Fans lining up to attend Toronto Blue Jays home opener April 2, 2013

Blue Jays 2013 home opener draws fans from near and far

It’s a chilly, overcast Tuesday in Toronto as a wave of blue and red is sweeping across the streets of downtown, working its way down to the Rogers Centre.

It’s been six agonizing months, but baseball is finally back, with Jays fans feeling more optimistic than ever for a playoff berth.

Diehard supporters from across Canada, as well as some from Cleveland, have weathered the cold temperatures to see the revamped Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians square off Tuesday April 2, 2013 in the team’s season opener.

John Clute and his family packed their bags for a five-hour road trip from Cleveland to make it to the Rogers Centre.

“I have never been to the stadium, looking to come here to see the Indians play,” said Clute, standing outside of the Rogers Centre, clad in his Indians gear.

In a flurry of offseason moves, the Blue Jays’ roster got an overhaul. General manager Alex Anthopolous acquired several all-star calibre players through trades and free agency.

P.J. Bautista, a long-time fan of the Jays, is optimistic for this season and is glad to be cheering for a contender. Standing outside Gate 6 and the main entrance to the stadium on Bremner Boulevard, he was just steps away from fan favourite performer Rick Donaldson, better known as “Rick the Blue Jays Drummer”.

Bautista’s enthusiasm was evident.

“I’m more excited this season because they added so many players. And honestly, when they added all the players in November and December, I wanted to go to this game so bad,” Bautista said.

So did Stephen Stohn, the executive producer of the hit TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation, and also of the shows Instant Star, and L.A. Complex. He tweeted that “an unnamed person with the initials of S.S.,” was on his way to the home opener.

Stohn said he is very happy with some of Anthopolous’s pick-ups.

“I’m really, really a fan of R.A. Dickey. I’m so glad that he’s throwing out the first pitch tonight and not just as a pitcher but because he seems like an incredible human being,” Stohn said.