FanPost

Jays fans from the USA - Stand up and be Counted!

I just read a comment on another thread about the Jays being much less desirable to the American media as a playoff team than the Red Sox, the Yankees, or, for that matter, about any other team you can name.  The reasoning is that while the Jays have a following in Canada, Canadian TV watchers and radio listeners do not count in American ratings.  Furthermore, there is a very small number of USA fans who are also Jays fans.

I do not disagree with that reasoning.  In fact, I acknowledge that it is most likely absolutely true.  As a Jays fan in Washington (the state, not the city), I can tell you that I must surely be one in a thousand here and maybe rarer than that.  I once saw a guy get on a bus wearing a Blue Jays cap and congratulated him on his fine choice in baseball teams.  I learned after a brief conversation that he didn't even know that it was the cap of a real baseball team.  He was at the Goodwill, saw the cap, and thought the design was cool, so he bought it.

It gets worse.  I would guess that the five most popular teams out here in the far northwest corner of the United States are (in order) the Mariners (makes sense), the Red Sox, the Yankees, the Giants, and the Braves.  On the west coast, how can two teams from the far east rank 2 and 3 ahead of a World Series Champion just eight hundred road miles away?  And how can a team diagonally across the country check in at #5?  Ask ESPN.

So, Jays fans from the States, you are rare birds.  Let's help our Canadian friends know they are not alone.  Comment.  Tell us your history.  What state are you from, and how on earth did you become a Jays fan?

My story... I grew up in Syracuse.  In the late sixties and early seventies, I started out as a Yankees fan.  There were four reasons for that: (1) the Syracuse Chiefs were the Yankees' AAA farm club; (2) the Yankees were not such an obnoxious team back then (hey, they started guys like Roy White, Horace Clarke, and Fred "Chicken" Stanley); (3) the Jays didn't exist yet; and (4) I was just a little kid.  By the mid-seventies, though, the Yankees became much less likeable.  I was disenchanted with Yankees' management, because everytime a Syracuse Chief got hot, he was called up to the big club to warm the bench and then sent back down to pick out the splinters.  I latched onto an expansion club on the other side of Lake Ontario in 1977.  Then, to my great delight, Chiefs management fired the Yankees and signed a player development contract with that very expansion club!  I still resent what my Chiefs did two years ago, although the former Montreal Expos are my second favourite team.

So I've been around since the days of Bob Bailor, Roy Howell, Doug Ault, and Otto Velez.  I watched the Jays grow from a team that lost over 100 in each of its first three years (being an expansion team was tougher back then) to the team that won a World Series in only its 16th year of existence.  The years after #17 have been a bit more disappointing, but I'll stick with my Jays, and someday we'll be on top again.  My only hope is that they won't be playing in Puerto Rico or North Carolina by then.  If so, I might have to change teams.

Your turn!

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