...What Started Opening Day.
Apr 7, 1977.
I can’t say it was one of the say, three most important days of my life, because once you witness the birth of a child, everything else pales in comparison. But it was a pretty big day, although how big I couldn’t have imagined back then.
I was there, at old Exhibition Stadium, for the Jays first ever game. And who knows how many games, in how many cities, I’ve been to since. But I know this - as a fan, a Dad, a coach, and a broadcaster, baseball has been one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. Sure, it’s getting harder to stay up for the West Coast games…and sure, I wish catchers wouldn’t go to the mound quite as often as they do…but big picture, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Baseball has given me far more than I could ever hope to give it in return. Here’s hoping we stay in each other’s lives for the next 40 years as well.
Dan Shulman first messaged me about my blog about five years ago and he gave me one of my favourite compliments about it. He said that it was the perfect combination of knowledge and attitude.
I can't say I was consciously going for that when I was writing, but that does pretty much sum it up.
And I may have said the following to my father while we were watching Sunday Night Baseball: "Hey Dad. The voice of Sunday Night Baseball said my blog is the perfect combination of knowledge and attitude."
I met Shulman at Pitch Talks in 2015 and he's been charming every time I've encountered him since. Even that one time he didn't recognize me from Twitter this past summer at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame event in Toronto. (My hair was straight....)
Hearing that voice say, "Hum and Chuck" was a highlight of this whole damn thing.
It was announced mid-season that Shulman would be stepping down as announcer for Sunday Night Baseball after the 2017 season. I don't blame him, because that schedule is a beast, but Shulman's ability to anchor a broadcast will be missed on Sunday Night Baseball. I mean, he made Curt Schilling sound somewhat reasonable.
It's the pipes that got Dan Shulman in the door, but it's his affection for this game that keeps him there.
2017 was a rough season for many reasons, but there was some good stuff, too.