Toronto Blue Jays players went full tourist mode on a team trip to Niagara Falls
It's hard to believe that in just 31 days, the Toronto Blue Jays will be playing actual baseball in Dunedin, Florida, to kick off Spring Training and a fresh start after a crushing exit to the 2022 Postseason.
But until then, new and returning team members are getting acclimatized to the (uncharacteristically mild) Canadian climate through the return of the annual Winter Tour.
After three years without an official Winter Tour for reasons that are fairly obvious, the revamped roster has been on a crash tour of the country to build up hype for what is hopefully an improvement over an October meltdown that left the country shellshocked.
After stops in Vancouver and Toronto earlier in January, members of the team made an appearance in Niagara Falls over the weekend, spotted checking out the glittering landmarks and natural wonders of the tourist hot spot.
Team members filed off the tour bus in the midst of the Clifton Hill tourist district, a sight that impressed new Jays acquisition (and former Rays scout car-stealing villain), outfielder Kevin Kiermaier.
"Boy, my son would love all these dinosaurs," exclaimed Kiermaier outside of Dinosaur Adventure Golf. Second baseman Santiago Espinal seemed less impressed, saying, "it's cold, man."
Markham's own homegrown closer, Jordan Romano, already seemed pretty familiar with the tourist town, acting as a de facto tour guide for teammates.
Baseball royalty obviously can't just walk the streets of Niagara Falls in peace, so what better way to take in the majesty of the falls than in private gondolas aboard the Niagara SkyWheel?
Santiago Espinal was seen rocking out on some smooth jazz, while slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. professed his love for the bustling border town.
Team members marvelled at tourist attractions like the Tunnel at the Niagara Parks Power Station, and even mascot Ace got in on the fun.
But one of the highlights for the ball players was the rare chance to actually control the lighting of both the U.S. and Canadian falls themselves using the illumination tower. Jordan Romano said the experience was among the "coolest things [he'd] ever done."
Cool things we got to do in Niagara Falls:— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) January 23, 2023
✅ Light up the Falls 🤯
✅ Get an award for it 😂 pic.twitter.com/QGBkEY082R
The Winter Tour recognizes fans across the country through community events and public appearances, but you can't help but get the sense that this stop was more of a special treat for players and a reminder of all the fun things to do in Toronto's backyard.
Toronto may still be in the cold depths of January, but baseball fans across the country need only wait until Feb. 25 to catch the Blue Jays' first Spring Training game of 2023 in sunny Florida.
Toronto Blue Jays
Join the conversation Load comments