Growing up a baseball fan, I have many fond memories of attending Blue Jays games over the years, from my first visit to see them play at Exhibition Stadium as a youngster to my first home opener just last year.
But the memory that sticks out the most is when I was about 10 and my first visit to the Sky Dome (Rogers Centre). My class was given the incredible opportunity to sing the National Anthem’s at the game. It was a day I will never forget.
The whole day our class was nervous and excited to have the opportunity to go on the field, go behind the outfield walls, receive free merchandise, all while watching our baseball hero’s play afterwards. As the bus made its way down the Gardnier, we could see the C.N. Tower and the roof to “the Dome.” As we got closer, the Dome got bigger, and our eyes widened with anticipation.
As we exited the bus and were escorted to behind the bullpens to line up to come on the field, I remember looking up and seeing 50,000 people, and what a rush it was. As we made our way out, instead of being nervous, as I though I would be, I was just enjoying the moment, knowing it will probably never happen again. As the music started playing, I tried to focus my energy on singing correctly, but truth be told I am not a good singer and I figured if I made a mistake no one would notice anyhow.
As we got to the end of the Canadian anthem, I knew our moment to shine was dimming, and I remember looking around one last time to soak it all in. And soak I did, as 20 years later I still remember that day clearly.
As we returned to our seats high in the 500 level, our parents said the obligatory “good job” and we settled in and watched the Jays play ball, knowing we were the opening act and did well, and hoped they would do the same.
The Jays may have just won a game that night, but they provided me with a lifetime memory.