until I am a little old man!
Height: 4ft 5inches
Nickname: Mini Bautista
2015 Team: Ivy Senior Rookie Team
Favourite part about going to Blue Jays games: I like seeing Jose Bautistaand all the guys hit home runs and make fantastic catches in the outfield! LikeKevin Pillar‘s catch last week – it was like a move from the movie The Matrix!
Best baseball moment: My favorite baseball memory is getting to meet Jose Bautista in real life, I got to lead the team out onto the field for the national anthem at the Junior Jays game. I was wearing my Bautista beard and Jose said “I like your beard bro!” that was so cool!
Height: 4ft 7inches
Fav. Player: Dalton Pompey
2015 Team: Ivy Tyke Team
Favourite part about going to Blue Jays games: I like how many fans come out to see the games and how much energy there is in the crowd. I love watching the game and seeing all the players try their best.
Best baseball moment: At my first ever game, I was the first up to bat in the first inning and I got a base hit from the first pitch and eventually scored the first run of the game _ I also loved being Junior Jay guest announcer and getting to call up almost the whole Blue Jays team to bat!
Final words: My aim is to be the first female pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays and to play Women’s Baseball for Team Canada! – I hope to get the chance to see the Women’s baseball during the Pan Am games this year – I know it will inspire me to keep working hard.
The kids were great sports during our interviews, although they couldn’t wait to get back to playing catch, and counting down the minutes until the gates opened and Bautista bobbleheads were in their (cold) little hands.
Benn (aka dad) said: “We love the way that baseball is getting our children involved in their community, making friends and learning about being part of a team. We have watched them grow and develop so quickly playing this game and love watching their eagerness to learn and get better. Going to the Blue jays is a huge part of our summer, we look forward to going to as many games as we can, meeting fellow fans and those involved in this great sport. We have had such great experiences at home games and away and hope to continue our family tradition for years to come.”
That is what this is all about.
The Canadian Baseball Network wants to thank the Wood family for their creativity and support of baseball in Canada.
Over the course of the season we hope to expand CBN and get to know the fans, diamonds, training facilities and players across the country.
Do you know a fan that has a unique story we should feature? Get in touch viaFacebook and keep tagging your photos with #OurHomePlate. We love this country. We love this game.