The Toronto Blue Jays Are Coming Home, Finally

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When the Toronto Blue Jays play at Rogers Centre on July 30th, it will have been 670 days since their last true home game. On July 16th, the Blue Jays were granted a National Interest Exemption from the Canadian federal government, allowing them to return home after nearly two years. A lot has happened since September 29th, 2019, when they last played in Toronto. Most notably, a pandemic that caused a border closure, which led to the Blue Jays having to find a temporary home. Sahlen Field in Buffalo, home to the Blue Jays Triple-A affiliate, became home. Also, TD Ballpark, the Blue Jays spring training facility and home to their Low-A affiliate, hosted as well. Being the only Canadian team in a predominantly United States-based league proved to have its challenges. But, challenges can breed triumph. And now, all this time later, the Blue Jays have shown great success during these unique seasons.

With the Blue Jays coming back to Canada, betting on the Jays is starting to heat up. Sites like Canadian-Sports-Betting.com are seeing more action heading into the final stretch of the season.

Perfect Timing to Go Back Home

The move could not have come at a better time for the Blue Jays. Being only 3.5 games out of a wildcard spot as of July 20th, this could be the boost they need. Playing in front of their fans for the first time could be the last piece of the puzzle. And seemingly, the Blue Jays have had a pep in their step since the news was confirmed.

Following the exciting announcement, the Blue Jays swept the Texas Rangers. This included two games with massive offensive outbursts, resulting in 10 runs. Of course, there is no way to say their great play over the past few games is attributed to it. However, it is hard to think that it could not be. The players are thrilled to return home. For many, they wear Toronto across their chest but have never played in Toronto.

The Blue Jays Focused on Baseball Despite the Circumstances

While other teams had the luxury of going to their home and family when playing in their city, the Blue Jays did not. It was perfectly reasonable to be bitter about living out of a suitcase for the better part of two seasons, but they weren’t. The organization and the players understood that these were safety measures put in place to try and combat Covid-19. Even though they effectively had no place to call home this did not slow down their game. As Blue Jays player Cavan Biggio said in an interview, “We just play one game at a time and try not to worry about the stuff we can’t control.” Having done this, the focus on their team and the game showed.

In the shortened 2020 season with the extended playoff format, the Blue Jays secured the eighth playoff spot. It was the first time many of the younger Blue Jays players had a taste of the postseason. Even though the 2020 outcome was not what they had hoped for, the experience carried over into the 2021 season and it has made them a better team. They look to finally present this competitive team in front of their loyal fans on their home turf. This is something they have longed to do since last summer.

The Buffalo and Dunedin Forever Connection to Toronto

Even though Buffalo, NY, and Dunedin, FL were already connected to the Blue Jays, it is nothing like it is now. Their fondness for the Jays has grown. Also, Canadians have come to appreciate Buffalo and Dunedin. Who would have thought that fans in Canada would have bought shirts that had “Buffalo Blue Jays” printed on them? A token of the time an American city took their beloved team in and claimed them as their own. Likewise, fans in the state of New York have flocked to Sahlen Field wearing Blue Jays shirts instead of New York Yankees or New York Mets apparel that typically dominates the area. The connection is stronger now than ever.

Toronto Blue Jays Heading Back to Canada

Being able to play in Canada once again caused a wave of emotions. Heading back home caused feelings of relief. Thankfulness for the support received from Buffalo and Dunedin. As well as a new sense of identity. They know they are a Toronto baseball team and they cannot wait to get back on the field at Rogers Centre. In their statement, the club said this was a “… defining chapter of team history, and whose resilience never wavered through immense challenges and times of uncertainty.” Now, they not only get to go back to their home city, but to the country, they play for. Welcome home, Toronto Blue Jays.

 

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

Players Mentioned:

Cavan Biggio