For 12 unforgettable weeks, from steamy August to a crisp autumn evening in Kansas City, Canadians from coast to coast were spellbound by the Toronto Blue Jays’ thrilling playoff run of 2015.Millions tuned in on TV. The ballpark sold out every night. Despite a heated election, baseball was the only game in town.That excitement is still fresh in the minds of fans as the Jays step up to the plate in grapefruit league action. Spring training in Florida started Monday, Feb. 22.While the ball players prepare for another highly anticipated season, the rush of the recent playoff run is anything but a distant memory.Within the Jays organization is Brock University’s own winning team, a crew of alumni filling various roles. Last season, they had to focus on their jobs amid a buzz of excitement like they’d never experienced.By July it was feeling like another bridesmaid season. Vacillating between wins and losses, the Jays were still “in it” but lacked consistency, and seemed stuck at five games behind the New York Yankees.Then came the remarkable mid-summer trades. Around the league, heads turned. More than bringing in talent, they added leadership, created the kind of chemistry that managers dream of. Every player looked like there was no place they’d rather be. Things felt different.Andrew Tinnish (BRLS ’99 / BSM ’01), Jays Assistant General Manager, remembers when he knew something special was happening. It was Civic Holiday Monday, with Minnesota in town. In his much-anticipated first start as a Blue Jay, star pitcher David Price defused a bases-loaded, none-out jam without giving up a run. At the third out, the stadium erupted.“It was just electric,” says Tinnish. “Huge. That’s when I felt like, OK, now we have an ace. We knew our offence was great, we knew our defence was great. (But) with an ace on the mound you’re just confident that you’re going to win. That’s when I really started to feel it.”The Jays went on a tear, passing the Yankees, clinching the American League East. Come October they won a dramatic divisional playoff and got within two victories of the World Series. Fans were emotionally drained but deeply enamored with these talented, bonded, seemingly ego-free athletes.For Holly Gentemann (BSM ’03) it was something she’ll never forget.“Given this was my 13th season with the club, experiencing meaningful September baseball and then post-season for the first time as an employee was an incredible experience,” she reflects. “We went on the same emotional roller coaster many of our fans did.”Tinnish talks of the scene after their heart-stopping playoff win over Texas. Players partied with fans in the stadium, then went into the clubhouse where it continued raining champagne.“That was probably the best moment for me. I was able to get my wife Trina — who’s also a Brock grad, and a lot smarter than me — down into the clubhouse for the celebration. It was surreal being able to share that moment with her. I’m away so much with the team, she’s the rock of our family. I couldn’t do any of this without her.”Both Tinnish and Gentemann say the Brock bond is strong, that alumni sense it when they cross paths in meeting rooms, hallways or social gatherings. “We are definitely aware of each other,” says Gentemann.Tinnish also keeps in touch with another Brock grad just down the street, having lunch or exchanging texts with Toronto Maple Leafs Assistant General Manager Kyle Dubas.“Kyle is a huge baseball fan, but a Seattle Mariners’ fan. And he loves Joe Madden, manager of the Chicago Cubs.“But I think this year we’ve converted him. That was one of my goals this season.”