Expos family has plenty of Canadian HoF candidates

Danny Gallagher

Canadian Baseball Network

There is no shortage of people from the Expos’ family who would be worthy candidates for induction into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame next year.

How about Expos’ alumni Bill Stoneman, Claude Brochu, Dennis Martinez and Vladimir Guerrero? Stoneman, in particular, is long overdue. He would be an excellent fit because he pitched for the Expos in the early days of the franchise, throwing two no-hitters, and later was a long-time team executive before he headed to the Angels.

Brochu helped saved the franchise as a controlling shareholder after original majority owner Charles Bronfman put the team up for sale in 1990. Of course, El Presidente and Guerrero carved out stellar careers with the Expos. Coincidentally, both El Perfecto and Guerrero played seven and a half seasons with the Expos.

And talking of the Hall of Fame, Dec. 14 is the deadline for making bids on some wonderful gifts, many of them autographed by Jays’ players, in the organization’s annual Christmas silent auction. A 2015 ball signed by Jays’ players has attracted a top bid of $750. Quite impressive …

As this corner has suggested before, Pete Orr would have been a good fit for the Blue Jays as a back-up infielder. But as his agent Blake Corosky of True Gravity Baseball in Toronto told me today, the team is “flat-out not interested’’ in his client from Newmarket, Ont.. “He doesn’t fit in their plans. It’s unfortunate. The Jays have a bunch of other options.’’ One of those options was Darwin Barney, whom they signed a few days as a back-up infielder, the very kind of role Orr could have filled admirably.

Corosky, who has represented Orr for the last 10 years, is trying to get Orr a job playing next season but is also interested in getting him a coaching position in 2017. Orr has played in the majors over the years with the Braves, Phillies and Nationals. “We should have a decision on Pete sometime later this month or in early January,’’ Corosky said. “He’d like to play internationally one more year for Canada. We’ve reached out to a number of teams. He batted over .300 the last two seasons in the minors for the Milwaukee Brewers. He stole 15 bases last season. Pete is a very, very smart man. He’s been around a lot of clubhouses.

The idea that he can’t be a depth piece for an organization down the stretch with his professional experience in a locker-room is ludicrous. All Pete has done is prove people wrong.’’ Orr, 36, became a Canadian hero after he ran from first to home in the 10th inning to help Canada beat the U.S. 7-6 in the gold medal game at the Pan-Am Games baseball championship last July …

At least three people with connections to Canadian baseball have integral roles in the Cooperstown voting process for long-ago, largely unknown players who toiled in what is referred to as the Pre-Integration Era. Former Jays GM Pat Gillick and former Expos scouting director Gary Hughes are among the 16 members of the Hall of Fame appointed board while Toronto Sun columnist Bob Elliott is among 11 historians on the Historical Review Committee which puts forth suggestions for Gillick, Hughes & Co. to vote on. Just a few days ago, it was announced that nobody from the suggested crop received enough votes to make it into the hall next year.

 

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Danny Gallagher

Danny was born in Ted Lindsay's hometown of Renfrew, Ont. but his roots are in nearby Douglas. He played 27 consecutive seasons of top-level amateur baseball in the senior ranks in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec and thrived on organizing events himself, the major one being the highly successful 1983 Canadian senior men's tournament in Sudbury. He began covering the Montreal Expos in 1988 when he joined the Montreal Daily News. Later, he was the Expos beat writer for the Ottawa Sun and Associated Press. He has written four baseball books, including Remembering the Montreal Expos, which he co-authored with Bill Young of Hudson, Que. Gallagher and Young are currently working on a book about the ill-fated 1994 Expos squad. Gallagher can be reached here: dannogallagher@rogers.com