Tagged: spring training

The First: An Introduction

When you think about the Blue Jays, what’s the first thought that comes to mind? My Toronto roots bring me back to summer afternoons in the mid-90’s sitting with my Papa listening to the games on his old radio outside or sitting on his lap watching them on T.V. He wore a denim Jays jacket and yelled at the TV set in his thick Scottish accent, which always made me laugh. The Jays to me are a part of this city, of my childhood, and a reflection of the way sports culture effects our lives every day. So the next time you think about the Jays, think about why you’re a fan or what it is that you love about the team, through the years and in the present.

With that, let me introduce myself! My name is Megan Robinson and I’m a baseball fan. It’s nice to meet you. I’m a Radio and Television Arts student at Ryerson University and will graduate next spring. I have interned around Toronto for the past five years in various media outlets having a chance to write, report, blog, interview, and really get a grasp on media and sports in Toronto. I grew up playing baseball and to this day, playing catch is one of my all-time favourite ways to pass the time. I started playing baseball when I was three years old at Corvette Park in Scarborough, Ontario. My uncle sponsored a team which his two sons, my two eldest cousins, played on. They needed a couple girls on the team to be co-ed and I was lucky enough one of them, using my black Rawlings glove with neon green stitching. I loved the in-field and played third base but at the age of three, got tired quickly and chose to sit on the base during the game. Little did I know, that would be my introduction to one of my favourite games. Since then, I’ve played in all kinds of leagues and on school teams and have quite a few memories to remember it all. I have watched and listened to baseball in a few other cities and there’s nothing quite like it. The sport itself has so much history behind it and brings people together for so many great reasons.

It’s simple: I love baseball.

I associate seasons with different aspects of the game: Spring is of course Spring Training – the hope and passion that enlivens the upcoming season is invaluable. It’s a fresh start and a chance once more to display talent and endure the season eager for October baseball; Summer reminds me of social butterflies – How many times have you caught up with an old friend at a baseball game, catching a glimpse of a few plays or doing the seventh-inning stretch all the while enjoying each others’ company with the ambient noises of baseball? Summer is fantastic for that, when the Rogers Centre is open and the city is illuminated at night or on a Sunday afternoon as the sun shines brightly over the first-base line; And of course, there’s Fall – October baseball is what the whole season comes down to. Most players start the beginning of the season with a clear vision of playoffs in mind. After all, they play to win and to win, most importantly, in the post-season. By late October when the leaves have fallen and the air becomes cooler, baseball is the last chance at summer before the snow falls in Canada but to all baseball players, October baseball is what they live for.

If you’re like me and see baseball as anything but a bore and look forward to the six month season then you’d understand why I want to be a baseball writer and work for a professional ball club. Mid-way through my first year at University my dreams of becoming solely a sports reporter shifted when I realized that the people who knew the game the best were the writers who spent their days at the field, getting to know the players and coaches and living every day looking for a fresh angle to say something about the team or a player. I decided a couple years ago that I wanted to learn professional sports inside and out and that every aspect of a club would be an asset to my writing and in turn my career in baseball or sports in general, so you can imagine my excitement when I got hired as an intern with the Blue Jays for the summer!

Getting hired was nerve wracking but I was excited throughout the process. I was initially selected for a phone interview which happened to be while I was on a family vacation in Mexico. After being given the green light, I had arranged that I would call Toronto from Mexico as I didn’t know how I would be accessible while out of the country. You’d think making a phone call to Canada from Mexico wouldn’t be hard, right? Wrong. After three days of looking for a phone that would accept my calling cards, I resorted to using reverse collect calling and after a few test calls finally managed to have the brief interview from my room. I had met my superiors while working at the FAN590 as an intern on the Morning Show last summer, so it was neat that they already had some idea of who I was and what I was about. I was contacted for a in-office interview the following week once I had returned from my seaside vacation and asked to prepare some ideas on contesting and promotions for the upcoming home opener (it’s a MONDAY, so the promotional concepts weren’t exactly limitless). Walking to the Rogers Centre for me is like putting my game face on. Every time I go there, as a fan or a reporter, I always travel the same way – through the Skywalk from Union station and slowly down the path, past the CN Tower. I wasn’t nervous going into the interview, I was eager to meet them and to answer their questions. It went well and I went off to leave the short-list in their hands to determine the successful candidate (read: the wait and see game is excruciating when you’re excited).
That was a Thursday so when a missed call and a voice mail from ‘BLUE JAYS’ appeared on my phone the following Tuesday, two days before I had expected to hear anything at all, I couldn’t concentrate on anything. I got it. I would be (officially) the Promotions Intern for the 2010 Season for the Toronto Blue Jays. A Pro ball club! The opportunity to learn this side of the business is going to be an amazing way to spend my summer and soak in as much as possible from the people around me on a daily basis.

When they asked me to blog I thought a lot about what I would want to say, every day for six months. How many people do you know that work for a professional team? I realized that the insight I would gain from the start to the end of the season was reason enough for a blog. Every day tasks and game day duties are all things that will be a part of my job this season and I’m excited to be able to share that with you! Since the blog is entitled Triple Play I will be sharing three major points of interest – Jays news, stories from around the league, or something that happened in my day. As well, weekly features and updates on the Jays Triple A team the Las Vegas 51s, interviews and videos as well as contests and current Jays Promotions will be part of Triple Play. Make sure you check in as often as you can because I’ll be posting daily entries and videos about my daily encounters and notable mentions.

 Stay tuned for my next post including my thoughts on the Grapefruit league and the Jays in Spring Training!