I don't want to let the 2005 baseball season end without paying tribute to The Drive of '85. Twenty years ago, our Blue Jays won their first divisional pennant and got their first taste of post-season play. Can you believe that was twenty years ago?
In 1983, my first full season as a die hard Jays fan, we had a good young team that made some noise in the American League East. In 1984 the Detroit Tigers got off to a torrid start and practically buried all others in the East but the Jays clawed back to make it interesting, only finishing four games back. Then it was 1985 and our turn to shine. The Toronto Star, my primary source for sports news as a ten and eleven year old, referred to it as The Drive of '85. It was a magical season.
When I went through a couple of old boxes on the weekend, I found a few memories stashed away. Between my stamp collection and old Maple Leafs programs were a series of newspaper clippings from The Drive of '85...
- At Last! - From the next day's Toronto Star
- A Salute to the Blue Jays by The Toronto Star - a commemorative book released following the season and detailing The Drive of '85
- George and Doyle - Celebrating in the Blue Jays locker room following the win
- Quotes From Happy Blue Jays - What the Jays had to say upon clinching the AL East
- Off And Flying! - From the Toronto Star following our win in Game 1 of the ALCS against Kansas City
- Only 1 To Go! - From the Toronto Star following our win in Game 4 of the ALCS putting us ahead 3 games to 1
I still can't believe that was twenty years ago. I remember that entire season as if it was last year. We were one win away from the World Series before the Royals beat us three straight to win it in seven. George Brett found an extra gear and the rest is history.
There's only one fitting way for me to end this entry recalling The Drive of '85. Here's Tom Cheek calling the final out in the clinching game.