Chris Boese and his brother Chad raise a glass at the Canadian Brewhouse in Red Deer as they watch the Toronto Blue Jays take on the Texas Rangers in game one of the American League Division Series last Thursday.

Central Albertans not immune to Blue Jays fever

It’s been 22 years, but it’s not just Toronto that’s excited to see the Blue Jays back in the post season. Canada’s only baseball team boasts fans coast to coast, and Red Deer is no exception.

It’s been 22 years, but it’s not just Toronto that’s excited to see the Blue Jays back in the post season.

Canada’s only baseball team boasts fans coast to coast, and Red Deer is no exception.

Jersey City in Bower Place Shopping Centre started seeing a trend early on in the season, said Gina Omilon who was worked there for five years.

It all really started when third basemen Josh Donaldson started putting up impressive offensive numbers. His jerseys have tough to keep around and are the most popular item.

“We have been timing from when we get his jerseys in to how quickly we can sell out of them,” said Omilon. “The longest was 24 hours and that was because there was only medium sizes left. Usually it’s within the hour that the jerseys are gone.”

It has gotten to the point where the store is ordering products from American distributors, because the Canadian distributors can’t keep up with demand for Jays gear across the country. It’s all the store can do to get Jays attire in.

“When people realized there was hope they would make the playoffs, people jumped onto the bandwagon then,” said Omilon.

According to the Red Deer Minor Baseball Association’s website, after the Blue Jays last World Series win in 1993 they had an explosion of registrations. Close to 600 players registered in 1994, to compare last season the association had about 400 players in the system.

Registrar Renae Clark said the expect to see a bump in registrations this year, coinciding with the Jays success.

“Last year it was 56 new registrations, but we definitely expect it to increase,” said Clark. “Not only with the Jays, if the Jays are doing very well, we always see increases.

Other factor can contribute to increased registrations, including marketing campaigns and events. Clark said even a report that said baseball was a better off-season sport for hockey instead of lacrosse helped boost their numbers.

Bars around town also got in on the explosion of Jays fandom. Brandon Black, a manager at Canadian Brewhouse in Clearview, said he’s noticed more and more Jays fans coming out for games.

“100 per cent we’ve seen more hats, jerseys for the last three weeks of the season,” said Black. “Now gearing up for the playoffs, you hear people talking about it.

“They’re just excited about playoff baseball.”

Brewhouse opened early on Friday for a ballgame that started at 10:30 a.m. local time. They even made a special hot dog special, named for players, for game days to help bring the atmosphere of the ballpark to the bar.

After losing the first two games of the series at home, the Jays rebounded to force a fifth and deciding game in Toronto on Wednesday.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Red Deer woman wins $1 million in lottery

A Red Deer woman spent $5 on a lottery ticket and became… Continue reading

Taboo Naughty but Nice Sex Show in Red Deer this weekend

The event is at Westerner Park Friday to Sunday

Blackfalds closes road because of spring thaw

Broadway Avenue from Aspen Lakes Boulevard to Township Road 40-0 to be closed on Monday

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

MELFORT, Sask. — A truck driver who caused the deadly Humboldt Broncos… Continue reading

WATCH: Fashion show highlights Cree designers

The fashion show was part of a Samson Cree Nation conference on MMIW

Puddle splashing: A rite of spring

Is there anything more fun than driving through water-filled potholes in the… Continue reading

The endless war against invasive species

Group looks to protect native ecological environments in Alberta

WATCH: Fashion show highlights Cree designers

The fashion show was part of a Samson Cree Nation conference on MMIW

Flyers, Blackhawks, Sabres and Lightning to Europe in ‘19-20

Jakub Voracek was psyched at the mere suggestion the Philadelphia Flyers might… Continue reading

Danish receiver Nielsen looking to defy the odds again, this time at CFL combine

TORONTO — He’s coming to the CFL’s national combine as a definite… Continue reading

Mom with kids on YouTube channel suspected of child abuse

MARICOPA, Ariz. — A woman who operated a popular YouTube channel featuring… Continue reading

Richie Mehta’s ‘Delhi Crime’ series, about 2012 rape case, hits Netflix

A drama series made by Indo-Canadian filmmaker Richie Mehta and based on… Continue reading

Local Sports: Queen’s Avery Lajeunesse not afraid to get physical

A year ago Avery Lajeunesse made a commitment to join the RDC… Continue reading

Most Read