Winfield proved to be a lightning rod for the Blue Jays, providing leadership and experience as well as his potent bat. Winfield was a fan favorite, but also demanded fan participation. In August 1992 he made an impassioned plea to the fans during an interview for more crowd noise. The phrase “Winfield Wants Noise” became a popular slogan for the rest of the season, appearing on t-shirts, dolls, buttons, and signs.
The Blue Jays won the pennant, giving Winfield a shot at redemption for his previous post-season futility. In Game 6 of the World Series, he became “Mr. Jay” as he delivered the game-winning two-run double in the 11th inning off Atlanta’s Charlie Leibrandt to win the World Championship for Toronto. At 41 years of age, Winfield became the oldest player to hit an extra base hit in the World Series.
Winfield wanted noise, he got it, and the Jays won the World Series.
After the AJ Burnett’s return to Toronto earlier this year, seeing the insane crowd that showed up for that game, Roy Halladay said “As a pitcher, you kind of have to keep your focus on the lineup you’re facing and not so much who’s pitching on the other side. It was definitely a great atmosphere to pitch in.”
I don’t think it’s too much of a leap at all to say that was the ever-stoic Halladay’s plea for noise.
And now, some of Toronto FC’s biggest diehard supporters are attempting to bring the BMO field atmosphere to the Rogers Centre. I think this is a brilliant idea and I’m going to give the Red Patch Boys my full support. Maybe its time true Jays believers can stop calling ourselves fans and start calling ourselves supporters. We do believe, right?
The RPB are looking to the Far East for their inspiration and to prove that this kind of atmosphere can be pulled off at a baseball game:
If Yankees fans can do it, so can we.