A Blackfalds youngster got to go on the Toronto Blue Jays experience of a lifetime after he entered a contest at the Lacombe Boston Pizza.
Jonathan Stolte, and his dad Shane Stolte, were shipped off to the Rogers Centre in Toronto for Jonathan to sign a one-day contract with the Blue Jays.
“Jonathan and I were flown out there,” Shane said. “It was obviously great and super exciting. Jonathan won’t forget that weekend.”
Included in the Boston Pizza Jr. Jay for a Day trip was being able to sign with Jays alumnus catcher J.P. Arenciba.
“He was pretty pumped up about it,” Shane said. “We stayed right at Rogers Centre and that day was great. He signed a contract for the day with J.P. Arenciba. Then we went up to the luxury suite and watched the game.”
Prior to to watching the game, Jonathan was able to stand with current Blue Jay Second Baseman Lourdes Gurriel Jr. during the starting lineups.
“He actually gave him a signed ball when they were standing there,” Shane said.
The game was a once-in-lifetime event for the Stolte’s and Shane was impressed with how Arenciba interacts with his fans.
“What I appreciated the most from him was that when I told him he was doing a great job he said, ‘I was a fan once too and I never forgot that’,” Shane said. “These kids sure look up to a baseball player and he said he would always be available to the fans if he made it. He is a down-to-earth good guy.”
Jonathan currently only plays baseball with his dad in the yard, but Shane said he is now itching to take up the game.
“You step into that place, it’s huge and now he wants to play,” Shane said. “He doesn’t actually play organized ball, but he has asked. I imagine next year he is really going to want to.”
Shane said the experience is one he couldn’t believe happened.
“We couldn’t believe it when Boston Pizza phoned us. Then you win. You put your name is a thousand contests during your lifetime and then you win,” he said. “It is something we never would have done and it was pretty special for me to go out there with my boy for that weekend.
“He will never forget it and I don’t think I will either.”