Revisiting when the Blue Jays hit an inside-the-park homer because of fog

·2 min read
Revisiting when the Blue Jays hit an inside-the-park homer because of fog
Revisiting when the Blue Jays hit an inside-the-park homer because of fog

Listen to The Weather Network's This Day in Weather History podcast on this topic, here.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features stories about people, communities, and events and how weather impacted them.

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On Thursday, June 12, 1986, 30,135 fans gathered at the Exhibition Stadium to watch the Detroit Tigers play the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays won 9-0, but the fog should at least be given the credit for some of those runs.

Exhibition Stadium was located on the Exhibition Place grounds in Toronto, Ont. It opened on Aug. 5, 1959, as a multi-purpose stadium.

1920px-Exhibition Stadium before the Toronto Blue Jays faced the Chicago White Sox on May 27, 1988 1
1920px-Exhibition Stadium before the Toronto Blue Jays faced the Chicago White Sox on May 27, 1988 1

"Taken before the Chicago White Sox faced the Toronto Blue Jays @ Exhibition Stadium in Toronto on May 27, 1988." Courtesy of Jerry Reuss/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 2.0

From 1959-1988, it was the home to the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. From 1979–1983, the Toronto Blizzard of the North American Soccer League called it home, and from 1977-1989, the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball played there.

The stadium was demolished on Jan. 31, 1999; it wasn't the perfect home for several reasons.

Exhibition Stadium was located quite close to Lake Ontario, so it was vulnerable to high winds and cold temperatures. On April 7, 1977, the Blue Jays played their inaugural game at the Stadium, making it the only MLB game ever played with a completely snow-covered field. The stadium borrowed the Zamboni from Maple Leaf Gardens to clear the snow from the field.

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On April 30, 1984, the Jays faced the Texas Rangers with wind gusts up to 97 km/h. The Rangers' manager, Doug Rader, chose Jim Bibby as his starting pitcher, because "he's the heaviest man in the world, and thus will be unaffected by the wind."

However, Bibby never got his turn. The Jays' starting pitcher, Jim Clancy, was blown off balance many times. A couple of Rangers players also complained about dirt in their eyes. There was a 30-minute delay before the game was cancelled.

Exhibition Stadium January 1999 Demolition
Exhibition Stadium January 1999 Demolition

"Exhibition Stadium January 1999 Demolition." Courtesy of TorontoGuy79/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 4.0

During the June 12, 1986 game, Kelly Gruber of the Toronto Blue Jays hit an inside-the-park home run.

Gruber hit a fly ball into a completely fogged-over sky. The Tigers outfielders couldn't see the ball, which ended up falling in the right-centre of the field and eventually rolled to the wall.

After Gruber's home run, the game was paused. And after a 35-minute delay, the game was called, giving the Jays the victory.

Exhibition Stadium is also referred to as the "Mistake by the Lake." To learn more about the foggy game at The Ex, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features unique and informative stories from host Chris Mei.

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Thumbnail: "Second league game for the Toronto Blue Jays. Unlike the first game played in a snow storm, this day was bright and sunny with the temperature well below freezing." Courtesy of Robert Taylor/Wikipedia/CC BY 2.0

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