In Game Host Memories Episode #5
When Tamica took over behind the mic she always was a blast on the field, a laugh the was contagious to everyone when we would see people falling over while being involved in dizzy bats or seeing a young fan get covered in water from the balloon toss.
"The privilege of being an in-game host for the boys of summer, the London Majors at historic Labatt Park has ingrained countless memories surely treasured.
A top memory I have is best described as an incredible moment in time. My very first time announcing in Labatt Park, the much celebrated Canada Day Game! Literally, picture perfect. The sun was high, the sky was clear, Labatt Park was packed to a sold out crowd, stands full of fans decked in white & red. Walking out on the perfectly cut grass to request the entire crowd to join me in singing Happy Birthday to our country Canada. It didn’t matter if we were on beat nor in tune. That moment brought us all together! It didn’t matter who was there, or where anyone was from, or who you were even rootin’ for! The freedom, unity & shared national pride on that chorus was perfection! There wasn’t a person in Labatt Park holding back a smile. To top off this perfect summer day, Majors won. The sun descended almost on cue, fans, players & staff flooded the field & BANG! Bring on the fireworks. This day played out as if it were written as the perfect ending to an awesome baseball movie!
Often times a baseball team has an enemy, that isn’t the umpires, but still calls out that dreaded STRIKE! Lightning. Although lightning & baseball don’t mix, resulting in game delays & dreaded cancelations... at the end of the day, storms end up being a positive memory. Watching the crowd stay in the stands so patiently to wait out the delay, so hopeful the game resumes; upset when the game dreadfully cancels. Positivity is the takeaway from the disappointment as true loyalty for the London Majors was always in the eye of the storm. Standing by as fans exit with their popcorn, & Majors gear was always depressing but truly pretty bright when you know the fans are eager to return just as hopeful to support this team for their next game.
This isn’t the Olympics, but they sure do try! The mix of enjoying some of the classic London Majors beer cans & sitting in the sun, for simple pure entertainment; watching 10 grown men compete for a pair of the coveted London Majors socks! There is something about planting your feet on a historic baseball diamond of Labatt Park in the first place. Add spinning your head on a bat umpteen times than trying to run in a straight line. The saying “dirt don’t hurt” applies here. One man ends up in a dugout, hysterically saved by some Majors players. Another man ends up eating dirt after running sideways off the grass and headed toward third base instead. One man makes it to the prize and so proudly heckles his competitors as if he just won a million bucks! Baseball brought out the young boys in these men. It was never about winning the prized socks. It was all about having a simple good time at the baseball game.
Foul balls in baseball are not a bad thing in Labatt Park at a Majors game. The joy a foul ball brings to this crowd is what memories are truly made of. Watching sun-freckled kids with a baseball glove on one hand, a half eaten hot dog in the other, ketchup all up the cheek just waiting. Patiently waiting for a foul ball to clear the park just to be able to run after it and be the first to find it! Parents proudly watching on as they sit back and enjoy this memory in the making. I enjoyed seeing the joy on parents' faces. Knowing that their sons & daughters don’t even realize this moment is being embedded into their own childhood memory. A London Majors foul ball, the ultimate souvenir, that money just can’t buy, from the Hall of Fame for childhood memories.
Labatt Park at a Majors game is where every child gets to feel like they hit a homer! An absolute favourite memory is bringing all the kids down onto the field to run the bases like their favourite player! From tall to small, never a dull moment. The older kids compete for first place, while the younger kids jump with excitement as they try to land their feet on the base. The youngest of the youngest bring out the smiles in everyone, and the youth in their parent. Watching a new father carry his new baby boy from base to base only to land him on home plate brought tears to my eyes. I crouched down onto my knees to greet the little gaffer as the entire crowd cheered him home. Once safe, his Dad and I briefly spoke. He said thank you, I said you’re welcome. We both knew that his little boy Oliver was too small to even remember this moment but we both knew that his little feet just ran home all over Dad’s heart. Announcing 3,2,1 Go! I always knew was the start of a joyous memory for so many on the field each and every game."