TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays are looking at arms in Canmore.
The Blue Jays’ 2022 MLB season is underway and the Jays called in special guests and Canmore athletes Natalie Wilkie and John Morris to throw some heaters during opening weekend in Toronto.
In the home opener against the Texas Rangers last Friday (April 8), Wilkie, a seven-time Paralympic medallist, and Sarah Nurse, Beijing Olympic gold medallist in hockey, threw the ceremonial first pitches at the sold-out Rogers Centre.
"You could say I'm a [Blue Jays] fan," Wilkie wrote on social media. "It was an honour to be part of the pre-game ceremony and throw the first pitch."
The 21-year-old Wilkie, who lives and trains in Canmore, won four medals in Beijing in Para Nordic skiing events.
Fourteen Canadian Paralympians and Olympians attended opening night in Toronto and were honoured on-field before the game, including Mark Arendz, fresh off winning four medals in Para nordic skiing.
Last Sunday (April 10) in the series closer, it was two-time gold medallist Johnny Mo’s turn to throw one down the middle.
Canmore’s Morris competed in three Games and won gold in men’s curling and mixed doubles.
In Beijing, Morris and teammate Rachel Homan were knocked out of playoff contention by eventual gold medallist winner, Team Italy.
On the Blue Jays side, the 2022 season will be the team's first full season in Toronto since 2019.
During the opening ceremony, the club and MLB honoured current and former Blue Jays with 2021 individual awards presentations.
Baseball-smasher Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was presented the Hank Aaron Award and Silver Slugger; Teoscar Hernández was handed his Silver Slugger; and Marcus Semien was given his Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards.