Given the start of spring training in Dunedin and the launch of Patch's new Super Senior spotlight, we found it highly appropriate to showcase the one person who has been a season ticket holder since the Blue Jays arrived in Dunedin in 1977: Flip Donoghue, age 94.
Flip Donoghue is no stranger to Dunedin as he and his family settled into town after he retired as an Army Colonel in 1970. Flip is Dunedin’s eldest season ticket holder since the Jays came to Dunedin, and he was present for the first pitch at 1:05 p.m. on Feb. 26 when the Blue Jays took on the Detroit Tigers on opening day. Flip also happens to be the proud grandfather of the Dunedin Jays' Assistant General Manager Janette Donoghue. Flip was inducted into the Dunedin Baseball Hall of Fame by the Dunedin Chamber of Commerce in 1997, was named a Dunedin History Maker in 1950, and Flip and his wife Bea were awarded the Delightful Dunedin Award in 1990. As a bat boy in a 1931 Yankee exhibition game, Flip held a bag of baseballs as Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig signed the balls for fans.
Flip what do you find most enjoyable about Blue Jays baseball in Dunedin?
“The big thing for me is to see young ball players come through Dunedin then excel in their career. ... I have particularly enjoyed knowing Roy Holladay and Carlos Delgado.”
Describe a nice part of game day.
“When I get to the ball park I like to go to the bullpen restaurant and talk to all of the people in town for the game from Toronto.”
How do you feel the Blue Jays being in Dunedin have enhanced the Dunedin experience?
"When we first started we had a very small field with a backstop. Now we have a beautiful stadium to add to the many great things Dunedin has to offer that bring people to our city."
Give us one great Blue Jays baseball memory.
"My greatest memory would be Carlos Delgado in the early 90s winning the homerun record hitter. He was a very nice young man. Our former mayor, Cecil Englebert, used to sit with me and we enjoyed the game together. Ken Carson was the general manager for years and would visit with everybody and we all liked that. I used to take the pitchers to our local elementary schools to meet the students."
What is your favorite part of the game?
“About the fourth inning you can see can see how your team is doing so that always seems to be the most exciting part of the day.”