The week started well with 20 visitors to the Museum on Monday alone, and there’s a full slate of games at our diamonds every night of the week. The Ottawa and Windsor 18U teams are back in town this weekend, playing June 10 at 3 p.m. and June 11 at 10 a.m. on Cement Field. For a full list of games, check the list posted on our office window on Queen St.
Just two weeks from the Induction festivities, we’re looking forward to seeing main street storefronts decorated with Blue Jays, Expos, Baseball Canada collectibles and baseball equipment. Any merchant who hasn’t got a 2017 Induction poster is invited to drop by the Hall of Fame office downtown to pick one up.
We’re still recruiting volunteers to help with such things as parking, refreshments, BBQ and several other aspects on Induction Weekend. Drop into the office, call 519-284-1838, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to help out.
June 4 marked the 179th anniversary of one of baseball’s earliest recorded games. Played in Beachville, ON, the match was documented by Dr. Adam E. Ford, who at one time was Mayor of St. Marys. His account was published many years after the event in a letter to Sporting Life magazine and has helped to debunk the Abner Doubleday-Cooperstown story.
The teams that played on June 4, 1838 were the Beachville Club and the Zorras of Zorra and North Oxford townships. Dr. Ford’s letter is rich with details of the field (today near Beachville’s Baptist Church), drawings and rules of the game. It is reproduced in Chip Martin’s excellent book Baseball’s Creation Myth, on sale in our Museum, and may be found online in an article in the Journal of Sports History, Vol. 15, No. 1 (Spring 1988). As noted by Martin, the story of the Beachville game also played a part in the selection of St Marys as the new home of CBHFM in 1994, along with the generous donation of land by the St. Marys Cement Company.
Inductee birthdays this month: June 2 – Peter Widdrington, June 10 – Jack Graney, June 13 – Tom Cheek and Ernie Whitt, June 20 – Paul Beeston, June 25 – Carlos Delgado, June 28 – Corey Koskie and June 30 – Tony Fernandez. Ernie Whitt will receive his third Induction Day honour, this time with the Team Canada 2015 Men’s Senior National Team, winners of the Pan-Am gold medal in 2015.
In the wider world of baseball, Joey Votto was presented with our 2016 Tip O’Neill award in Toronto on May 29, when his Cincinnati Reds met the Toronto Blue Jays. The Reds suffered a brutal 17-2 loss, but the event was great publicity for us as TSN.ca picked up the award presentation live and Sportsnet aired it that night. Check out our website for a great photo of Votto with Scott Crawford and CBHFM Director Tammy Adkin.
The 2017 MLB amateur draft is just around the corner (June 12-14). The top-ranked Canadian is Landon Leach, a right-handed pitcher from Pickering, ON; the 2nd is London shortstop Adam Hall.
Victoria, BC native and Phillies’ right-handed pitcher Nick Pivetta picked up his first major league win on Monday, June 5 in Philadelphia’s 11-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves. In his fifth major league start, he pitched five innings, allowed three runs on six hits, struck out four and walked three. His teammates celebrated the achievement by stuffing him into a laundry cart and dousing him with powder, shaving cream and water.
London, Ont., native Jamie Romak has continued his torrid 2017 home run pace with the SK Wyverns of the Korean Baseball Organization. After swatting 11 home runs in 25 triple-A games for the El Paso Chihuahuas in April, the 31-year-old was sold to the Korean club. He has since added 10 more homers in 21 games to give him 21 for the season.
Eric Gagne, winner of the Tip O’Neill Award in 2002 and 2003, ended his comeback attempt on May 20, 2017. The 2003 Cy Young Award winner hadn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2008.
Short notice item: Tomorrow, June 10, members of the Chatham Sports Hall of Fame, the University of Windsor, and the Harding Family will officially launch the “Breaking the Colour Barrier: Wilfred ‘Boomer’ Harding and the Chatham Coloured All-Stars (1932-1939)” project. The undertaking celebrates the legacy of the Chatham Coloured All-Stars, the first black team to win an Ontario Baseball Association provincial championship in 1934. As previously mentioned in this space, Ferguson Jenkins Sr. played on the 1935 team. The official launch takes place between 1 and 3 p.m. at the W.I.S.H. Centre, 177 King Street E, Chatham, ON. Anyone unable to attend can check out the project online at http://cdigs.uwindsor.ca/BreakingColourBarrier/ .