Joy Drop: OK Blue Jays, let’s play ball!

Friends, what an absolutely fabulous fall Friday. Let’s get to it! 

I have been elated that I got a chance to go apple picking last weekend with some family. MacIntosh apples are absolutely the best. I don’t bake a lot but I do make a fantastic apple crisp. Here’s a little micro vlog I created about my day! I was so happy to get out there and grateful my sister-in-law, Shalah, organized it because autumn is by far my favourite season. 

The Toronto Blue Jays are in the playoffs! Their first game is Friday against the Seattle Mariners in a best-of-three wild-card series.

The Jays are the only professional MLB team in Canada and therefore very beloved. The Montreal Expos were relocated to D.C. in 2004 and became the Washington Nationals. But amidst all the joy and actually trying to figure out playoff baseball I appreciate all the excitement in the air.

I appreciate the candour of Jays pitcher Alek Manoah, who is approaching this series with so much poise. When asked about the pressure to perform, Manoah replied, “Pressure is something you put in your tires.”

He added his perspective and I think it’s something we can all learn from. I knew my investment in a Blue Jays jersey was a wise one! 

Speaking of learning, Toronto Raptors guard Fred Van Vleet has created a scholarship program for Black and Indigenous students at the University of Toronto’s Rotman Commerce Program. The first recipient, Abdullahi Hassan, recently met the Raptors’ star and was grateful and excited. It’s important to recognize the possibility and power that these programs offer young racialized students. I love this for everyone involved.

Also, check out this fantastic episode of CBC’s Front Burner with Van Vleet and why supporting the education of youth is so important to him. 

Front Burner39:16A conversation with Toronto Raptor Fred VanVleet

NBA superstar Fred VanVleet had a long road to becoming a beloved Toronto Raptor. He suffered a terrible loss growing up in Rockford, Ill., when his father was shot and killed when he was just five years old. As a young man coming out of Wichita State University, the point guard went undrafted in 2016 and had to fight his way onto the roster of the lone Canadian franchise in the league. But only a few years later, VanVleet was a key member of the team that won the 2019 NBA championship. Now, VanVleet is the undisputed leader of the Toronto Raptors. In this special episode of Front Burner, we meet VanVleet at the OVO Athletic Centre in Toronto to hear about his unexpected journey from underdog to all-star, and why he’s partnered with the University of Toronto’s undergraduate business program to launch a needs-based scholarship for Black and Indigenous students.

On Thursday in Toronto, the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame inducted its Class of 2022 of Canadian sporting greats. There is a crisis in sports in Canada with all the cases of abuse allegations and multiple systemic issues. But the evening was about recognizing those who have made significant and positive contributions in their field, on the court, in the pool and beyond.

It is also a very important reminder that no one is above the game, any game. There is so much to be done to better sports, teams and sports organizations in Canada. I am a firm believer that sports connect people and we stand firm in change and commit to the work. But we should also appreciate the wins. So, we can look to s/heroes of sport and know that we can celebrate with joy.

The CBC’s Scott Russell hosted the morning introductions in the CBC building’s atrium and posted this:

I leave you with my most beloved piece of classical music: Antonio Vivaldi’s Autumn. This version is performed by Carla Moore & Voices of Music. Enjoy! 


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