We had a great summer at the ball hall, which augurs well for the future. Along with a significant increase in the number of visitors, we hit the historic mark of over 1,000 events on site. Thank you to all the teams that helped us achieve this milestone!
The off-season is already busier than usual with requests for visits. Many attendees at the Canadian Baseball History Conference, covered extensively by The Indy’s Dan Rankin, had a special guided tour on November 12, and other tours took place on Nov 14, 17 and 27. The conference also sparked a few new and renewal memberships.
It seems that baseball this year has been all about history, with the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians, both with long championship dry spells, in the World Series. Did you know that Hall of Famers Jimmy Archer and Jack Graney are the only two Canadians to have played for the Cubs and Indians in the Fall Classic? Otherwise, 20 different Canadians have played in the World Championship since 1884. (The modern World Series didn’t start until 1903, but MLB did host World Championships prior to that.) Of those 20 players, 11 won the championship and Hall of Famer George Selkirk had five titles!
As for the present, tonight is Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Night at the Pyramid Centre, with the Lincs hosting the London Nationals. Former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Jeff Francis will be there, signing autographs and posing for photos. Come to the game in your favourite MLB team jersey and receive a HOF Inductee baseball card.
Christmas is around the corner and the CBHFM Silent Auction (on till December 14 at noon) offers some great things for the Christmas shopper, not to mention the many gift options available at our Queen St. offices. We sell Blue Jays hats, parking signs, mugs, shot glasses and winter hats, plus Expos hats, mugs and shot glasses, books and Hall of Fame clothing. Do drop in!
Our next bingo at Bingo Country Stratford is on Monday, Dec. 12 at 5:00 pm.
Inductee birthdays in December: 1 – Calvin Griffith and Larry Walker; 3 – Billy Harris; 5 – Bobby Mattick; 6 – Murray Cook; 12 – Richard Belec; 13 – Ferguson Jenkins and Ron Taylor; 15 – Justin Jay Clark, Don McDougall; 21 – Tom Henke; 31 – Sherry Robertson.
Etobicoke’s Joey Votto finished 7th in the National League’s 2016 MVP voting. A Canadian has received MVP votes every year since 2001 and 3 have won the award: Larry Walker (1997), Justin Morneau (2006) and Joey Votto (2010).
Montreal Expos broadcaster Jacques Doucet is one of 8 finalists for the Cooperstown Hall’s 2016 Ford C. Frick Award, honouring broadcasting excellence. Doucet was inducted into the Quebec Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002 and won the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s Jack Graney Award in 2004. The winner will be announced on December 7 at the annual Baseball Winter Meetings.
The winner of our Jack Graney Award will be announced on Nov. 29, followed by the Tip O’Neill Award on Dec. 2. For detailed information on the nominees, go to our website: baseballhalloffame.ca
Finally, London’s Jamie Romak signed a minor league deal with the San Diego Padres on Nov. 8. The right fielder/1st baseman has played for many MLB teams in both the majors (Diamondbacks and Dodgers) and minor leagues and returns to North America from a year with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars of Nippon Professional Baseball.
Canadian Cole Armstrong (Surrey, BC) has been hired by the Chicago White Sox as a Double A hitting coach. Armstrong played on Canada’s 2011 Pan-Am Team, which was inducted into our Hall of Fame in 2012.