VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners continue a four game series down the I-5 Saturday night at Safeco Field.
The tradition of Canadian Blue Jays supporters making their way to the Emerald City for the yearly match up continues, and as it turns out, that attention filters its way down to Toronto’s Single ‘A’ affiliate.
That would be the Vancouver Canadians, who regularly pack the stands at Nat Bailey Stadium.
Rob Fai with the C’s feels it helps here, but it can be tied together a little bit too.
“I think probably we benefit more than Seattle benefits. Because I think the Blue Jays fan base comes from all across British Columbia. But there’s no doubt at least getting your baseball fix at Nat Bailey can sometimes translate to say ‘well let’s go see it at the biggest stage.’”
Fay adds the success the Canadians have had on the player development side over the years has also increased the interest in the local club in Vancouver.
He also believes the old Vancouver-Toronto inferiority complex doesn’t really come into play.
“I think baseball is actually the only sport in Canada where you don’t mind that Toronto is associated with Vancouver. I mean if I was to tell you that the hockey team there was associated with the Maple Leafs that would be sacrilege.”
Fai adds Canada’s only Major League team and Canada’s only Minor League team can happily co-exist — and that includes the fans.
“There’s a lot of Toronto transplants, a lot of us that moved from East to the West coast so this is really the closest that we get to having the Blue Jays in our own backyard. So it’s more than worth the two and a half hour drive and now that you’ve gone through a couple of games, and you know the energy and the atmosphere that’s down at Safeco for this series, that’s just another reason to head down and enjoy it.”
-With files from Tim James