The plan is for the next little while to post some of the highlights of our recent trip to Toronto. Fitting in as many sports as possible was an important part of our trip.
It was not practical to bring my hockey equipment with us. I had enough trouble explaining to security at Ben Guerion Airport why I was traveling with my skates and helmet. For the first little while, I borrowed equipment from another goalie when he wasn't using them. When our schedules no longer worked, I borrowed the upper body stuff from a friend who upgraded a few years ago. The lower body equipment, I borrowed from the person who runs the Monday night game. The equipment had been donated a long time ago after someone upgraded their equipment. If the year had been 1983, it would have been state of the art used equipment. One person kept complimenting me on how well I played and that I would be so much better if I had better equipment. Nobody had a stick to spare so my old Monday night game bought one for me to be added to their spare equipment. Thanks Glenn.
I was playing up to 3 games a week. I easily fit back into my regular Monday night game. They have not been able to fill my spot with a regular since I left. I was also able to play a bunch of afternoon games my FIL runs, that I have never been able to play in before. Who has time in the middle of the afternoon to be able to play hockey? I had a great time and made lots of great saves. Goals that I gave up have been easily forgotten. I also spent a lot of time adjusting the borrowed equipment. I stopped a slapshot from a Junior A player which left it's own 'autograph' on my wrist for about 10 days.
I had been looking forward to Halladay's return to Toronto. The game against the Phillies was moved to Philadelphia to make room for the G20 rioting. The Doc ended up pitching on the Friday night so it wasn't that bad. The result was I got to go to two games instead.
I went to Jays/Twins game with my Father and my Uncle. It was a really entertaining game. My Uncle and I paid extra attention to Twins LF Delmon Young who always seemed to be the centre of the action. HR leader Jose Bautista hit an inside the park 2 run homerun when Young was insturmental in taking himself and CF Denard Span out of the play. It was a rare treat to watch. The Jays went on to win 6-5.
The second time, I went with Channah and my Mom to a Sunday afternoon game against the BoSox. The first play was a fly out to LF, which Channah quickly understood that rule. I have never seen anyone cheer so enthusistically for a foul ball. To her it meant the batter had another turn at the plate. She managed to cheer herself out by the 4th inning and my Mom did a great job keeping her entertained the rest of the game. Every once and a while she would turn her attention back to the game. By that point she wasn't sure if a play was good or bad for the team she was cheering for. It was a really fun afternoon. Jays lost 3-2. I don't think Channah has ever been to a sporting event where the home team won. It could be worse, she could be a die hard Cubs fan.
For me one of the highlights was one of the tremendous displays of Achdut that I have ever seen at a baseball game. There were a lot of vocal Red Sox fans in the section next to ours. Every once in a while they would start the cheer "Let's Go Red Sox" At some point it got really embarrasing for a home game and someone would start the response with a " Let's Go Blue Jays" cheer. Around the 6th inning there was a really long back and forth round of cheering that wore down both sides. There was a short pause as fans from both sides stopped to discuss. Then suddenly all at once in perfect unity they started a tremendously loud round of "YANKEES SUCK"
I bought Channah a bright pink Blues Jays Princess hat that has a pink bow that ties in the back. It was perfect for her. I picked up an official batting practise hat for myself. It is a big improvement to what I have been using for tiyuling. I picked up a cute baseball person for Rachel.
Before we made Aliyah I took Channah to the Hockey Hall of Fame. It was really neat because they had just retired my favourite all time player Patrick Roy. Going back was high on her to do list for the trip. We walked in and all she wanted to know was who "the most famous player" was. It was a very different response to last time where her fascination was the giant statue of Ken Dryden, who was "Bubbie's friend" She tried to make my Mom happy by touching "the famous puck" (from the 2010 Olympics). We played two games of bubble hockey which was the one of the main reasons she wanted to go. She thought the Vezina trophy looked like the Beit HaMikdash and no longer recognizes the building featured on the Conn Smyth Trophy. The real lesson of the day was that she will never understand the cultural significance hockey had on myself and Canada as a whole. It is a small price to pay for the better life I am able to offer her here.
It was nice reconnecting with the sports I love. I am going to try to be more proactive in playing hockey this year. It is amazing how little my perception of professional sports has changed since the days where I used to live and breath it. I still follow, just not to the same degree.