Canadian History for Kids!
Sketches of Canada for April 7th!
April 7, 1977 – Baseball – 44,649 fans brave snow as the Toronto Blue Jays play their inaugural regular season at the CNE Exhibition Stadium.
This Canadian History for Kids exclusive, looks at the amazing Toronto Blue Jays.
It was April 7, 1977, and there was a snowstorm happening, but that did not keep a crowd of 46,649 from watching the Toronto Blue Jays play their very first game. They were playing the Chicago White Sox at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium. The game wasn’t delayed long before fans rose to The Star Spangled Banner performed by the 48th Highlanders, and O Canada sung by our own Anne Murray wearing a red parka.
The Toronto Blue Jay located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, are a member of the Eastern Division of the Major League Baseball’s (MLB) American League. Their official colours are royal blue, navy blue, white and red.
The Blue Jays won that April 7th game against the Chicago White Sox 9-5. However, they would finish in last place that 1977 season. It wouldn’t be until the 1983 season that they would have a winning season. Two years later they would become division champions.
The years 1985 to 1993 became great years for Blue Jays fans. The Blue Jays won five division championships and became back to back World Series champions from 1992-93 with the help of great players such as Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter, John Olerud and Devon White. They also became the first and only team outside the States to win a World Series.
The Blue Jays’ former radio play-by-play announcer, Tom Cheek, called every Blue Jays game from the team’s inaugural contest on April 7, 1977 until June 3, 2004, when he took two games off following the death of his father — a streak of 4,306 consecutive regular season games and 41 postseason games. Cheek died in 2005 and the team commemorated him during their 2006 season by wearing a circular badge on the left sleeve of their jerseys. Cheek is also honoured with a place in the Blue Jays’ “Level of Excellence” in the upper level of the Rogers Centre.
Take me out to the ball game!
And that’s this week’s Canadian History for Kids, exclusive!