Blue Jays superfan and autism advocate Matt Harvey hits a home run with pure positivity

Walk around the concourse of the Rogers Centre before a ball game and you’ll most likely find Matt Harvey sporting a jersey with his last name and Roy Halladay’s number, 32. He’s surrounded by fellow Blue Jays obsessives, eager for a chance to chat with one of major-league baseball’s most beloved superfans.There’s a palpable energy before a game, and Harvey is the epitome of it. His greetings are warm, his joy at interacting with people radiates and he’s always up for a photo, whether it’s with Blue Jays players, fans or media. “Canadian Jays fans really show up,” says Harvey, an essential worker at Real Canadian Superstore. “We support and love our team.” Harvey’s goal is to spread happiness and positivity, whether it’s in person at the game or via Twitter, on which he has almost 19,000 followers.Harvey uses his feed to tweet warm wishes and positive vibes to fans, baseball players and reporters. Many of them publicly appreciate his kindness, including Blue Jays right-fielder Randal Grichuk who has been warmly supportive via Twitter. Harvey also uses the platform to share videos that communicate what it’s like living with autism. He’s the first to admit that not every day is perfect. “I’m trying to help people understand about difficulties of autism because it’s [often] misunderstood,” says Harvey. “It feels worthwhile, what I’m trying to do. It’s like one of those positive reinforcements: it helps you keep doing what you’re doing.” April Whitzman, former Toronto Blue Jays digital marketing manager, was one of Harvey’s first Twitter followers. “Matt is one of the kindest, sweetest, most passionate Blue Jays fans in the world,” she says. “Players and baseball fans around the world know him because of his passion for the sport and the kindness he displays for others — from wishing happy birthday to players and friends to sending kind messages.” Harvey’s fandom began in the early ’90s; over the decades, he’s experienced several of the franchise’s historic moments, from two World Series championships to Jose Bautista’s bat flip. In 2016, Harvey attended Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the Texas Rangers, cheering wildly as Josh Donaldson stole home to clinch the series. Before the pandemic, Harvey made the holy pilgrimage to the ballpark via a long GO Train ride from St. Catharines. In March, he’d often go to Dunedin, Florida, to watch spring training. Now, the Rogers Centre sits empty as the Blue Jays begin their season in Dunedin.In the meantime, Harvey will proudly support his team and their fans on Twitter, waiting until the day when it’s safe to head back to the ballpark once more.

Blue Jays superfan and autism advocate Matt Harvey hits a home run with pure positivity

Walk around the concourse of the Rogers Centre before a ball game and you’ll most likely find Matt Harvey sporting a jersey with his last name and Roy Halladay’s number, 32. He’s surrounded by fellow Blue Jays obsessives, eager for a chance to chat with one of major-league baseball’s most beloved superfans.

There’s a palpable energy before a game, and Harvey is the epitome of it. His greetings are warm, his joy at interacting with people radiates and he’s always up for a photo, whether it’s with Blue Jays players, fans or media.

“Canadian Jays fans really show up,” says Harvey, an essential worker at Real Canadian Superstore. “We support and love our team.” Harvey’s goal is to spread happiness and positivity, whether it’s in person at the game or via Twitter, on which he has almost 19,000 followers.

Harvey uses his feed to tweet warm wishes and positive vibes to fans, baseball players and reporters. Many of them publicly appreciate his kindness, including Blue Jays right-fielder Randal Grichuk who has been warmly supportive via Twitter.

Harvey also uses the platform to share videos that communicate what it’s like living with autism. He’s the first to admit that not every day is perfect.

“I’m trying to help people understand about difficulties of autism because it’s [often] misunderstood,” says Harvey. “It feels worthwhile, what I’m trying to do. It’s like one of those positive reinforcements: it helps you keep doing what you’re doing.”

April Whitzman, former Toronto Blue Jays digital marketing manager, was one of Harvey’s first Twitter followers.

“Matt is one of the kindest, sweetest, most passionate Blue Jays fans in the world,” she says. “Players and baseball fans around the world know him because of his passion for the sport and the kindness he displays for others — from wishing happy birthday to players and friends to sending kind messages.”

Harvey’s fandom began in the early ’90s; over the decades, he’s experienced several of the franchise’s historic moments, from two World Series championships to Jose Bautista’s bat flip. In 2016, Harvey attended Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the Texas Rangers, cheering wildly as Josh Donaldson stole home to clinch the series.

Before the pandemic, Harvey made the holy pilgrimage to the ballpark via a long GO Train ride from St. Catharines. In March, he’d often go to Dunedin, Florida, to watch spring training. Now, the Rogers Centre sits empty as the Blue Jays begin their season in Dunedin.

In the meantime, Harvey will proudly support his team and their fans on Twitter, waiting until the day when it’s safe to head back to the ballpark once more.

Source : Toronto Star More