|Dominico Field at Christie Pits.|
There are few better venues for a summer Sunday afternoon in the city than a Maple Leafs baseball game at Christie Pits.
IBL champions in 2007, the Maple Leafs are a scrappy bunch sure to entertain, especially since visiting opponents and their travelling fans love to come to the big city and drop a loss on the boys of summer.
Christie Pits is an easily accessible oasis, just outside Christie Stn. on the Bloor line, west of the Annex. It's a short walk to a large variety of dining choices on Bloor in both directions. If you must drive, parking in the surrounding residential areas is free if you can find a spot (which you can, within a 5-10 minute walk back to the park). You can also park on Bloor or on Christie and pay a fairly cheap Green meter.
There are no corporate boxes for the Haves to lord over the Have-nots. There are no expensive seats for suits who show up late, are too professional to cheer, and leave early... just a homey ballpark atmosphere where people who enjoy a good ball game come for some sun and fun and to hone umpire-heckling skills.. You can get to know some regulars and rekindle summertime acquaintances like you just talked to them yesterday.
And you'll see Roger Lejoie in the broadcast booth calling the game.
A baseball game (free to watch, by the way, although they sell 50/50 raffle tickets) is not the only game in town either, which makes Christie Pits great for the whole family. When the kids are tired of throwing the ball around with old dad, they can head for the playground or the waterpad, or watch or play soccer on the adjacent field, or throw the frisbee around, or watch some juggler or martial arts or some other such impromptu display. Mom, meanwhile, tends to do a few walking laps of the park, read a good book, or do some shopping on Bloor. The ice cream truck and hot dog venders are always around, as well as a Baskin & Robbins ice cream parlour, to help stay cool. There's also a refreshment stand in the park itself for fries and other such park fodder.
And, unlike some other team using the same name, or some other team playing the same game, these baseball Maple Leafs offer a good chance you'll see them not only win a game, but contend for the championship (did I mention they've won it all in living memory? Four championships since 1995 in fact - that's better than once every four years.) And if they don't win, what did it cost you?
|The view from just beneath the broadcast booth on that 2007 championship game night.|
Free, competitive sport, homey non-corporate atmosphere, lots to do for the whole family, plenty of affordable eats nearby, easy access in and out...it's tough to beat.
Saturday night is the Annual Forum and reception and features a cavalcade of Hall of Famers - Reggie Jackson, Harmon Killebrew, Earl Weaver, Fergie Jenkins, Bob Feller, and Gaylord Perry - classy way to kick off a season!
The Maple Leafs host the Barrie Baycats to open their season this Sunday afternoon (May 2) at 2pm - come on down and experience it.