Gord Paterson has a smile permanently plastered from ear to ear when talking about the Toronto Blue Jays.
The 37-year-old has been a Jays fan since he was five years old — a passion passed down from his father, who is also an avid fan.
Paterson remembers watching the playoff runs of 1989, when he was 10 years old, and again in 1991, 1992 and 1993.
“It’s a chess game out there. It may sound cliche, but it’s 90 per cent mental and 10 per cent physical. I love the back and forth, the excitement and the infinite number of possibilities with each and every pitch that’s thrown,” he said. “You don’t know what’s going to happen next and that’s the beauty of baseball.”
Blue Jays fans have every reason to be happy with Canada’s only MLB team making the playoffs for the first time in 22 years.
Paterson has made several trips to see his favourite team play both at home and on the road. Last year, he watched the Jays play a four-game series versus the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium and the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Most recently, he came back from Toronto where he saw the Yankees play at Rogers Centre.
With the addition of shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and pitcher David Price in the second half of the season, fans believe the team has all the elements to make a successful playoff run.
“That was such a huge shot in the arm for the organization. I think the organization and the entire country has been energized by those two moves,” said Paterson, who will be sporting a Marcus Stroman jersey during the playoff games. “It’s just elevated the Toronto Blue Jays to a whole other stratosphere in terms of talent.”
Victoria’s Randy Strandlund has been a Jays fan since the early ’80s.
He believes the team could make it as far as the World Series this year.
“I have no reason to believe that they won’t get right to the World Series. They’ve got everything that they need,” said Strandlund, noting the team has the perfect balance of pitching, offence and defence. “They’re all contributing, it’s not just one or two players doing all the work.”
Game one of the playoff series versus the Texas rangers does Thursday, game two goes Friday at 9:45 a.m. Game three goes Sunday.