Here's a cool FanPost on the possible MLB expansion from the British Columbia perspective. Thanks, Jacob!
When Rob Manfred listed Vancouver among the potential cities for expansion I found myself overjoyed. Baseball in my city, yes, please! While Baseball is as American as Apple pie, many Canadians share the same sentiment, it could be said that Baseball is as Canadian as maple syrup. This holds especially true in British Columbia, a breeding ground for MLB talent, it has bred players like Justin Morneau, Jason Bay, Rich Harden, Jeff Francis, Brett Lawrie, Michael Saunders and of course James Paxton. There is a distinct Baseball culture that exists in B.C., and to get a team would be an incredible gift. This Baseball culture is something that Mariners fans are all too familiar with, Safeco has experienced the Canadian invasion whenever the Jays come to town. But it goes well beyond that. In 1939 the Vancouver Capilanos joined the Northwest Baseball League and baseball has remained in Vancouver ever since. The current team in town is the Vancouver Canadians, Toronto’s Short-Season A team. Since 2015, the Canadians have led the Northwest League in both average attendance and total attendance and are on pace to do so once again. Baseball is loved in B.C., and we are ready for more!
After the initial excitement about the potential for a Baseball team in Vancouver I began to ponder, Would I cheer for them? I have been a Mariners fan for as long as I have watched Baseball. I also feel the need to mention that I have proudly always hated the Jays. My basis for supporting the Mariners and my disdain for the Jays was the proximity of the teams. I have always cheered regionally. It is not easy to be a Mariners fan in B.C., while every Jays game is on TV, you are lucky to get twenty Mariners games a year. Despite the fact that our sports network advertises itself as Sportsnet Pacific, most of the games we get are against the Jays where we are forced to aggravating voice of Buck Martinez! Although the Canadian sports media’s attempt to convert me, my love for the Mariners has remained steadfast despite the many years of heartbreak. I love road tripping down the I-5 to get to Safeco, however, the potential of being able to take the bus to a game is incredibly desirable. It opens up the door to attend so many more games. The accessibility of a team in Vancouver is enticing. My reason for supporting the Mariners in the first place was their proximity, a team in Vancouver would squash my basis for Mariners fandom.
I will never lose my love for the Mariners, Through all the years of disappointment and heartbreak, my love of them has never wavered. However, if Vancouver were to get an MLB team it would mean so much to not only myself, but the rich Baseball community in Vancouver I would have no choice but to support them. The best case scenario would be to have a Vancouver team join the National League so I would not have to divide my allegiance. I have loved Baseball for a long time and often dreamed about Vancouver having a team. But for now, I am fulfilled watching this lovable Mariners team.