It’s a peculiar place to be, a GO train heading away from Toronto as the Toronto Blue Jays go into the bottom of the 7th inning down a run in game 5. Everyone sitting around you is umbilically attached to their phones as they would be on any other day. But rather than the random reactions to personal dramas as relayed by text message and email, the whole car would move and feel in tandem.
I’m not a big fan of baseball so this phenomenon was peculiar to say the least. I didn’t realize that the game was still going until mid0way through the trip when the Jays cut the Rangers lead in half in the sixth and a small chorus of high fives and cheers rang loud enough to cut through the podcast that I had playing.
Taking out one headphone, but not wanting to make myself noticeable to the other passengers since, as I said, I don’t like baseball, I started listening to the man in the seat ahead of me as he started describing the game as it came in on his phone.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Jays tied the game up 3-3 with two men still on base and Jose Bautista up at bat. I started really paying attention and the dozen or so of us are waiting impatiently for the call when an audible WOOP comes from below us. Then the customer service rep comes over the PA to announce that Bautista got a homer bringing the lead to 6-3.
People who, I assume, had never met were hugging in front of me and the community of people gathered there had gone from following the game silently on their phones to a raucous celebration as the train pulled into Kitchener.
It makes me wonder what will happen as our boys in blue go to the ALCS and, hopefully on to the World Series. There is something about sports that can honestly and earnestly bring people together, even people who don’t like baseball.