Local baseball fan follows Blue Jays to Cleveland for start of ALCS
By Angelica Ingram
Oct. 18, 2016
For Larry Davis the love of baseball started around the age of 13, when he travelled to Williamsport to represent Canada in the Little League World Series in 1962.
Now at the age of 67 Larry is continuing that love for the game, often dubbed America’s pastime, as he and his son Aaron made their way to Cleveland last Friday night for the opening game in the American League Championship Series.
“Baseball fans in general are really nice people, even if you’ve got a Jays hat and shirt on,” said Larry. “It was a very good experience. An epic road trip, as my son called it.”
Larry, who is a longtime Haliburton cottager turned full-time resident, left for Cleveland Friday morning with his son.
The trip was Aaron’s idea, as he is an avid baseball fan, said Larry. As soon as the Boston Red Sox were eliminated by the Cleveland Indians, Aaron called to try to get tickets and scored a pair in the 500 level near first base, he said.
The view will be a familiar one for Larry, who played the position of first baseman during his time in little league.
Although Larry has never attended a Jays playoff game in another city, Aaron has seen the team play outside of their home stadium and told his dad the experience is unbelievable.
“He says you won’t believe it, you’ll think you’re at a Jays game in Toronto,” said Larry.
The atmosphere during and prior to the game were incredible. Larry and his son went to the stadium for the batting practice before the start of the game.
After Blue Jays pitcher Jason Grilli was done warming up he tossed his ball up and Aaron caught it.
“It was a beautiful stadium. Everybody’s friendly,” said Larry.
Larry and Aaron weren’t the only Blue Jays fan in the crowd, as media outlets were reporting that many of the hotels in Cleveland were booked up by Torontonians early last week.
According to an article posted last week on www.cleveland.com, “just after the third out in the bottom of the ninth at Boston’s Fenway Park on Monday night, hotel reservations started pouring into Northeast Ohio.”
Only about a five-hour drive for Toronto, the road trip is very doable for avid fans, which many are taking advantage of. Larry says ticket prices are also reasonable.
He even had a chance to speak to famous Jays sports announcer Buck Martinez.
“Buck Martinez and Hazel Mae came out, they were doing an interview, there was about 30 of us [saying] Go Jays Go. They had to plug their ears,” laughs Larry. “Buck Martinez looked at me and I pointed to my jacket and he said you’re drinking American beer, I said no I’m not. This is Great Lakes. And he gave me a thumbs up.”
The Haliburton resident says he’s been a Jays fan since the team was formed.
“We all watched the games in the early 1990s when they won,” he said. “I still enjoy it.”
The only thing that could have made the experience any better was a win for the Jays, who lost the game by a final score of 2-0, said Larry.
But the fan is not giving up hope yet.
“They’ve got to win four out of five games. They’re up against a wall but it’s not impossible,” he said.