Do you care where you sit when you go to the ballpark? I, like most fans are limited to the areas in which I can afford tickets. Who wouldn’t choose first row behind home plate? Then again, maybe those seats aren’t that great when you consider the angle you have on plays in the outfield and other logistics. It’s possible they are the best seats because you see the pitch coming out of the pitchers hand better than anyone else and baseball games consist of a pitcher throwing that white leather more than any other action.
In my history of going to Blue Jays games I have been fortunate to be able to sit in seats scattered throughout the Skydome, ranging from 3rd row behind the visitors dugout all the way up to the 500 level on Opening Day. I’ve even spent some time in a luxury suite, oh how nice it is to have ‘those friends’! One golden rule if I have my choice, I always choose the aisle seat.
With that said, here are My 5 favourite seats at the Skydome and a memory from a game I watched from that spot.
5. Luxury Suite 3rd base line
Who doesn’t want to sit in a luxury suite? It’s all that it’s cracked up to be. Free beverage, free popcorn, free pizza and free swag. Of course it all comes with a hefty price tag up front which is something that I definitely can’t afford.
Back in high school I was invited to a Blue Jays game with a couple buddies and one of their girlfriends. This girlfriend was the hookup for the tickets and we were enjoying the game from the fourth or fifth row until the 7th inning when it happened. A text message was received and we were on our way up to the luxury suite for some free food!
The rest of the game was a blur and I really don’t know who won or who the Jays played that day and none of it mattered. I had a little glimpse of what ‘the life’ was like, it was sick.
4. Level 100 Sec 122 Row 20
This section is directly behind home plate and I was lucky enough to see a career pitching performance. Unfortunately it came in the form of a visiting pitcher, Jared Weaver of the Angels to be exact.
The game can best be summed up in the following way. Top of the 1st inning the Angels scored 8 runs, the rest of the game the Jays got 1 base hit.
If you take the game out of the equation the seats are amazing. Being 20 rows up is low enough to field level that you feel in the game but high enough that you can see the entire field of play.
If only the Jays starter threw the 1 hitter, this spot may have been higher on my list!
3. Level 100 Sec 136 Row 7
This seat is just over the Blue Jays bullpen in left field and it’s a prime spot for home run balls. I think my actual memory from the game makes the seat special to me.
This is where I was sitting when John McDonald hit his walk-off home run and I thought I had a chance to catch the ball. As it sailed through the air I realized it was sinking short of me into the bullpen but for a brief moment that ball gave me hope as it came directly my way.
The celebration immediately followed as everyone was giving each other high-fives up and down the stairs and hallways of the Skydome. This is the only time I have seen a walk-off home run live and I will never forget where I was sitting at the time.
2. Level 100 Sec 116 Row 3
Once again I was on the receiving end of some free tickets and they couldn’t have been much better! I went to this game with Brad James, his sister and his dad.
We sat directly behind the Mariners dugout on the 1st base side watching the likes of Ken Griffey Jr. and Jay Buhner. These seats are perfect for so many reasons. The ability to taunt opposing players, listen to players interact with each other and a perfect view of the entire field.
Growing up this was one of the coolest days of my life and I will never forget it. It started with meeting Tom Cheek and Jerry Howarth in the press box before the game and then going down onto the field to meet some of the players!
Everyone I met was very happy to sign a baseball for me which is now on the BIB set but that’s a story for another day. Even if I didn’t step onto the field that day or sit in the Jays dugout this seat would still be number 2 on my list because it was such a great spot.
1. Level 100 Sec 106 Row 1
Where exactly is this seat and why is it my favourite? To be exact, it is 3 sections in from the right field foul/fair pole, directly over top of the visitors bullpen. I’ve always liked the area because of the possibility of getting a home run ball (yet to happen), but a specific memory from this past season has now locked this in as my favourite place to sit when at the Skydome.
It was the final home series of the season and the Blue Jays were battling the Angels as they still had a glimmer of hope at making the playoffs. Since it was the end of the season the stadium was pretty empty as one would expect. I went to the game with Brad James and our dads, as we approached our proper seats in section 106 we noticed all of the empty seats a few rows in front and immediately spread out for the much needed leg room!
As the game went on it was filled with excitement as it came down to the bottom of the 9th and the Angels brought Torii Hunter in from right field to be an extra-infielder, something I had seen the Angels do earlier in the season but never live at a big league game. The excitement is really a side point to this whole story as player ‘x’ on the Jays slapped the ball to Hunter on the ground and he wasn’t able to make the play, thus ending any hope the Angels had of making the playoffs. This was all great as I went nuts with about 10,000 other fans but the best part of the night soon followed.
Any true baseball fan knows that the rookie in the bullpen gets designated to carry the gum, chew and other candies from the clubhouse to the bullpen in what is usually a little girls pink knapsack. When you consider September call-ups I am sure this poor soul wasn’t the only rookie in the ‘pen that day but he was the unlucky guy who got to sling that pink bag over his shoulder. As I stood leaning over the railing making one last-ditch effort for them to toss me a ball it happened.
The rookie slipped on the concrete with his metal cleats and his feet flew out from underneath him sending him straight onto his back side. After listening to a fan dish out some of the worst trash talk I had ever heard for 9 innings, my trash-talkin’ side immediately kicked in. ”ROOOOOKIE!!!!! NICE MOVE ROOKIE! WELCOME TO THE BIG LEAGUES ROOK!!!” I continued this for a good 30 seconds and one of the best parts was the other reliever that was walking behind him began cracking up and laughing along with us!
So when you factor in the opportunity for home run balls sailing your way, a great view just above the bullpen and many opportunities to give it to the visitors players this is easily my favourite place to sit at the Skydome.