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Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Taking Back the Ballparks - Toronto Blue Jays

We leave the states to visit our friends to the north. Canada’s team began play in the futuristic SkyDome in 1989, though it got its current Rogers Centre name, complete with Canadian spelling, in 2005.

For the record, it was just SkyDome. I’m not sure why that bugs people. We don’t say the Wrigley Field or the Willets Point. But call a park a dome, and everybody, including Matt Johnson, has to add the The.

While a precursor to the throwback stadium craze launched by Camden, it did kick off some of the trends in new ballpark construction, such as amenities beyond concessions, restrooms and luxury boxes. The most notable new concept was the hotel with windows overlooking the stadium, a feature I’m sure the late Dick Williams must have appreciated.

Rogers Centre is one of the two remaining ballparks covered with turf, along with Suncoast Dome. The Jays have made overtures of replacing it with grass, though earlier this decade they did the next closest thing by installing a slower turf that allowed Kevin Pillar to kick up black pellets every time he made a diving catch, which is quite often.

Ballpark History

Built: 1989

Capacity: 49,282

Name: Rogers Centre (2005-present). Before that, SkyDome (1989-2005). 

Other ballparks used by club in its current city: Exhibition Stadium, 1977-1989.

Distinctive Features: The sport’s first fully working retractable roof; 70 rooms of Renaissance Toronto Hotel overlooking field; millions in artwork above entrances; view of the CN Tower when the roof is lifted.


Ballpark Highlights:

In the ballpark’s maiden season, Jose Canseco hit a homer into the previously unreached top deck during Game 4 of the ALCS, helping the A’s roll to their second straight AL pennant.

In 1993, Joe Carter lived out the dream of every child who ever picked up a bat, turning a ninth-inning deficit into a World Series victory with a three-run homer off Mitch Williams. The blast capped one of the wackiest Fall Classics ever, made the Blue Jays the first team to repeat as champs since the Bronx Zoo Yanks of ‘77-78 and gave us our last taste of autumn baseball until 1995.

On July 1, 1997, Pedro Martinez outdueled Pat Hentgen in a 2-1 Montreal Expos victory, the first game in Major League history featuring two Canadian clubs.

On Opening Day 2003, Blue Jays catcher’s Ken Huckaby’s awkward catch and tag at third resulted in a broken Jeter, to the consternation of starlets and sportswriters everywhere. Four years later at that same base, Jeter’s teammate Alex Rodriguez got some measure of revenge on the hosts, distracting and infuriating the Jays’ Howie Clark on a pop-up by yelling, “I got it.”

In the deciding game of the 2015 ALDS, the Rangers and Blue Jays played one of the strangest postseason contests of the Wild Card era. The Rangers took a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh when Rougned Odor alertly scampered home on a toss from catcher Russel Martin that hit Shin-Soo Choo’s bat and rolled in between the mound and third, unleashing havoc in Toronto and introducing us to the concept of the catcher’s throwing lane. The Jays responded with four runs in the bottom of the frame, spurred by three consecutive Ranger errors and capped by Jose Bautista’s mammoth homer to left-center, which was followed by a memorable bat chuck to punctuate the blow.

Selections to Date

San Francisco Giants - China Basin

Texas Rangers - The Ballpark in Arlington

San Diego Padres - Mission Field

Boston Red Sox - Fenway Park

Washington Nationals - Nationals Park

Tampa Bay Rays - Suncoast Dome

Philadelphia Phillies - Citizens Park

Seattle Mariners - Cascadia Field

Pittsburgh Pirates - Allegheny Park

Kansas City Royals -Kauffman Stadium

New York Mets - Willets Point

Los Angeles Angels - Autry Field

St. Louis Cardinals - Busch Stadium

Detroit Tigers - Tiger Field

Miami Marlins - Fish Tank

Cleveland Indians - Jacobs Field

Chicago Cubs - Wrigley Field

New York Yankees - Yankee Stadium

Milwaukee Brewers -

Miller Park

Baltimore Orioles - Camden Yards

Colorado Rockies - Coors Field

Houston Astros -Astrodome 2000

Arizona Diamondbacks - Sonoran Grounds

Minnesota Twins -Great Northern Park

Cincinnati Reds -Riverfront Park

 

 

 

SoSH U at work Posted: September 04, 2018 at 10:26 AM | 31 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays, stadium names

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: September 04, 2018 at 11:48 AM (#5738210)
SkyDome

</thread>
   2. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 04, 2018 at 11:56 AM (#5738216)
Skydome.
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: September 04, 2018 at 12:00 PM (#5738219)
Sorry. Fixed.

   4. BDC Posted: September 04, 2018 at 12:02 PM (#5738223)
The old baseball Maple Leafs played in some parks with evocative names, including the Old Lacrosse Grounds, Sunlight Park, and Hanlan's Point. The last of those was out on the Toronto Islands, and (IIRC) was where Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run, which is supposed to have soared into Lake Ontario.

I guess none of these names is suitable for a big old dome on the mainland.
   5. Rusty Priske Posted: September 04, 2018 at 12:43 PM (#5738259)
This should have been one of the ones on the 'let's just push it through since we know what is going to happen' thread.

It is SkyDome.
   6. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 04, 2018 at 01:00 PM (#5738271)
   7. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 04, 2018 at 02:20 PM (#5738326)
SkyDoume, it is Canadian after all.
   8. Jay Seaver Posted: September 04, 2018 at 02:45 PM (#5738349)
It's SkyDome. Maybe actual Canadians will disagree, but it seems like "Rogers Centre" would only be used by people with some sort of business relationship with the team or maybe new fans.
   9. Rusty Priske Posted: September 04, 2018 at 03:12 PM (#5738361)
As an 'actual Canadian' I can say that both names are used. Rogers Centre has the advantage of being written on the side of the building.

But it is SkyWay... I mean SkyDome.

https://youtu.be/FED6AHlXXaA
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2018 at 03:12 PM (#5738362)
SkyDome
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: September 04, 2018 at 03:37 PM (#5738381)
Do locals say "The SkyDome" or "SkyDome?"

I don't know why, but it just sounds right to use "the" when talking about a dome.
   12. QLE Posted: September 04, 2018 at 06:20 PM (#5738516)
SkyDome.
   13. Greg Pope Posted: September 04, 2018 at 10:04 PM (#5738663)
Tronnadome
Elsinore Park
2112 Arena
Ontario Hippodrome
   14. stevegamer Posted: September 04, 2018 at 11:31 PM (#5738742)
SkyDome
   15. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 05, 2018 at 12:06 AM (#5738747)
Maybe I'm misrembering this but I recall watching the first game, it was midseason vs the Brewers and they were racing to install the outfield fence on the day of the game.
   16. SoSH U at work Posted: September 05, 2018 at 12:19 AM (#5738750)

Maybe I'm misrembering this but I recall watching the first game, it was midseason vs the Brewers and they were racing to install the outfield fence on the day of the game.


I don't know about the hurry-up outfield fence installation, but the rest of your memory is accurate. The Jays finished up a home series against the White Sox, then went on a one-week trip to Cleveland and Boston. When they returned to Toronto, they opened SkyDome against the Brewers on June 5.

   17. Omineca Greg Posted: September 05, 2018 at 12:33 AM (#5738753)
Omphalos Syndome

That's a riff on the "Omphalos Syndrome", which Toronto undoubtedly has. We drop the "r" from "Syndrome" to get "Syndome". 'Cuz it's a dome.

Hello? Hello?...[tap] [tap]...is this thing even on?

HA HA! No really, if you were a Canadian metaphysician, you'd think that was really funny.

Is that too narrow a demographic?

We could go with "The Axis Mundi"?

“No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.”

Carl Jung

Sounds like Carl has driven the Don Valley Parkway in rush hour.

...but "Axis Mundi" sounds a little nasty...

Everybody hates the Axis (in Canada we don't do the "very fine people on both [REDACTED FOR POLITICS]" (but notice how I left enough in that you can still tell what the quote is, but at the same time I can appear above it all? If you find that unbearably smug, don't come to Canada; you won't like it here).

And everybody hates Monday...

So let's do "Allies Friday" instead!

That's my final nomination: Allies Friday

No, no...apparently people like "The" in the name...so "The Allies Friday"

Trust me on this, I'm Canadian.
   18. Bote Man Posted: September 05, 2018 at 12:40 AM (#5738762)
I recall commentators hopping up and down DEMANDING that the "the" be omitted from the name when it opened.

SkyDome, natch.
   19. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 05, 2018 at 09:43 AM (#5738844)
It's just "SkyDome", like a place not a building.

Most fans still call it SkyDome, and reference directions as "SkyDome" (not Rogers Centre...please note the lack of apostrophe and the "re" ending...that's the official name).

Exhibition Place was a converted football stadium that was jury-rigged to play baseball in it. The seats/benches down the first base line did not point you towards the field of play if you were far enough down the line. They were designed to point you towards the football field, so you would often sit facing the empty space behind the outfield wall, and turn your head almost 90 degrees to see the pitcher/batter.
In April games, those benches would be FREEZING cold (like on opening day) so you would bring a blanket to sit on (and wrap your legs).

The one advantage the old Exhibition Stadium had over SkyDome was the summer air shows would fly right over the old stadium, giving the fans a great view of the planes.
SkyDome makes it hard to see as the planes don't fly right over the open portion of the stadium.



   20. Nasty Nate Posted: September 05, 2018 at 09:45 AM (#5738846)
How many air shows do you have?
   21. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 05, 2018 at 09:56 AM (#5738853)
SkyDome also housed (at one point) the largest TV screen in history (the original Jumbotron).

Carlos Delgado hit four home runs in one game, the last one hitting the area just below the Jumbotron.
Side note: The first two home runs were hit off Jorge Sosa. It was part of a run where Carlos Delgado hit a home run in FIVE STRAIGHT PLATE APPEARANCES against Jorge Sosa (spread over 3 games and 2 seasons):

                                                                                
Cr#         Date  Tm Opp Inn Play Description
14    2003-09-10 TOR TBD  t1 Flyball: LF
15                        t3 Strikeout Swinging
16                        t5 Intentional Walk
17                        t7 Home Run (Fly Ball)
18    2003-09-25 TOR TBD  b1 Home Run (Fly Ball)
19                        b4 Home Run (Fly Ball)
20    2004-07-31 TOR TBD  t2 Home Run (Fly Ball to CF-RF)
21                        t4 Home Run (Line Drive to CF-RF)


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/5/2018.
   22. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 05, 2018 at 09:59 AM (#5738857)
How many air shows do you have?


The 69th Canadian International Air Show flew just this weekend.

It's an annual tradition.
   23. SoSH U at work Posted: September 05, 2018 at 10:02 AM (#5738862)
It's just "SkyDome", like a place not a building.

Most fans still call it SkyDome, and reference directions as "SkyDome" (not Rogers Centre...please note the lack of apostrophe and the "re" ending...that's the official name).


I did cover all this.

   24. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 05, 2018 at 10:07 AM (#5738864)
#23 Yes, you did. I was answering #11 who was asking about what the locals call it. I am a "local".
   25. BrianBrianson Posted: September 05, 2018 at 10:44 AM (#5738879)
It could be painted pink, and renamed "HogDome". Venders, especially that PeeWee Herman-yelling guy, could start selling Peameal Sandwiches, that'd give it a lot more Toronto-y flavour.
   26. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 05, 2018 at 11:13 AM (#5738911)
No, no...apparently people like "The" in the name...so "The Allies Friday"

Trust me on this, I'm Canadian.


It wasn't until sometime in the 40's that the "The" in "The Yankee Stadium" was finally dropped from newspaper accounts.
   27. The_Ex Posted: September 05, 2018 at 09:27 PM (#5739406)
"The Dome" is often used as well.
   28. Obo Posted: September 06, 2018 at 02:00 AM (#5739525)
SkyDome. Rogers Centre might do better if it rolled off the tongue a little more smoothly. Also, everyone knows what "the Dome" is while "the Centre" is pretty much meaningless.
   29. bobm Posted: September 06, 2018 at 06:44 AM (#5739544)
Exhibitionist Stadium
   30. Rusty Priske Posted: September 06, 2018 at 10:04 AM (#5739623)
How many air shows do you have?


Too many.
   31. SoSH U at work Posted: September 13, 2018 at 08:55 PM (#5744067)
Not that it really needs to be said, but SkyDome it is.

We'll return to Southern California next.

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