By Danny Gallagher
Canadian Baseball Network
If you are looking to get autographs from Pedro Martinez, Lloyd Moseby and Bill Humber June 16 in St. Marys, Ont. and don't want to be in a long lineup, it will be easier if you acquire a membership from the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.
Check with the Hall of Fame to see what type of membership is good for you. Director of operations Scott Crawford will help you with memberships and the fees involved.
All members will get early access to the autograph session following the induction ceremony. Elite members get reserved seating during the induction ceremony. Home Run members get reserved fourth-row seating at the induction ceremony and celebrity golf banquet tickets.
Grand Slam members get reserved third-row seating and recognition at the induction ceremony. There is a special arrangement for Home Run and Grand Slam members at the VIP inductee dinner.
When you purchase a membership, it assists the Hall in its fundraising efforts. This year promises to be an exciting one for the Canuck ball shrine. The Hall's museum expansion and renovation projects are under way. The expansion will include an archive and storage area, a library/resource centre, exhibition space, a new entrance/gift shop and an an accessible washroom.
Still with the Hall, if you are a post-secondary student, you may be interested in applying for a job in St. Marys as a grounds-maintenance employee. The job would begin mid-April and run until the end of August. The pay is $14 per hour and the work week is 40 hours. The deadline for applications is Feb. 28.
Talking of Martinez, there is at least one person, who didn't like Martinez's election into the hall: prominent Toronto Sun sports columnist Steve Simmons. In a series of tweets, Simmons said it was "ridiculous'' that Martinez should be elected into the Hall based on only four seasons of service with the Expos.
"It makes the hall look cheap,'' Simmons wrote on his Twitter feed. "Do you honestly believe a player with only four years' service belongs in a hall of fame? Any hall of fame?''
It's Simmons' thinking that a longer haul with a team is necessary for someone to get into St. Marys.
I personally think Martinez's four-year stint with the Expos qualified him for election into St. Marys, especially since Martinez was a huge exclamation mark with the Expos. He was 55-33 with the Expos and is the only Expos' pitcher to win a Cy Young award. That was in 1997 when he went 17-8 with a 1.90 ERA and 305 strikeouts.
The Canadian hall is unique because it not only recognizes Canadian natives but it honours non-Canadians, who made an impact on Canadian soil. The St. Marys-based shrine takes into consideration players or executives who were a major influence, even if it's just during a short period of time.
Remember Rusty Staub's induction? He spent three and a half seasons with the Expos and was the franchise's first hero. He was a unique Expo. He was the organization's first legitimate superstar. Fans across Canada gravitated to him. That's what made him a worthy St. Marys inductee.
Jackie Robinson spent one season with the triple-A Montreal Royals in 1946 and he was such an influence that it was good enough to get him elected into the Canadian ball hall in 1991. He made an impact in Canada one year prior to becoming the first African-American to play in the major leagues in 1947. He presented a smash-hit scenario in the annals of Canadian baseball history. Thus, his election into the Canadian hall.