Pedro Garcia evil grin screencap, Opening Game, April 7, 1977
The Blue Jays’ inaugural game, the famed snowy day in 1977 against the Chicago White Sox, is up on YouTube. I recently watched the whole thing.
Pedro Garcia was the starting 2B for the Blue Jays this day, batting 7th. In the bottom of the 2nd with the Jays down 4-1, CF Gary Woods singled and stole the first base in Jays history. Pedro Garcia lofted a single to RF to score Woods. Then this picture flashed up on the screen (at 49:31). I love his demonic smile (demonic-ness emphasized because the low resolution made it seem like his eyes were evilly flashing), and the fluorescent lights in the background are a nice touch.
Things I found interesting (the Blue Jays won 9-5):
- the White Sox had 15 hits and left 19 men on base!
- we all know the first pitch (from Bill Singer to Ralph Garr) was a strike. I didn’t realize Garr proceeded to walk, steal 2nd (taking 3rd on an errant throw by Rick Cerone), and score on a sac fly
- HOFer Whitey Ford was Don Chevrier’s colour man as Tony Kubek had other committments
- the camera work and the switching of cameras by the CBC was terrible
- Doug Ault’s second HR was to the opposite field
- DH and cleanup hitter Otto Velez had a stolen base and a bunt base hit!
- manager Roy Hartsfield was mic-ed (live!) when he went to the mound to pull Bill Singer out of the game (1:10:19). Although he didn’t say anything too substantial, I wish they did that now (though I imagine they’d delay it)
- When Alvis Woods hit a pinch hit HR (in his first MLB AB) in the 5th (1:25:46), a group of exuberant fans chased it down in the expanse of turf beyond the RF fence
- there was nothing painted on the tops of the dugouts (pure white)
- a lot of fans left early (granted, it was 0°C at game time, but still - historic game)
Anyway, it’s edited down to 2 hours (actual game time was 3:22), but they captured all the good bits, it’s good the hear Chevy on the mic again, you good feeling for the era, and get to witness an important game in Blue Jays history.