With the offseason underway, we continue our tour of all of the different baseball stadiums I’ve been to over the years. This week, we look at the Toronto Blue Jays, the lone team currently existing outside of the United States. So, without further ado, let’s take a deeper look at my one game history with Rogers Centre.
Stadium Name: Skydome/Rogers Centre
Years in Service: 1989 – Present
Following the Grey Cup game in 1982 at Exhibition Stadium, dubbed the Rain Bowl due to a torrential rainstorm, tens of thousands of people attended a rally at Toronto’s city hall chanting “We want a dome”. After years of studies, they got their wish on June 3, 1989 when Skydome opened as the new home of the Blue Jays, featuring the first functional retractable roof in North America.
While the stadium quickly became an albatross for the province of Ontario, due to cost overruns and a recession, the Blue Jays became a force to be reckoned with. The Jays won the AL East crown in 1989 and 1991, losing to the eventual World Series champions both years. In 1992, they again won their division and became the first Canadian team to capture a World Series title. They repeated as champions in 1993, becoming the first team to win back-to-back Series since the Yankees in 1977 and 1978.
Since then, things have been relatively quiet for the Blue Jays. In 2005, the stadium was renamed Rogers Centre, after the new owners of both the stadium and the team. After years of failed expectations, the Blue Jays finally have something to be excited about, thanks to Vlad Guerrero Jr, one of the most exciting young players in the game.
I attended my first (and, so far, only) game at the Rogers Centre in September of 2015 when I was visiting Toronto with my friend Hayley. In addition to adding a new stadium to my resume, former White Sox ace Mark Buehrle was scheduled to start, so I was really looking forward to the game. Sadly, Buehrle was bumped a few days due to a sore shoulder, so I ended up having to see David Price take on the Orioles. He handled them with ease, picking up his 100th career victory. I didn’t have the best seats in the house, sitting out in left field, but was in the shade, which was in short supply during a hot afternoon with the roof open. I certainly hope to return one day.