This is Ashley’s first post as a FanGraphs contributor. Ashley has spent the last several years writing for various SB Nation sites, including Bless You Boys, DRaysBay, and Bleed Cubbie Blue. Her bylines have appeared here at FanGraphs, The Hardball Times, Baseball Prospectus and more. She hosts a baseball YouTube channel called 90 Feet From Home and co-hosts the baseball podcast Who’s On Worst.
There is no magic quite like that of Opening Day. It’s hard to explain the sensation of being part of a crowd of like-minded baseball fans, brimming with enthusiasm over the return of the game after a long, cold winter. It will make otherwise rational people gather en masse in 20-degree weather in the hopes of seeing their beloved team get the first win of the long 162-game season.
It’s a unique level of fervor, one that draws us like moths to the porch light that is the ballpark.
For fans of the Toronto Blue Jays, though, it has been two years of Opening Days without baseball close to home, and the absence of their team north of the border has at times made it difficult to feel connected to the sport they love. To make it worse, blackout restrictions and the elimination of…