Prior to tonight’s game, the Rogers Centre’s sound system pumped out a few Elvis tunes in recognition of the 30th anniversary of the music legend’s passing. It was eerily fitting that the Angels would be visiting Toronto tonight, too.
On August 16, 1977, when Elvis died, the California Angels were playing the Blue Jays at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto. Current Jays radio man Alan Ashby and Jays bench coach Ernie Whitt — both catchers for Toronto at the time — each played in the game against the Halos. Jays TV man and former Blue Jay Rance Mulliniks started at short for the Angels in the game.
Perhaps the strangest coincidence doesn’t involve one of the players in that game 30 years ago. Mike Reilly, who was a rookie umpire during the ’77 season, worked that California-Toronto game at the Ex. Reilly was the second base ump for tonight’s game at the Rogers Centre. But, no Elvis sightings yet.