TORONTO - The Blue Jays are hitting the road in January for a Winter Tour that will make stops in four cities, as the club tries to reach out to fans across Canada.
On Friday, the club announced it will be taking players and personnel to four cities: Scarborough, Ontario; Waterloo, Ontario; Calgary, Alberta; and Vancouver, British Columbia. General manager Alex Anthopoulos and new manager John Farrell will be taking part in the tour, as will left-handers Ricky Romero, Brett Cecil, outfielder Travis Snider and catcher J.P. Arencibia.
The tour will consist of skills clinics, school visits and other community events. It's reminiscent of the old Winter Caravans that were a staple of the franchise in the 1980s and early 1990s, when the club travelled from coast-to-coast.
Blue Jays president Paul Beeston said it's the first step of what he hopes will once again become an annual event.
"We've tried to brand ourselves back as Canada's team," Beeston said. "If you want to talk the talk, then you better walk it, too.
The tour will kick off in Scarborough on Jan. 7 and will feature appearances by Snider and Arencibia. The club will visit the Jays Care Community Clubhouse before heading to Waterloo on January 10th for a skills clinic and visit to local schools.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for our program to get involved with baseball at the grass roots level. I'm thrilled that the Blue Jays have selected Waterloo as a leg on this tour," said Golden Hawk baseball head coach SCOTT BALLANTYNE
on the Jays coming to Waterloo." It will be a great experience for our players to get to give back to the community. Any chance we can get to partner with a franchise like the Toronto Blue Jays is a positive for our baseball program as well as the University as a whole."
Laurier will be hosting the Amateur Baseball Instructional Clinic that will enable kids to receive instruction directly from Toronto Blue Jays Instructors AND Players! Participants will rotate through various stations and learn tips on fielding, hitting, base running and much more!
Registration time is from 6 to 6:30 p.m. and the clinic will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The cost is $20 per person.