Andre Chapman, Blue Jays fan in Ottawa, uses Game 1 ticket to get out of jury duty

An Ottawa man used a hand-written note to get out of jury duty and attend Game 1 of the Major League Baseball playoff series between the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers.

Blue Jays and Rangers play Game 1 on Thursday at 3:30 p.m ET

David Price, right, and Marcus Stroman highlight the pitching rotation for the Toronto Blue Jays in their playoff series with the Texas Rangers. Andrew Chapman will see Price pitch in Game 1 (The Canadian Press)

A life-long fan of the Toronto Blue Jays managed to get out of jury duty to attend Game 1 of the baseball team's playoff series against the Texas Rangers.

Andre Chapman of Ottawa purchased a single ticket for the game on Oct. 8 when they went on sale in late September.

The problem was, after he bought that ticket, he was called to jury duty for a criminal trial.

"I was worried, because I didn't realize the quick turnaround with jury duty," Chapman told CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning on Wednesday. "You could be in court the next day."

Andre Chapman was excused from jury duty after he brought up the fact he had a ticket to the Toronto Blue Jays' first playoff game in 22 years. (CBC Ottawa)

There were two trials looking for jurors, 24 in total, Chapman said. He managed to get out of the first trial by explaining his Blue Jays ticket to the judge.

He was chosen for the second trial, however, before being given a chance to offer a similar explanation.

"I was on the jury. I was affirmed in and I was just sitting there in the jury box just waiting for the rest of the jury to be selected and it was pretty disappointing," he remembered.

Each juror was then allowed the chance to write a letter explaining reasons for any absence during the trial, Chapman said. That's when he wrote a quick hand-written note about his Blue Jays ticket.

"They brought it up in front of the lawyers, everybody in court ... they just decided that I wasn't going to be chosen and they excused me from the proceedings," he said.

Instead of a day or two off, Chapman was removed from the jury entirely. That sits just fine for a fan who's waited 22 years for playoff baseball to return to Toronto.

"I had been waiting so long for the Jays to make the playoffs. I had been putting aside time in October the last few years just in case and had some vacation time built up, if needed," he said.

Game 1 takes place Thursday in Toronto at 3:30 p.m. ET.


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