We Were There

For younger folks maybe it’s the “Bat Flip” or Kawhi’s 4-bounce bucket. But for Sarah and me it’s Oct 23, 1993 – 30 years ago. The greatest moment in Toronto sports history. We were there.

How important is a walk off World Series home run? When we went to Cooperstown in 2000, we saw Joe’s bat there – right beside Bill Mazeroski’s from 1960. I remember that home run too – heard it on the radio, in my Grade 10 classroom.

I’ll never forget that roller coaster of a game in ’93. Jays up 5-1 after a Paul Molitor home run. The bullpen choking. Trailing 6-5 going into the 9th. Mitch Williams jogging in from the bullpen.

I didn’t feel too bad though. Mitch had been shaky all series long. We had two Hall of Famers coming up. After a walk to Ricky Henderson and another Molitor line drive, I was pretty confident the Jays would tie it up.

When Joe got down two strikes I was a bit worried. Then came my favorite pitch of all time – poorly located fastball – down and in but over the plate.

Joe smoked it. Sarah screamed “Stay fair! Stay fair!” I thought it would hit the left field fence and we’d get two runs. Suddenly I saw Pete Incaviglia give up and start to turn toward the infield. “Touch ’em all Joe!”

It was over. Suddenly and violently and oh so sweetly over. I have never before or since been in a ballpark where 50,000 fans were jerked from worry to screaming insanity. I’ll never forget it. 30 years ago today. God bless you Mitch, wherever you are.

Published by Ray MacDonald

Ray MacDonald is a retired food scientist who lives in Almonte, ON.
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