Carter leads reunion of '92-93 champs
Thirty Jays players and coaches confirmed to participate
It's been almost 16 years since Joe Carter hit his infamous walk-off home run at SkyDome to beat the Phillies in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series.
But to this day, the thought of winning back-to-back titles still resonates with the Blue Jays legend.
"Probably the biggest thing I got from that home run is CBS gave me a tape of every single camera that was rolling that night," said Carter at a press conference at Rogers Centre -- previously called SkyDome -- on Thursday morning. "And sure the home run was great, but to see the excitement from, one, my teammates, two, the fans -- listening to what people were saying, the sheer joy -- that's what a player lives for in baseball.
"Me running the bases, I thought that was secondary to all the players' and fans' responses."
Carter was speaking at the Summit Suite of the Blue Jays' home because, in a way, he wants to recapture the moment of that historic night.
Because of that, the former Toronto slugger has spearheaded a reunion of players and coaches from the 1992-93 back-to-back World Series championship teams for the Friday, Aug. 7 game against the Orioles.
The reunion will be one of several events taking place from Aug. 6-8 that has been planned to give Toronto a flashback of the greatest time in the team's history.
"It was pretty obvious that there was a real movement to bring back the teams," said Paul Beeston, the former president of the team who now serves on an interim basis. "I looked at it from several different viewpoints. I looked at where we are now as a team, and where we are with the past.
"Ten players became 20 players, 20 players became 30 players. A number of players that I've talked to in the last few weeks, everybody has this great enthusiasm to reconnect, to get together, and to celebrate what was a tremendous period, I think, for all of us."
Among the 30 players and coaches confirmed to attend are stars like Carter, Roberto Alomar, Devon White, Jimmy Key, Dave Stewart, Ed Sprague, John Olerud, Al Leiter, Pat Hentgen, Kelly Gruber, David Cone and Mike Timlin.
"The reason it took 17 years for us to put this reunion together was we had to wait until finally Mike Timlin retired," Carter joked about his 43-year-old ex-teammate, who played 18 years in the Major Leagues.
A 17-year anniversary for the first-ever Major League Baseball championship outside the U.S., however, does sounds a little strange. But Carter said the numbers don't mean anything to him.
Apparently, this is something he wanted to do for a while, and now he finally has a chance to do so.
"Numbers are just numbers," Carter said. "People look at 10-[year], 20-year reunions, and that's great. But this is something that really could've been done a long time ago, and hasn't. But the way the economy has been and everything, this would be a great thing for the city of Toronto because I've been in town a couple of days, and you talk to people about it, they are so excited about it because they think about where they were in '92, '93, how they were feeling. It brings back all the great fans we had and still have here.
"It wasn't about a round number. It was the point about bringing something back to the city of Toronto, and for the players. A thank you for some of the greatest fans in the world for their support and how much it meant to us."
The festivities will begin Thursday, Aug. 6, during the 14th annual Jays Care Foundation Golf Tournament, which will include food, beverages and prizes at Rattlesnake Point. A foursome -- which is three players along with a former Blue Jay -- is $5,000.
"I enjoy a great game of golf, too," Carter said. "There's always that side connection."
On Aug. 7, there will be the 1992-93 World Series Team Reunion Tribute, including a Flashback Fridays autograph session with select players from the championship teams.
On Aug. 8, the team will have FanFest activities prior to the game and, afterwards, will have an evening gala dinner at The Carlu at 6:30 p.m. ET. A table of 10 will be $3,000, while a table of eight -- including a former Blue Jay and guest -- is $5,000. A single ticket costs $400.
More information on the events can be found at www.bluejays.com/back2back.
"When I called the guys, you could not believe the response that I got from the guys I talked to," Carter said. "It was more or less, 'Hey, count me in, I'm on board.' And that's the enthusiasm we had back when we played. We played for the love of the game, we played for the city of Toronto and for all of the great fans that we had here, and we still have here."
Alden Gonzalez is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.