MuSEUM OPENS ON MAY 1st!
oPEN ONLY ON WEEEKENDS IN MAY AND EVERYDAY STARTING JUNE 1ST THROUGH OCT 5TH
  13th annual celebrity golf classic
Friday, June 19th 2009.
St. Marys Golf & Country Club
  2009 Induction ceremony
Saturday, June 20th
inductees announced in february
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  News and EventS


BLUE JAYS CLINIC RETURNING TO ST. MARYS APRIL 25 & 26
Record number of kids expected ... again!
 
   
    St. Marys - The last three years in a row, the attendance at the annual Toronto Blue Jays clinic held in St. Marys has set a record for southern Ontario.  So, instead of bursting the field at the seams, or allowing the instructor:player ratio to get too high, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame together with the Blue Jays have decided to conduct the clinic on back-to-back days, as their outstanding team of clinicians has agreed to stay overnight.
 
    Players aged 10 & over (born in 1999 or earlier) will attend from 5:00-9:00pm on Saturday, April 25, while the youngsters aged 7-9 (born in 2000, '01 or '02) will participate from 10:00am-2:00pm on Sunday, April 26th.  Both clinics will take place on Rotary Field at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.
 
    Unfortunately, the General Motors sponsorship has ceased, and thus the fee for the clinic will be thirty dollars, to be paid in advance.
 
    The participants will receive four hours of top notch instruction, along with a Blue Jays cap, a Blue Jays T-Shirt, and a free lunch.
 
    Boys and girls, baseball or softball players, seven years and older, of all skill levels, even beginners, are encouraged to attend.
 
    If the Blue Jays or the Hall can somehow come up with a sponsor between now and April 25th, we'll reduce the fee back to twenty dollars as it has been in the past.  GM supplemented ten dollars per player for the past several years.
 
    "If that were to be the case, anybody who registers in advance for the thirty dollars will be rebated ten dollars on the day of the clinic," confirmed Ball Hall president & CEO Tom Valcke.
 
    "This is an amazing opportunity for area youngsters, as this is the best team of instructors you will find in Canada, and the reason we keep increasing attendance each year is because the kids go home and tell their friends how much fun it was."
 
    "It is a day of positive reinforcement and fun combined with constructive improvement where the players need correction."
 
    Participants should dress in their uniform or comfortable clothing, and bring their own ball glove and whatever other equipment they wish.  Parents are highly encouraged to please put their child's name on ALL of their equipment. 
 
    "There is nothing better than the annual full house we get in St. Marys," says Blue Jays head clinician John Milton.
 
    "Just like the players on our major league club, the youngsters that show up there from all over the Huron-Perth-Middlesex region are full of passion and enthusiasm."
 
    Due to the limited number of spots available, players must pre-register and must pre-pay by cash, cheque or credit card by dropping in or mailing the Hall's administration office located at 140 Queen St. E.  Registration by phone or email or is also acceptable, as long as a credit card is given.   
 
For more information, please contact:
 
Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum
P.O. Box 1838,  140 Queen St. E.
St. Marys, ON, Canada,  N4X 1C2
Tel:519-284-1838 Toll Free:877-250-2255
baseball@baseballhalloffame.ca
www.baseballhalloffame.ca



PRES/CEO TOM VALCKE IS IN TOYKO AT THE WBC

1  What is the boss of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame doing in Tokyo?

  There are four venues hosting round one of the tournament and the three-man technical committee for each event includes a rep from the Commissioners office, the MLB Players Association and the International BAseball Federation.  I’m wearing the IBAF cap here.

  I've been a volunteer with IBAF for 20 years now and have taught baseball in 17 different countries, and was the Technical Commissioner for the Beijing Olympic Games as well.

  We will be governing everything outside of the white lines, such as scheduling, umpires, scorekeepers, anti-doping, protests, transportation, working with broadcasters, etc.


2  Tell us about the World Baseball Classic?

  This is baseball's version of FIFA’s World Cup, and we're hoping that this becomes the #1 event in the baseball world, with reinstatement into the Olympics the next best thing.  One of the significant positives concerning this tournament is timing...because this is being held in the Spring, this series allows us to use major league baseball players, unlike the Olympics.

  Baseball is now played in more than 120 countries and the Classic does a  great job of reflecting that.  Canada and the United States are there, of course, but so are clubs from Asia, Europe, Latin America, Austrailia and even South Africa.

  The four Round 1 venues are San Juan, Mexico City, Tokyo and Toronto.

  Each city hosts four countries and the top two in each group advance to the next round.
 

3  Is this tournament a big deal in the world of Baseball?

  Right now it's huge to many in the baseball world, because it is the primary revenue source for some country's baseball programmes, especially with baseball out of the Olympics.

  Our intention is to try and grow this tournament and our hope is eventually organize a series of games that allow all 120 countries that play the game to try and qualify for the World Baseball Classic.

  As for the pro level, the Commissioner’s Office and the Players Union of Major League Baseball think this tournament is important, but behind the scenes, there is the appearance of some slight reluctance, because players, especially fragile pitchers do run the risk of getting injured.  I don’t buy that, because a player can also get hurt in Spring Training, even though, admittedly, they are obviously going to dial up their efforts in the Classic.

 The Classic will be aired on television in over 220 countries around the globe over the next few weeks, and although these games will be played with some of the world’s top athletes, the real impact will eventually be felt at all levels, as the event will contribute over $15 million USD to develop the sport for men and women, boys and girls worldwide.


4  How does Canada shape up?

  We're going to be able to hit with anyone in the tournament, especially with the likes of established sluggers like Joey Votto, Matt Stairs, Jason Bay, Justin Morneau, Mark Teahen, Corey Koskie and Russ Martin.

  We'll also be able to play defense with anyone.

  Canada's Achilles heel may be our pitching - not that we don't have talented Canadian pitchers, but they're not available to the team this time around due to various circumstances.  

  Besides that, we’re awfully left-handed!  I love the fact that Morneau will have some protection in the line-up, as I would imagine that manager Ernie Whitt will surround him with Russell Martin and Jason Bay, both righties.  Another sleeper might be youngster Brett Lawrie – only 19 but he can swing it.


5   I'm guessing that the United States is a threat to win this, but who else should we be watching?

  Japan is the defending champs and they are solid in every area.  Korea is the defending Olympic champ and have beaten Japan five of the last six times they’ve played.  Cuba will be a threat in every international event, and you can’t deny the Dominican Republic a legitimate chance as well, with or without A-Rod.  Quite honestly though, because it is single game formatted, versus best-of-seven series, anybody can get on a roll and win it.


6   You mentioned being a volunteer with the IBAF.  Many aren’t familiar with that organization – can you tell us about it?


The IBAF, founded in 1938, is the worldwide governing body for the sport of baseball.  It sanctions play between national teams through tournaments such as the World Cup, the World Baseball Classic, the Intercontinental Cup, and the Olympic Games.  It also focuses on the development of players, coaches, umpires and administrators globally.

 The IBAF headquarters is based in Lausanne, Switzerland, although the president is an American named Harvey Schiller.  Harvey is leading the charges trying everything possible to get baseball reinstated into the Olympic Games, and he is the man to do it – he knows EVERYBODY!  Harvey has actually been to our Hall of Fame, and was pleased and impressed.  I swear he has everyone from the president of CNN to Bill
Clinton on his speed-dial!

The IBAF, with our recent announcement of the Green Initiatives for the 2009 Baseball World Cup, is now compliant with Olympic movement standards, and in the case of WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) testing, even surpasses the required number of tests.  With regard to WADA testing, in 2007 there were 16,971 tests in baseball (including pro leagues), the highest number in the sport's history.  It is a great example of how baseball is a leader in finding answers to the issue of doping in
sports.

On the field, we continue to see examples of baseball as a social unifier.  Just in the last few weeks, new developments included:

  a.. The Taiwanese government announcing it will promote baseball by providing more incentives to interested companies and public enterprises to invest in the sport and grow the exposure of baseball in Taiwan as a sport for all.
  b.. One of Australia’s top club teams, the Ku-ring-gai Stealers, hosting a
fund-raiser to raise $10,000 for the victims of the Australian Bush fires.
  c.. Thirteen young people awarded scholarships by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) based on their outstanding performance at the State Baseball Championship held at Amar Sing College. The SAI selected 13 players, including four female ballplayers.
  d.. The “Baseball in Ghana” announcement to bring a team to Los Angeles in June for a baseball clinic and game with the Encino, California, Little League. There are over 6,000 children in Ghana now playing baseball, both girls and boys.
  e.. The Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball announcing plans to open an Academy for Spanish Prospects in Tenerife, Spain to assist the growth of baseball in the region. 
  f.. Cambodia’s National Baseball Team hosting a squad from neighboring Vietnam in a series from March 10-14 in the Kompong Chhnang province town of Baribor.
  g.. The Netherlands Baseball and Softball Federation being named the most successful sport federation in the country,  for the first time.
  h.. Over 60 coaches from three different countries – Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia – attending a coaching clinic this past week in Croatia. 
Those are just some of the recent examples of the progress the sport continues to make.


For immediate release
February 11, 2009 (9:00am EST)
 
WALKER, WHITT HEAD BALL HALL CLASS OF '09
Soulliere, Miller round out inductees to be honoured June 20th
 
   Larry Walker
   Ernie Whitt
   Bernie Soulliere
   Roy "Doc" Miller
    St. Marys - Larry Walker, Ernie Whitt and Bernie Soulliere, who represent three unique stories leading to three unique roles, are Toronto-bound in less than one month to govern Team Canada's entry in the World Baseball Classic, but the threesome will now be re-uniting at 11:00am EST on June 20 in St. Marys, Ontario, when they will be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.  Chatham, Ontario's Roy "Doc" Miller, who played a century ago and died in 1938, will also be enshrined posthumously.
 
    "We haven't honoured a career of the calibre of Larry Walker's since Fergie Jenkins was inducted in 1987," said Ball Hall president & CEO Tom Valcke.
 
    So the obvious question is: "Who is the greatest the 231 Canadians who have donned a major league uniform?"
 
    "I'll take the easy way out and conclude that Fergie was our greatest pitcher and Larry was our greatest position player!", quipped Valcke.
 
    Walker, a true five-tool player whose career spanned 17 seasons, leads all Canadians in virtually every offensive career category, amassing 383 homeruns, 62 triples and 471 doubles among his 2,160 career hits, while stealing 230 bases along the way.  The five-time All-Star and 1997 National League MVP, who also won seven Gold Glove awards and three batting titles along the way, compiled a career .313 batting average and .565 slugging percentage, 15th best in major league history.  The Maple Ridge, British Columbia native will be an assistant coach for Team Canada at the WBC.
 
    "Larry is special - so unique, and so down-to-earth, a true Canadian" said Team Canada general manager Greg Hamilton.
 
    "We are very fortunate to have Larry involved with Baseball Canada and the national teams program.  He has set the standard by which all Canadian position players are measured and his easy-going nature makes him a natural on our coaching staff.  He is so highly respected by all."
 
    Whitt, whose 1,218 games played in a Toronto Blue Jays uniform ranks fourth all-time, swung a big bat as well, knocking 131 homers among his 888 Blue Jay hits.  Always a fan-favourite in Toronto, he eventually returned to the Blue Jays organization as a coach for a dozen more years, including the last four seasons with the major league club.  But Whitt, who Valcke refers to as "the most Canadian non-Canadian you'll ever meet," has most proudly worn the maple leaf on his chest rather successfully for the past decade as well, and will serve as Team Canada's field manager for the sixth time in the upcoming WBC, which begins Saturday, March 7 when Canada hosts Team USA at Rogers Centre.
 
    "Ernie has bought into the national program wholesale," said a proud Hamilton from Baseball Canada's headquarters in Ottawa.
 
    "He is the consummate players' manager, fantastic to work with, he garners respect without demanding it, and he is all-inclusive - he involves everybody in the decision-making process."
 
    Soulliere, who has helped make Windsor, Ontario one of Canada's true baseball hotbeds, has been volunteering behind the scenes for more than 40 years in amateur baseball circles as well as with numerous provincial and national teams.   He coached Windsor teams to four Ontario championships and a pair of national titles in the '70's, he was the Chair when Windsor hosted the World Junior Championship in 1986, '87 and '93, and he was the general manager of Team Ontario when it won three consecutive Canada Summer Games gold medals in '81, '85 and '89.  The 71-year-old never-say-no diehard served as vice-president with Baseball Canada in the '90's, and was the president of Baseball Ontario from '93-'95.  Soulliere has acted countless times as Team Canada's business manager, and will assume that role again at the WBC.
 
    "Bernie is a lifer, a passionate and humble baseball man who has done as much for our program as anyone, most all of it behind the scenes," added Hamilton.
 
    "We count on him to tie up all of the non-glamorous loose-ends.   He is baseball, and he is Canada.  The spotlight never finds Bernie Soulliere, but his relentless efforts allow the opportunity for everyone else's star to shine."
 
    Miller, whose professional career began in 1903 had his major league debut with the Chicago Cubs in 1910, and played with Boston, Philadelphia and Cincinnati during his five-year stint.  His .295 career batting average, which is fourth all-time for Canadians, included 507 hits in 1,717 at bats over 557 games.  Miller's breakout year was 1911, when he led the National League with 192 hits, and his .333 batting average fell one point shy of winning the NL batting title that was captured by Honus Wagner (.334).  In 1913, Miller set a major league record with 21 pinch-hits that stood for 19 years, and now ranks seventh in major league history.  The University of Toronto graduate who later became a physician was also considered one of the pioneers for players' rights.
 
    Since his three counterparts all have roles at the WBC, the Hall has designated Miller to be in charge of good bounces for Team Canada and bad hops for its opponents!
 
Larry Walker
 
   
    "To me, the key word about this honour is the word 'Canadian,'" said Walker from his home in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he currently lives with his wife Angela of ten years, and their two daughters, nine year-old Canaan, and seven year-old Shayna.
 
    "I've tried to never forget where I've come from, even when I played in Colorado or St. Louis following my time in Montreal.  I've always believed in representing my country proudly, and I just love the rest of the Canucks still in the game.  They all are humble, they all rarely talk about themselves, and they all have a tremendous sense of pride when they put that Canadian jersey on.  Since retiring, my priority certainly is to catch up on some valuable missed time owed to my children, but the comradery in the Team Canada clubhouse makes my role with them near impossible to pass over."
 
    Walker also has a 15-year-old daughter Brittany, and his family has a unique distinction that must have made for some interesting telephone calls growing up in their home.  The youngest of four boys, Larry's father's name is Larry, his mother is Mary, and his three brothers are named Barry, Carey and Gary.
 
    Born December 1st, 1966, Walker, an outstanding hockey goalie as well, was signed by soon-to-be fellow Hall-of-Famer Jim Fanning with the Expos as a free agent in 1984.  His first game in the major leagues was August 16, 1989, and his last was October 19, 2005, totalling 1,988 games played overall.
 
    Walker was an All-Star in 1992, '97, '98, '99 and 2001.  He won the NL MVP Award in 1997 with one of the greatest single seasons in major league history, as he batted .366, had 208 hits including 46 doubles and a league-leading 49 homers, scored 143 runs, had 130 RBI, stole 33 bases, recorded an on-base percentage (OBP) of .452, and a slugging percentage (SLG) of .720.  His 409 total bases in '97 represents the 18th-best single season of all-time.
 
    His three batting titles were in 1998 (.363), '99 (.379) and 2001 (.350), and he finished in second place twice, in '97 and 2002 (.338).  He won Gold Glove Awards in 1992, '93, '97, '98, '99, 2001 and '02, and was awarded the Silver Slugger in '92, '97 and '99.  He was Major League Baseball's OBP leader in 1999 (.458) and won the SLG title in 1997 and '99 (.710).
 
    The only two offensive categories that Walker does not lead all Canadians are career batting average, where he ranks second to Woodstock, Ontario's Tip O'Neill (.326), and in triples, where trails PEI's George Wood's 132 three-baggers.
 
    In 28 career playoff games, Walker had 23 hits in 100 at bats, including seven homeruns and five doubles, along with 18 runs scored and 15 RB, an OBP of .347 and an SLG  of .510.
 
    Walker ranks in the top 100 of all-time major leaguers in the following categories: SLG, OPS, hit by pitch, extra base hits, homeruns, OBP, homeruns per at bat, doubles, intentional walks, batting average, total bases, RBI, and runs.
 
    The nine-time Tip O'Neill Award winner (nobody else has won it more than twice) had three "three-homer" games, an "eight-RBI" game, two "five-runs-scored" games, and his longest hitting streak was 21 games in 1999, when he batted .506 (41/81 including ten homeruns) during the streak.
 
Ernie Whitt
 
   
    "I'm thrilled to death - I mean, I've got chills running up and down me right now," exclaimed Whitt upon hearing the news from his home in Clinton Township, Michigan.
 
    "This is something I would never have dreamed of, to be put into another country's Hall of Fame.  It is truly humbling.  In addition to my fond memories with the Blue Jays, I've got to say that I have been very proud to wear the Team Canada uniform, and Canada can be assured we'll be giving everything we have to give in the upcoming Classic."
 
     Whitt, who currently manages in the Phillies farm system, has already received the time off from his organization to attend the festivities from June 18-20.  It probably didn't hurt that 1997 Ball Hall inductee Pat Gillick remains at the helm!
 
    Born on June 13, 1952 in Detroit, Michigan, Whitt and his wife Christine will celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary in St. Marys on the day before he gets enshrined.  They have three children, Ashley, EJ, and Taylor, as well as two grandchildren.
 
    The 15th-round pick by the Boston Red Sox in the 1972 draft was then taken from the Red Sox by the Blue Jays as their 17th pick of the 1976 Expansion draft.  His first major league appearance was September 12, 1976, and his final game was 1,328 games later on July 3, 1991.  Whitt spent his final two seasons with the Atlanta Braves and the Baltimore Orioles, where he added 50 hits and three additional homeruns to his Blue Jays totals.
 
    Whitt had 3,514 at bats with the Blue Jays (10th all-time), and compiled a .253 batting average while driving home 518 runs and scoring 424 times.  He is also in the Blue Jays top ten for homeruns, RBI, total bases, walks, and extra-base hits.
 
    The Blue Jays leader in games caught (1,159) was an All-Star in 1985, and started on Opening Day nine times.  On the magical day of September 14, 1987,  he hit three homeruns, and the Blue Jays set a major league record with ten homeruns total in that one game.  George Bell and Rance Mulliniks hit two apiece, and Fred McGriff, Rob Ducey and Lloyd Moseby each hit one dinger.
 
    As a coach in the Blue Jays system, Whitt was a minor league catching instructor from 1997-2002, a roving  minor league instructor in 2003-'04, bench coach for the major league club from 2005-'07, and was the first base coach of the Blue Jays in 2008.  In 1997, he served as field manager for Syracuse in 1997 for six games and Dunedin for 36 games.
 
    In Whitt's very successful tenure with Team Canada, his first stint as field manager was in 1999 at the Pan American games hosted by Winnipeg, Manitoba where Canada upset the USA on its way to a bronze medal finish.  In 2003, Whitt managed Canada past the USA in securing one of two 2004 Olympic berths along with Cuba.  In the 2004 Olympic Summer Games, Whitt guided Canada to a fourth place finish.  He led Canada to a second-place finish in regional Olympic-qualifying in 2005.  In 2006, Whitt was at the wheel for arguably Canada's biggest win in history, as they defeated the USA in the inaugural World Baseball Classic, where Canada finished pool play with two wins and a loss but did not advance due to the tie-breaking formula.
 
Bernie Soulliere
 
   
    "Wow ... I'm speechless", Soulliere gushed as he received the news while vacationing in Florida.
 
    "This is a tremendous honour.  So many great people have been inducted before me.  I couldn't be going in with two greater names than Ernie Whitt and Larry Walker."
 
    Soulliere was born on July 6, 1937 in Windsor, Ontario, and has been a baseball junkie for his entire life.  He and his wife Carole will celebrate their 52nd wedding anniversary in July, and they have three boys, Michael, Chris and Jerry, along with seven grandchildren - all boys as well!
 
    In addition to his earlier noted accomplishments, some of Soulliere's numerous recognitions include being named the 1973 Man of the Year by the Montreal Chapter of Baseball Writers, winning the prestigious President's Award from the International Baseball Federation in 1986, and receiving the Medal of Merit from the Metropolitan Toronto Amateur Baseball Association in 1987.
 
    In 1994 the USA Baseball Federation awarded Soulliere for outstanding contribution and support of amateur baseball.  Baseball Canada named him as the recipient of their 1994 Special Achievement Award, and the province of Ontario gave him a Certificate of Recognition in 1994, and then their Special Achievement Award in 1996.
 
    Baseball Ontario recognized Soulliere as their Volunteer of the Year in 1990, and then he was given their President's Award in 1996 prior to being named as an Honourary Member of Baseball Ontario in 2002.
 
    Soulliere has been the Sports Chair of the much-accomplished Mic-Mac Club of Windsor since 1975, and the Sports Chair of the Greater Windsor Baseball Association Selects Program since 1984.
 
Roy "Doc" Miller
 
   
    Miller was born February 4, 1883 in Chatham, Ontario and died on July 31, 1938 in Jersey City, New Jersey.  His first of 557 games in the major leagues was on May 4, 1910 and his last was on September 28, 1914.
 
    Prior to making it to the big leagues, Miller spend seven years in the minor leagues, amassing 352 games, 1,254 at bats, 380 hits and a .303 batting average with Manchester, Syracuse, Calumet, Pueblo and San Franscico.  The outfielder's major league teams included the Chicago Cubs, Boston Doves, Boston Rustlers, Boston Braves, Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds.
 
    Miller falls into the top 30 of all-time Canadian rankings in batting average, stolen bases, OBP, SLG, doubles, hits, RBI, total bases, at bats, triples, walks and runs.  He is 27th all-time in games played by a Canadian.  Of the Canadian players with more games under their belts, 18 are already inducted into the Hall, three are retired but not yet eligible for the Hall (Paul Quantrill, Rheal Cormier and Corey Koskie), two have not yet been officially nominated (Wood and Rob Ducey), and three are still playing (Matt Stairs, Justin Morneau and Jason Bay).
 
    Miller's finest day at the plate came on May 16, 1911, when he went three-for-four with a pair of homeruns (he hit 12 in his career), four RBI (235 career RBI) and scored twice.  Only 11 other players hit two homeruns in a game that year.
 
Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees (by year):
 

1983

John Ducey

Phil Marchildon

James “Tip” O’Neill

Lester B. Pearson

George Selkirk

Frank Shaughnessy

 

1984

Andrew Bilesky

Charles Bronfman

Jack Graney

Claude Raymond

Goody Rosen

 

1985

Carmen Bush

Jack Kent Cooke

Dick Fowler

John Hiller

Ron Taylor

 

1986

Reggie Cleveland

Bob Emslie

Oscar Judd

Bob Prentice

 

1987

Russ Ford

George ”Moon” Gibson

Ferguson Jenkins

Glenn “Rocky” Nelson

 

1988

Reno Bertoia

Ted Bowsfield

Jeff Heath

Bill Phillips

Ron Piche

1838 Beachville & Zorra

         Amateur Teams

 

1989

Robert Brown

Arthur “Foxy” Irwin
 

1990

Jimmy Archer

 

1991

Jackie Robinson

Pete Ward

Jimmy Williams

 

1992

Tom Burgess

1991 National Youth Team

 

1995

Terry Puhl

 

1996

Justin Jay Clarke

Father Ronald Cullen

Frank O’Rourke

 

1997

Pat Gillick

John McHale

 

1998

George “Knotty” Lee

Ron Roncetti

Canadian-born AAGPBL Players

 

1999

Frank Colman

Bobby Mattick

George Sleeman
 

2000

Jim Fanning

 

2001

Gary Carter

Dave McKay

 

2002

Paul Beeston

Cito Gaston

Don McDougall

Dave Shury

Harry Simmons

Bill Slack

 

2003

Richard Belec

Joe Carter

Kirk McCaskill

Vancouver Asahi

 

2004

Andre Dawson

Peter Hardy

Joseph “JJ” Lannin

Jim McKean

 

2005

Steve Rogers

Charles “Pop” Smith

Dave Stieb

Harold “Doc” Younker

 

2006

Ron Hayter

Tommy Lasorda

Larry McLean

Ron Stead

 

2007

George “Sparky” Anderson

John Haar

Sherrard “Sherry” Robertson

 

2008

Tony Fernandez

Billy Harris

Gladwyn Scott

Peter Widdrington
 

2009

Roy "Doc" Oscar Miller

Bernie Soulliere

Larry Walker

Ernie Whitt



For immediate release
December 17, 2008
 
STILL CAN'T FIND THAT PERFECT PRESENT?
Ball Hall offering trees, benches and balusters
 
St. Marys - If you are having difficulty nailing down the present for that one person who seems to have everything, then the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum has your answer.  Four new opportunities are now available to honour or memorialize that special someone, in addition to the ideal present for that special youngster - a week at the Hall in July of 2009 in our KIDS ON DECK summer camp program.  The following is a brief description, and sample photos are attached:
 
(1) The Hall has begun planting trees to provide shade on the berm surrounding the outfield Canada's field of dreams, the Hall's main field named the St. Marys Cement Company Field.  A selection of trees are available for the arboretum, and a personalized plaque will be permanently mounted next to each one (see sample photo).  The price for the tree, planting, plaque, caring, trimming, and on-going maintenance is $999.  There are approximately 48 placements for trees in this limited offer.
 
(2) Benches are also needed on the same berm and at selected places elsewhere on the Hall's beautiful 32-acre venue.   A plaque will be mounted on the bench back honouring the individual, family, team, group or business.  The price per bench is also $999.  There are approximately 24 placements for benches in this limited offer.
 
(3) The deck railing adjacent to Museum has approximately approximately 250 balusters (small posts which support the upper rail).  The Hall is planning to install new balusters in the form of baseball bats, with the Hall's logo and the name of the individual, family, team, group or business.  The price per baluster is $249 for five years.
 
(4) For your youngster, how about booking a spot in the Hall's summer camp program, KIDS ON DECK?  A brochure is attached.  Price for the week, $695.
 
(5) On a smaller price scale, we have recently added a new item to the Hall's merchandise inventory.  You can order a baseball (still time for delivery before Christmas) with a photo of the special person on the baseball and the Hall's logo on the other side.  Price: $19.95.  Or, you can order a baseball with your favourite inductee's photo on it.  Prices range from $19.95 to $29.95.  Autographing is also possible, but not until the new year.
 
For more information, please contact:
PLEASE NOTE:
 
2009 SUMMER CAMPS for Boys & Girls
        * Week-long camps (drop off Sunday, pick-up Saturday), including accommodation & meals
        * Focus on baseball FUNdamentals, swimming, soccer & tennis, trip to Rogers Centre
        * Social Justice and Cultural Awareness programs incorporated
        * Baseball Celebrities to take part
 
Mark your calendar with these key dates in 2008-09:
 
October 12, 2008 >> Museum closes for regular season
October 13-May 1>> Museum open only for pre-booked group tours
 
Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum
P.O. Box 1838 (140 Queen St. E.)
St. Marys, ON, Canada, N4X 1C2
Tel:   (519) 284-1838  
Toll Free:  1-877-250-BALL 
Fax: (519) 284-1234
Email: baseball@baseballhalloffame.ca
Website: www.baseballhalloffame.ca


For immediate release
December 12, 2008
 
TIP O'NEILL AWARD IS JUSTIFIABLY JUSTIN'S
Morneau named top Canuck for second time in three years
 
    St. Marys - If it is true that we are judged by the company we keep, then Justin Morneau chose the right travelling companion to Las Vegas this weekend to do some charity work.
 
    Morneau has been selected as the recipient of the 2008 Tip O'Neill Award by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, awarded annually to the player judged to have excelled in individual achievement and team contribution while adhering to baseball's highest ideals.  It is the second time in three years that the Minnesota Twins slugger has snagged the honour, and by doing so he becomes the fourth Canadian to win it more than once.
 
    The 2008 runner-up for the American League MVP award joins Jason Bay and Eric Gagné as two-time winners, now trailing only his fellow passenger, Larry Walker, who was awarded the Tip nine times over his prolific career.
 
    The New Westminster, BC native just completed his fifth full major league season, and while he needs to repeat himself for another decade in order to attain Walker-like status, he's certainly out of the gate impressively.  Morneau has mashed 133 homeruns in his career so far, while Walker had 99 after his first five years.  Over that same time period, Morneau has out-hit Walker 754 to 666, and has compiled 523 RBI compared to Walker's 384.
 
    Morneau batted .300 in 2008 and he led the major leagues by playing in all 163 of the Twins games (including a tie-breaker at the end of the regular season).  he amassed 187 hits (fifth in AL), 23 homeruns, 47 doubles and 129 RBI (2nd in AL), while compiling a .499 slugging percentage.  Named to AL All-Star team, Morneau became the first Canadian ever to win the MLB Homerun Derby that was staged in Yankee Stadium.  He won his second Silver Slugger Award, becoming only the second Canadian to win the award more than once (Walker has won three).  He won the Twins MVP Award for 2008, as well as the Bob Allison Award for Leadership and the Oscar Charleston Legacy Award, in addition to being nominated for the Marvin Miller Award, the Pepsi Clutch Hitter of the Year, the "Hitter of the Year " by This Year in Baseball, and the Hank Aaron Award.  Morneau was also a finalist for Canada's Lou Marsh Award.
 
    "I've got a long way to go to match Larry - he's a Hall of Famer in my books," said Morneau from his cell phone in McCarran International Airport.
    
    "But anytime you want to mention my name in the same sentence as his, that's cool with me!"
 
    Morneau, who will marry his girlfriend Krista in January, works out daily in Phoenix with fellow Canucks Adam Loewen and Pete Laforest right now.  Hesitant to talk about himself, the 2006 AL MVP went on to elaborate about the sensational seasons of the contenders for the 2008 Tip, who will hopefully be joining him on Team Canada in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
 
    "Ryan (Dempster) had a great year.  Not only did he return to being a starter, but he was dominant, and won 17 games in a hitters' park!  He is aggressive on the mound and one of the game's most fun guys to be around."
 
    "(Jason) Bay's hard work paid off this year, getting himself into a pennant race thanks to the trade for Man Ram (Manny Ramirez), and he performed big-time in the playoffs.  Now that he is in Boston, his talent is really going to be given the attention he deserves."
 
    "I met Joe Votto at the Baseball Canada gala last January, and had a feeling he was on his way to big things.  He is confident, not cocky, and has the tools to back it up.  He'll be a big asset for us at the Classic."
 
    "Every year when I get asked about who will win the Cy Young, I pick Rich Harden in my top three candidates.  He's just nasty.  I knew him in high school, and his game has become as good as anybody's in baseball.  His control, his splitty, and his fastball make him one of the game's very best."
 
    "When Stairsy (Matt Stairs) hit the the big home run for Philly (in Game 4 of the NLCS), I was cheering for him out loud.  He's a total team player, no messing around, he knows his role, and he comes to play.  I really look up to him."
 
    "I feel real good knowing (2007 Tip O'Neill winner) Russ Martin is going to be the guy behind the plate for us in the Classic.  He's an All-Star, a two-way player, and can carry us when he's hot."
 
    Also among the top vote-getters was Ashley Stephenson, the MVP of the women's Team Canada, who batted .625 in the World Cup.
 
    "I haven't met Ashley, but it really made me feel good to learn about her accomplishments.  She must be pretty special.  I don't remember ever hitting .625, well, not for more than two games in a row anyway!"
 
    Others receiving votes were first-round draft pick Brett Lawrie, as well as fellow Olympians Chris Begg and Nick Weglarz.
 
    Morneau will receive the Tip O'Neill trophy and silver plate at a ceremony in Minneapolis early in the 2009 season.
 
 
Past winners of the James "Tip" O'Neill Award:
 
1984 - Terry Puhl
1985 - Dave Shipanoff
1986 - Rob Ducey
1987 - Larry Walker
1988 - Kevin Reimer
1989 - Steve Wilson
1990 - Larry Walker
1991 - Daniel Brabant
1992 - Larry Walker
1993 - Rob Butler
1994 - Larry Walker
1995 - Larry Walker
1996 - Jason Dickson
1997 - Larry Walker
1998 - Larry Walker
1999 - Jeff Zimmerman
2000 - Ryan Dempster
2001 - Corey Koskie & Larry Walker
2002 - Eric Gagné & Larry Walker
2003 - Eric Gagné
2004 - Jason Bay
2005 - Jason Bay
2006 - Justin Morneau
2007 - Russell Martin
2008 - Justin Morneau
 
Note:   James "Tip" O'Neill was one of Major League baseball's first legitimate stars. With the St. Louis Browns in 1887, O'Neill batted .492, SLG-.691, Hits-225, Doubles-52, Triples-19, Homeruns-14, Total Bases-357, Runs-167 (4th all-time for a single season), RBI-123. The outfielder from Woodstock, Ontario set major league records in hits, doubles, slugging percentage, and total bases that season while compiling an astounding .492 batting average (walks were included as hits in 1887, but if his average was calculated by today's standard, it was .435, the second highest in major league history to Hugh Duffy, .438).  The former US Speaker of the House was named after the Canadian baseball icon.
 
For more information, please contact:
 
Tom Valcke
President & CEO
Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum
P.O. Box 1838,  140 Queen St. E.
St. Marys, ON, Canada,  N4X 1C2
Tel:  519-284-1838 ,  Toll Free:  1-877-250-BALL 
Cell:  519-272-7406 
tom@baseballhalloffame.ca
www.baseballhalloffame.ca


For immediate release
Nov. 25, 2008
 
'08 TIP O'NEILL AWARDS WINNER NO EASY PICKIN'
More than ten Canucks sure to get votes
 
    St. Marys - It may not be easy for the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame to pick the 2008 Tip O'Neill award winner, presented annually to the Canadian player judged to have excelled in individual achievement and team contribution while adhering to baseball's highest ideals, but with the second World Baseball Classic just around the corner, and the first round slated for Rogers Centre in Toronto March 7-11, 2009, there couldn't be a better time to see so many Canucks blossoming!
 
    A legitimate case can easily be made for more than ten players, so the Hall is expecting the public voting to be widespread.  The leading candidates include the following sluggers: Justin Morneau, who was awarded the Tip in 2006, and finished second in the American League Most Valuable Player voting; World Series champion Matt Stairs; 31-homerun man Jason Bay, who won the Tip in 2004 and 2005; runner-up for the National League Rookie of the Year Joey Votto; and, All-Star catcher winner Russell Martin, who edged a tough field last year to earn his first Tip.
 
    In the pitching department, 2000 Tip winner Ryan Dempster won 17 games for the Cubs and finished fifth in NL Cy Young voting, while teammate and 10-game-winner Rich Harden's 2.07 ERA was the best in baseball, except the official records won't show it because he needed 14 more innings pitched to qualify.
 
    Add to that mix first-round draft pick Brett Lawrie, who became the second player ever to play on the Canada's Youth Team as well as the Canadian Olympic Team in the same year, and Ashley Stephenson, who led the Women's Baseball World Cup in hitting with a .625 average, and don't forget Canadian Olympic stars Nick Weglarz and Chris Begg.
 
    When Mark Teahen, Jesse Crain, Erik Bedard, Eric Gagné,  Jeff Francis, Peter Orr, RJ Swindle, Scott Richmond, Shawn Hill, George Kottaras, Luke Carlin and Adam Loewen are tossed into the equation for putting together solid seasons as well, you have to like what WBC Team Canada general manager Greg Hamilton begins with on his white board.  In addition to the 19 Canadians who spent time in the major leagues in 2008, hovering were Pete Laforest, Phillippe Aumont, Adam Stern, Chris Robinson, Scott Thorman, Chris Reitsma, Mike Saunders and Rheal Cormier.
 
    The 2008 winner will be announced on December 12th, and the Ball Hall is looking for public e-votes to help with the decision by visiting http://www.baseballhalloffame.ca.  Voters are encouraged to vote for as many one to five candidates, in order, and the results will be posted when the announcement is made.
 
    The voting is not limited to the above-named players.  Here is a closer look at the accomplishments of the 11 players most likely to garner the majority of votes, alphabetically (bolded statistics reflect Canadian best in that category):
 
 
Jason Bay (Trail, BC) - LF, Boston Red Sox
 
Traded in a deal that sent Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers, the Red Sox fans love their end of the bargain.  Bay mashed 31 homeruns while batting .286 and compiling a slugging percentage of .522, had 165 hits, 101 RBI and scored 111 runs.  That makes five consecutive seasons where Bay has hit at least 20 homeruns and knocked in at least 80.  In 11 playoff games with the Red Sox (the first playoff games of Bay's career), he was 14/41 (.341 batting average), including three homeruns, three doubles and nine RBI.  His playoff slugging percentage was .634.
 
 
Chris Begg (Uxbridge, ON) - RHP, Team Canada / San Francisco Giants
 
In an Olympic Games where Canada was on the cusp of the medal round, Begg shone on the mound with a 1-1 record, a 0.75 ERA (3rd best in the tournament), striking out 14 batters in 12 innings pitched.
 
 
Ryan Dempster (Gibsons, BC) - RHP, Chicago Cubs
 
Dempster's 17 wins for the Cubs were third best in the National League.  He started 33 games, and struck out 187 batters in 206 innings pitched.  Dempster struck out the side in the inning he pitched in the All-Star game and was handed the ball in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series.  He finished fifth in NL Cy Young voting.  Dempster has also been nominated for the "Starter of the Year" from This Year in Baseball, and for the Roberto Clemente Award.
 
 
Rich Harden (Victoria, BC) - RHP, Chicago Cubs
 
Harden was traded to the Cubs midway through the season and was instrumental in their pennant run, going 5-1 with a 1.77 ERA and striking out 89 in 71 innings.  His overall record was 10-2 with a microscopic season ERA of 2.07, striking out 181 in 148 innings pitched.  Harden needed 162 innings pitched to qualify for the official ERA title.
 
 
Brett Lawrie (Langley, BC) - C, Milwaukee Brewers
 
Lawrie was drafted in the first round by the Milwaukee Brewers, 16th overall, the highest a Canadian position player has ever been selected.  He won the Most Valuable Player Award in the World Junior Tournament, going 15/32 (.469 batting average), including three homeruns and four triples, along with 16 RBI.  Lawrie then was selected to play for Team Canada in the Beijing Olympic Summer Games.  Rob Butler (1988) was the only previous athlete to have played for both Canadian National teams in the same season.
 
 
Russell Martin (Montreal, QC) - C, Los Angeles Dodgers
 
Martin had another stellar season for the Dodgers, batting .280 with 69 RBI, 90 bases on balls, 18 stolen bases and a .385 on-base percentage.  He played in the All-Star Game and in the post-season he chipped in with a homerun, three doubles and six RBI as the Dodgers made it to the National League Championship Series.  His 155 games played is a season record for Canadian catchers, as was his number of at bats (553), walks (90), and runs (87).
 
 
Justin Morneau (New Westminster, BC) - 1B, Minnesota Twins
 
Morneau finished second in MVP voting to Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox Dustin Pedroia.  His .300 batting average was just the beginning of another outstanding season.  He led the major leagues by playing in all 163 of the Twins games (including a tie-breaker at the end of the regular season), amassed 187 hits (5th in American League), 23 homeruns, 47 doubles and 129 RBI (2nd in AL) while compiling a .499 slugging percentage.  He was not only named to the AL All-Star team, but won the MLB Homerun Derby in Yankee Stadium.  He won his second Silver Slugger Award, becoming only the second Canadian to win the award more than once (Larry Walker, 3).  He won the Twins MVP Award for 2008, and also the Bob Allison Award for Leadership.  He was nominated for the Marvin Miller Award, the Pepsi Clutch Hitter of the Year, the "Hitter of the Year " by This Year in Baseball, and the Hank Aaron Award.
 
 
Matt Stairs (St. John, NB) - OF/1B, Philadelphia Phillies
 
The cagey veteran crushed 13 homeruns and 49 RBI in just 337 at bats playing for the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies.  His 255th career homerun was by far the biggest of his amazing career, as he belted a 450 foot shot in Dodger Stadium while pinch-hitting in the eighth inning of Game 4 of the NLCS with the score tied 5-5.  The homerun propelled the Phillies to the win and gave them a 3-1 series lead that they would not relinquish, and his team went on to win the World Series, Stairs first ring.
 
 
Ashley Stephenson (Mississauga, ON) - 3B, Team Canada Women
 
Stephenson led Canada to a Silver Medal at the 2008 Women's Baseball World Cup with a .625 batting average (10/16), including a pair of doubles.  She was walked six times, scored seven runs and had nine RBI.  Stephenson was named All-Star third baseman as well as Baseball Canada's Women's National Team MVP.
 
 
Joey Votto (Toronto, ON) - 1B, Cincinnati Reds
 
Votto finished second in National League Rookie of the Year voting  to Cubs catcher Geovany Soto.  He made a major impact with a .297 batting average, 156 hits, 24 homeruns, 32 doubles, 84 RBI and a .506 slugging percentage.  Those numbers would have won him the NL Rookie of the Year Award in most other years.  When Jason Bay became the first Canadian to be named NL Rookie of the Year in 2004, he hit 26 homeruns with 82 RBI and a .282 batting average.  Votto has been nominated for the Hank Aaron Award and the "Rookie of the Year" by This Year in Baseball.
 
 
Nick Weglarz (Stevensville, ON) - OF, Team Canada / Cleveland Indians
 
Weglarz seems to be the next Canadian whose bat will have an impact at the Major League level.  He led the Canadian Olympic team in Beijing with a .400 batting average and a .750 slugging percentage, going 10/25 with two homeruns and a pair of doubles.  In Single-A ball in the Indians organization, Weglarz knocked 10 homeruns and had 41 RBI in 106 games.
 
 
Past winners of the James "Tip" O'Neill Award:
 
1984 - Terry Puhl
1985 - Dave Shipanoff
1986 - Rob Ducey
1987 - Larry Walker
1988 - Kevin Reimer
1989 - Steve Wilson
1990 - Larry Walker
1991 - Daniel Brabant
1992 - Larry Walker
1993 - Rob Butler
1994 - Larry Walker
1995 - Larry Walker
1996 - Jason Dickson
1997 - Larry Walker
1998 - Larry Walker
1999 - Jeff Zimmerman
2000 - Ryan Dempster
2001 - Corey Koskie & Larry Walker
2002 - Eric Gagné & Larry Walker
2003 - Eric Gagné
2004 - Jason Bay
2005 - Jason Bay
2006 - Justin Morneau
2007 - Russell Martin
2008 - ???
 
    Note:   James "Tip" O'Neill was one of Major League baseball's first legitimate stars. With the St. Louis Browns in 1887, O'Neill batted .492, SLG-.691, Hits-225, Doubles-52, Triples-19, Homeruns-14, Total Bases-357, Runs-167 (4th all-time for a single season), RBI-123. The outfielder from Woodstock, Ontario set major league records in hits, doubles, slugging percentage, and total bases that season while compiling an astounding .492 batting average (walks were included as hits in 1887, but if his average was calculated by today's standard, it was .435, the second highest in major league history to Hugh Duffy, .438).  The former US Speaker of the House was named after the Canadian baseball icon.
 
For more information, or to vote on-line, please contact:
 
Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum
P.O. Box 1838,  140 Queen St. E.
St. Marys, ON, Canada,  N4X 1C2
Tel:  519-284-1838 ,  Toll Free:  1-877-250-BALL 
baseball@baseballhalloffame.ca
www.baseballhalloffame.ca



HOME RENOVATIONS LEAD TO JACKIE ROBINSON NEWSPAPERS

 

By: Kevin Glew
December 1, 2008
When John Smythe and his wife, Kathy, were ripping up flooring in their 150-year-old home in St. George, Ont., 10 years ago, they couldn’t have fathomed the baseball history that lay beneath it.

 

During this arduous renovation, the Smythes unearthed several newspapers from April and May 1947 – the months when Jackie Robinson was rewriting baseball history by breaking its color barrier.

 

“We found the newspapers under some old flooring when we were tearing it up. The papers had been covered by old tar backed linoleum and the oil from the tar helped preserve the paper,” explained Smythe.

 

“I remember skimming through the newspapers shortly after we found them and seeing the articles about Jackie. I then put the papers in our basement for safekeeping. When we visited the Hall of Fame this summer I saw all of the great historical items that had been collected there. Then I saw Jackie’s plaque and remembered the articles we had down in our basement, and that’s when I asked Kevin (Kevin Glew, the Hall tour guide that day) if he would like them for the Hall’s collection,” said Smythe. “We are all glad that he said yes, and that the articles have found their ‘rightful home.’”

 

In remarkable condition for their age, The Brantford Expositor and Hamilton Spectator papers feature articles about the baseball pioneer. One article describes the difficulty the Montreal Royals will face replacing Robinson on their 1947 squad. In the previous season, Robinson won the International League batting crown and led the Royals to Junior World Series title.

 

Smythe donated the newspapers to the Hall of Fame on August 20. The good-natured father of two had visited the museum in July, along with his daughters Susie and Jane, when Susie was playing in a fastball tournament in St. Marys.

 

Our youngest daughter, Susie, pitched for the Brantford Bobcat Tier 2 Novice All-Star team (13 and 14 year olds). During the season she pitched several shutout games, and in a tournament in Brampton, she pitched a perfect game,” said the beaming father. “After she pitched those games we found out that she had actually broken her baby finger on her pitching hand (she’s a lefty) on an inside bunt attempt earlier in the season and had continued to pitch despite the pain.”

 

Once they discovered the break, Susie went on the disabled list, before rejoining the team and helping them win the Tier 2 Novice All-Star provincial championship in Napanee in August.

 

Smythe’s oldest daughter, Jane, spent most of the 2008 season on the disabled list.

 

“Our oldest daughter Jane (a catcher) tore her ACL working out with the Brantford Bantam Selects (15 and 16 year olds) early in the 2008 season and was sidelined for the remainder of the season waiting for knee surgery,” said Smythe.

The proud baseball dad, who also donated a catcher’s mitt to the Hall of Fame in July, said his family enjoyed their visits to the museum.

 

“We all enjoyed the museum very much. We had planned to visit it the weekend my daughter was playing in the St. Mary’s tournament and we were certainly glad we did,” said Smythe. “The museum was great and exceeded all of our expectations. I must admit my favourite exhibit was the Blue Jays home plate exhibit. Both our daughters were very pleased that you had a special section dedicated to women’s baseball.”