Friday, April 9, 2010
Acid Flashback Friday: 1977's Home Opener at Exhibition Stadium
By Ian Hunter
Some of us were just kids when it happened, and some of us weren't even born yet. Despite that, most can recognize those iconic images like the one above of the snow-covered field at Exhibition Stadium on April 7th, 1977.
For this week's Acid Flashback Friday, we take a look back at the Home Opener that started it all - the very first Blue Jays home game at Exhibition Stadium.
Some interesting facts about the game: the 1977 Blue Jays Home Opener was the only major league game to ever be played with the field entirely covered in snow. Also, Exhibition Stadium was the only ballpark not to serve beer. I wonder if the crowd subsequently got rowdy and started throwing paper airplanes onto the field?
The snow was not only a giant headache for the players and the grounds crew, but also for the thousands of fans en route to the game.
For anyone who remembers the huge snow storm the day of last year's Home Opener, you can attest to the fact that it was like hell on wheels trying to drive to the ballpark that day. I'm sure it was the exact same way back in 1977.
Doug Ault was the hero of the day, hitting two home runs and helping the Blue Jays win their very first game on home soil 9-5 over the visiting Chicago White Sox.
The success was short-lived though as the team would only win 55 games that season, beginning a streak of three consecutive 100 loss seasons.
For me, the sheer unpredictability of the weather in April adds to the lure of the Blue Jays Home Opener and makes it even more special.
Any other day of the year, that snow on the ground would be just another headache. Yet there's something about snow on the day of the Blue Jays Home Opener that will always make me think back to that very first game at Exhibition Stadium.