By Melissa Verge
Canadian Baseball Network
Beer, popcorn, and hopelessness filled the air at the Rogers Centre on Friday night.
Older fans drowned their sorrows in alcohol, and younger ones ate to fill the void in the heart only a 1-8 start to the season can create. And, somewhere in section 108, a toddler kicked my chair and screamed for more cotton candy in the seat behind me.
Although I understood what it was like to want candy so badly that you screamed for it, any reliability we might have had was lost not in our age gap, but with each kick of my chair. She waved her stuffed animal around like a weapon, as I sat there defenceless waiting for her next attack.
I walked home that night with two thoughts in my mind: I was never having children, and the Jays had dropped another one.
A 1-9 to start the season. I mean, at least they were succeeding at something, even if it was losing. If you were looking at the glass half full, they were at least still good at this.
However, I was pretty sure I was the only one to view it like that, so when I went to work on Saturday morning for the game, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the fans. Would anybody show up? Or, would the Rogers Centre sit empty, and I could throw away my 50/50 work shirt and sit in the seats right behind home plate for free.
I would sit behind home plate not alone, but in between two seats piled high with the glorious grilled cheese that the stadium had just started selling. I would eat up all the cotton candy in the stadium too in case the kicking toddler came back so she couldn’t get any.
My secret revenge.
But the fans did come, my cotton candy and grilled cheese fantasy were shattered as they entered the stadium in droves, bringing with them a wide range of attitudes.
One fan told me he was not excited for the game because “they’re going to lose.”
Another one told me they thought statistically the odds were in the Jays favour to win after so many losses. And another one was confident they would win anyway, mathematics aside. When I said, “hopefully they win” she corrected me and said with confidence, “they’re going to win.”
And they did win, their record improving to 2-9. (Was that lady a psychic?) Even with the win though they still remain not only at the bottom of their division, but in record, at the bottom of the entire 30 teams that make up the MLB.
But, for one moment on Saturday afternoon the record, the losing, it was all forgotten, as the entire stadium stood up and cheered. It was a walk off win, the best kind of win, and for a moment the players and the fans were the same, it was a sea of blue in the crowd and a sea of blue at home plate as they mobbed Kendrys Morales.
Was the post season really six months ago, or was it yesterday? How easy it was to forget losing in the moment of winning.
I grabbed my bag and made a run for it to beat the crowd out, but the majority of fans stayed a moment longer, soaking up what had been a long-awaited moment.
Victory No. 2 had been secured with 151 games left to play.