Monday, 7 January 2008

Jays & the ashes

Scenes from last night's Desperate Housewives took us back to the fall of 1993 and the death of a veteran Toronto Sun copy editor/baseball addict.

A Wisteria Lane senior killed in a tornado had told a close friend she wanted her ashes to be spread on a baseball field where she played for years in a women's league.

It gets done in the night, despite security guards catching the two women in the act.

In 1993, following the death of the bachelor Sun copy editor, a plan was hatched in the newsroom to spread his ashes at the SkyDome, on the field called home by the Toronto Blue Jays.

What a perfect farewell tribute for the ultimate baseball fan. The few people in the know were pumped about the secret ceremony, made possible with an insider's after hours access to the field.

And why not? The ashes of another Toronto print media vet, who had written about the ponies for years, were spread on the old Greenwood race track in the 1980s.

As the story goes, several friends with urn in hand after a very liquid wake slipped into Greenwood in the dark of night and spread his ashes on the track.

In the fall of 1993, the Blue Jays were the 1992 World Series champs and within weeks of succeeding in their drive for back-to-back championships.

Colleagues said imagine this baseball addict's ashes sharing the field with the Jays. It would be the perfect sendoff.

Sadly, before the secret ceremony could be put into play, the gesture on behalf of the deceased editor/baseball fan came to an abrupt end.

Someone in the Jays organization heard about the ash spreading plan and said no can do.

Latin American players would, because of their religious beliefs, refuse to play on the field, said the Jays rep. Chaos would erupt in the home stretch of the 1993 season.

But planners of the secret ceremony still remember the rush of adrenalin when the plan was hatched and how pleased their late friend and colleague would have been.

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