WARMINGTON: Blue Jays not in T.O. but IBL Maple Leafs will be soon

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The New York Yankees are in town this week to play the Toronto Blue Jays.

In the wrong town.

Nothing against Buffalo, but normally this series brings so many New Yorkers heading up for their summer vacations to see the Bronx Bombers. Instead, with a closed border and a pandemic, it may be another year of no Blue Jays baseball in Toronto.

However, there very well may be baseball in Toronto this summer after all. This will mean the Maple Leafs will play in the summer again.

The baseball Leafs.

“We are ready to play ball July 5,” said Toronto Maple Leaf Baseball Club owner Jack Dominico. “I am excited because it has been too long.”

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maple Leafs and the Intercounty Baseball League had the entire 2020 season cancelled.

“That was tough on the kids who play for the love of the game and tough on our fans who come down to Christie Pits with their families on the weekend for some great baseball,” said Dominico.


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Dominico Field at Christie Pits is named after Jack and his late wife, Lynne, who, in 1969, eight years before the Blue Jays arrived, revived the iconic International League Maple Leafs team of AA and AAA fame which played in Toronto from 1896 to 1967 before moving to Kentucky. With great quality semi-pro baseball in a league that has seen many players who played in the big leagues as well, the Dominicos kept baseball alive in Toronto.

“This will be my 53rd season,” said Dominico, adding “in that time we have won eight league titles and 20 first-place finishes.”

But this year, just getting back on the field is a win.

Meanwhile in Buffalo, they really are doing a great job of taking care of the Blue Birds again this season. Downtown Sahlen Field has definitely become the talk of Major League Baseball and the place to be to see the young Jays team grow and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit rockets in the 80% capacity of the 16,000-plus-seat stadium that’s off-limits for most Canadian Blue Jays fans.


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It’s a pricey ducat, too.

On the secondary ticket-selling websites, you will find seats available for the Yankee series from $88 U.S. to $648 a ticket, based on purchasing two. Most of the seats also require double vaccination proof and employ pandemic rules in both vaccinated and unvaccinated sections.

Jack Dominico, owner of the the Toronto Maple Leafs Baseball Club, looks out over Dominico Field at Christie Pits in Toronto on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. VERONICA HENRI/TORONTO SUN
Jack Dominico, owner of the the Toronto Maple Leafs Baseball Club, looks out over Dominico Field at Christie Pits in Toronto on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. VERONICA HENRI/TORONTO SUN

It won’t be as rigid at Dominico Field, which hosts many families at the downtown diamond. There is no better deal for high-level sports or entertainment this side of Buffalo than a Toronto Maple Leafs baseball game.

  1. Toronto Maple Leafs Intercounty Baseball League owner Jack Dominico, shown in 2017, isn't happy that a 50-plus-year streak of Maple Leafs baseball is coming to an end due to COVID-19.

    Cancellation of Intercounty Baseball League season ‘hurts like hell’: Leafs’ Dominico

  2. None

    Toronto baseball legend Jack Dominico has defied the odds as Maple Leafs owner

  3. Toronto Maple Leafs catcher Justin Marra tries to tag out a London Majors base-runner during an IBL game last season at Christie Pits. MAX LEWIS PHOTO

    IBL keeping options open, even after losing three teams over COVID-19

“I am the cheapest guy in town,” teases legendary 82-year-old Dominico, who reminds “the cost to go to a Maple Leafs baseball game is zero. It’s free.”

Plus, there’s no COVID-screening, vaccine passports or international border issues to be able to attend one.


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