The Jersey I Wear

Forgive the self indulgence but since we started doing the post game webcasts people have caught on to the fact that I only have two pairs of clothes: my going to a baseball game gear and my not going to a baseball game gear. I’ve gotten a few questions about the jersey that I’ve been wearing on our live streams and it’s kind of a funny story, so I thought I’d share it here.

Believe it or not, it’s a game worn John McDonald jersey from the 2009 season. If the date from the inside of the shirt is to be believed it was used at some point in June of that year.

I came to call the jersey my own through a series of humourous events beginning with the final home game of the 2009 season. At the time, the Blue Jays had a promotion called “The Shirt Off Our Backs” where ten lucky ticket holders in attendance were allowed to come on to the field after the game and pick a player who would then literally give them the shirt off their back as a souvenir and a representational thank you for the fans’ support throughout the season. A friend had gotten some nice tickets for the home finale for myself and a group of friends and unbelievably my ticket’s section, row and seat appeared on the big screen as one of the winners.

Being the swell guy that I am, I gave the winning ticket to the person who had paid for our seats and told her that she had to ask for John McDonald’s jersey because it was the last year of his contract and I believed at the time that it would be the last game that the fan favourite would play in a Blue Jays uniform in front of the hometown crowd. She agreed and we all celebrated the good fortune. However, a woman behind us was rather adamant that despite what it said on the big screen, we did not win, but rather the jersey belonged to her.

There are a lot of, how shall I express this, characters at a live baseball game and we didn’t think anything of her claims to the prize at the time, but as the game wore on, no one from customer service approached us and before we knew it, it was the end of the game. Sure enough, the winners were paraded onto the field, including the seemingly crazy woman behind us, and they each selected a jersey as a keepsake.

It seemed to me that the so called random draw was in fact as rigged as a Florida election. For the first time in my life, I was able to properly use the terms indignant and incensed with regard to my own feelings. The 2009 season was a very disappointing one for Blue Jays fans with the inevitability of Roy Halladay leaving and an impending season of rebuilding. On several occasions, the franchise had seemed to be less of a team and more of an marketing opportunity and content provider for its corporate overlords, so much so that on Drunk Jays Fans, I took to referring to the team as Rogers Baseball Operations.

This was the straw that finally broke the fan’s back, and unfortunately for the Blue Jays, the ticket mix up happened to me, a blogger of some consequence. I wrote angrily in the moment, on my blog about the whole experience, and if you’re into the whole obscenity laced tirade thing, you can check it out here. It got linked to quite a bit by several sites, including Deadspin, and if it wasn’t a nightmare, it was at least a bad dream for the Blue Jays PR department.

We later learned through Will Hill, the former VP of Customer Experience for the Blue Jays, that the selection process for these giveaways during his time was random, but that they were held long before the game had begun and consisted of less than a draw and more of going to an actual section and ensuring that there was a person there in the flesh who would be able to accept the prize.

To their credit, the Blue Jays eventually got in touch with my friend and gave her a game worn John McDonald jersey, and that Christmas, the jersey ended up in my possession. And I’ve worn it to games, quite often with a collared shirt underneath, ever since.

Comments (21)

  1. Oh man, I remember that particular fuck up, now. Good times! Except, not.

  2. great story… the tell off story was even better. I’ve never seen such reckless use of the word cunt before. Well done..

  3. Did you know that Jason Nix is not Lance Nix. I had been wondering why the hell Nix wasn’t in the outfield and how the Jays knew that he played 3B too. Wikipedia tells me they are brothers.

  4. Great story, and love that it’s a Johnny Mac jersey.

    What’s with the collared shirt underneath though? Kinda reeks of ‘Corporate guy at Leaf game in Platinums who just bought the jersey at the game to impress clients’

  5. The last words my dad ever said to me: “Always maintain a modicum of decorum.” I was four at the time.

  6. Wicked story. But the collar says frat douche. Replace the Jays jersey with a green sweater vest and you’re in the Wiserhood.

    *slow clap*

  7. In case anybody’s wondering, contest winners are still (or were last season, at least) picked long before the game begins and the charades are played out on the jumbotron. I know a dude who “randomly” won a trip to Texas last year when the Rangers were in town.

  8. You look particularly drunk in that picture.

  9. I was selected as fan of the game once and did nothing more that sit quietly in my seat

  10. Parkes, I don’t think I commented at the time because I feared the wrath of the Monkey Army, and the old comments seem to have been deleted, but.. I was at that game and equally outraged. I had to piss like a racehorse, and I was afraid to leave my seat lest it be called as a winner.

    A few nights later, I ran into a fellow baseball fan coworker who said that his wife was one of the jersey winners, but they had put the wrong seat on the board, the people in and around that seat were pissed, etc, etc… my chin just about hit the floor. I was thinking, “WHAT? (Name) is the cuntette?! No way!”

    They are actually very cool people, and monster ball fans. They are not associated with Rogers or the Jays in any way. All three of us live well outside the GTA and commute to ball games. They’re almost always there as soon as the gates open, as am I. They happened to be in their seats when they were approached about the contest.

  11. Hahaha. No way. That’s hilarious. Yeah, it certainly wasn’t her fault. We all thought she was certifiably insane though.

  12. “But the collar says frat douche.”

    To me, it shouts “deliberately ironic (and therefore not ironic) hipster”.

  13. Frat douche? It’s a dress shirt, not a Lacoste golf shirt with the collar flipped up. However, I did play lacrosse when I was younger.

  14. Rogers and the Jays organization needs to piss off Parkes more often so he write another gem of an article like he did about the jersey mix up. It was Gold!!

  15. Parkes, can you say cunt 5 times in a new post about how the fucking beer is so expensive? I mean fuck, steam whistle is right fucking there. Itscanada, the land of the cheap effin beer. Fuckin cuntocracy is what it is

  16. What Not To Wear: The Dustin Parkes Rogers Centre edition.

    Coming to your local ball park this summer.

  17. I agree, lose the collared shirt. A simple white undershirt would suffice. It’s a confused look, like a crossover vehicle that tries to appeal to multiple niches and loses both in doing so.

    Also, is Stoeten wearing the same thing every time too?

    I’m picturing Bergkamp drinking alone and crying that he should be the one on tv.

  18. Why does the Jays always look off-centre, though?

  19. Haha. Word of the year: cuntocracy.

    Also AI, it’s Jayson Nix and Laynce Nix. I [Getting Blanked] you not. Y? Ask his [Getting Blanked]ing parents.

  20. Damn. I forgot how much I loved that post.

  21. If you’re going to wear a jersey, the collar underneath is a solid choice. Especially as I assume none of us are 12 anymore.

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