Tuesday’s Tune – O Canada

O my, I am dropping the ‘h’! and it is Tuesday and time for a Tuesday’s Tune, Canada style. I am in Toronto for my 29th baseball stadium. It’s been an adventure.

Yesterday morning, I woke up early and drove from northern Michigan to Toronto, Ontario. It was a six-and-a-half-hour drive, and it was smooth driving, even when I got close to Toronto.

When Major League baseball released the 2024 schedule way back in July of ’23, I began looking ahead. At that time, I had my ’23 trips planned – Colorado, Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Miami, and Arizona, which left two teams: the Toronto Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox. When I planned my baseball trips for this season, I was looking for games when the Houston Astros played the Toronto Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox to complete my bucket list of all 30 teams. For the Blue Jays, the schedule read four games: Monday July 1 to Thursday July 4. I didn’t realize the significance of the date of the July 1st game, I knew the significance of Thursday’s game – July 4th, but not Monday’s game.

July First in Canada is Canada Day and it’s a BIG DEAL.

It is the day Canada celebrates as it’s ‘birthday.’ But that is an oversimplification. It’s the day when Canada (Quebec and Ontario), New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia became a country under the Dominion of Canada within the United Kingdom. It happened in 1867, two years after the ending of the American Civil War and two years before the founding of the first professional baseball league. Canada would add the remaining provinces to become the nation I know as Canada. But they are still part of the Commonwealth of Nations under the British crown.

Every baseball game begins almost identically. There is introduction of the lineups, the national anthem, then the ceremonial first pitch, and maybe a person running the first ball to the mound before the home team takes the field.

But Monday was different. It began with celebrating the Royal Canadian Air Force, which is celebrating its centenary, and the introduction of five Royal Canadian Air Force veterans all of whom were 100 years young or more and recognizing their service to Canada.

sheet music courtesy of the Government of Canada

Then the playing of the National Anthems – first the Star-Spangled Banner followed by the unfurling of the Canadian flag over the entire outfield and the singing of O Canada. It was impressive.

Then the game began, and it was a delight. I sat next to a family three. They had the aisle, I sat next to the mom, and we struck up a conversation lasting throughout the game. They are from Nova Scotia where she’s a pharmacist and her husband is in law enforcement. It was a baseball trip for them, and it was their third or fourth game since arriving in Toronto this past Thursday. They are Blue Jays fan, of course, and she enjoyed the game. As I do at all the ballgames, I keep score in a scorebook, and she asked me about it. I explained how keeping score helps me focus and keeps me off my phone! She laughed. The Astros took the lead in fifth inning on a solo home run and the game continued at a 1-0 pace. After the seventh inning stretch, she asked if I thought the game was interesting or boring. It was a valid question. Both teams had combined for four hits and one run. I explained it was. Defensive battle with both pitchers pitching well and while lots of runs is exciting, good baseball can be low scoring, too. I am not sure she agreed, but in the top of the ninth inning, the Astros hit a two-run home run to increase their lead to 3-0 and leaving the Blue Jays three runs behind leading into their final at-bat. When the ninth inning came around the Astros earned two quick outs before their batter hit a solo home run cutting the lead to 3-1. She poked with me her elbow and said,

‘See their gonna come back, ‘

but that’s how it ended.

That’s how baseball goes a glimmer of possibility keeps you going. It was a good game, fun to watch. Even more fun to be a part of it as spectator.

The afternoon sun finally sliding behind the buildings…..

I have one more game before I return to lake for the Fourth of July. I am driving back tomorrow.

This baseball trip or these baseball trips have added an entirely different bend to Making the Days COUNT. But that’s how life is, if I was doing the same thing I was doing each year, maybe I was doing it wrong. This is the fifteenth year of writing and posting at MtDC dot org (and com). If you are reading, I am thankful for your audience.

Today was an amazing day (I am posting after Tuesday’s game) and tomorrow could possibly be a million and six times better. So, I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, making connection and enjoying America’s pastime.

When was the last time you made it to the ballpark or even a sporting event?   

it’s sophomoric humor at best, but creating a good ‘bad’ photograph isn’t difficult to do if you are trying…

4 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Tune – O Canada

  1. “This baseball trip or these baseball trips have added an entirely different bend to Making the Days COUNT.” So good, Clay. And thanks for the Canadian history!

    We’re going to a Seattle Mariner’s game on Sunday. It’s fun to do with my young kids – one of these days, we might even catch a ball!

    Happy Fourth!

    1. You are welcome… if you sit low near the field there’s a chance a ball will find your way. On all the games I’ve been to, I’ve only gotten one, but kids, balls find them! I was in Seattle in May of ‘23 and had a great time. Have fun and enjoy the game! Thanks for stopping by.

Thanks for visiting MtDC. How are YOU Making YOUR Days Count?