Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Historic World Series Win Boosts Canadian Pride

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Historic World Series Win Boosts Canadian Pride

Article excerpt

TORONTO has put the world in the World Series.

The Toronto Blue Jays' 4-to-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves in the sixth game means that for the first time a team from outside the United States has won the baseball championship. It came in the 11th inning on a double from Dave Winfield that drove in two runs.

The win prompted an outburst of national pride, not just in Toronto but across Canada. After the victory the television cameras cut to cities such as Ottawa, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Montreal, where baseball fans were holding noisy celebrations.

"It puts us on the map," says high school student Carn Lombardo.

"If Montreal couldn't win, I am glad Toronto did," said Tim Paquette, a Montreal Expos fan. "Hopefully it will be the start of a winning streak for Canada."

Nervous politicians hope he is right. The Blue Jays' win is such an event in Canada that politicians are hoping it could swing votes to the "yes" side in today's referendum on national unity, which the "no" forces looked set to win, according to polls.

"This is a sweet moment," said Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in a message to the team. "You have united a nation behind you, capturing the imagination of Canadians from coast to coast." He described it as "an historic victory, one which will live on forever in Canadian sports history."

Although the Blue Jays play in a Canadian city and are owned by a Canadian firm, the players, manager, and coaches are Americans and Puerto Ricans; there is not a single Canadian on the club. But Blue Jays fans did not let that detail hinder their celebration.

The victory came in Atlanta, a thousand miles from Toronto, but neither distance nor the chilly autumn night dampened the spirits of the more than 45,000 fans who gathered in the Blue Jays' home stadium to watch the game.

After the game, crowds spilled into the street, and there was a spontaneous celebration on Yonge Street, Toronto's main thoroughfare. …

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