A Look Back at the Beat Box Dome and June 5th, 1989!

If there is one thing that humans can agree on, it's that time moves faster than we ever expected it to when we were just little squirts growing up wishing to be older - that's for sure. The good old dug up Earth has spun around the flamethrowing Sun many times since the SkyDome opened its gates on June 5th, 1989.

And I thought it'd be fun just to take a little trip through time to remember when, feel old, or for the millennial readers feel young (BUT don't feel too much of a toats-that's-dope-I'm-longboarding-into-the-sun-I'm-young kind of a feel - because a big millennial BTW and FYI - y'all will get old too).

The city of Toronto has been gentrifying and it sure doesn't look a thing like it did on June 5th, 1989. The iconic Queen St. West has turned into a strip mall, people can feel safe walking west of Bathurst at night now, and Queen and Broadview is a clean intersection without a Jilly's, BUT thank fuck still a Dangerous Dans (for now).

My point is that since the day that the 'Beat Box' gates opened on June 5th, 1989, the city and the world has seen a lot of changes politically, musically, and in baseball too - that's for damn 'no pitch intentional walk' sure, am I right?

Here's the 'holy fuck I'm old thing': Devon Travis, Luke Maile, Marcus Stroman, Roberto Osuna, Joe Biagini, and Danny Barnes weren't even breathing the Earth's air when the vintage Blue Jays took the field to play the Milwaukee (pronounced like Alice Cooper in 'Wayne's World) Brewers on June 5th, 1989, so the good old Sky Dome (Rogers Centre) is older than some of the ballplayers now, and it's approaching its thirtieth birthday.

And I know there are some beautiful historical baseball churches in the good ol' USA that have stood strong through a couple World Wars and every other past and present president, BUT the SkyDome is ours, and it's always felt like it's new - at least to me, but the good old box has been beat by time and it's pressing on in age too.

So let's just admire some great photos I pulled from the Toronto Archives (which you should explore because it's awesome), and take a look at the construction of the Dome and the evolution of the Toronto Skyline. And, of course, let's look at what all the humans were watching and listening to on June 5th, 1989 too.

The SkyDome Model

Pretty 'rock the casbah' cool to look at this model of the city, the only thing it's missing is the wonderfully bland glass condos that have been built, which aggressively offend what was once a beautiful waterfront.

The Construction

(and here's a nifty Sky Dome built in two minutes video to capture the two and a half years it took to construct it)

So finally after the two and a half years it took to build this exciting Dome with the retractable roof, the big day came for the good Birds of summer, and that, of course, was June 5th, 1989 - cue the Canadian baseball fireworks:

The Game

So I looked into the old weather archives and on that June 5th evening, the Canadian records show that when the first pitched was tossed in the good Dome of summer, it was cloudy and 14 degrees Celsius. But many people recall a warm sticky (so there's that) evening that had a torrential down pour while the roof was open, which soaked everyone.

The good Birds lost the first game played in the Dome, but a fun Birds fact is that George Bell is the first Blue Jay to cross home plate and that came off of a Fred McGriff home run in the bottom of the 2cd.


Now let's take a quick look at what was totally radical on June 5th, 1989, and popular that year.

The number one song on June 5th, 1989, was 'Rock On' by Michael Damian:

The number one movie in the theatres on June 5th, 1989, was 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade':

(not my favourite one that's for sure, but still a damn 80's classic)

Side note: Before Jones took the top spot, 'See No Evil, Hear No Evil' was the number one movie, and holy fuck if you ACTUALLY have a sense of humour and haven't seen this Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor flick - make that a priority this week.

The Top Three TV Shows in 1989:

The Cosby Show

(Ah .. Bill Cosby ... sigh)


(John Goodman is the greatest - just saying)


(Goddamn 1980's sitcoms were the greatest)

And there you have it folks, a nice little nostalgic look back at all things good on June 5th, 1989, and some 1989 pop culture fun.

Oh yeah ... how could I forget this little tape magic that dropped in that year that had all the SkyDome beat boxes blasting its way to the future - Michael J. Fox style:

 bat flips are poetic
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