Well, shoot. Where do I start?
I think it’s only right for me to start by blaming my co-host Reid Price for having this brilliant idea of a 24-hour baseball video game marathon. Ever since BIB was created we have been looking for a way to raise money for the Jays Care foundation and it was sometime in early February when we were sitting around after filming our weekly video podcast that Reid brought up the idea. Brad and I were sold and we were off to the races.
It was a slow start out of the gate. After having the event approved by Jays Care and the Toronto Blue Jays we started promoting it every way we could to a huge thud. It took a week or two but finally @youmakemeRandy stepped up with the first donation to our fundraiser!
Fast forward a few weeks and people started to join Randy by pledging money via online transaction and we even started picking up sponsors. Back in Blue owes a huge thanks to Logikor, our main podcast sponsor because without help from them it literally would not have happened as smooth as it did. Fastsigns located in Kitchener, On. came through with signage for our set and even a donation to the fund. Finally to top it off our good friends at KR3 bats came through with some fine maple lumber in the form of Roberto Alomar Pro Model bats and mini-bats. But enough with the required plugs, lets get back to the marathon.
As we approached the glorious day of March 24, 2012 we gained momentum and quickly neared our initial goal of $1000. When we set that goal we had no idea what kind of response we would get so to be over $900 before the event began was a tremendous feeling. With that in mind Andrew and I settled in for our first game of the marathon, the title of choice was RBI baseball 2 for the NES a.k.a. Nintendo.
With Brad on the dial and Reid on the mic the four of us began the first hour with lots of energy and controllers in hand. Wins and losses quickly began to blend together but random marathon knowledge will stick with me forever such as: Which 3 players hit the first 3 home runs of the marathon. Answer: George Bell, Joe Carter and Carlos Delgado. Honestly I stopped keeping track after that not only because it was a non-Blue Jay who hit the dong but I also realized how many home runs would be hit throughout the 24-hours.
As I mentioned we had prizes to give away so we started off the marathon stating that the next $20 donor would be the recipient of a Blue Jays hat with a sweet velcro back. Thanks to @Salty_COD for stepping up, the hat should be in Alberta soon enough!
As anyone who viewed our live stream at backinblue.ca knows, we had a chat going throughout the night and it was great to have people contribute to the marathon by telling us what teams to use, which parks to play in and they even helped name a pesky fly that was buzzing around the set the entire time. The fly became known as ‘Pop Fly’ thanks to @BAM_86 who followed online and another favourite suggestion was ‘Marty McFly’ from @PokerDave04. At this point we realized we were becoming a little bit delusional.
To help keep our sanity and energy up Jays Care had the local Pizza Pizza drop off a few pizzas! They were greatly appreciated and went down well, especially at the 18-20 hour mark.
The delivery guy was just the first guest of the evening as we had local comedian (and friend of BIB) Tom O’Donnell stop in to help humour our audience and even sit down for a game or two. Tom settled in for a game of MLB12: The Show with Reid and hilarity ensued. This game is so in-depth that you need to throw warm-up pitches before the game begins and Reid convinced Tom that this was actually the game play, he also convinced him that he needed to stand-up to swing because the controller had a motion-sensor. Lots of laughs followed as Tom questioned whether this was true or not for 4-5 pitches as he attempted to hit each one with Reid suggesting he change his stance to make contact. Another highlight was Reid “interviewing” Tom in-character portraying a big league ball player named Ricky Roger Ricky Roger Jr. (that’s right 2 first names, 2 last names and a Jr.). A few more friends popped by including the composer of our soon-to-be released theme song Tim Louis and his son Satchel (named after Satchel Paige of course).
Quickly we learned how far technology has come from consoles such as Atari through my current system of choice the Playstation 3. Thanks to Tim for donating his Atari and the baseball game that came with it ‘home run’ but honestly it was absolutely brutal! With no loading screen you are immediately thrust into a game of one-on-one baseball where if the batter hits the ball past the pitcher, you get to run around the bases freely for a home run. That about sums up my first experience of playing Atari which lasted all of 6 minutes.
Getting back to the first game of the evening RBI baseball 2 for the NES. Anyone who has played a game on the Nintendo console knows how hard it can be to get the system to actually play the game, most think you are required to blow with all your might into the games cartridge but as our video game expert Reid loves to mention, the best way to clean a Nintendo game cartridge is with a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol (true story). Andrew proved he has a trick of his own as he jammed ‘Ken Griffey Jr. baseball’ into the Nintendo which let us begin our journey smoothly.
Speaking of Ken Griffey Jr. baseball it proved to be one of the favourites throughout the marathon along with Nolan Ryan’s baseball for the Super Nintendo and MLB: The Show (2008 and 2012). We played other games that didn’t cut it for multiple reasons including taking nearly an hour to play 4 innings or stupid controller configurations such as Hardball ’94.
The Sega system which we had been using kept freezing on us and a Nintendo cord got stepped on breaking the plug which required us to stick mainly with the Super Nintendo and PS3 consoles. This along with very few technical glitches proved to be the only kind of hiccups we experienced and they were indeed minor.
I’m at a point I don’t know what I’ve missed or mentioned because the entire 24-hour experience really blended together much like this blog is beginning to seem to me. Did I mention we filmed our first live video podcast immediately following the marathon? That alone was a great feeling but I’m not sure if it was a good or bad idea because I haven’t seen it yet. I know my body felt like it was melting into the chair the entire time, it was in shutdown mode.
We gave away a KR3 bat to Katharine Wheeler for her kind donation and we also drew a name out of a hat with the winner being the recipient of the Roberto Alomar mini-bat. Congratulations to BIB fans Heidi and Jeff Duncan for being the lucky winners. The marathon may be over but the donations can keep coming, the top overall donor at the end of March 31st will receive a game used ball signed by Adam Lind, who wants to beat the current (as of Monday at 4:35 pm) bid of $125? It truly is for a great cause I think we can get our total up to $2000, who’s with me?
I think I’m ready for a nap now so I’m going to end this long rant with a thank you to everyone who supported us in every way possible and a big #JaysFansUnite… and oh yeah, did I mention we raised $1650?