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BEHIND THE SCENES: Josh, the giving Jays fan

GuelphToday reporter Mark Pare takes us behind the scenes

A Calgary man received an unexpected birthday gift from a generous Toronto Blue Jays season ticket holder in Guelph. Josh Gabriel, who has a tradition of giving away his free swag, was thrilled to see Bruno Picone wearing a brand new Bo Bichette jersey and headband. Both Gabriel and Picone attended the Jays game at Rogers Centre, where the first 15,000 fans received the special Bo Bichette giveaway. Gabriel, a season ticket holder since 2015, struck up a conversation with Picone and learned that it was Bruno's birthday trip, but they had missed out on the giveaway. In a heartwarming gesture, Gabriel decided to give his jersey and headband to Bruno at the end of the game, bringing a smile to his face.

Moved by Gabriel's kindness, Picone expressed his gratitude in a letter to GuelphToday, hoping to find "Josh," the Guelph fan who made his day. Gabriel, upon seeing the letter online, expressed his desire to connect with Picone and potentially meet up for next year's birthday game. In Toronto, fans know that lining up hours in advance is necessary to secure coveted Blue Jays giveaways. However, Gabriel felt satisfied with his decision to part with the giveaway items when he saw the joy it brought to Picone.

This heartwarming exchange exemplifies the generosity and camaraderie found among sports fans, transcending geographic boundaries and creating meaningful connections.

Video Summary:

Guelph resident and Toronto Blue Jays season ticket holder, Josh Gabriel, made headlines with a kind gesture during a recent game. While attending a game at the Rogers Centre, Gabriel found himself sitting next to a man from Calgary who was celebrating his birthday. The man, named Bruno, had come to Toronto for an annual birthday trip, and it happened that Gabriel was seated in front of him in the 100 level. Throughout the game, they engaged in conversation and banter, as is common among fans at baseball games.

Towards the end of the game, Gabriel learned that Bruno had missed out on the special Bo Bichette jersey and headband giveaway, which was only available to the first 15,000 fans. Being a frequent attendee of Blue Jays games, Gabriel had accumulated many giveaway items and decided to make Bruno's day by giving him his extra jersey and headband. Bruno's reaction was one of absolute joy, evident in a photo that captured his beaming smile. This act of generosity was not the first time Gabriel had given away his swag, and he expressed his willingness to continue doing so in the future.

Josh Gabriel attends between 20 to 40 Blue Jays games per season and doesn't mind arriving hours in advance to secure giveaway items. While he enjoys collecting these items for himself, he also finds joy in sharing them with fellow fans, knowing that a small gesture can bring happiness to someone's day. Gabriel's selfless act and the heartfelt response from Bruno exemplify the camaraderie and goodwill often found among sports fans.