A frustratingly up-and-down regular season for the Toronto Blue Jays has ended, as so many so fervently hoped it would, with a stirring upsurge by the team. Two hard-fought weekend victories against the New York Yankees led to Monday’s thrilling 11-inning wild-card showdown against Baltimore. And when the Jays’ best-of-five series against the mighty Texas Rangers gets underway Thursday at around 4:30 p.m., there will be joy in Mudville.
Yes, Toronto was disparagingly known as Muddy York in the early days, but that’s not what we mean. In Casey at the Bat, a well-known 1888 poem, there is no joy in the fictional town of Mudville after star player Casey strikes out. But the Blue Jays have a whole country, not just the Toronto area, rooting for the team with all their hearts.
So let’s just think of Guelph and Toronto and the rest of Canada as one big Mudville for a while — many millions of people joined by the miracle of big-screen TVs, who’ve all turned a bit dopey in their collective love for this team and all of its remarkable personality and talent.
When these heroes get gloriously muddy this month by hitting the turf, in the field or on the bases, so, figuratively, will we.