One of the biggest weekends in the Toronto Blue Jays schedule is upon us. While teams wish that they could have more than 81 home games, the Blue Jays have that every year. The catch being they play these games in Seattle. Unlike other Blue Jays trips to Boston, Minnesota, or Detroit, Seattle excites fans like no other.
The Toronto Blue Jays-Seattle Mariners Rivalry
For those who are unfamiliar, the province of British Columbia loves their baseball (almost as much as Ontario). Some of Canada’s greatest players have come out of British Columbia, including Larry Walker, Justin Morneau, Jason Bay, and Michael Saunders. In addition to producing Canada’s best baseball academy, it also produces practically every Team Canada to play at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Although the Seattle Mariners and Blue Jays are pretty far from each other, to some fans the rivalry hits close to home. As both teams are traditionally sub-500 American League teams, the Toronto-Seattle rivalry traces back to the 1970’s. While the Pacific Northwest was longing for the disappearance of the Seattle Pilots (the Milwaukee Brewers) to the Midwest, Toronto had seen failed attempts at recruiting a National League team so they could rival Montreal. As fate would have it, the two cities joined the American League in 1977 becoming the 25th and 26th Major League franchise.
Since then, the two clubs have seen a rivalry that is usually uncommon for teams so far away from one another. As Canada’s only major league team, Blue Jays fans across the country make the annual trip to Seattle to cheer on their Jays. Even though Seattle is at home, the Blue Jays faithful create an atmosphere that perceives a game being played in Toronto. Seattle fans also know it, as tickets are highest when they play the Blue Jays.
Why Is It so Important?
This rivalry is so important because it showcases baseball fandom throughout the Northwestern United States and Western Canada. Often they are not seen as these “great baseball markets,” but they become the place to watch Major League baseball for the weekend. Despite being two mediocre teams, they tend to produce a playoff atmosphere in Seattle. Not to mention, this weekend’s series will take place on Player’s Weekend.
Currently, in its 3rd installment, Player’s Weekend has become a special event within the Major Leagues. Players and fans alike look for this weekend to show their true colors. As baseball is in need of weekends of marquee matchups, it makes sense that the Blue Jays were to play the Mariners this weekend.
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