Niagara Gazette


July 8, 2013

Base Paths: A field trip to the big leagues

Niagara Gazette — Base Paths choked down his distaste for “The Show” Saturday, helping grandson Clark, 10, to his major-league debut. Fourteen hours later, they decided that even as mediocre a team as the Blue Jays deserves a better city than Toronto.

We crossed the Rainbow Bridge, our agent wondering at Clark’s governmental pedigree – residence, Summerhill; address, Locke; phone number, Sempronius; school, Groton. Actually, they’re all one crossroads location. “Perfect,” said she.

Declining the limited options of GO-train from Niagara Falls, we drove to Appleby, around the corner from Hamilton, on an every-half-hour schedule. We bought tickets, $18 round trip for two, but nobody collected them. We learned later it’s an honor system, rarely checked. Three hours before game time, it was a rolling nest of Blue Jay fans of every feather.

Toronto Union personnel directed us to the “skywalk,” a plywood maze of construction sites and pipe dreams. Twice we had to reverse field through a “pedestrian detour.” Even for a kid who gets on base a lot, it was a long hike.

Outside the Rogers Center, a scrumptious hot dog cost a mere $4 with all trimmings (post-game, $3) and then we were in, roof open, a new experience for Base Paths who has seen two games indoors.

The CN Tower loomed like a gigantic croquet stake. Pizza, popcorn and two drinks cost $20 and an usher rushed in to help ferry it to our seats, flatly refusing tip. With R. A. Dickey hurling, prospects for history seemed high.

Those crashed with a first-pitch single and the Twins sautéed the Jays 6-0. Still, the game had its wonders. Jay Jose Reyes was picked off so thoroughly that he almost fell to the ground laughing. Each center fielder doubled a runner off first. Twin center fielder Aaron Hicks made three spectacular catches, none to be mentioned in later accounts.

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