Thank You Josh Donaldson

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Being a Toronto sports fan, there is a lot to be thankful for. The Raptors and Leafs both added superstar caliber players in John Tavares and Kawhi Leonard this offseason and TFC won their first MLS Cup last year. The one sore spot as of late is the Blue Jays. Ever since those deep playoff runs in 2015 and 2016, the team hasn’t been the same. There’s been injuries, off the field issues and straight up poor performance. 

To make matters worse, the Jays just traded away Josh Donaldson to the Cleveland Indians. Listen to our thoughts on that Here. Unfortunately, it has been an ugly season for Donaldson up to this point as he’s been injured for the majority of it and due to that, has been playing much below his typical self. His struggles shouldn’t take away what he gave the team and this city. So, for the next few paragraphs, I’ll be thanking Josh for the impact he had not only on the city but on a part of my life as well.

Here goes:

Thank You Josh for the best moment of my life. Now I know this sounds corny, but hear me out. Game 3 of the ALDS against the Texas Rangers was that moment. To be exact, the bottom of the 10thinning when Josh Donaldson slid, head first, across home plate to score the series winning run. It wasn’t even really what Donaldson did that was so amazing to me, it was what followed.

I was at the game with my mom and two of my cousins Dylan and Kurtis. Kurtis was not only my cousin but someone I have considered to be my best friend. After seeing Donaldson slide and the umpire waving his hands across his chest motioning Donaldson safe, my first instinct was to grab Kurtis and give him a victory hug. Time was standing still and it felt like the people in the stadium were the only things that mattered. The emotions that followed that play were pure joy and happiness. Nothing could have brought me down from that high.

At the time, I didn’t think much of the game and took in the game as a meaningful series win against the Blue Jays biggest rival at the time.

It means so much more now.

Just a short week later, Kurtis passed away and going to the game with him was the last time I saw him. To this day, it is the last memory I have of him. Josh Donaldson’s impressive hustle and heart created that moment and the feelings that followed. I know I’m not the only one in the Rogers Centre who felt the same way I did but I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who that play impacted as much as it did.

 So, Josh, THANK YOU.

But also…

Thank You for an MVP season. For hitting 41 homeruns and 123 RBI in 2015.

Thank You for two All-Star selections, two Silver Slugger awards, 316 RBI and 116 homeruns in your time with the Jays.

Thank You for your hustle and determination that made people like me jump for joy. For all the barehanded plays, diving stops, jumping into the stands and walk-offs. That’s what people loved about you; how hard you always played.

Finally,

Thank You for making baseball matter again in not just the city but the country and for giving Blue Jays fans hope for something better. Those two playoff runs created fans and team support throughout Canada that will hopefully last lifetimes. 

On behalf of all of Take 6ix and Toronto.

Josh Donaldson, We Thank You