Toronto baseball fan cheers for the Jays...and the Royals
Justin Adam is an extremely rare baseball fan in Toronto: he is cheering for both the Jays and the Royals.
He has lived in Toronto for the past decade, but he still has a hard time choosing allegiances between the Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals, two arch rivals in the American League Championship Series.
That's because he was drafted by the Royals back in 1992 and spent five years playing in their farm system.
Tonight the Blue Jays are in Kansas City down three games to two in the best-of-seven series and fighting for the chance to play in the World Series. But until one of the two teams moves forward, Adam has an antagonizing time picking sides.
In the 1990s, Adam, a Windsor native, was in the Royals farm system for about five years. As a pitcher, he was given the opportunity to pitch in the minors for the team that now is a favourite to go to the October Classic.
He said the Royals taught him a lot about loyalty.
"The Royals did a lot for me," Adam remembers. He was the highest Canadian chosen in 1992, in the seventh round. The team gave him a hefty signing bonus and paid for his education, which included film school. "They really did support me in my growth as a young adult."
Whenever Adam cheers for the Blue Jays, his mother scolds him, telling him not to forget the Royals. His father, though, is still smarting that the Jays weren't the ones who drafted him in the first place — being a good Ontario prospect, after all.
To complicate matters, Adam grew up in Windsor, next to Detroit, and his family cheered for the Tigers.
But even when the Royals were paying his salary, he was secretly rooting for the champion 1993 Blue Jays.
Today, he still has his own baseball cards from when he was a player. He credits his playing days for giving him the opportunities he's had to pursue his current vocation of design.
"I don't really want to alienate myself with all my Toronto friends," he said. "So right now, I side with the Jays. It would be exciting if they won. But if the Royals win, I wouldn't be devastated."