It was such a historic day in Blue Jays history, that day marked the annual Kids Day at the Skydome where bus loads of students arrive for a 12:38 pm start. This particular game was Brett Cecil’s debut against the Cleveland Indians. So I ask the question again, who doesn’t remember where they were on May 5, 2009?
Ahhhhh, who am I kidding? Realistically you only remember where you were that day if you happened to be one of the 22,005 fans who attended the game. Then again, you may have been in attendance and the day has disappeared into your memory bank forever. Personally this game is one of the best memories I’ve ever experienced whether it had taken place at the Skydome, Exhibition Stadium or any other Major League stadium.
As I mentioned it was Brett Cecil’s debut and he delivered a solid debut pitching 6 innings, giving up 6 hits and 2 runs (1 earned). The Blue Jays lineup helped the rookie out by giving him a 3-2 lead putting him in line for the victory. Unfortunately one half inning later and the Indians took a 6-3 lead heading into the 7th inning stretch.
The crowd stood and did the usual song and dance during the break in action, it seemed like there were 15,000 kids screaming and cheering on the scoreboard. Out of nowhere the Jays offence exploded in the bottom of the 7th putting up 7 runs, taking the lead on a 3 run blast off the bat of Adam Lind. The Blue Jays were ‘in flight’ to quote an all-time great as they took a commanding 10-6 lead.
That alone sounds like a great ballgame to attend and every time I make the drive down the 401 to the Skydome I can only hope I get a game filled with that much action.
Thing is, the game was about to get even more exciting! The crowd was raucous and the Skydome staff flashed the winning 50-50 numbers on the Jumbotron. I quickly memorized the numbers sprawled across the giant screen as my friend Steve who was slightly inebriated struggled to pull the tickets out of his wallet. I recited the numbers in my head until finally I could see the ticket in his hand. They matched! 50-50!! We won!
Steve along my dad purchased a set of 50-50 tickets outside the Jays Shop and they had the winning number. I had purchased a set somewhere else in the Dome thinking that may give us a hope of winning, with that plan in mind we were going to split the winning pot.
So the only question now was how much? $5,000? $10,000? I could only imagine what the figure would be since I had seen it flashed on the Jumbotron at past games. Steve took the winning ticket and ran up the aisle high fiving fans the entire way. Reality set in when he returned and told us how much we had won. $2114 to split 3 ways. I’m not complaining at all but I must say I was expecting to get more than $700 out of the pot. As I mentioned the place was filled with kids and of course they can’t purchase 50-50 tickets, thus making the winning pot much smaller. Much smaller than the $10,400 winning pot at the next game I attended.
I apologise to any fans who sat around us that day as we spent the rest of the game telling everyone how great it felt to win! Fans within reach were giving us high-fives and asking for beer, luckily the concessions had already closed! These strangers celebrated with us as the Jays went on to win the game.
As I said, I’m not complaining at all. The hour and 30 minute drive felt like a 15 minute drive down the highway as we chanted the whole way home “50-50″ followed by the 3 of us pounding on the car roof “bah, bah, bah-bah-bah”. I suggest everyone purchases 50-50 tickets when they go to the game, it’s not about winning, it’s about helping out the Jays Care Foundation.
With that said I sure hope it’s my lucky day again, maybe there will be 50,000 fans next time?