More than just a game in times of tragedy
By MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency
|Blue Jays second baseman Aaron Hill catches a ground ball hit by Carlos Santana of the Indians during the sixth inning in Cleveland on Saturday night. (AFP)
The family of York Regional Police Constable Garrett Styles, who died tragically on June 28, was in attendance at Saturday night’s game at Progressive Field. Constable Styles' father, Garry, as well as his brother Brent and sister Meghan, were in the dugout and on the field with the Blue Jays during batting practice.
The family talked with a number of players as well as manager John Farrell.
Constable Styles, along with his brother and sister, had planned the trip to Cleveland as a Father’s Day gift to their father. The Styles decided to fulfil the trip in honour of his memory.
On Canada Day, in a home game against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Jays held a moment’s silence for Constable Styles.
Asked to comment on the organization’s involvement, Farrell responded: “In some ways and in times of either larger tragedies or tragedies of a personal level, there is something about the game that can provide, and I don’t mean to be not sensitive, it’s almost like a little bit of a timeout from all the challenges that they currently face. I’m not saying that baseball has all the answers but I think this is a chance, and I know in Officer Styles case, this is a trip that was planned. For his family to continue to see that plan through, maybe it’s a little bit of a remembrance that this is what they were going to share together.”
With his solo home run in the third inning, Jose Bautista hit his 100th homer as a Blue Jay, becoming the fastest player to do so. Bautista hit No. 100 for the Jays in his 377th game. Prior to his blast into the seats in left, the Jay who reached the 100 homer mark in the fewest number of games was Fred McGriff and he needed 473 games. Joe Carter took 475 games to reach the mark.
With two games left to the all-star break and a four-homer lead over Curtis Granderson of the Yankees heading into Saturday‚s action, Bautista is also trying to become the first player in the Major Leagues since Oakland‚s Mark McGwire to lead the league in homers at the break in two consecutive seasons. McGwire did the trick in 1997-98.