If you were at Rogers Centre for the games this weekend you would have been part of a crowd who witnessed some dynamite baseball from the Jays who are now 23-16, this season. After a great (7-3) road trip, the Jays swept the Texas Rangers in a three-game series which began Friday night to an excited crowd and pleasing weather. It is some of the young players on the team that have been a factor in the recent success the team has been seeing. As the team has gotten younger, so have the fans taking in the games. Parents, who bring their children out to the stadium, have the opportunity to give their children an experience that they’ll remember as they grow older. At My Best Jr. Jays Saturday are a good example of that, when you can observe well over six-hundred kids run the bases post-game. It is these experiences that will last a lifetime with those kids.
I have memories of going to baseball games with my papa at a young age – glove in hand and eager to catch a glimpse of a baseball game with players who seemed eight-feet-tall. Now, I did that in the early-to-mid 90’s and with technology and various things tugging for a child’s attention from every direction it’s harder to grab their focus these days. If they love baseball, fostering their fandom of the Toronto Blue Jays and the sport will only encourage a fondness for a team that is changing. As the team is building and growing to become a key competitor in the AL East Division, the future looks bright. Any fan can attest to their love for a sports team from a young age, and these young fans will be supporters of the team as they grow and the Blue Jays flourish into something greater.
This season, the Toronto Blue Jays re-launched their Kids Club as the Jr. Jays Club, which is pretty neat, if I do so say myself. Kids ages 4-14 can become Official Club Members by simply purchasing a Jr. Jays Club kit and activating their membership. Not only does the child receive the initial kit (with Blue Jays bits and pieces, like foam fingers and Webkinz) but they also get the chance to participate in unique opportunities like exclusive Autograph Sessions and visits to Blue Jays Batting Practice before games. In addition, there is a special event for Jr. Jays Club Members called ACE in ACTION where they will have an opportunity to go right down to the field and run around with select members of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays encourage children to stay healthy and fit and with this event, athletes who work hard to stay physically fit will lead by example for young fans. If you have a child or know of one, this Club allows young fans to get a one of a kind look at a team (up close at autograph sessions and batting practice) and to be part of a crowd while spending time with their families at the stadium.
Buck Martinez signing autographs for Jr. Jays Club Members
Jr. Jays are also encouraged to participate in At My Best Jr. Jays Saturday, which is open to all kids every Saturday home game at Rogers Centre. Kids are chosen to be part of the starting lineup and in game announcing and every child has the chance to run the bases post-game. As the season progresses, At My Best Jr. Jays Saturdays will take part outside of Rogers Centre and will be an interactive experience for young kids before the game. I’ll be blogging about the At My Best Jr. Jays Saturday outdoor program experience which begins May 29th, 2010 at 11:00am outside Gate 10 of Rogers Centre. In the meantime, check out the website to discover what else the Blue Jays do for young fans throughout the season. To purchase a Jr. Jays Club kit or for more information on the opportunities for young Jays fans, visit http://www.bluejays.com/kids.
Kids arriving at home plate after running the bases on At My Best Jr. Jays Saturday