By: Nick Ashbourne
Canadian Baseball Network
There’s nothing Bob Elliott likes less than a story about Bob Elliott.
That’s why he didn’t ask for anything to be written here on the topic of his retirement, nor did endeavour to do it himself. That’s why when the news leaked out he let others, like Toronto Sun colleague Steve Simmons, do the talking while his own Tweet on the matter read more like a travel itinerary than an announcement.
Thanks much for all the congrats and kind words. NYY-TOR tonight then off to see Manitoba Baseball HOF ceremonies this weekend— bob elliott (@elliottbaseball) June 1, 2016
That’s why this story was written without his knowledge and published only with his reluctant consent. At a time when the journalism racket is more and more about self-promotion and creating a brand, that's never been Bob's style. Instead, he is a master at shining the spotlight on others, from young aspiring ballplayers to major leaguers.
The problem is this website was created to tell stories about Canadian baseball, and whether Bob likes it or not, this week the biggest news in that world is the country’s top baseball writer hanging up his proverbial cleats. Countless fans took notice, as did baseball scribes from the Toronto Blue Jays beat and beyond.
Like Joe Posnanski, almost everyone around the game has their favourite anecdote about Bob, often involving a Diet Coke, perhaps a sly wink, maybe a piece of information they didn’t expect to hear; something they have no idea how Bob got.
I know I do.
But today’s not the day for those stories, at least for those of us at Canadian Baseball Network. Over here things will continue as normal. Bob remains committed to telling the story of this sport from sea to sea as he has for his entire career.
While the Toronto Sun just lost a Hall-of-Fame baseball writer, at CBN we certainly have not. When he announced his retirement to the website’s staff he made that abundantly clear saying, “I'll retire from this website when they put me in a box.”
So, on to business as usual.