Retro to October 9th, 2016 -Written on October 10th, 2016.
What a week it has been! Wow! Where do I even begin? How about I start with my Thanksgiving Sunday? My family and I head to Waterloo to have Thanksgiving dinner with some family friends. It was a beautiful October day, and I was really looking forward to an evening of food, beers, and Blue Jay baseball.
We gather around the living room to catch-up on our lives. I’m sweating, I’m anxious, I am freaking out. I know it is still early, the game hasn’t even started yet, but I am losing my mind. I cannot wait for dinner because the game will be starting shortly after. In the mean time, we watch some NFL Sunday football, play pool, drink beers, and hang out. I need to take my mind off of the game. We’re downstairs, and we get a call from the kitchen saying dinner is ready. They had just finished cooking the turkey, and all of the sides. We all sit down to eat, and we all know that the Toronto Blue Jays are about to play game three of the American League Division Series. My anxiety kicks into overdrive. The dinner was delicious. The turkey, the cranberry sauce, the stuffing, the potatoes. The smell of Thanksgiving overtook the house. The wine then came out. Red and white, of course. What a night we were about to have!
It is now 7:30 p.m. EST, and we all take our seats on the couches spread across the family room in the basement. The Texas Rangers are about to take on my beloved Blue Jays in game three of a best-of-five series. The Jays are up two wins to zero. We need one more win to move on to the next round. I’ve been pulling my hair for over three hours.
The game goes back and forth for nine innings. This is where it gets fun. It is tied at six, going into the bottom of the 10th. 50,000 people screaming, laughing, crying, freaking out. The Jays get up to bat, and Josh Donaldson leads it off with a double to centre field. Edwin Encarnacion then gets walked, and he takes first base. JD is still at second. Jose Bautista strikes out. I’m literally shaking at this point. We’re so close. Russell Martin’s turn to be the hero. He hits the ball slowly to the left side of the infield. HERE WE GO. JD advances to third. The shortstop throws to second, and gets Edwin out.
Bad throw to first, Russell is safe
The first baseman bobbles it, and JD rounds third base, and heads home. You immediately see 50,000 all standing. The crowd roars with screaming. The Rogers Centre is shaking from the cheers. Everyone knows it’s going to be close at home. If he’s safe, we move on to the next round. If he’s out, we go to the 11th inning. The throw is high, and he slides in underneath the catcher’s glove. I start jumping and screaming, “HE’S SAFE! HE’S SAFE! HE’S SAFE!” I have never jumped that high in my life. We are going to the American League Championship Series!
I will never forget this day. Even though I was stressed all day, and probably shaved a few years off of my life, I wouldn’t change it for anything. I love and live for moments like these. A huge weight has officially been lifted off of my shoulders, and I cannot wait to do this all over again for the ALCS.
Bottom 10, tie game.