by Ray Bergman
Game 19 - Blue Jays vs Twins at SkyDome
August 26, 1996Toronto, Ontario, Canada is my next destination. But before I arrive, a short story about my travels from Boston. I drove to Vernon, NY, which is about 275 miles (half way to Toronto). I used route I-95 south to the Mass Turnpike and proceeded westbound, which connected me with the New York State Thruway (I-90). This route goes through some very a beautiful countryside, both in Massachusets and New York. I decided to stop outside Albany, NY and look up an old colleague that I worked with some 20 years ago at the New York telephone company. Fortunately, John Pedersen was home and I spent a enjoyable afternoon with him and his family. Their great company made the rest of the drive to Toronto seem a lot shorter. I guess "My Baseball Dream" is not all about baseball. I'm finding some of my detours are just as memorable as each new ballpark.
Sunday night, the 25th of August, I spent at the Comfort Inn Suites in Vernon, NY. The hotel is on the same grounds as the Vernon Downs Race Track. My room on the seventh floor overlooks the racetrack. Why am I telling you this? What is the significance of this racetrack? Well, when I was in my late teens and early twenties I populated the harness race tracks in the Metropolitan New York area. On many ocassions, while studying the racing form, I came across horses that had raced at Vernon Downs. It was nice to view what I only had in my mind from years past. I am cured of some of my bad habits, so I don't have to test my fortitude today, as the horses are not running.
Monday, August 26th, still in Vernon, I woke up early and looked out my bedroom window to see a beautiful sight, the standardbreds going through their morning workouts. It was time to move on to the cleanest city in Canada. My route took me past Syracuse, Rochester and into Buffalo, NY. As I crossed the Canadian border, I had to go and visit the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, about 30 miles fom Buffalo.
The Canadian side has many more attractions. They have miles of parks, golf courses, botanical gardens, gorge tours and many more sights to easily spend a week of sight seeing. The Horseshoe Falls were magnificent. The mist from the sudden drop of water reaches above the falls itself. I drove at least ten miles along the gorge before getting back on the (Q.E.W) Queen Elisabeth Way for the short trip around Lake Ontario and the famous SkyDome.
The roof was closed for tonight's game, as it was raining. SkyDome has three levels of seating plus two levels of sky boxes. There is the SkyDome hotel in center field with the well known Hard Rock Cafe in right. My seat was in the mezzanine level just behind first base. I left my seat after the fifth inning and moved to right center to get a different perspective. I watched ten days ago as these two clubs matched wits with the same two starting pitchers in Minnesota. Tonight, things would be different. The Blue Jays scored early and often. Joe Carter of the Jays hit a two run homer in the first and Carlos Delgado hit a shot in the second to extend the Toronto lead to 3-0. Toronto added single runs in the fourth and fifth to make it 5-0. It wasn't until the seventh when the Twins pushed across three runs to make a game of it. Dane Johnson and Mike Timlin pitched scoreless eighth and ninth innings to secure the win for Juan Guzman and Toronto.
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© 1996 by Ray Bergman. Reproduction of all or any part of "My Baseball Dream" without the written permission of Ray Bergman is prohibited.
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