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Blue Jay fever


TRURO – With the Toronto Blue Jays playing October baseball for the first time in 22 years, Lloyd Osbourne has been feeling nostalgic.

Lloyd Osbourne has been collecting Toronto Blue Jays memorabilia since 1992, when he won an autographed Joe Carter bat in a Maxwell House coffee contest. Now, Osbourne is looking to find other collectors to put together a show in Truro during the MLB playoffs.

 

An avid collector and sports fan, Osbourne’s house in Truro Heights bears the remnants of a pair of championship teams from a different millennium. On an old, discoloured newspaper from 1992, Osbourne’s face lies on the same page as an article about the Blue Jays stretch run. The team had yet to clinch the pennant, and they were still two months away from facing the Atlanta Braves in the World Series final. Jack Morris was heading to the mound that night, ready to kick off a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles.

On the left-hand side of the page, a standalone photo of Osbourne holding a signed bat in his hands. It was one of 77 autographed Joe Carter bats handed out by Maxwell House in a national contest.

“We had to buy about $100 worth of coffee to win that thing,” Osbourne laughed. “We used it all. None went to waste.”

These days, Osbourne has felt the familiar feeling of those back-to-back championship teams. Yesterday, the Blue Jays went to battle with the Texas Rangers for Game 1 of the American League Divisional Series. Today, Marcus Stroman takes the mound for Game 2, looking to avenge their 5-3 loss.

Osbourne, meanwhile, is hoping to get some other collectors together to showcase their memorabilia from Blue Jays teams past and present and boost the Blue Jays playoff fever. While he has countless cards, photos, hats and other items from the 1990s, he’s hoping to see some more of the new age.

“I just look at my collection and I know there has to be other stuff out there,” he said. “I don’t have a lot of the new stuff, so I’d love to see some more of that. Especially anything related to Josh Donaldson – what a player.”

Twenty-three years ago, Osbourne was locked to his TV for the Jays entire playoff run. His clearest memory from either championship team is Carter’s famous walk-off home run to win the ’93 World Series. After narrowly missing a pitch low and inside from Philadelphia Phillies closer Mitch Williams, Carter stepped back in the box with a 2-2 count.

“I remember when he foul-tipped that pitch and thinking, ‘There’s no way (Williams) comes back with that pitch again. There’s no way.’ And then he did... and ‘Boom.’”

With the Jays looking stronger than ever coming into this year’s postseason, Osbourne is looking for anyone willing to share their memorabilia and anyone willing to put forth a venue for the display. Anybody interested can contact him at 902-893-3556.  

 

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