Tuesday, October 13, 2015

"OK Blue Jays!"

I'm a long-time ardent fan of the Toronto Blue Jays
and watch every game on TV...even now as they have won the
American League East Division Championship and are currently
vying for the World Series.

When Stephen Brunt, a few games back, read a tribute essay he wrote about 'The Jays', it reminded me of the days when they were known as the Toronto Maple Leafs...so named because they were a minor league baseball club of the International League with games played in Maple Leaf Stadium at Toronto's west end. Later they moved to CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) Stadium for their games. They became the Toronto Blue Jays when the American League added the team via the 1977 Major League Baseball expansion. Dave Stieb, George Bell and Tony Fernandez were synonymous at that time and a catchy little tune that has endured as the team's anthem.

OK Blue Jays was written as an homage to baseball and an anthem of sorts for a team that was new and struggling. More than 30 years later, this song is a rallying cry being sung from coast to coast as the team begins its quest for a third World Series championship. Jack Lenz, who co-wrote the song with Tony Kosinec, remembers the Blue Jays' executive Paul Beeston being excited about the song back in the early 1980's. “It's a simple, fun melody,” said Lenz. The song was recorded in 1982. That was the year starter, Dave Stieb led the league in innings pitched and complete games while winning a club record 17 matchups. On September 2, 1990, Stieb pitched the first (and to date) only no-hitter in Blue Jay's history...defeating the Cleveland Indians 3-0. But the team finished 78-84, six games below 500 and dead last in the American League East. It wasn't all bleak for the franchise in the years ahead. The Jays made the playoffs later and won the first of back-to-back World Series in 1992 and 1993.

OK Blue Jays has several verses ~ here are the lyrics:
You've got a diamond.
You've got nine men.
You've got a hat and a bat and that's not all.
You got the bleachers, got 'em from spring 'til fall.
You've got a dog and a drink and an umpire's call.
What do you want?
Let's play ball.

Is that a fly ball or is it a seagull?
Coming in from the lake, just to catch the game.
It's the last inning, our guys are winning.
Dave's put down a smoker, a strike and you got
no doubt. You're out.
What do you want?
Let's play ball.

OK, OK, Blue Jays!
Let's, Let's Play, Play Ball!
It's a beautiful evening, fans.
At the ballpark, when the game starts.
Warm summer breezes, sun's going down.
It's all dark at the ballpark.
That's OK, it's a night game.
OK, OK Blue Jays, Blue Jays!
Let's, Let's Play, Play Ball!
Bring on the White Sox.
Bring on the BoSox.
Bring on the Angels, the Rangers and the Yankees too.
We'll beat the Indians.
We'll beat the Tigers.
We'll beat the A's so bad It'll make Billy Blue.
What do you want?
Let's play ball.

OK, OK Blue Jays, Blue Jays!
Let's, Let's Play, Play Ball!
OK, OK Blue Jays, Blue Jays!
Let's, Let's Play, Play Ball!
OK Blue Jays” is still played during the seventh inning stretch.
Who would know that the song would last for 33 years and they'd still be playing it at the ballpark?
(The foregoing published by The Canadian Press)

In Bil Keane's cartoon, The Family Circus, he portrays 'baseball plays' with 7 drawings (literally, a play on words): A Swing and A Miss (his little girl happily riding on her swing)...Fowl Bawl (a yellow duck angrily squawking)...Strike Three (3 hydro towers, the third one struck by lightening...Steeling a Base (child is hammering steel slabs on back of musical base instrument)...A Long Belt to Left (man wearing a belt through his pant loops with long end dragging on the floor)...Tie Score (man playing flute and observing the musical notes on a tie hanging on a line)...Safe at Home (a cosy living room).

In the Buckles cartoon, little dog wants boy of the house to 'play ball with him' so his request is:
Take Me Out for a Fetch Game
(sung to Take Me Out to the Ball Game)
Picture the boy joyfully throwing the ball and dog enthusiastically chases it!
Take me out for a fetch game,
Take me out to the park;
Just throw me a ball or a stick or two.
I don't care, it's all up to you.
Let me run, run, run through the grass.
If I don't catch, it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three times or more
In an old fetch game!

Seniors at a Baseball Game: They stand side by side, peering through the mesh protection as intently they watch the game. Wearing royal blue baseball caps, they each wear a number shirt (possibly each representing a favourite player). However...that ain't so! On a closer look, the back of her shirt says,
TOGETHER 19...and his says, SINCE 61.

Written by Merle Baird-Kerr...October 12, 2015
Your views I appreciate...email:

No comments:

Post a Comment