Baseball fans in Toronto have had little to celebrate at Canada Day games
It shouldn’t have been a surprise that Toronto lost yesterday, even though a lot of things worked in their favor. After all, the Blue Jays had won 11 of their last 13 at home, there was a sellout crowd at the Rodgers Center, and they were playing a Detroit Tigers club that had just suffered a 13-game losing streak.
Unfortunately, the game was on Canada Day, a national holiday for the northern neighbors of the United States. It also happens to be, according to history, an unlucky day for the Canadian baseball team.
The Blue Jays have played thirty games on Canada Day at their home park over the course of their forty-year history, and all thirty have been celebrations of the national holiday. Overall, though, the baseball team has had little to celebrate on the field.
In those twenty-and-a-half contests since 1977, Toronto has won only nine and lost twenty-one. There have been eleven times the Blue Jays have played away from home on Canada Day, and they probably want to play away from home a lot more often after the schedule changes from June to July.
Unsurprisingly looking back on past occasions, the Blue Jays seemed doomed to lose again on Canada Day in 2018. They were trailing the Tigers before their last at-bat and, in fact, were one strike away from another holiday. loss.
At that point, pinch hitter Justin Smoak was walked with the bases loaded, allowing Toronto to tie the score and send the game into extra innings. That free pass incited the crowd at the Rodgers Centre, who were sure this Canada Day would break history and see their team triumph.
That hope was short-lived, as the Tigers struck back in their next at-bat. Shortstop Joe Iglesias hit a sacrifice fly that made it 3-2 for Detroit, which ended up being the final score.
Ontario fans can take comfort in the fact that the one-run loss wasn’t as bad as the one in 2001, when the division rival Boston Red Sox defeated the home team by a score of sixteen to four. A decade and a half before the Blue Jays suffered an almost equally bad Canada Day loss, the Seattle Mariners handed Toronto an eleven-to-two loss.
Despite Canada Day’s poor record in club history, there’s still reason to be excited when the Blue Jays play at home when July opens. Toronto’s two World Series championships came in 1992 and 1993, both seasons in which the Blue Jays won Canada Day.