For a franchise mired in a streak of regular season shortcomings; for a team stuck living in their past successes while constantly longing for what could have been; and for a fan base that wants nothing more than to see their team bring home a championship, there is nothing quite like the feeling of post-season baseball. And for Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) fans, this is a feeling that had been 22 years in the making. While this season’s end result proved to fall short of the ultimate goal, the exhilarating post-season journey was one that helped Jays fans truly and resoundingly #ComeTogether!
For more than two decades, Jays’ fans have followed their club along a tumultuous path complete with both immense hope and bitter disappointment. For too long, fans have been left staring at the back-to-back World Series banners over the Rogers Centre jumbo-tron; for too long, fans have watched the revolving door of American League East champions reign supreme only to find themselves on the outside looking in; and for too long, fans have had to see their brightest pre-season aspirations crumble throughout the dog days of summer, leaving them battered and bruised until the painfully lengthy off-season brings about another clean slate.
The 2015 season, however, was different. The 2015 season brought about meaningful baseball games after the All-Star break, a thrilling playoff push, and a trip to October baseball that brought an entire fan base to a frantic frenzy. For 11 post-season games, fans were treated to – for some – a once-in-a-lifetime experience; one that solidified what it has meant to be a sports fan. For others, this was a trip back down memory lane to the glory days of the early 90s. And for all, it was a window into what many believe will be a familiar feeling for years to come.
Undoubtedly, there were some devastating lows, from Russell Martin’s (@russellmartin55) unfathomable throwing “error” against Texas (@Rangers) and the late game pop up that inexplicably went uncaught against Kansas City (@Royals), to the umpires’ hair-pulling missed calls and the young Royals fan that came away with a souvenir “home run” ball. But for every low, there was an immeasurable high. Whether you can fondly recall Troy Tulowitzki’s clutch home run in Game 3 against Texas; Marco Estrada’s career-best start staring down the brink of elimination in Game 5 against K.C.; or of course, Jose Bautista’s (@JoeyBats19) otherworldly bat flip to put the final nail in the Rangers’ ALDS coffin, there was an abundance of game-changing memories.
And behind all of these moments were the fans. The people who not only sat in the stands, but used the power of communication to make their mark on this playoff run. Whether fans were cheering and screaming from their seats or taking to their online outlets, the fans showed just how much they love this team and how successfully they could #ComeTogether. They made Bautista’s bat flip a cultural phenomenon on Twitter; they took to social media to show Harold Reynolds exactly what Canadian baseball is all about; they made #MiniBautista a household name; and perhaps most importantly, they made their voices echo throughout the stadium. For the fans, this was everything, and they let the world know it!
So to the Toronto Blue Jays, thank you for putting together a season that was long sought after by fans; one that will be forever remembered as one of the franchise’s all-time best. And to the fans, thank you for making your voices heard and for showing Toronto, the MLB (@MLB), and the entire sporting world that you can #ComeTogether!